NOTE: Due to technical limitations, subjective tropes from multiple works are listed on this page:
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- 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??
- 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.
- 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?
- Retroactive Recognition: John Boorman deliberately cast actors who were relatively unknown to American audiences so They would focus on the story. Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Ciarán 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.
- Katerine Boorman is John Boorman's daughter. He directed the scene where she's naked and being raped. 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.
- 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, her dancing alone being 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.
- 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:
- 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).
- 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"?)
- Ending Fatigue: The "Cross-Time Caper" arc began in issue 12 with the plotline's name and "Part 1 of 9" on the cover. It continued through issue 19, took a break for issue 20 to catch its breath, then picked back up for issue 21... through 24. That's 12 parts (of 9, remember) not including the skipped issue. It was about the team accidentally travelling from an alternate Earth to another, and they got back on their Earth several times, only to flash away moments later. Issue 25 still included the "Cross-Time Caper" logo, but the words "is still over!" followed it.
- 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.