Lady of the Lake

QUESTION:  In the 1981 film Excaliber, what future British Dame starred as Morgan le Fay?
A). Judy Dench
B). Helen Mirren
C) Maggie Smith
D). Diana Rigg

The Franklin Mint Heirloom Doll Collection honors the three most prominent female characters in the King Arthur story with their very own interpretations. Blogs have thus far been dedicated to Guinevere and Morgan le Fay, and it stands to reason that today's blog should honor the Lady of the Lake, easily the character with the greatest variations in her story. She appeared first in the "Lancelot-Grail Cycle," in which Sir Lancelot is sent in pursuit of the Holy Grail. Her given name was Viviane.  She demands that Lancelot share his secrets with her, else she will trap him into a tree trunk or under a stone. In another version of the story, her name was Ninianne. She threatened Lancelot in this story as well, but was also in possession of the magical sword Excaliber, which she gave to King Arthur when his original sword was destroyed in battle. By the famous Sir Thomas Malory book La More d'Arthur, her name became Nimue. The Lancelot torture element disappeared, but the Excaliber part remained. In this version, her fate was a beheading thanks to Sir Ballin, an antagonist of Arthur with whom she had a kin feud. 

There are other names by which the Lady of the Lake has been referred in legend, but modern tradition occasionally finds her living under the water, and appearing when summoned by Arthur. The Lady of the Lake Heirloom doll created by the Franklin Mint depicts her in flowing gowns with a prominent Excaliber in her possession.  We must presume that this is before she has her encounter with Arthur, seeing as how she still has the sword.

ANSWER:  B). Helen Mirren.  If you haven't seen this John Boorman film, it is definitely worth the time for adult audiences.