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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
King Arthur
King Arthur was Arthur Kirkland
The entire Arthurian Mythos sprouted from France getting his hands on England's diary and rewriting it to include more chivalry and more sex. "Mordred" might have been a dream England had of the future American Revolution, but got worked into the story for drama.

One or more of the characters is a Time Lord.
  • Merlin. Definitely Merlin. The emponymous Merlin Sickness? He just kept showing up in the wrong order.
  • Merlin's the Doctor.
    "I hate good wizards in fairy tales. They always turn out to be him."
    River Song, the Pandorica Opens

Guinevere is sterile.
None of the Arthurian myths feature Arthur and Guinevere having children. This is strange for a royal family, especially one without access to contraception. We know Arthur is fertile; obviously, Guinevere isn't.

This explains why Arthur is so passive about Guinevere and Lancelot's affair. He knows there's no possibility of Guinevere bearing Lancelot's child and affecting the royal inheritance.
  • That's canon in many adaptations. In at least one, Arthur is forced to declare Mordred his heir.
  • Jossed in one-third in Arthur, King of Time and Space, but almost confirmed in another third. In the current-day arc, Arthur and Guinevere have had two sons. In the fairy-tale arc, Guinevere is almost certainly sterile. In the future arc, Guinevere is "putting off having children because of her career".
  • At least three revisions say this. The Mists of Avalon says that Morgause cursed Guinevere. At the end of Sword of the Rightful King, the Sweet Polly Oliver Guinevere is cursed by Morgana le Fay herself — her "line [will be] blighted, and her cause be slighted." On the other hand, in Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series, Arthur and Guinevere do have a baby, but the kid is spirited off to hundreds of years in the future for his own safety. Finally, in Rosalind Miles' Guinevere series, she does have a child - a little boy named Amir. He dies at the age of seven in battle with the Saxons, cursed by Morgan.
  • That said, how would Arthur know for certain that she was sterile? If she's young and in good health, then that's quite a claim to make.
    • Because they both can count, and they would have spent the first years of their marriage working double time to produce an heir.
    • By the time of the whole Lancelot mess, she wasn't particularly young - some sources have her old enough to be Lancelot's mother. Going that long without a pregnancy would have given him some idea.
  • In the original Alliterative Morte D'arthure, she DID manage to have a kid, with Mordred no less. Squick much?
    • Not so. Lancelot is a relatively new character invented by the French nearly four hundred years after the original legends started. In some of the earliest variations, Guinevere (in the oldest called Ginevra, in newer ones called Jennyfyr or Gwenhyvar) had two children by Arthur, one boy and one girl. The names of the children vary.
    • Welsh sources give Arthur four sons, probably of Gwenhyfar.
      • Lancelot isn't that new. Check University of Rochester's Camelot Project for more information - they've got some good stuff up there. Although Malory's Lancelot is probably what most readers are familiar with.
      • Lancelot may have existed in oral tradition earlier, but the first written account of him is from the middle of the twelfth century in the work of Chretien de Troyes.
  • Jossed in Katherine Roberts' Pendragon Legacy series, which stars Arthur and Guenivere's daughter Rhianna.

Guinevere isn't sterile; it's just that King Arthur is female.
As you know, Saber was once King Arthur. Two girls couldn't have a baby even if they tried.
  • Which also explains why Guinevere had an affair with Lancelot. Poor Guinevere must have expected her wedding night to be awesome, and then she realized 'Arthur' wasn't a...suitable person.
  • Yeah, and Mordred's been conceived in lesbian incest. No wonder his her head is messed up. Imagine how you would feel if you discovered that your dad is your mom's little sister!
    • That would put a damper on this theory, but some versions cast Mordred as the son of King Lot and Morgause-that is, he isn't Arthur's son, just his nephew. Perhaps this version is true, which would make Arthur secretly being female plausible again.
  • In Malory, Arthur gat a son, Borre, never mind the whole Mordred thing. and as said above, he sometimes sires children with Guinevere.

  • in the type moon wiki however it states that merlin briefly transformed Saber into a transvestite allowing Saber to produce sperm in which to have a son *aka Mordred* this is strange but is a good explanation.

King Arthur is Mordred's birth mother
Hey, who would dare call "him" on the pregnancy? Guinevere is busy, and Arthur is the King!

We don't know who the father is. Given what kind of person Mordred turns out being, we can't rule out incubi.

