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Katherine Langford to Star in The Lady of the Lake Origin Story Series Cursed

Give me all your Arthurian legend feminist reboots please and thank you.

katherine langford

Netflix is diving into the world of Arthurian legend with Cursed, a new YA series that re-imagines the origin story of the Lady of the Lake. Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why) will play Nimue, “a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake.” The series was created by comics legend Frank Miller (Sin City) and writer/producer Tom Wheeler (The Lego Ninjago Movie). In addition to the 10 episode order, Miller and Wheeler will be releasing an illustrated YA companion book to the series.

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Zetna Fuentes (Jessica Jones, Jane the Virgin) will direct and executive produce the first two episodes. The series synopsis describes the show as “a coming-of-age story whose themes are familiar to our own time: the obliteration of the natural world, religious terror, senseless war, and finding the courage to lead in the face of the impossible.”

lady of the lake

(image: The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights, 1912., 9th edition. Ed. Sir James Knowles, K. C. V. O. London; New York: Frederick Warne and Co., 1912)

After countless adaptations of the story of King Arthur, it’s exciting to finally get a series that focuses on the women of Arthurian legend. The Lady of the Lake is a fascinating figure in mythology, a water nymph/sorceress who is perhaps best known as the woman who gives King Arthur his sword, Excalibur. But a deeper dive into Lady of the Lake mythology gives us two dueling personas. There is the benevolent mother figure, who raises Lancelot and falls in love with Sir Pelleas.

Then there is the temptress version of the Lady of the Lake, who seduces Merlin and learns all his magical secrets before imprisoning him in a tree (or under a rock, it varies). There are also versions where the Lady genuinely loves Merlin, as well as ones where Merlin is a predatory figure that the Lady must imprison to escape his relentless advances. Apparently, when water nymphs and wizards get together, it is non-stop drama.

The Lady of the Lake has also been a recurring figure in comic books, appearing in Hellblazer and Aquaman. She also shows up in the Hellboy series, where she is resurrected as Irish war goddess the Morrígan and leads an army of legendary beings to rid the world of man (Noice).

What’s your favorite incarnation of the Lady of the Lake? Are you excited for this series?

(via Deadline, Wikipedia, image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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