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YMMV: Excalibur

NOTE: Due to technical limitations, subjective tropes from multiple works are listed on this page:

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     Excalibur (Film) 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Was The King of Cornwall showing off his wife as a way of innocent entertainment led Uther to try and take his wife, or was it a way to provoke Uther into breaking the truce that he had no intention of keeping.
    • It is obvious that his family including Morgana and Mordred cause the major conflicts of the story.
    • Was Lancelot really the greatest Knight of the Round Table, or a Designated Hero with good publicity? Standing up for Guinevere was as much about saving his own hide as it was saving hers (even before They Did It). Hell, when you think about it he doesn't actually do anything heroic until the very end of the film when he arrives - unrecognizable as a fat ugly bearded old man rather than the dashingly handsome athletic knight he was in his youth - and helps Arthur and his knights defeat the forces of Mordred.
  • Awesome Music: Let's see: one third of the background music consists of various excerpts from Richard Wagner's operas, another third consists of O Fortuna, and the last third is composed by Trevor Jones (who you might remember as the guy who composed the score of The Dark Crystal).
  • Faux Symbolism: The movie is chock-full of symbols referring to Celtic paganism and Christian mysticism.
    • And sex. Don't forget about sex. The film is loaded with sexual imagery and metaphors.
  • Fridge Logic: Naked with armor right up against her bare skin when she's next to a huge roaring fire and Igraine doesn't feel a damn thing??
  • Harsher in Hindsight: At the end of the film Lancelot dies helping Arthur against the forces of evil. In real life, his actor, Nicholas Clay, died at the relatively young age of 53 in 2000 of cancer.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Morgana could be seen as this, and a little bit of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds as well. She does some truly horrible and despicable things throughout the film in her quest to get revenge on Merlin, but then again Merlin's machinations destroyed her life - her father was murdered, her mother basically raped by a war lord with delusions of grandeur, and God knows what happened to her and her mother after said war lord, Uther, who seemed intent on taking over their lands, died not long after and her half brother taken from them.
  • Moment Of Awesome: Oh boy, where do we start, there's almost one every ten minutes.
    • How about with Perceval going up against Sir Gawaine with no training and no armor, and only reluctantly relenting when his knight shows up and tells him that he'll take over from here?
  • Most Annoying Sound: Young!Mordred's teasing laugh. NYAHAHAHAHAHA.
  • Narm: Lots of it, but who can forget a half dead Lancelot beating Gawain (played by big rugged manly Liam Neeson in his film debut) in one of the most poorly choreographed fights of all time? Or Lancelot looking like a bloated Gandalf at the end? Or Lancelot's nightmare where he's naked and fighting his living suit of armor - and the armor seemingly tries to castrate him?
  • Nightmare Fuel: Some sequences can be quite creepy, and Merlin has his moments (look at his eyes), he eventually literally becomes a nightmare.
    • But he's a dream to some!
    • Morgana's death is terrifying.
    • Mordred The Laughing Mad bastard son of King Arthur, going into Uncanny Valley with his armor.
    • The Grail scene
  • Retroactive Recognition: Boorman deliberatly cast actors who were relatively unknown to American audiences so They would focus on the story. Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds and Gabriel Byrne all went on to have very successful careers in America.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Some see the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle as this. Reportedly there were more scenes (one of which made it into the trailer) but they weren't used.
  • Squick: Katerine Boorman is John Boorman's daughter. He directed the scene where she's naked and being raped. For this Troper at least, it's a bit creepy.
    • Most of the imagery and themes surrounding Igraine are pretty creepy, and moreso knowing that — witness the rhythmic, sexual thumping of tables with daggers during the dance scene, and the following scene of grunting knights slamming a battering ram against the doors of the castle, although this Troper's personal "ugh!" moment is when she's dancing and her dancing alone is said to turn Uther on so much he has to have her. Yes, folks, Boorman turned his daughter into basically the Dark Ages version of an exotic dancer, on film.
      • Boorman claimed in his audio commentary that he and Katerine were both cool with it because they both knew it wasn't real - but that doesn't stop people from asking him what it felt like to direct his daughter in a rape scene.
  • Strangled by the Red String: The Guinevere/Lancelot half of the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle (see Romantic Plot Tumor) could be seen as this, not so much for in universe length of time (they actually knew each other for years before giving into their lust, or at least presumably a couple of years pass between their first meeting to them finally consummating) but due to lack of screen time devoted to developing the attraction.
  • Tear Jerker: The current main page quote, Arthur's last words to Guinevere. He wishes he could just be an ordinary man, a loving husband, devoted only to his wife, rather than the "stuff of future memory." And he knows it can never be. It's just a dream he has.
    • Igrayne's reaction to having her child taken from her. She never signed on for any of this, was never given a choice...
    • The death of Uryens, the very man who knighted Arthur after initially opposing him with extreme prejudice, and then years later beaten to death and literally stabbed in the back with a spear by Arthur's evil bastard son Mordred. What makes it even more heartbreaking is to hear him defiantly scream NEVER!!! when Mordred offers to spare him if he renounces Arthur. And then before he dies he encourages Perceval not to give up the quest.
    • The reunion/farewell between Guinevere and Arthur at the end of the film.
    • Lancelot's death scene where, after helping defeat the forces of Mordred, poor old Lancelot (who is dying from an old self-inflicted nightmare injury and is still full of shame and guilt and regret over betraying Arthur's trust years earlier) begs Arthur to forgive him for the betrayal so he can at least die a Knight of the Round Table (which is his only salvation) and, before dying, stops to ask Arthur if Guinevere is Queen again (he still cared about her after all those years). Arthur forgives Lancelot and tells him Guinevere is in fact Queen again (though the last part was probably just to put his mind at ease).
    • The final five minutes. Anyone who has seen it can understand. Wagner's music to it is perfect - it is so full of tragedy and grief and at the same time hope for a brighter future.
    • The final five minutes. Anyone who has seen the film knows exactly what this means
  • What an Idiot: Guinevere broke her husband's heart and helped kick off the Dark Age of Camelot's ruin because she just had to go sleep with Lancelot in the woods.
    • Gawain for letting himself get manipulated by Morgana.
    • Arthur just for letting Morgana live in Camelot (one can only imagine if there were more scenes dealing with them).

