YMMV / Excalibur

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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 - he seems to be respected for his temperament and chivalry - at least 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.
    • Were Guinevere and Lancelot really in love with each other, or were they both Loving a Shadow?
  • 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.
  • Special Effect Failure: Lancelot's lance doesn't exactly cleave in half where Arthur strikes it with Excalibur.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Kentaro Miura said that this movie was a big visual inspiration for Berserk.
  • 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.
    • Adds a whole new layer of tearjerk when you realise Arthur believes even when he is dead his spirit will have some sort of duty of being a reminder to people of the future, and only after a perfect world is achieved and he is forgotten can they be together - and they never will, as in most versions of the Legend Arthur is taken off to 'sleep' after Camlann and recover from his wounds, for the day the British Isles are in their worst peril so he can rise again.
    • 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 - she isn't, she's a nun, but it's a beautiful gesture that helps Lancelot to die with his mind at ease. It's certainly a far more satisfying end than the traditional tale that Lancelot dies a monk.
    • Kay...just Kay. Refreshingly, Kay is a loyal and good fellow in this adaption rather than the traditional boorish jerk - the love between Arthur and Kay through the film is clear even though they have no blood. Kay is steadfast to Arthur even through the dark years of Arthur's depression. Their most touching scene is where on the night before the final battle Kay and Arthur discuss how Merlin appeared to them in dreams; Kay says that Merlin told him he would fight valiantly tomorrow. The two just embrace.
    • 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.
      • Just seeing Lancelot ride in as a one man cavalry despite being horribly out of shape, looking like he was twice as old as Arthur, clad in rusty broken armor and knowing he probably didn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of surviving, and then watching him fight to the bitter end with what remained of his strength in the name of the king and best friend he betrayed, is quite a Tear Jerker unto itself.
    • Perceval - he is lowest born of the knights, a peasant, and has to strive to prove himself amongst the Knights but does it magnificently, showing that he is the most faithful and true. And he is the only one of Arthur's court to survive; he must feel a loneliness incomparable as Arthur sails away. In many ways, he is a metaphor for the common folk, loyal and true, who goes on to survives on to spread Arthur's legend down the ages.
  • 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.
    • Of course it's Lancelot who really gets the ball rolling on that whole subplot. She obviously thinks he's handsome but doesn't seem interested in him beyond that, but then he just has to tell her he'll never love anybody but her. Like, how 'bout you just keep that to yourself, there, guy?
    • 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.