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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 9,651,740  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 44

Lurker/Post Ratio: 744 to 1

Question of the Week: 51 - 7/23/2001

What Did You Think of 'The Mists of Avalon"?

What did you think of the TNT mini-series, 'The Mists of Avalon'? How well did it compare with the book? Were you happy or disappointed with the interpretation? Even if you have not read the book nor seen the movie, what do you think about the Arthurian Legends? Why are they so enduring? Which Arthurian Legend character most speaks to you and why? Do you think that there is a real-life historical basis for the Legends?

 Reponses:   There are 44 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 


I Liked The Movie Somewhat, But Mostly I Thought It Was A... Jul 27th. at 12:25:12 pm UTC

Emerald (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) Age: 20


I liked the movie somewhat, but mostly I thought it was a big setup for a huge letdown. The book was much better than the movie, of course, but not just because that's to be expected, but because TNT tried to compress into 4 hours what they really needed at least 6 hours to actually do. They put a lot more into their production of Animal Farm than they did for Mists. I liked the actors and the way they portraid their characters, but they needed more time. But hey, at least it's out there now, a major film production that exposes a little bit of what we believe to the public eye.


Loved The Books So Much.tnt's Production Was Well Acted And Beautifully Produced... Jul 27th. at 5:45:29 pm UTC

medusa (seattle, Washington US) Age: 50


Loved the books so much.TnT's production was well acted and beautifully produced I had the feeling the book was coming alive, however the plot was a disappointment. There was so many details and stories left out of the miniseries that the book lost all of its depth and meaning and just became a step about Sabrina the teenage witch in its discussion and portrayal of the Goddess and her followers. But then people always say never read the book first or you will be very disappointed. Maybe the mini series will make people want to read her books and be pleasantly surprized.


I Have Read The Book (and The Other Ones In The Series... Jul 27th. at 6:49:10 pm UTC

Iko (Mists Of Lake Michigan (Chicago), Illinois US) Age: 37 - Email


I have read the book (and the other ones in the series). All in all, I would give the mini-series a B. The actors were better than the script, and there really was no way to condense that much book into four hours. What is GREAT is that we have some powerhouse, well-respected women actors running around talking about the Goddess and kicking just as much Arthurian butt as the next guy (or gal). Maybe part of the problem with the script was that TNT was afraid to go too far in pushing the envelope with middle-America sensitivities and tried to keep it, for lack of a better term, "Wicca Lite." The ending was a sell-out, I believe, to those aforementioned middle-American sensitivities.

I believe the Arthurian legends are so enduring, and hold up to being told many different ways (as demonstrated by twist the "Mists of Avalon" puts on it). They hold up because they touch on values (honesty, integrity, guts, loyalty, etc) that most of us agree are important to maintain society (no matter how those words are over used and misused by politicians - especially ones on the far right). The legends basically are karma dramas. They show that we have choices in life and that when we choose badly there will be a price to pay. They also demonstrate the consequence of inaction may be as high as that of action. In this way the Arthurian legends work just as well as a Christian morality play as they would for any other religion. No matter how they are told the Arthurian legends touch on our sense of wonder and need for fantasy.

Perhaps the stories have some nugget of truth in the people and places involved, but I do not believe there is any solid historical basis for the stories. That in now way, however, should detract from what the stories have to tell us.




First, With A Nod To All That Have Posted Here, Please Understand... Jul 28th. at 12:24:38 pm UTC

Rev. Carolyne Kleinman (Round Rock, Texas US) Age: 43 - Email


First, with a nod to all that have posted here, please understand - "Mists of Avalon" is NOT "Wicca" - it is a broad, bold attempt to describe the Ancient Mystery Schools of Britannia, aka "Druidry" from the few existing fragments of Truth that can be sifted from the dust and remains of that faith due to the well-organized jihads of the Roman Catholic Church. I give Ted Turner a "two-thumbs up" for both the production and promotion of Ms. Bradley's work. It is courage such as his that gives all of us associated with the Ancient Ones an "extra boost" to keep going despite the acts of bigotry and narrow-minded intolerance we face on a daily basis.

I was proud of the attempt to put the most significant threads of the book into the teleplay, but a bit disappointed that the weaving of the bard "Kevin" was left out, while the Merlin had passed - quick provisions were made that the "Old Religion" was not left without a functioning titular lead as balanced with Morgaine in the feminine. On the other hand, I wished that the "sundering of the worlds" had been played up a bit more. It is this single act that sets the stage for the secular world as we know it today, i.e. the passing of the balanced matriarch/patriarchal world view versus the heavy-handed patriarchal sanctimonious dogma of the early Church.

The Arthurian legends speak to us all about overcoming the baser natures of humanity and striving to bring about the balance of Camelot. Let star-crossed lovers, betrayal between siblings and secular genocide enter the picture and you have a dream not deferred, but destroyed. Was there a real Camelot? Victors are ever so ready to re-write history, and chances are that something very close to the legend DID exist. However, the understanding should prevail that the insanity behind Camelot is something that is repeated over and over again. Wise heads are usually muzzled with threats against the very ones that they love and teach, until the wisdom they have to offer dies with them. Our own humanity trips us up given half the chance.