     Excalibur (Comics) 
  • Arc Fatigue: Fans kept wondering why Excalibur still acted as if the X-Men were dead, long after Marvel began making stories depending on the general public of the Marvel Universe knowing that the X-Men were alive after all.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: New Excalibur was canceled after two years with very few of its plot points resolved. There was a miniseries that attempted to wrap everything up ("Die By The Sword"), but there were still a lot of unanswered questions.
  • Dork Age ("Britannic"?)
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The original series itself could be considered a Darkhorse, despite continually being Screwed by the Network; after a time, it featured all the popular X-Men who the main book didn't have room for.
    • Pete Wisdom was popular enough to eventually get two limited series (if you include the Pryde & Wisdom miniseries), and he's the only character apart from Captain Britain who has stayed with the team throughout all its different iterations, despite his late and brief tenure on the original team that revolved around his romance with Kitty.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Captain Britain's death.
    • And Faiza Hussein's death in Issue 1.
    • And just about everybody's death in issue 14.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Colossus/Shadowcat fans prefer to ignore the issue where Colossus (acting like a Stalker with a Crush) beats the shit out of Pete Wisdom.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: An early issue, during the Cross-Time Caper, predicted a Prince William of another dimension would marry someone named... Kate.
  • Tear Jerker: Cerise's goodbye to Nightcrawler
    Cerise: Please don't speak—just listen—I never thought she would find love such as yours. You were my salvation, and you are my hope.


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