A while ago, San had the best luck to come across "The marriage stone", a Harry Potter fanfic. Awesome fic. Absolutely fantastic. The author has depicted Harry as a hero, of course, and not any hero, but the equivalent image of King Arthur.
For your information: We Vietnamese may hardly ever know King Arthur, but Arthurian legends are of the oldest and most famous legends of
And here in "The Marriage Stone", he has indeed come back. As Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, the One-who-will-save-us-all, the Dark-Lord-slayer, the Boy-with-hero-complex (i.e. the Boy-with-masochist-streak), the Boy-who-could-not-possibly-be-normal, the green-eyed beauty, the adorably petite Emerald, the trouble-will-find-me-wherever-I-go Raven, the ...ooopse. Hehe, maybe I'm a little enthusiastic. Okay, the point here is that, he has had enough titles without being the freaking King of the Magical World, but we fangirls want to bestow (aka: thrust) that upon him anyway (Evil cackles). So, here we have, Harry is the only one who can use the King Spells, which had been invented by Merlin himself for the use of King Arthur and King Arthur only.
But enough of that, even I don't want to wander that far from my original topic. What is my original topic you ask? Here it is. "The marriage stone" was the first one to notice me the similarity between Harry Potter and King Arthur, not only in the role of them in their own fantasy world, but in the role of them in our real world also.
Oh I am aware of Harry's role in his fans' world just fine, didn't need anyone to tell me that. Strong and brave. Modest and sefless. Loyal and sacrificing. Passionate and forgiving. Cunning and rash. Gentle and pure. A perfect hero. A perfect friend. A perfect lover. He is everything that a person could hope for. He is everyone's dream, everyone's admiration, everyone's ideal. Funny how fanfic writers would re-use others' ideal of Harry and then add them with their own in their fics. The pedestal for Harry Potter is higher and higher everyday, through each fanfic. And thus we have the above list of titles, which, goes without saying, is lengthened and lengthened everyday. Not that I criticize, actually, I adore it. The never-ending quest of fanfic writers to find another lovable trait of Harry Potter that has yet been discovered. There are thousands of Harry-centric fic, mind you. The sheer number almost make that an impossible task. And yet there are always good fics with original idea, which make every second reading immensely enjoyable. (Which is one of the reasons why I'm addicted with Harry Potter fanfiction by the way)
And guess what, the legends of King Arthur have a similar fate (not that it is bad). King Arthur has also become a heroic figure whose characteristics have been exploited for centuries. You will be surprised by how pliable those legends are. They could be and have been modified to adapt to the culture of the region and era they travelled to, and so has the King Arthur's image. The lack of precise documents concerning King Arthur in real history has enabled writers to freely shape his characters however they want!
In Dark Ages society, he represented power. He was a man of battles. In Medieval era, he typified the chivalric code and strength. He was the King of Knights. In Victorian era, he was the embodiment of Victorian virtues. He was the model of the King of the monarchy.
As you can see, throughout history, people have bestowed upon King Arthur the traits and deeds that they wish, just like us fanfiction writers with Harry Potter, in order to make him the People's Hero. A hero that could defeat giants and dragons, a hero that would rule his people with justice and benevolence, a hero that would protect his people from invaders, a hero that could gain the utmost loyalty of the most talented knights, a hero that would return from his death when his people need him.
Human are really vulnerable creatures. They cannot live if they can't put their faith in something. They believe in Gods, and they believe in heroes. They believe in some supernatural forces that will lead their lives, because they realize they cannot control them themselves. It's kind of funny, but also understandable. Those beliefs cause them a sense of security after all. Whoever want to live their lives with the belief "Evil will triumph no matter what" if not evil themselves? And so we dream our dreams, where we keep our beliefs that goodness will prevail. That's what we do, being human.
~a boost for Annual Research~
Reference: Arthur - King of Britons, by Daniel Mersey.