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Archpaladin Zousha
2011-11-26, 10:09 AM
This is a question that's been kind of bugging me for quite some time. It seems that in each media rendition of King Arthur, while many things remain consistent like Lancelot, Merlin and Excalibur, other things aren't, like his relationship with Mordred, the details of the Holy Grail Quest, etc. But the one inconsistent detail that irks me more than any other is the fact that no one can seem to decide what color his hair is.

Excalibur depicts it as brown. The abysmal King Arthur movie depicts it as black. The Disney movie, The Sword in the Stone, shows him as blonde.

So I pose this question to the Playground. What color is King Arthur's hair in YOUR mental image of him? What hue do you imagine his lustrous locks were?

Eldan
2011-11-26, 10:12 AM
My introduction to King Arthur came from three sources: books, which rarely described hair colour, the disney movie (blonde) and Monthy Python (blonde).

So, my Arthur's fair haired.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-26, 10:15 AM
So I pose this question to the Playground. What color is King Arthur's hair in YOUR mental image of him? What hue do you imagine his lustrous locks were?

If I have to, I would picture him as a celtic tribal chief, probably ginger and a big beard. Or at least long mustache.

Spiryt
2011-11-26, 10:16 AM
Lol, never thought about it that way....

Anyway, IIRC, in Mists of Avalon he was described as blonde, for example.



It seems that in each media rendition of King Arthur, while many things remain consistent like Lancelot, Merlin and Excalibur, other things aren't, like his relationship with Mordred, the details of the Holy Grail Quest, etc. But the one inconsistent detail that irks me more than any other is the fact that no one can seem to decide what color his hair is.

The details of the story had changed numerous times trough the ages, naturally.

And why is hair color in anyway important, out of curiosity?

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-26, 10:21 AM
The reason I say "if I have to" is because I am too much into history NOT to try to fit him in somewhere where it would be remotely realistic that he existed.

So again, Celtic chieftain, pre-saxon culture, long ginger hair, no heavy armor, no cavalry. Fighting with spear, axe and sword.

Knaight
2011-11-26, 10:27 AM
So again, Celtic chieftain, pre-saxon culture, long ginger hair, no heavy armor, no cavalry. Fighting with spear, axe and sword.

No cavalry? The horse is somewhat relevant in Arthurian myth, if you track down the old stuff you will see a guy on a horse in mail with a lance and a sword. You will see this over and over again, for basically every knight, with some minor variations, such as Lancelot frequently having two lances, or Bors having two swords.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-11-26, 10:29 AM
The details of the story had changed numerous times trough the ages, naturally.

And why is hair color in anyway important, out of curiosity?
Because I'm basing my Skyrim character off of him, and I've restarted about six or seven times because I just can't decide what look is the best. :smallredface:

Spiryt
2011-11-26, 10:35 AM
No cavalry? The horse is somewhat relevant in Arthurian myth, if you track down the old stuff you will see a guy on a horse in mail with a lance and a sword. You will see this over and over again, for basically every knight, with some minor variations, such as Lancelot frequently having two lances, or Bors having two swords.

Pretty much, I'm quite sure that important part of the legend about Artur leading proven and powerful riders against Saxon invaders dates to pretty much very core of medieval legends...

So horse plus lance (which would be anyway pretty much big spear back then) probably fits best...

In mentioned Mists of Avalon, I believe that plot concept about success of Arthur and his knights was stirrups among other things.

Most probably artistic license, with stirrups arriving at the Isle much later, but still nice.


So again, Celtic chieftain, pre-saxon culture, long ginger hair, no heavy armor, no cavalry. Fighting with spear, axe and sword.

I'm pretty sure that Celtic people in Britain, before their culture pretty much disappeared in history, weren't much into axe as a weapon.

Knaight
2011-11-26, 10:45 AM
Pretty much, I'm quite sure that important part of the legend about Artur leading proven and powerful riders against Saxon invaders dates to pretty much very core of medieval legends...

