The Lady of the Lake? Who was she really? Please give any views, ideas and theorys! I've always known of the King Arthur legend but haven't really gotten into the pacific's of it in till I read my first book linked to it, "Avalon High"- by Meg Cabot which is still to this day my favourite book. From it the mysterious lady of the lake grown into my favourite character but I haven't found any books that are in her point of view, retelling the tragic story. So really from this I would like people to give there options about her and books they have read where she is a major character or really any books about king Arthur that would think is a must read for an Arthurian fan.8/27/2010 #1
I'm not familiar with the ins, outs and details of the Arthurian Mythos but most depictions have her as a real person with family and such who becomes Merlin's apprentice before sealling him into a tree/under a rock/in a cave.
Personally I don't think that makes much sense... I always thought of her as supernatural water spirit being who just happened to live in a lake with the Excalibur in it.11/16/2010 #2
This is sort of a difficult request in that the Lady of the Lake as you're looking for her (giving Arthur the sword as Elaine does in Avalon High) doesn't really have that large of a role outside of that in modern retellings. Most often, if the Lady of the Lake does play a larger role, she is merged with the character of Nimue (Merlin's apprentice-- the one who locks him in the tree/rock/cave and steals his power). Any retelling that puts a large focus on Merlin is very likely to have a relatively impressive Nimue/Lady of the Lake character (and I don't know these as well because I'm not as interested in Merlin as a character). While I haven't read it myself (it, it's on a list), I'd recommend Mary Stewart's Merlin Triology (starting with the Crystal Cave). I've read the fourth book tie-in to that story (the Wicked Day) and Nimue had a fairly decent role so I imagine she'd have something similar in the earlier books. Nimue also has a fairly important role in Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles (starting with The Winter King). Those are fantastic books and I'd highly recommend them to anyone interested in Arthurian retellings. Of course there's Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon, where the Lady of the Lake is a title for the ruling priestess of Avalon, focuses heavily not only on the character but on the role she played in the legend. There's a strong possiblity that any retelling that focuses on Lancelot will include the Lady of the Lake because she is often cited as his foster mother. The Lady of the Lake appears as the mother of Merlin in Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle (first book: Taliesin).
I'm sorry it's such a small list. I know of a lot more novels which include Nimue as a major character. I'm just having trouble with the character of the Lady of the Lake because she plays such a small role in modern retellings.
~Storyteller Knight12/9/2010 #3
The Lady of the Lake and Merlin's apprentice are usually depicted as two different people. There are a lot of versions of the stories some dating from before recorded history and a lot of contradictions got in. Is Mordred Arthur's son or nephew, for instance.5/25/2012 #4
|Huntress Of The Sea
It's kinda funny that you're looking for something like that, because I'm writing a novel told from her point of view. (First chapter is up here, but I haven't added more since there's no interested)
So, I know there's a lot of confusion about her. Was she a spirit? A sorceress? What was her name, since she's mixed up with others and has several names.
I could probably give you a long winded explanation as to what I've decided she was. I did a lot of research into the Arthurian myths involving her, and I've arrived at some conclusions. One, she was the person to give Arthur Excalibur from the lake, and the sword in the stone was a different magical sword. Two, she most likely used a name like Nimue as the spirit, and the name Viviane when in court. Three, she was probably the apprentice of Merlin, and the one who trapped him (course she may not have been malicious in intent, as I've decided to agree with). I've yet to find a good book telling her story, which is why I'm writing one.
For books that I have read where she's at least shown up - The Song of the Sword. It's the first book of Shards of Excailbur (which I've yet to find sequels for, annoyingly). The main character is her descendant, so she does come in and out to help. That's the closest I've found. There are very few good Arthurian books, unfortunately. Just - don't read The Once and Future King. It's very long winded and dry. I read it once, and that was more than enough. I kept skimming, and I hate skimming. It'll give you an interesting version of the myths, just not presented in a very good way.9/25/2014 . Edited 9/25/2014 #5
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