Or maybe there is no father — the person named as Mordred's mom in the legends tends to be either Morgan le Fay or Morgause, and both of them practiced magic. Of course, this means that either magic has to create a Y chromosome or the gender-flip is also hereditary.
  • No, Morgan le Fay is not Mordred's mother in legend. No one thought that until the Victorian Age at the earliest.

In addition of King Arthur being female, Guinevere is male too, and he crossdresses as a princess, and he is a convincing Wholesome Crossdresser.
All this is a conspiracy. Well, in this case, they can have children, but King Arthur will be the one who can be pregnant.
  • But King Arthur can't as this will hinder her much more.(She crossdresses as a man to rule the country, so if her gender is exposed, you can imagine the result.)

And with the WMG above, Lancelot is a gay.
Boy x Boy love between Guinevere and Lancelot can be interesting.

King Arthur already returned in England's time of greatest need.
World War II seems to be the most likely time, and Churchill the most likely candidate for Arthurship.
  • Don't forget Sir Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington.
  • There's also the red-haired Prince Harry, which does not bode well for the future.
  • Hello? How about Queen Elizabeth I?
  • This can only mean one thing...
    • Sonic is the reincarnation of Winston Churchill?
  • In Finnish newspaper comic Väinämöisen paluu ("Vainamoinen Returns"), featuring Finland's own King in the Mountain as a protagonist, the titular character once met King Arthur, who revealed that he had already come back for World War I (not expecting the second one), but found himself locked in a mental asylum as soon as he declared himself. After escaping some years later, he decided not to bother, any more.
  • Knowing about the relative danger of the enemies faced by Britain, my money is on Wellington: he's the only one who faced an enemy who could actually have conquered Britain. Philip II could have conceivably invaded and defeated the English army, only to wonder why God was punishing him when his overstretched troops lost control of every European asset save for Spain itself (incidentally the Duke of Parma, commander of the army supposed to embark on the Invincible Armada and invade, did everything he could to not embark, so there's the chance he knew it too), while the Axis simply didn't have the means to invade with any measure of success: the German fleet was outgunned and outnumbered and the Channel is the perfect place to sink submarines, the Italian fleet (that could have hold off the Royal Navy long enough for the Germans to invade) was stuck in the Mediterranean Sea, the Luftwaffe (assuming it could force the RAF away from the landing areas) had laughable abilities to sink ships and wouldn't be able to sink moving battleships until 1943 and lacked the numbers to stand to both the RN (both ships and carrier planes) and the RAF (that would have returned to the advanced airports as soon as the Luftwaffe stopped to bomb them), and, even if they somehow managed to clear the way, they lacked the ships to disembark tanks, artillery and vehicles outside of harbours, meaning that any invasion force that survived the traps on the beaches would have had to deal with a pre-made resistance and the British Army in complete inferiority of numbers and firepower.

The stories that we've heard are corruptions of the original tales. Arthur was a cruel and murderous warlord who was sealed away on Avalon by Merlin so he couldn't do further damage. But the spell wasn't perfect, and Arthur will return in England's time of need to finish it off.
  • But Merlin will also return to battle the daemon king Arthur. There will be MUCH asskicking!
  • It's worse. King Arthur is an Old One. "IÄ! IÄ! ARTHUR FHTAGN!"

Morganna le Fay loved Arthur
Think about it: she's supposedly Arthur's greatest enemy, hating him because he is the product of Uther Pendragon's rape of their mother. But what does she do to him that's so awful?

Well, she exposes that his wife is having an affair with someone who is supposedly his friend. Then she herself sleeps with him, finally giving him the son and heir he had longed for for years. Then, when he lies dying after killing their son, what does she do? She takes him to Avalon to heal and someday return.
  • Morgan le Fay is not Mordred's mother. Get that out of your head right now.

King Arthur will come back
Britain's hour of greatest need will come during a third world war fought between a revamped British Empire and the United States in the 2050s. Arthur will return and lead the British in an invasion of America. However, this will also count as America's hour of greatest need and Captain America will return to lead the United States. The unstoppable Excalibur will strike Cap's unbreakable shield, and existence will explode.
  • And it will be AWESOME.
  • And the jewels on the sword and shield will become the 27 True Runes.

Mordred managed to have kids before that last battle
It was decided not to let one of them take succession when that last battle happened. But the line survived in secret until the legend faded into, well, legend. Every MacArthur, McCarthy, and McCartney out there is a testament to this, and many of them even carry a little of King Arthur's blood... as well as a little of Mordred's. (It can't be helped.)
  • Actually, there are versions where he has two sons, including one mentioned above where he has children with Guinevere. They get killed shortly after him, though - sometimes by Lancelot.
  • Yup, and only a daughter survived and his last descendant is Hellboy.

