Title: George vs. the Dragon Author: Galaxy1001D
Source: King Arthur (Legend) Character(s): George, Merlin, King Arthur
Rating: K+ Genre(s): Humor / Romance
Chapter(s): 1 Status: Complete
Author’s Synopsis: In King Arthur’s Camelot, young Squire George must find a magic ring to stop a dragon from terrorizing England, but finds out the hard way that a dragon has no fury like a woman scorned.
Welcome Readers, we’re closing out another week and this time I wanted to end it on a high note. I found this story a while back, saved it, then read it after seeing the new King Arthur movie, “Arthur: The Legend of the Sword.” Seeing the movie made me want to read some stories based on Arthurian legend and I came across this one in my collection to read and review. Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.
The synopsis is actually pretty accurate; this is a retelling of the George slaying the dragon. The dragon Goldenfire has turned its back on the people of England due to an enchanted artifact from Morgan Le Fey. The artifact causes the dragon’s moral alignment to make a 180°, thus the dragon kidnaps maidens and terrorizes the countryside. Now the only way to return Goldenfire to its former glory is to put the Ring of Matrimonial Bliss on it. Squire George volunteers for this venture as it’s the only way he will be pardoned for his less than moral behavior.
It’s a clever, entertaining story that knew its source material and its strengths, playing certain aspects up a bit more than others and making nods when appropriate. It’s a nice balance.
Whenever I come across a retelling of Arthurian myth (part or whole), I normally expect a dark, grittier version – like the latest trend in Hollywood. I don’t expect the story to be light hearted and fun, but this story defies my expectations. This is less of a dark Hollywood story and more like the ‘90s Saturday morning cartoon adventures – with some adult humor.
For instance, on the one hand there’s Merlin’s behavior during the initial meeting where he’s an elder(ish) man caught up in what he sees in his crystal ball then a bit clumsy as he comes out of his trance. On the other hand, there’s Queen Guinevere who in an almost air-headed way mentions how George has been peeking in on her while she and several other maids undress. There are just little subtlies like those that give the story it’s comedic, light-hearted feel yet adds a bit of tongue in cheek with the hint of voyeurism. I enjoyed the combination. It made the story more enjoyable.
Another strength, is the story’s sense for the source material. Even people who have never read a single King Arthur book or seen one of the movies knows King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Merlin; but those same people wouldn’t know Sir Kay, Sir Gawaine, Sir Tristram, Gareth of Orkeny, Sir Hector, or Sir Alisander. There are so many characters in the Arthurian myth and this story takes the time to recognize it.
The begin is a meeting of The Knights of the Roundtable as they discuss the crisis and plan their counterattack on Goldenfire; the meeting isn’t just King Arthur and Merlin speaking, all the knights engage in the discussion. This isn’t engage like “Oh my” quips but actual sentences expressing concerns and strategic thoughts. While the number of lines might be small each line is not wasted; each utterance by the Knights gives a brief glimpse into who that knight is and their personality. I applaud the effort the story put into including so many characters without making them feel like furniture – there to fill space.
Finally, the twist. This would by an M. Night Shyamalan type twist if Shyamalan could do lighthearted. I don’t want to give it away so I won’t say what the twist entails. I, however, give credit on it being simple and fun. Karma comes full circle. In this one.
Normally, I’d point out how the 2D characters bring down the story but I can’t with this story. It’s a shorter story so there’s less growth and time to spend with the characters. Plus, in the older Arthurian stories the focus is less on the characters and more on the adventure. This story reflects that mentality by focusing on the task to defeat Goldenfire rather than on who George is as a character.
Even so, the story does a good job of establishing the type of persona the characters are meant to personify. Lancelot is the brash warrior with more brawn than brains, Arthur is the judicious ruler, Merlin the knowledgeable wizard, Guinevere is the compassionate, ignorant queen, and George is the hormonal bachelor. The story gives Readers enough information to develop an opinion and enough to figure out how the ending affects them.
In the end, anything I would gripe about isn’t an issue with this story. So, there’s nothing really wrong with this story, it’s a delightful retelling.
I would recommend this to any Reader, whether you are a fan of Arthurian legends or just a fan of fan fiction. It’s a fun story that doesn’t require much Arthurian knowledge before reading and while such knowledge helps with the tongue-in-cheek references, it’s not required. This is just a fun story about a young Squire sent to neutralize the dragon threat.
Personally, I hope to find more stories like this one by Galaxy1001D in the future.