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    Updated on Aug 4, 2020. Posted on Aug 4, 2020

    The "Cursed" Characters Vs The Arthurian Myths They're Based On

    This is not your usual Arthurian tale.

    🚨Warning: contains spoilers for Season 1 of Cursed. 🚨

    Nimue

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Nimue is the protagonist. She's a fey of the Sky Folk who, as the daughter of the priestess Lenore and Merlin, has stronger powers than her fellow fey that have seen her branded a witch. Over the course of Season 1, she becomes queen of the fey, leading her people with the sword of power.

    In legend: Nimue is the Lady of the Lake. She's very much a background figure, and there are different versions of the Lady of the Lake that play different roles depending on the version of the story. The Lady of the Lake is usually associated with the sword, Excalibur, but only in giving it to Arthur, not wielding it herself.

    In one variation, the Lady of the Lake is Lancelot's foster mother. In some versions of the story, Merlin is in love with her, and she imprisons him and takes his place as Arthur's advisor. But perhaps the most enduring image of Nimue is her taking back Excalibur and escorting Arthur to the magical isle of Avalon after he is mortally wounded in battle.

    Arthur

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Arthur is a mercenary who follows Nimue and joins the fey in their war. He's in love with Nimue. At one point, he steals the sword of power (which is presumably Excalibur but hasn't been explicitly named in the show). So far he seems to have no connection to the royal lineage; he's an orphan. His maternal aunt is married to Sir Ector.

    In legend: Arthur is traditionally the son of Uther Pendragon and the Lady Igraine, who is raised by Sir Ector with no knowledge of his true identity. After acquiring the sword Excalibur, he becomes leader of his people and eventually king. He forms the knights of the Round Table and marries Guinevere, who betrays him with his best friend Sir Lancelot. In some versions of the story, he has an incestuous relationship with his sister Morgause (who is sometimes conflated with their other sister, Morgan le Fay), and together they have a son, Mordred, who grows up to murder Arthur.

    Merlin

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Merlin is a druid sorcerer who has lost his powers and is a drunk. He's advisor to King Uther Pendragon. The sword of power was once his, but after his affair with Lenore, she hid it from him. Nimue is his daughter.

    In legend: Merlin is traditionally a powerful wizard who influences events. He helps Uther Pendragon sleep with Igraine, leading to the conception of Arthur. He guides Arthur and becomes his advisor, helping him to claim Excalibur and the throne. Merlin has romantic/sexual relationships with Nimue and Morgan le Fey – sometimes one-sided, depending on the version of the story, and often involving him teaching them sorcery.

    Morgana

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Morgana is Arthur's sister who starts out as a nun using the name Igraine (the name of Arthur's mother in legend). Morgana helps the fey escape the Red Paladins and learns some of their healing magic. She lives with the fey after escaping the convent herself, and supports Nimue before being possessed by the Cailleach and growing hungry for power herself. At the end of the season, she becomes the Widow – a version of death.

    In legend: Morgana, more commonly known as Morgan le Fay, is Arthur's sister and a powerful sorceress. She is sometimes Merlin's apprentice and lover, and often Arthur's enemy, striving to take his throne from him. Ultimately she plays a role in Arthur's death before taking her place (along with Nimue) as one of the magical queens who bring him "home" to Avalon.

    Weeping Monk

    Netflix

    In Cursed: For most of Season 1, we see the Weeping Monk as a mysterious figure who does Father Carden's bidding, hunting and killing fey. We learn he actually is fey himself, and has been brainwashed by Father Carden. Later, it's revealed that the Weeping Monk's true identity is Lancelot.

    In legend: Lancelot is usually portrayed as Arthur's best friend and greatest knight. Although not fey himself, he's sometimes shown to be an orphan raised by the Lady of the Lake. He's perhaps best known for having an affair with Arthur's wife, Guinevere.

    Gawain

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Known as the Green Knight, Gawain is a fey warrior who is good friends with Nimue. Arthur views him as a rival for Nimue's love, but Gawain seems to have more of a brotherly affection for her. At the end of Season 1, Gawain is almost killed by the Red Paladins, and Nimue uses her magic to revive (and possibly transform) him.

    In legend: Gawain is traditionally one of Arthur's nephews – a son of Morgause – and a knight of the Round Table. He is best known as the protagonist of the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, in which he fights the Green Knight on a noble quest.

    Red Spear

    Netflix

    In Cursed: The Red Spear is a warrior/raider who was exiled from the court of Cumber the Ice King and seeks revenge against him. She leads her crew and joins forces with the fey. She meets Arthur in battle and saves his life. Although not named as Guinevere in the show, most fans are assuming that's who she is.

    In legend: Guinevere is depicted as a lady (sometimes good, sometimes villainous) who doesn't actually fight in battle herself – she's more often a damsel in distress. She marries Arthur and becomes his queen, and has an affair with Lancelot. This leads to civil war breaking out, and ultimately Arthur's downfall.

    Percival

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Nicknamed Squirrel and only later revealed to be Percival, this character is a fey child who is friends with Nimue. He's brave and does his best to fight the Red Paladins, later befriending Lancelot.

    In legend: Percival of legend is one of the knights of the Round Table, most famous for his quest for the Holy Grail.

    Uther Pendragon

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Uther is a terrible king who has allowed the Red Paladins to wreak havoc in the land and murder the fey. Merlin is his advisor. During Season 1, it's revealed that Uther is not the legitimate son of Lunete, the queen mother, but rather a commoner who was smuggled into the castle as a baby when Lunete's own child died. There is no known link between Uther and Arthur yet.

    In legend: Uther is a king who is advised by Merlin, and who becomes obsessed with the Lady Igraine, the wife of his enemy Gorlois. In many versions of the legend, Merlin disguises Uther as Gorlois so that he can sleep with Igraine, thus conceiving Arthur.

    Ector

    Netflix

    In Cursed: Ector is the lord of Gramaire and married to Lady Marion, making him Arthur's uncle. His son, Charles, died before the beginning of the show.

    In legend: Ector is a lord who adopts Arthur without knowing his true identity – usually at the request of Merlin. Ector's son is named Kay, and he becomes on of the knights of the Round Table.

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