All of Arthurian Legend exists in a Multiverse
This explains the various interpretations and conflicting facts, as well as the retellings. All of the retellings of the mythos, from The Mists of Avalon through the Merlin television series are true, just in alternate universes.

See, the Lady of the Lake named it EXCaliburn, which became Excalibur due to language drift. EX meaning Extra, as in extra powerful, of course. I guess saying it was formerly Caliburn works too...

Merlin is from the future
This explains why he knew what was going on in the future. For the dragons, he just used seismic machines to find out they were there.

Merlin is John the Beloved.
Okay, think about it for a minute. Jesus tells Peter not to worry about it if John stays on earth until He comes back, and tradition holds that that means that John's immortal. John had a vision of the future in Revelations, and was one of Christ's twelve Apostles, with Christ's authority and power. Why would a pagan wizard be an advisor to a Catholic king? And how would an immortal miracle-worker with knowledge of the rest of history who didn't want to be found out explain himself? "I'm a Wizard! These miracles are magic! Oh, and hey, Arthur, we should make England a better place, huh?" Oh, and he told Arthur that the two of them would be coming back to England one day, after their "deaths". Which sounds a lot like the resurrection an Apostle would be preaching.

John the Revelator was totally Merlin the Wizard.
  • How does this gel with Merlin being Satan's son?
  • There's a good explanation for Merlin the Druid being the advisor of Arthur the Christian King: the incomplete Romanization of Britain. In the Lloegyr historical region (whose name resembles that of Logres, Arthur's proper kingdom from which he ruled the whole Britain), Britons had abandoned their old customs and adopted the Roman ones, while outside it the Britons kept their old customs, probably including the religion. After the Roman retreat, an High King coming from the Celtic Britons would find difficult at best to be obeyed by the Romanized Britons, and at the same time there was little way for someone of Roman culture to make himself obeyed by the Celtic Britons... Unless the Romanized ruler has a well-respected Celtic advisor, like Merlin. And in fact, the only kings of sub-Roman Britain with a decent measure of success were Uther Pendragon (Roman son of a Roman emperor) and his son Arthur, who had Merlin as advisor. The kings before Uther had: abandoned Britain to fight a war (Constantine II, Roman emperor as Constantine III); been manipulated by their advisers before being poisoned (Constans, eldest son of Constantine II and aspiring Roman emperor); been deposed by their own son (Vortigern, who was deposed by his son Vortimer after a last fuck-up with the revolt of the Saxon mercenaries); been poisoned by their own family (Vortimer, killed by his Saxon stepmother on Vortigern's behalf); been burned alive in their fortress (Vortigern again, courtesy of Constans little brothers Aurelianus Ambrosius and Uther); been poisoned by political opponents (Aurelianus Ambrosius, assassinated by loyalists of Vortigern's other sons while Uther defeated said sons and collected Merlin as advisor). And after Merlin disappeared, we had: Arthur killed in battle by his own son, who rebelled as soon as he looked the other way to go at war in Gaul (either against Lancelot or the Eastern Roman Empire demanding tribute); Constantine III, of both Celtic and Romanized descent, ruled decently for a while, but either abdicated and became a monk or received divine punishment after killing Mordred's sons in two churches; Aurelius Conanus (Roman) was a murderer, usurper and adulter, and got killed for it; Vortiporius was a Loser Son of Loser Dad who committed unspecified depravities and corrupted his own daughter, and only managed to stay king because he had kicked the Saxons out of the island; the depraved king Malgo, who failed to make his son King of the Britons; and Keredic, who was such an unmitigated disaster that the Britons (that by this time appears to have culturally unified) allies themselves with the returning Anglo-Saxons and the Vandals (called from Spain) to get rid of him.

Arthur and Guinevere never had sex.
This theory was actually put forth in J. Robert King's (sadly almost unknown) books Mad Merlin, Lancelot Du Lethe, and Le Morte D'Avalon. Basically, Guinevere was one of the Fae, and her magic gave power to Camelot. Arthur loved her and wanted to marry her, but sex with a human would have destroyed her power. HOWEVER, Lancelot was actually a changeling (the human son of his father had been switched out), and thus a Fae as well, so she could have all the sex she wanted with him. This version of the story also allowed for reconciliation of Lancelot's nobility with his adultery: he didn't commit adultery. The Fae allow polygamy, and he was Guinevere's second husband...only Arthur didn't accept this as legitimate, which led to a war between Camelot and Lancelot's kingdom of Brittony which paralleled the story of Helen of Troy.