That is seen heavily in the earlier parts of the myth. Later, you see the questing, where a handful of knights (or even just one) will put on their armor, hop on their horse, and go do stuff. Said stuff often involves running people through with a lance, or fighting them on the ground with a sword. In Le Morte d'Arthur, the second of these is always portrayed as the two wailing at each other, with one being stronger and tougher and as such hitting harder and faster until the other is beat down. At which point, they will likely make a great dole about something, as no scene can pass without that happening at least once.

Yes, the Arthurian Knights frequently got together to complain about how much everything sucked. It was somewhat disconcerting to say the least, until one got used to it, at which point it just became hilarious.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-26, 10:51 AM
The point is that I am not interested in the Arthurian myths, since they are extremely historically incorrect (ignoring the fact that the man in question never existed, just like Robin Hood). That was my whole thing, above... Celtic armies did not fight on horseback. They had no shining armor or huge warhorses. They certainly didn't invite Christian knights from France, since that would be some 1500-600 years later depending on when we place this guy.

Edit: If we indeed think his origin was a war-chief that fought specifically against the Saxon invasion, this page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_basis_for_King_Arthur) might be of interest however. And yes, there it is stated that leftover roman cavalry was probably his ace in the hole against the Saxons.

So in that case instead we should picture him as a heavily Romaniced military man, somewhere in the 5th or 6th century.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-26, 10:57 AM
Light brown, verging on blonde. Seems to be one of the more common depictions, tbh, as well as my preferred.

Spiryt
2011-11-26, 10:58 AM
The point is that I am not interested in the Arthurian myths, since they are extremely historically incorrect (ignoring the fact that the man in question never existed, just like Robin Hood). That was my whole thing, above... Celtic armies did not fight on horseback. They had no shining armor or huge warhorses. They certainly didn't invite Christian knights from France, since that would be some 1500-600 years later depending on when we place this guy.

Medieval legends had pretty much no way to be historically correct, so that's pretty weird complain....

Not to mention that a lot of them were/are placed in pretty much medieval Europe instead of fall of the Rome era Britain.

erikun
2011-11-26, 10:58 AM
Because I'm basing my Skyrim character off of him, and I've restarted about six or seven times because I just can't decide what look is the best. :smallredface:
You would be best off sticking with one particular interpretation of King Arthur than trying to find a consensus on the matter. Heck, even if you do, nobody would recognize a collection of popular traits as they would a similarity to a recognizable person.

http://images.wikia.com/montypython/images/4/4b/HolyGrail036.jpg

Also, I am currently reading (one of many interpretation of) King Arthur at the moment, and I don't think the original will help you much. He is first introduced with "and with them came Arthur, Sir Kay's young brother, a youth of scarcely sixteen years of age." He isn't described any more than that.

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-26, 11:00 AM
Medieval legends had pretty much no way to be historically correct, so that's pretty weird complain....

Not to mention that a lot of them were/are placed in pretty much medieval Europe instead of fall of the Rome era Britain.

My point exactly.

However if I would play King Arthur in Skyrim, I would make him a pro-empire man since that is most historically correct. :smalltongue:

Knaight
2011-11-26, 11:01 AM
Also, I am currently reading (one of many interpretation of) King Arthur at the moment, and I don't think the original will help you much. He is first introduced with "and with them came Arthur, Sir Kay's young brother, a youth of scarcely sixteen years of age." He isn't described any more than that.

You don't tend to get much more than that. You can state that he is shorter than Gareth, that he isn't as pretty as Tristan, so on and so forth, but Arthur is usually one of the less described knights. Palomides is pretty much the best described, and even that is because he is an oddity.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-26, 02:22 PM
So I pose this question to the Playground. What color is King Arthur's hair in YOUR mental image of him? What hue do you imagine his lustrous locks were?

I figure Arthur looked exactly like this. (http://www.cosplayisland.co.uk/files/costumes/428/11034/FSN_SABER.jpg) What? I might as well go with the best looking version.

In general I would say blonde is probably a shade more common, but brown is fine too. Not to umm imply anything but black hair more is a Southern European thing to me so unless you wanted to go with Arthur as of heavy Roman extraction that doesn't quite work. While red (aside from being Irish-ish) is somewhat unusual so if it was ever intended I feel it would have been remarked upon enough to be established.

