Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Darkest Hour, 48-50

So here we are, at page 50, and the less-than-nice beginning of the Arthurian epic. It's probably not much of a consolation, but Ygraine will have her revenge one day.

Hm. In the first panel, Ygraine is a giant, and in the second she is a giraffe. But it gets better from the third on :-).

As always, click the pictures for a readable view.


Cecilia said...

Ygraine's aknowledgement of Uther is a nice turn on canon. I read your comment in your lj about choosing not to follow the common version.

Making her recognize him will lead directly to a rape, won't it? Because, with an ignorant Ygraine, she was still willing at the moment when Uther/Gorlois took her to bed. In this case, instead, we'll have a patent case of raping.

ampersand said...

Yes, I made that choice because... Well, one reason is that Uther-as-Gorlois looks like a lame excuse to me - a manoeuvre to make Uther seem better than he actually is, just because it's not nice to think that Arthur was the fruit of base violence against a woman. It's the same thing with the time of Gorlois' death: later authors like to stress that he was dead before Uther got into Ygraine's bed, because then Arthur can be made legitimate by Uther's marriage to Ygraine. The Arthurian writers, especially the medieval ones, are at pains to make Arthur's parentage as noble as possible. But the fact of the matter is that Uther does everything he can in order to have sex with a woman whom he knows doesn't want him. It's base, no matter how you turn it, I think. So I thought I might as well make that very clear.

I was struck by Geoffrey of Monmouth's use of words like "desire", "want" and "have" when describing Uther's feelings for Ygraine. Not "love". There's nothing romantic about it. So I took my cue from that.

I have had rather positive comments to this twist to canon, which is quite a relief. I wasn't sure how people were going to react, and I would hate the change to come across as sensationalism or something...

Cecilia said...

I understand your reasons for chooting to reveal Uther's identity.
In any case, the traditional version allows to show the psychological transformation of Ygraine from the happiness of seeing and bedding again with her husband to the delusion of learning that she was awfully deceived. There is a slight fault by the woman lingering on this version, you're right - basically Ygraine let an unknown man into her bed, and she made love with him willingly, so she is by all means a traitress to her husband - but I cannot repel it on the whole.