Hello everyone! I was hoping to get some feedback on a vague story idea I had a while back. I was reading some articles about English mythology, (King Arthur, Merlin, etc.) and came across an old Welsh king called Brân the Blessed. An idea popped into my head, and I thought "Wow, that might actually be worth telling." Please note that this synopsis is NOT a complete story and is in fact just the notes I took at the time, with added punctuation. Also, a knowledge of British lore (or Wikipedia) might be needed to fully understand this.
Brân the Blessed, a great and loud English king of Wales, often associated with Ravens, perished while saving his sister from her Irish kidnappers. With his last breath, he commanded his warriors to cut off his head, which, miraculously, continued to talk. Many believe this was due to his fabled Cauldron of Revival, which could return a man to life. He commanded his head to be placed on a great hill, on the site which would later become the Tower of London, and for centuries it warded off French invasion. The head also drew a murder of ravens to roost in the area. Many long years later, in the age of Camelot, the legendary King Arthur- in a fit of arrogance- dug up and cast away Brân's head, declaring himself to be all the protection England needed. However, Brân's son, Gwern, saved his head and restored him to life, albeit a life as a lifeless, mute cripple. This was terrible for him, as he was once a mighty and boisterous man. He was tasked with guarding the Holy Grail in the mystic castle of Corbenic, kept alive by its holy powers, awaiting the great knight that would restore him. He became The Wounded King of legend, assisted by his son Gwern, the Fisher King. Healed by Percival, he relinquishes the Grail, but must rest for many years before he can be of any help to anyone. Arthur is defeated by his son Mordred, and without Brân or Arthur, England falls to the Normans. Thankfully, the magical London Stone, placed by Brutus of Italy (the son of Aneas, the founder of Rome, not Brutus from Julius Caesar) prevents total annihilation, instead leading to a blending of cultures. Brân rests for many years, and eventually takes up residence in the Tower of London, imbuing it and it's ravens with his power to keep England safe. Brân remained at the Tower for many years, serving under a number of aliases as a yeoman warder and occasionally as Ravenmaster. This is why King Arthur did not rise again during the Battle of Britain- he was not needed. After World War II, he felt that England was safe and did not need his constant vigilance. He took up his original name and began to follow his earliest dream: acting. He is protecting Britain to this day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1zjeYhJs7o
Hmm, my initial impression on reading it is "Ooh, that sounds like an interesting idea....oh, wait, that was backstory. Ah, this next bit sounds like an interesting story....oh, wait, is this backstory, too?" Repeat. It's all interesting, but I'm not sure how it would all fit into one book.
With that being said, I do think any idea can make a good story, with the proper author.
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Yes, it does seem more like an antecedent than a cohesive narrative. If I do decide to expand on it, I would probably use it as a set up for a modern tale, or perhaps split it up into several smaller stories, as together it doesn't seem to flow well.
I apologize to the Welsh, but the sources I cribbed most of the basis for this story from were unclear on whether he was Welsh, Anglo or other (or Anglo-Saxon, another thing my sources weren't clear on was time frame, probably because it was more mythology than history.
It really is a good adaptation of history into a piece of fiction; I can't tell where the authentic history ends and your fantasy ideas begin. You kinda need that intro backstory though, since it has already does an effective job of drawing in at least three people so far. I was thinking that he is working as a (substitute?) history teacher in modern times, and the first chapter is him retelling that story of Bran to a bunch of primary (or maybe middle) school kids, who obviously don't believe it. That would be how I would introduce the rest of the story, which is whatever you were thinking.
That's a good idea, but why would Brian Blessed be teaching? It would also probably have to be High School or even college level students, since as far as I can tell, Bran's tale is a fairly obscure legend and it probably wouldn't be taught outside of specialized classes in mythology or similar.
It does seem ironic, but do you have any ideas as to why Brian Blessed, a famous actor, decided to start teaching at community college? I haven't a clue. Mind you, it wouldn't be the strangest thing I've seen involving him. I think Brian has a jam problem.
Oh sorry, I thought you were going to come up with an original character based on the seemingly immortal King Bran character from history and say that he is the same King Bran that lives on in London today, or something like that. In that case, never mind my suggestion, I didn't know your main character was intended to be this Brian Blessed who I nothing about.
I missed the youtube link, and didn't make the connection with Brian Blessed. Personally I'm not sure it would benefit your story if you were to write fiction about an actual existing real person, even one as unreal as Brian Blessed, but I'm sure many will disagree with me.
One more question - if he were to take up his original name (as you say in your first post), wouldn't he be named Brân fab Llŷr (Brân son of Llŷr), or just Brân (Vran/Uran)? The "blessed" bit was a later addition and even then he was called Bendigeituran (in Middle Welsh, in Modern Welsh it would be Brân Fendigeid or Bendigeidfrân). Also, even though they look similar, Brian (high, noble) and Brân (raven) are and were two completely different names with different meanings.
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Last edited by CheesePirate : 10-03-2012 at 01:18 AM.
Actually, to be honest, the Brian Blessed connection is what this whole thing was based upon. I read on Wikipedia (I think) that some people like to connect Brân with Brian Blessed, and I thought to myself; "Self; that idea is so crazy awesome you have to at least try to get a story out of it. Also, I assume he wouldn't want people to know he was an immortal from early England, so he went with the closest thing in modern English.