Just symbolically Arthur is a shining figure. Excalibur is not merely sharp but bright enough to blind. Having golden hair and a lot of bright colors just fit that.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-26, 02:55 PM
I never really thought of that. I don't see why this would stand out in your mind. What about accent, height, and structure of facial features: would these bug you too that they change as well?

Tirian
2011-11-26, 03:01 PM
Medieval legends had pretty much no way to be historically correct, so that's pretty weird complain....

And that can be as much about being ancient as being nigh-fictional. Eleanor of Aquitaine, for instance, was a very real woman, perhaps the most well-known and powerful woman in twelfth-century Europe, and is described uniformly as being lovely and charming, and yet nobody ever bothered to note what color her hair and eyes were.

Yora
2011-11-26, 03:03 PM
My introduction to King Arthur came from three sources: books, which rarely described hair colour, the disney movie (blonde) and Monthy Python (blonde).
In that case, white. He's a king, and kings are old. So white hair.

Anderlith
2011-11-26, 08:18 PM
Coppery red/gold hair.

-Source; Dr. Emmett Brown

Trazoi
2011-11-26, 08:25 PM
I think he looks like this:
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/3206/conquestsofcamelot7.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/717/conquestsofcamelot7.png/)
His hair is EGA brown and pixelly.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-26, 08:39 PM
I think he looks like this:
http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/3206/conquestsofcamelot7.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/717/conquestsofcamelot7.png/)
His hair is EGA brown and pixelly.

What!? King Arthur has at least twice as many pixels as that bozo.

cnsvnc
2011-11-26, 08:53 PM
King Arthur has been scientifically proven to be bald. He had all those versions of legend fabricated to obscure this one fact.

KillianHawkeye
2011-11-27, 12:13 AM
I think he probably looked like this....
http://images.wikia.com/capcomdatabase/images/5/52/UltimateArthur1.png

Gaelbert
2011-11-27, 04:05 AM
Well, since Arthur was Welsh (come at me!), I'd reckon either red or black hair. Long hair, probably with a mustache and facial hair as well.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-11-27, 09:44 AM
My point exactly.

However if I would play King Arthur in Skyrim, I would make him a pro-empire man since that is most historically correct. :smalltongue:
Are you referring to the theory that he may have been based off Roman commander Lucius Artorius Castus? :smallconfused:

Shyftir
2011-11-27, 11:44 AM
Most likely a dark brown because red and blonde hair would have both been a real rarity in the time periods involved. Black is also a possibility. A Welsh/Roman mixture of some sort seems likely.

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-27, 12:13 PM
What!? King Arthur has at least twice as many pixels as that bozo.

My preferred Arthur had a lot more pixels. Give or take.

http://ui25.gamefaqs.com/312/gfs_35305_1_11.jpg
He's manly. You can tell by the headband.

OracleofWuffing
2011-11-27, 12:26 PM
Black (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1-NrXI-770&feature=related), but it didn't matter much because he was always wearing a helmet that obscured his hair.

Edit: Sometimes bald/green, too (http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Muppet_King_Arthur).

Avilan the Grey
2011-11-27, 12:54 PM
Are you referring to the theory that he may have been based off Roman commander Lucius Artorius Castus? :smallconfused:

Not necessarily, but someone that uses roman-trained cavalry against the saxons.

TheThan
2011-11-27, 01:36 PM
This is a question that's been kind of bugging me for quite some time. It seems that in each media rendition of King Arthur, while many things remain consistent like Lancelot, Merlin and Excalibur, other things aren't, like his relationship with Mordred, the details of the Holy Grail Quest, etc. But the one inconsistent detail that irks me more than any other is the fact that no one can seem to decide what color his hair is.

Excalibur depicts it as brown. The abysmal King Arthur movie depicts it as black. The Disney movie, The Sword in the Stone, shows him as blonde.

So I pose this question to the Playground. What color is King Arthur's hair in YOUR mental image of him? What hue do you imagine his lustrous locks were?

Clearly his hair started out as blonde in his youth. It darkened with age, going from blonde to brown to black. There problem solved. :smallbiggrin:

as for me? never really thought about it. I'd guess brown, something nice and neutral.

