Main Excalibur In The Stone Discussion

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12:29:23 PM Sep 18th 2010
Archived discussion from Previous name:

From YKTTW Working Title: Excaliburn

Removed "the sword in the stone was Caliburn"
  • No, it wasn't. "Caliburn" is simply an older name for Excalibur (and, thus, refers to the same sword). The Caliburn/Excalibur distinction in Fate/stay night (which is where I assume you're getting it from) is simply Nasu trying to find a name for a sword that doesn't actually have one (except when it's referred to as 'Excalibur', which was already taken, or as the 'Sword in the Stone', which is too long-winded). So, he used Artistic License and picked an old name for the other version of Excalibur.

STUART 12:19:07 AM Jul 30th 2010

Somebody merge this (from Lost in Imitation) into the main:
  • Many modern adaptations of Arthurian Legend refer to the sword given by the Lady of the Lake (Excalibur), and the Sword In The Stone interchangeably. (To be fair, it's not particularly clear which is which anyway and it varies on which stories you take as "canon".)
    • According to Bulfinch, the inscription on the sword in the stone called it "Escalibore".
    • This was parodied in the adventure game and animated series Blazing Dragons (made by Monty Python member Terry Jones). The sword owned by the king (Allfire) is called "Excaliburn", an amalgamation of the two names as well as going with how all their names are puns on the words related to fire.
    • The DC Comics maxi-series Seven Soldiers of Victory refers to it as "Caliburn Ex Calibur".
    • The first recorded version of the Sword in the Stone legend is a 15th century translation of a 13th century French poem. This says "And it was the same swerde that he toke oute of the ston; and the letteres that were write on the swerde seide that the right name was cleped Escaliboure". Thomas Malory's Morte D'Arthur (the main source of all subsequent Arthurian fiction) has the sword named Excalibur in the same scene, before having it broken so he can include the Lady of the Lake sequence and another sword called Excalibur. All subsequent confusion is therefore entirely his fault.
    • In the webcomic Arthur, King of Time and Space, Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father, allows people to believe his sword is the legendary Excalibur as a PR exercise. This is the sword that ends up in the stone, while the real Excalibur is in the care of the Lady of the Lake.
    • Referenced in an episode of Stargate SG-1. Cameron Mitchell referred to the sword in the stone as "Excalibur", but was then corrected by Daniel Jackson.
    • The film Excalibur mashes most of the mythical elements together. The Lady of the Lake gave the sword to Merlin, who gave it to Uther Pendragon, who stuck it in the stone as he was dying, where it was pulled out by Arthur, who shattered it on Lancelot, but the Lady of the Lake fixed it, and finally Sir Percival threw it back into the water to fulfill Arthur's dying request.
    • In fact most of the elements of Arthurian legend have suffered from a millennium and a half or so of Memetic Mutation. Merlin was not part of Arthur's story until centuries after the original tellings, Merlin and Ambrosius started as two separate mythical figures, Camelot was not Arthur's castle in the earliest stories, etc. Most elements were added either by Geoffrey of Monmouth or Thomas Mallory.
      • or Chretien de Troyes
      • not to mention all those French balladeers playing a poetical game of broken telephone. They gave us Launcelot, and the whole Launcelot-and-Guinevere plot. Mallory got most of his material from them.
    • It is also worth noting that in Mallory and most older version Excalibur was a well-made, but entirely mundane, sword. The magic associated with the sword actualy came from the enchanted scabbard, which kept Arthur from being killed in battle. In fact, Arthur making the same mistake as later writers is part of what gets him killed.
  • Achem! Fate/stay night, anyone?
    • To the point that a large proportion of the people on this wiki seem to think that the Sword in the Stone was actually called "Caliburn" (it wasn't - the name Caliburn is merely an older version of Excalibur, which Nasu presumably used in order to differentiate between the two).
05:01:16 AM Oct 6th 2010
Oh, crap.

This trope should be deleted.

It itself is an example of Did Not Do the Research.

Yes, there are TWO medieval stories that say Arthur got Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake. One of these stories was written by Sir Thomas Malory, and his writings about Arthur are the best known version of the Arthurian stories in the English speaking world. So some people think that Sir Thomas Malory is somehow the "official" version of King Arthur.

But there are LOTS and LOTS of OTHER medieval stories that say "Excalibur" was the sword that Arthur pulled from the stone. And these stories are OLDER than the TWO stories that say he got Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake.

It doesn't matter how you spell it—Excalibur/Caliburn/Escalibore—these are different names for the same thing.

There are some stories in which Arthur has at least one other sword that may be some sort of backup, or even a sword that is better than Excalibur. But there is no consistency in the names of these other swords, it seems Medieval authors would just invent a new name when they needed it. Sometimes MODERN authors find one of these names and arbitrarily attach the name to either the sword from the stone or the sword from the Lady of Lake, but this is just to make sure that they don't end up with two swords named Excalibur.

I think this is going to end up with more discussion before the folks who don't know what they are talking about just shut up.

09:34:30 PM Oct 28th 2010
Well, I suggested this be cut, but it is still here.

Look, people, the Arthurian stories had many conflicting continuities, even in the middle ages. Whoever created this stupid trope entry was familiar with ONE author named Sir Thomas Malory. But there were many many more writers who wrote other versions of the continuity—AND A LOT OF THESE ARE OLDER THEN THOMAS MALORY. In Malory, he usually says "Excalibur" is the sword Arthur got from the Lady of the Lake (but even he makes a mistake one place and has Arthur using Excalibur before the lady of the lake story).

Other writers—SOME WRITING BEFORE MALORY—say Excalibur was the sword pulled from the stone.

Which is right and which is wrong?

None of them. It's just different versions of the same story. Think of, like, Superman. Apparently, his powers come from the fact that all Kryptonians had those powers when they lived on Krypton. Except in the versions where they are due to the fact that Earth gravity is different from Krypton. Or in the versions where they come from Earth having a yellow sun instead of a red one. Or they are to do with a psychically generated forcefield. All of these versions have been "official" and "correct" at some point or another.
04:44:14 PM Jun 8th 2011
Agree with above - remove page because it's entirely subjective. It doesn't help that it's an extremely specific issue, either. How is this even a trope?