One other thing, to those that would dare to dream of placing our beautiful legends and beliefs on the "Little-Big Screen" - TRY to make it fit into one night! Organizing Pagans is still like bagging cats, herding chickens, teaching Jello to sit up, etc., etc., etc.

Walking the Path of the Ancient Ones,


I'm With All Of You On One Thing--as A Sixteen-year-old Who'd... Jul 28th. at 8:53:28 pm UTC

Cat (Asheville, North Carolina US) Age: 34


I'm with all of you on one thing--as a sixteen-year-old who'd no idea she was a proto-pagan, I begged for the book for Christmas the year it came out, got it, and loved it with all its flaws. I'm probably not with all of you in that I think it had plenty of those, but still, it was a noble effort, and a very refreshing take on the legend. Can't think of anybody, that would be ANYBODY, else who really questions the villainy of the wicked sister, or the tying of women's sexuality to moral ruin for the realm, which pervades the later versions of the Matter of Britain.

Mini-series. Well, Julianna's a babe, no question about it, but otherwise I was pretty disappointed. Not just by length--wouldn't it have made a nice mini-series, the kind that takes all season to unwind?--but by the fact that Morgaine isn't seen really DOING anything. Her murders, which the book makes an effort both to justify and to show her paying for, are whitewashed out of existence, as are most of her affairs (after *Sex and the City*, we STILL daren't show a sexually liberated woman on prime time? Give me a break!) Her magic is totally downplayed. The incest angle, yeah, it was there (good for prime time on that one), but even in a four-hour movie that needed sixteen, look how much screen time was wasted. So they showed the group sex that was Bradley's (fairly cool) trademark, but did it really need 15 minutes, or one-sixteenth of the available time? At least half an hour of epic battles: what was with that? The book wasn't ABOUT epic battles (one of its chief charms.) When time is of the essence, do we really need to add a scene that never would've been in the book, that is, Morgause's murder of Viviane? So strange; seems like on TV we can't recuperate one "bad" woman without making another one much, much worse. Finally, (spoiler ahead, be warned) Morgaine is forever shut out of Avalon, NEVER becomes Lady of the Lake, and says "oh, never mind, it's all okay because of the Virgin Mary"?? Eeeyagh.

Yeah, it's better than nothing. Yeah, I'm glad they tried (and Julianna is still a babe.) But I can't help feeling they cut the important stuff about women, about magic, and about relationships between people in favor of the trivial and sensational. Pretty sad.


I Had Read The Book Just A Few Days Before (great Book... Jul 29th. at 12:36:21 am UTC

Silver Owl (Trophy Club, Texas US) Age: 14


I had read the book just a few days before (great book, second best to Ender's Game) and so I was excited at the prospect of seeing the miniseries, so I flipped on the TV to take a look- and watch the miniseries.
I read a lot, so I have seen a lot of twisted adaptions of the books I've read. I just grimace and bear it(no grinning here). But this- this!- was exceptional- it exceeded the horribleness I have come to expect from movies that are adapted from books I have read.
I only watched an hour's worth before I couldn't stand any more. I hope they don't make Ender's Game into a movie, that's all I can say.


I Really Can't Compare The Book To The Mini-series. I Read The... Jul 29th. at 2:08:35 am UTC

Bryony Ravenwillow (Kansas City , Missouri US) Age: 32


I really can't compare the book to the mini-series. I read the book many years ago, before I became pagan, and as the years passed I forgot a lot of the details. While I enjoyed the book, it didn't awaken any interest in paganism or Goddess worship. It was reading Jean Auel's "The Valley of Horses" that did that.
That said, I have to admit that I loved the mini-series, even aware that they had to cut huge chunks out and sacrifice entire subplots to fit it into the allotted time. I have it taped and I've watched it twice. I thought it was wonderful that they showed paganism in a positive light, even though the portrayal wasn't perfect (where was that Beltaine maypole? A later custom, perhaps?). I can't vouch for the accuracy or lack thereof of the ending, but Morgaine's observation that the Goddess wasn't dead, merely in another incarnation, was a true one, I believe. There are closeted pagans out there who do use Catholic images of various saints and the Virgin Mary as a smokescreen for their true beliefs.
It could have been worse. It could have been "The Craft".


I Absolutely Loved The Book, It Brought Me Alot Of Inspiration. Then... Jul 29th. at 1:05:03 pm UTC

Duvessa (pewaukee, Wisconsin US) Age: 16 - Email


I absolutely loved the book, It brought me alot of inspiration. then when I saw the movie well, lets just say it wasnt worth the film it was on. Morgaine didnt really have much of a role, and it never showed the wonderful passion that occured between Morgaine and Lancelot. Not to mention Kevin the Bard wasnt in it and personally I loved him in the book during the times when Morgaine and Him shared passion. Nimue was not in the movie in it either. and I know I know the producers probably had a time limit but come on they could have done alot better, to show the beauty that the book so fully perceived. they also didnt put in Faeryland did they?.........whatever
May the Goddess Bless and protect you all!
----->Duvessa MoonFire


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