Closet_Skeleton
2011-11-27, 05:25 PM
. That was my whole thing, above... Celtic armies did not fight on horseback. They had no shining armor or huge warhorses. They certainly didn't invite Christian knights from France, since that would be some 1500-600 years later depending on when we place this guy.

Edit: If we indeed think his origin was a war-chief that fought specifically against the Saxon invasion, And yes, there it is stated that leftover roman cavalry was probably his ace in the hole against the Saxons.

Celts didn't have horsemen, they had chariots. But that was 400 years before the time the King Arthur stories are supposed to be set.

Romans didn't have cavalry either. They relied on auxileries for cavalry. Except that by the 5th century the roman military had been reformed multiple times and I haven't studied late Rome because it isn't as fashionable so its harder to find stuff about.

The guys in the 5th century were Romano British. Not Celts. They'd have cavalry. The idea that Britain magically reverted back to its pre-Roman state the moment the legions were withdrawn is a load of nonsense along with the whole idea of "the dark ages" that it is so tied into.

There's no reason why there wouldn't be Christian noblemen from France in the warband of a Romano-celtic chieftain. Its not like the English channel is a barrier or anything. They were building pagan temples in Britain right up to when the legions left so it can't have been totally Christianised but some of the world's oldest examples of Christian art are from Romano-british villas, the kind of places a guy like Arthur and his nobles would have lived.

Just because Arthur wouldn't have lived in late medieval times doesn't mean that he (and his non-mythological equivilants) wasn't a Christian horseman.


My point exactly.

However if I would play King Arthur in Skyrim, I would make him a pro-empire man since that is most historically correct. :smalltongue:

In Geofrey of Monmouth's writings King Arthur is anti-roman and goes to Italy to fight the Roman (probably what we'd call Byzantine) Emperor when the Romans try to reclaim Britain. Geofrey's Arthur is kind of funny in that despite being King of the Britons he conquors large sections of mainland Europe.

Aptera
2011-11-27, 06:18 PM
In Geofrey of Monmouth's writings King Arthur is anti-roman and goes to Italy to fight the Roman (probably what we'd call Byzantine) Emperor when the Romans try to reclaim Britain. Geofrey's Arthur is kind of funny in that despite being King of the Britons he conquors large sections of mainland Europe.Doesn't he also claim that it's his ancient birthright or somesuch?

Nerd-o-rama
2011-11-27, 10:47 PM
She's blonde.

Closet_Skeleton
2011-11-28, 01:16 PM
She's blonde.

In Japan, all foreigners are blonde, so I don't trust that source. :smallwink:


Doesn't he also claim that it's his ancient birthright or somesuch?

Can't remember. Doubt it though. I think he just claims it by right of awesome.

Anderlith
2011-11-28, 06:16 PM
I have a friend who has naturally platinum blonde hair on his crown that darkens to dark brown around his ears & back of the head, then finishes into a dark red, coppery beard. It's a bit strange to see the entire spectrum of hair color on a single individual, but I would suggest King Arthur was of the same such coloring.

Winter_Wolf
2011-11-28, 07:25 PM
I've never really thought of Arthur's hair color much, but I guess I always pictured it as varying between tawny, chestnut, or mousy brown, but never black, platinum, or red. Maybe he has not iconic hair color because it's always changing color.

My own hair still varies in color based on exposure to sunlight, and over a long summer outdoors my beard will grow auburn for some reason. I don't mean it will bleach out as it grows, I mean it comes out of my skin that color. How's that for weird? Naturally darkish brown hair now, but I had blond hair when I was a kid.

Aptera
2011-11-28, 07:33 PM
Can't remember. Doubt it though. I think he just claims it by right of awesome.Ach, no. I remember that from the Alliterative Morte Arthur, which is from Geoofrey Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2011-11-28, 08:05 PM
The Continental Gauls had cavalry. However, the Insular Gauls were very much behind the times, and were behind in technology compared with the Continent.
I'm a supporter of the Sarmatian theory of King Arthur.

