funniest thing would be if when Queen Elizabeth dies or steps down and Charles is all ready to assume the throne, here comes King Arthur, Excalibur in hand, sauntering back from Avalon like “oof what a nap! thanks for keeping the chair warm I’m back to be king again”
like, given that “King Arthur isn’t actually dead, he’ll be back to be King again someday” is, like, an actual aspect of the legend and a thing that a lot of people purport to believe, has anyone ever actually tried it? showing up to buckingham palace claiming to be Arthur Pendragon, The Once And Future King, and assume the throne? does the british government have a protocol for checking whether someone claiming to be King Arthur actually is? does parliament have a secret picture of the Real Excalibur kept under lock and key, only viewed if someone claims to be King Arthur, that they can use to confirm or refute the identity of alleged Kings Arthur? if not, how do they deter every jackass with a sward from pretending to be him? does filing a false King Arthur report constitute treason?
The rules are simple. “Arthur” has to show up with a sword. They give the sword to the Lady of the Lake, and if she throws it back to the claimant, he’s legit and gets to be king again.
So the test for King Arthur’s identity falls to the even less officially identifiable Lady of the Lake. No one can even agree on which Lady, or which lake, is the official one, much less how to tell if you’ve got The Lady of The Lake. All of which suggests that all you need to accomplish this is one (1) sword, a willing female acquaintance, and a nearby body of water.
There isn’t even any requirement for “Arthur” to catch the sword, so the Lady can just javelin an epee right at him.
Well when you look at it that way, one might conclude that strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.
Okay but I want someone claiming to be Arthur as a book now. It would be such fun chaos.
Bored out of their minds in lockdown, a small splinter group from the Society for Creative Anachronism decide to put on a short play about King Arthur as a quarantine project.
The Arts & Crafts folk immediately set to making costumes and props, after some brief bickering over whether to base goods in the 12th or the 6th century. (They end up going with the 12th. This will be hilarious later.)
The role of Arthur is naturally given to a Millennial/Gen Z guy who does SCA jousting demos and, crucially, owns his own horses. Guinevere is a trans woman who is very good at acting improv and Heavy Combat. (She is widely known and feared at Pennsic. This will be hilarious later.)
King Pellinore is a beloved older SCA veteran who is basically everyone’s favorite eccentric gay uncle. His husband, a retired fireman, is more introverted and gruff in a kind of benignly grumpy way, and usually limits his participation to being an excellent camp cook or occasional field medic. However, he has been talked into portraying Merlin and setting off some small ‘magic’ fireworks, on the condition that he doesn’t actually have to say anything.
The Lady of the Lake is a Black woman whose other hobby is free diving. They set her costume up to accommodate a hidden thermal wetsuit and snorkel tube.
Morgan le Fay is actually Morgan le Fay.
Like, most of the Arthurian legends were completely made up or didn’t happen exactly the way they were later portrayed, but she is genuinely an immortal entity with magic powers who did some of the stuff attributed to Morgan le Fay, and has been keeping a low profile for the last few centuries just bopping around doing whatever the fuck she wants.
They’ve just finished a dress rehearsal and the Lady of the Lake is scrolling through Tumblr when she sees the above posts by @raptorific and reads them out loud to the group, for the lulz.
Morgan le Fay gets a terrible, awful idea.
She teleports the group to the Kensington Palace Gardens at a strategic moment in their performance. Shit ends up going down like a cross between the con artist plot of “A Knight’s Tale” and an inverse version of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”.
Between their sudden appearance, Guinevere’s brilliant improv skills, and the fact that Merlin (with Morgan le Fay’s secret help) can suddenly turn policemen into trees, they attract a ton of media attention. A jaded professor is the first to figure out the truth of what exactly the fuck is going on.
She has a bitter grudge against a misogynistic Arthurian scholar and decides to troll the hell out of him by coaching the SCAdians in how to answer interview questions in the most infuriating, quasi-plausible way possible.
Shenanigans ensue, stuff happens, Prince Andrew is impaled on a spear, Morgan le Fay has a dramatic magical duel with the court necromancer who’s been propping up the Queen
Award-winning screenplay by @systlin or @natalieironside