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Harry and King Arthur

July 20th, 2007 (01:56 pm)
current music: Tori Amos: Sleeps with Butterflies

There's some speculation about the connection between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Arthurian legend, specifically the Grail myth, here on the BBC News site. I first read the available books in summer 1999, when sharing a flat in New Cross with pennypaperbrain and cs2, and made the connection then - there are a few carefully placed references throughout; Merlin is an historical figure in the Harry Potter universe, I think, for example, and there is a lot of sword symbolism. cs2 rightfully dampened my enthusiasm for extrapolating a more complex Arthurian parallel from Rowling's writing; but it looks like I wasn't the only one, and now of course one has to contend with the shadow of Dan Brown as well.


Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: July 20th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)

**is amused by mental image of the Parrot Knight contending with the shadow of Dan Brown**

I wonder if Brown would just be standing there waiting while his shadow leapt about with a sword attacking his Parroty foe, or would the shadow have detached itself and wandered off on its own adventures..?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 20th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)

I hadn't thought of competing literal interpretations... the article makes or encourages parallels between the Jessie Weston era of Arthurian scholarship (the Grail! It's a code for secret Celtic paganism!) and post-Dan Brown popular writing, where works of art are really secret messages indicating the plans of one lot of illuminati or another.

So, Brown and his shadow could equally be doing both, though I suspect the shadow is doing its own thing, as Brown has more blockbusters to write, and the shadow might inspire profit-threatening introspection.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: July 20th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)

Brown has more blockbusters to write

The only thing that might tempt me to read them is if he takes inspiration from the earlier writings of Henry Lincoln, and produces The Circle Line Code, revealing that when plotted on a map of London, the locations of the underground stations hint to an ancient conspiracy involving Tibetan monks, robot yeti and alien intelligences.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 20th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)

I think that's about the only thing which would persuade me to read them, as well.

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: July 20th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)

Are you sure you're not confusing him with Robert Rankin?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 20th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)

The result might seem a bit Rankinesque, but considering The Da Vinci Code shamelessly borrows from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, there must be a good chance that a Brown novel inspired by Henry Lincoln's Doctor Who stories would appear as Daniel suggests...