Legendary Tales (Rhapsody of Fire)
The legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table is well-known. It is said that the young Arthur pulled the sword Excalibur from a stone, which no one except the new king could do. It was thought that Camelot was the ideal court, famous for bravery, chivalry, romantic love and magic, which was practised by Merlin, the wizard. Here at a round table -round so that no one was above anyone else- sat the bravest and most noble knights in the land, Sir Galahad, Sir Lancelot, Sir Beldivere and others.
But England and Arthur began to lose power when Arthur learned about the love affair of his wife, Guinevere, and his best friend Sir Lancelot. Then Arthur began the search for the Holy Grail (the wine cup used at Christ's last meal), which Sir Galahad finally found and bought back. Arthur grew strong again and he went into battle to save England from his evil cousin Modred, whom he killed. But Arthur himself was seriously wounded in the great battle. Knowing he was dying he ordered Sir Beldivere to throw his sword Excalibur into a lake. The hand of the Lady of the Lake came out of the water, caught the swrod and took it under. Then three mysterious women arrived on a boat and took Arthur to his final resting place at Avalon. It is believed that Arthur and his knights are not dead but merely asleep and will return if England is ever in danger again.
Did Arthur really exist? Some people say that he may have been a Celtic leader of the 6th or 7th century. It is claimed by some that many of the stories of the Arthurian legend were invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth. But it is believed by others that Arthur really existed, and there are many places in Britain which claim to have connections with the story or to be the actual site of Camelot.
The legend of King Arthur and his knights has nurtured power metal (notably the type known as epic metal). Power metal's lyrical themes typically focus on fantasy and mythology (eg. Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Falconer, Domine, Virgin Steele), camaraderie and hope (eg. DragonForce, Stratovarius, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Hammerfall, Lost Horizon, Highland Glory, Sabaton), personal struggles and emotions (eg. Sonata Arctica, Primal Fear, Evergrey) war and death (eg. Manowar, Sabaton, Iced Earth, Firewind) or combinations of the listed themes. Many typical metal themes such as anti-religion and politics are comparatively rare but not unheard of.