The theory goes, there was a man by the name of Lucius Artorius Castius, a General in the Roman Army, who might have led a contingent several thousand strong of Sarmatian Cavalry, who would have been the heaviest cavalry in most of the Western Empire, let alone just Britain. The Sarmatians would fight in heavy armour with lance, bow, sword and shield, and would even mark their shields with personal symbols.
We know he was in Britain in times when the Picts were overrunning Hadrian's Wall, and it is not inconcievable that a leader by the name of Artorius, who we know was leading troops in the area, could have led a force of heavy cavalry, who we know was in the area at the time, to hold back the tide of an invading force.

In that case, he's probably of Etruscan blood, or Messapic blood.

Tenno Seremel
2011-11-28, 08:46 PM
In Japan, all foreigners are blonde, so I don't trust that source. :smallwink:


Cu Chulainn wasn't blonde in that source :}

thorgrim29
2011-11-28, 10:34 PM
He's that guy: http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.kaamelott.tv/upload/kaamelott-livre5-roi-arthur.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.kaamelott.tv/personnages/le-roi-arthur-p7.html&h=260&w=460&sz=16&tbnid=hE24pleE6sWAqM:&tbnh=67&tbnw=118&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dkaamelott%2Barthur%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo %3Du&zoom=1&q=kaamelott+arthur&docid=v5rKuVonxw7pCM&sa=X&ei=AFHUTvmbMenv0gHftezzAQ&ved=0CEoQ9QEwBA&dur=1501

From brilliant comedy (that in later seasons veers into dramatic comedy) series Kaamelott, in it he's Uther Pendragon's bastard son, sent to Rome by Merlin at 14 after pulling Excalibur from the stone when like 5 years old (he was raised by the farmer knight guy until then, funnily enough a guy named Kaye ends up his horn blower, no idea if he's supposed to be his forgotten stepbrother). He's raised as a roman and ends up a militiaman until a senator gets the idea that since Britain is so unruly they might as well put a patsy on Pendragon's throne. They pick him because he looks easy to manipulate (neither them nor him have any idea he's the real thing until much later), train him in being a statesman, he meets the Emperor and the Lady of the Lake, falls in love with a Patrician older woman, and eventually takes the throne for himself, assembles the Knights of the Round table (who are in this series sillier then in Holy Grail), builds the castle of Kaamelott, and unites britain.

Eldan
2011-11-29, 05:34 AM
I like the idea that Camelot is a weird corruption of Camulodunum, personally. Derived from the Celtic Camulodunon, which in turn comes from the god Camulos. Which is actually pretty close to Camelot.

Comet
2011-11-29, 08:28 AM
I'm currently reading Bernard Cornwell's Winter King, which is definitely shaping up to be my favourite take on the character of Arthur: a brave bastard son of Uther Pendragon who's kind and honorable, seen as a knight-god in shining armour by the common folk, but underneath the feathered helmet and scale mail is an efficient killer, the kind of grim warrior that's required to rise to the rank of the greatest warlord in all of Britain.

And he has dark brown hair. So that's what I'm going with, fits his nature pretty well.

Scarlet Knight
2011-11-29, 10:29 AM
Both NC Wyeth & the Hildebrandts made Arthur blonde; who am I to argue with that?

The Reverend
2011-11-29, 12:30 PM
His hair was the radiance of the sun shone thru falling autumnal leaves as seen in the morning dew of a raven's wing. It was all things bright and beautiful as the courage of a lions roar and as determined as a wolf's howl.


There if anyone asks tell them that

Tiki Snakes
2011-11-29, 12:33 PM
His hair was the radiance of the sun shone thru falling autumnal leaves as seen in the morning dew of a raven's wing. It was all things bright and beautiful as the courage of a lions roar and as determined as a wolf's howl.


There if anyone asks tell them that

Sadly for the OP, there isn't an option labeled that in the Skyrim character creator. :smallsmile:

The Reverend
2011-11-29, 01:11 PM
Another reason I do not play electronic RPGs, not even Zelda, not Diablo, and certainly not WOW. I have tried several and have yet to be impressed.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-11-29, 01:24 PM
She's blonde.

I already said that....


In Japan, all foreigners are blonde, so I don't trust that source. :smallwink:

That's discrimination, they also have pointy eared, blue haired, Caucasian (literally), moe, evil witches.