A Knight, A Wizard and A Lady of the Lake: Immortal Monday

When I say Lady of the Lake what do you think of? Maybe it’s Excalibur and King Arthur. Arguably, it’s the most popular story involving the magical Fae. It was an episode of the BBC’s Merlin that got me thinking about her and the various versions adapted by film and print. As it turns out, The Lady isn’t so simple, and #ImmortalMonday is going to take a closer look.

Also known as The Lady of Avalon, whether there is one or more behind the name that makes up the legend depends on the author and story rendition. She’s been known by many names: Nimue, Viviane, Elaine, Niniane, Nyneve, and Evienne to name a few. She’s been called a water Nymph, a magical Fae, Celtic divinity and a woman of strong character. She’s been both ally and villain.

The Lady and Lancelot

La_Dame_du_Lac

Image via Wikipedia

When Lancelot’s father died, it was the Lady, Viviane, that stole Lancelot away to raise as her own in her underwater dwelling, curing him of his madness. He was baptized in a magical pool and trained to be the greatest of all knights. He was known as Lancelot du Lac’s, meaning “of the Lake.”

The Lady and Merlin

342px-Beguiling_of_Merlin

Image via Wikipedia

Merlin became enchanted by the Lady Viviane and decided to teach her all of his magic in exchange for her love.  Viviane is strong and Merlin’s vision of the future is clouded. He doesn’t let that stop him and he teachers her until she is more powerful than the old wizard himself and she traps him in a tree, or cave, or something of the like depending on which version of the story you read.

Off With Her Head!

The magical lady of the lake is said to grant the Excalibur sword to those who are worthy, and with it, its scribing power. That is, the power to escape death. It’s possible that she lived comfortably under the water as a water deity, or the water may have simply acted as a portal for her to another world. Luck would run out for her, though, when Sir Balin would bicker with her over an enchanted sword and an existing family feud. Both were blaming the other for close personal losses, in the end, Sir Balin would revert to violence and behead the Lady.

A tragic ending to a romanticized tale. How do you picture The Lady of the Lake? Friend or foe? Green like the lake water? Or the flesh tone of your average person?

~oOo~

Thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate your support. Until next time, au revoir.

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Debra Kristi, Author

20 thoughts on “A Knight, A Wizard and A Lady of the Lake: Immortal Monday

  1. Tameri Etherton

    Ah yes, the Lady of the Lake. I think my favorite telling of her tale is from ‘The Mists of Avalon’. I see her as more of human in form and coloring, but not solid. Fluid, like the water, I guess. Which means, in my mind, she can always come back after the beheading. Poor Balin.

    Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      I like the picture you painted of her for us. Just the thought that she could always come back is kind of cool. Yes, poor Balin.

      Reply
  2. Marcy Kennedy

    The Lady of the Lake myth plays a huge role in the book Lisa Hall-WIlson and I co-wrote. We really tried to take some parts of it and flesh it out to make her into a real person.

    Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      I can see you doing that. I imagine it goes back to some of the other discussions we’ve had, the thought that most myths and stories bloom from some kernel of truth. I love that you guys did that. I look forward to your story.

      Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      They’re far more complex than the movies and television shows I’ve seen have lead viewers to believe. I could have made this post much more detailed but have decided to make the Immortal Mondays easier reads for everyone on a regular basis. I hit the big points. Thanks for stopping by, Scott.

      Reply
  3. Diana Beebe

    I love the Arthurian legends. I’ve enjoyed how the Merlin series has adapted the stories. The Lady of the Lake is one of our favorite characters–too bad she didn’t get much air time. Love the post, Debra!

    Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      Never enough air time, right? She intrigues me, too. All of it does. Thanks, Diana.

      Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      I’m so happy I could tell you something new. Maybe it will spark a new idea in a story at some point. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Patricia

    It seems to me there was an episode of “Once Upon A Time” that featured a lady of the lake, but I don’t remember what context she was referred to. She was definitely beautiful and magical, that’s about all I remember.

    As usualy, another great installment of Immortal Monday!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      You’re so sweet, Patricia.
      I’m trying to recall that episode. I’ll have to do a search on IMDB and see if I can figure out which one it was. I don’t recall her making an appearance. Now you have me super curious.

      Reply
  5. Lynn Kelley

    I had no idea there was this much behind the Lady of the Lake. I didn’t know about her raising Lancelot! One of my fave movies is Excaliber, and that’s how I envision the Lady of the Lake.

    Cool post, Debra!

    Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      The Lancelot storyline shows a whole other side to her, doesn’t it? Excalibur is an excellent movie. I really appreciate you stopping by, sharing your thoughts and wonderful words. Thanks, Lynn.

      Reply
  6. Karen Rought

    Have you ever read The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron? And perhaps the followup The Tree of Avalon? I can’t remember which book she’s in – I think it’s the latter – but I liked the twist Barron put on her character.

    Reply
    1. Debra Post author

      I never read those book as a kid. They look like great reads and I probably would have loved them, they just came out too late for me. Bummer. I should pick them up for my kids, though. Thanks for bringing them up. You know have me curious about what twist he put on the Lady of the Lake.

      Reply

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