About the Conclusion of the Movie "King Arthur"

by Chip Marsden

"King Arthur" is a 2004 film that tells a variation on story of Arthur, the legendary (and historically debated) king of the Britons, and his knights as they attempt to win Britain freedom against Saxon forces. The big-budget film culminates in a huge battle scene and a hopeful denouement for the survivors.

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Badon Hill

The Battle of Badon Hill is the large battle at the end of the film. The Saxon army marches upon the Roman-built fortification known as Hadrian's Wall, only to find it abandoned. Arthur, his men, and their Woad allies are waiting just outside of Hadrian's Wall with bows and catapults. Arthur's forces strike, and a large-scale hand-to-hand struggle begins.

Casualties (Spoilers)

In the battle, the knights Lancelot and Tristan are killed. The Saxon Cynric hits Lancelot by surprise using a crossbow. Before he dies, Lancelot kills Cynric by hurling a sword through his stomach and then running a blade through his neck. Tristan is killed in a swordfight with the Saxon chief Cerdic (Cynric's father). Arthur witnesses the killing and engages Cerdic in combat, eventually defeating Cerdic. After this it is clear that Arthur led his followers to victory.

Wedding

After the battle, Guinevere (who in this telling is a Woad and the daughter of Merlin) and Arthur are wed. Merlin declares that the Britons and Woads have been forever joined, and Arthur is declared their king. Arthur promises to lead them to freedom and to vanquish all enemies.

Three Horses (Spoiler)

The last shot in the movie is of three wild horses galloping as a narration by Lancelot speaks of the legacy of the three knights who died in the film (Lancelot and Tristan at Badon Hill; Dagonet sacrificed himself in an earlier battle scene), the implication being that the three horses are reincarnations of the knights' souls.

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Chip Marsden has been a writer for more than eight years. He has covered film, politics and culture for regional newspapers and online publications. Marsden holds a B.A. in theater arts with a concentration in performance.

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