Relating to the "Arthur was a woman" theory, Guinevere never actually existed, and Lancelot was in love with Female!Arthur.
Unfortunately for Lancelot, Arturia did not return his feelings. As for Guinevere, she is a purely fictional character added to the Arthurian legend several centuries after the Battle of Camlann. People remembered that Lancelot had loved a beautiful woman, but since almost no one knew that "Arthur" was a girl, the role of Lancelot's Love Interest went to the King's supposed wife.
  • Interesting idea. Lancelot probably served Queen Arthur for years without revealing his feelings. After he had revealed them, Arthur rejected him and Lancelot took this as an insult, so he declared war on Arthur.

Tristan had incestuous feelings towards his mother
One of the rare proofs that Tristan was real is the Tristan stone. The text on it says "Drustan (Tristan) lies here, of Cunomorus (according to Nennius, identical to Mark of Cornwall) the son", but the now lost third line says "with the lady Ousilla (Iseult)". So, if Iseult was Tristan's mother, that makes their love incestuous. Feeling ashamed, Tristan decided to get as far away from her as possible, and eventually got to Brittany, where he met another woman named Iseult, and married her. When she found the truth, she enginnered his death.

All different versions of the story are simply retellings by different characters.
  • Mists of Avalon is Morgan's story (the books are the fully version, the miniseries is a shorter version she retells before an audience), in which she justifies her actions. In the shorter version, she also claims she threw Excalibur into the lake.
  • 1953 Knights of the Round Table movie is Lancelot's story, in which he claims he killed Mordred and threw Excalibur into the water, and that he never had sex with Guinevere. Later, he started telling a different story (First Knight), so he could claim the throne for himself.
  • Warlord Chronicles is Derfel's retelling, and he makes himself seem more important than he really was (he presents himself as Arthur's and Galahad's close friend and claims he threw Excalibur into the sea).
  • 1998 Merlin TV-movie is Merlin's story. This Merlin is identical to Kevin the Merlin from Mists of Avalon, but he claims some of Taliesin's deeds as his own. Both Queen Mab and Lady of the Lake in his story take traits from various Ladies of the Lake, with Mab taking all the bad qualities, and her sister all the good ones. He also claims, like the others, that he was the one who threw Excalibur into the lake.
  • Excalibur film is Percival's retelling, in which he presents himself as the one who found the Grail (most of the others say it was Galahad). He also claims he threw Excalibur into the lake (people really like to claim they did it).

Mordred and Arthur's fight was started by Gwenhwyfar and her sister.
  • Earlier sources say jack diddly squat about Mordred being Arthur's incestuosly conceived son and instead have him as an apparent foster son and nephew. They also say the Battle of Camlann was started by Gwenhwyfach and Gwenhwyfar slapping each other. Instead of some soap opera style plotline, the last campaign of Camelot was possibly the result of a family feud between two sisters that dragged in their husbands.

Ideas on the locations of Camelot, Camlann and Avalon
  • Camelot:
    • Colchester. As Camulodunum it was the initial capital of Roman Britain, it's placed in the historical region of Lloegyr (Romanized Britain, with a name similar to Arthur's traditional realm of Logres), and had a Roman fortress. The only problem with that is that Arthur would have had to re-conquer it from the Saxons...
    • London, or somewhere near it. After all, it was the second and final capital of Roman Britain and well inside Lloegyr, and Arthur's death would explain why it was suddenly abandoned until the kingdom of Essex made it the capital.
  • Camlann:
    • Cadbury Castle, near Queen Camel. It's a fortress in use in the Arthurian era, it's on the Cam River and near Queen Camel (two locations with a similar name), it's close to Glastonbury (possible location for Avalon, not just for the tourism), and, if we consider Logres as being the historical Lloegyr, it would be in striking distance from Arthur's most loyal lands but inside the territory of non-Romanized Britons, less likely to be loyal to someone trying to rebuild the old Roman province.
  • Avalon:
    • Glastonbury. Aside for the tourist factor, it also happens to have a strange resemblance to the description of Avalon: Glastonbury had been an island surrounded by marshlands between the collapse of the Roman walls keeping the sea out and the Normans re-draining Somerset, association with apples (Avalon derives from 'apple', and the area is well known for cultivation of apples), and is relatively near to Romanized Britain.

Keys to the KingdomWMG/LiteratureThe Kingkiller Chronicles

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