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The First Teaser for The Green Knight Has Us Ready to Bow Down to Arthurian Dev Patel


King Arthur’s world has never looked so creepy.

The first teaser trailer for A24’s The Green Knight hit this morning and it’s a somewhat terrifying mix of bleak landscapes, weird dolls, flaming crowns and, of course, beheading! Like any good teaser, this gives us a hint of the tone of the film but leaves us with many more questions, such as: why is Gawain in a crown?

The mentions of kings and greatness, the image of Dev Patel on a throne with a globe and scepter, a crown descending onto his head is incredibly cool, but also incredibly intriguing given the source material and seems to imply this is going to be an expanded and much darker interpretation of the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Spoiler warning for a 600-year-old story I guess?

That original story is an Arthurian myth and morality tale. It tells the story of Sir Gawain, one of Arthur’s knights, who takes a challenge to behead a magical Green Knight if he agrees to take the same blow in a year and a day. Assuming the Green Knight won’t be able to follow through with this, Gawain does it … and then the Knight picks up his head, walks out and tells Gawain he’ll see him in a year and a day when it’s his turn to get beheaded.

Adventures ensue and when it’s about time to meet his doom, Gawain finds himself near the Green Knight’s chapel in the castle of nice Lord and Lady. The lord makes a deal with Gawain that states he’ll give Gawain whatever he catches hunting during the day and Gawain will give him whatever he gains. This means that when the Lord’s wife hits on Gawain while her hubby is hunting, Gawain gives him the kisses he gets. (Does this mean we get to see Dev Patel kissing Joel Edgerton?!).

Of course when the Lady gives Gawain a girdle that will keep him from dying … he doesn’t cough that up, but the Green Knight doesn’t actually kill him but does shame him for lying. It’s a whole parable about honesty and chivalry and of course, in the end, a woman—Morgan Le Fay—was behind it all.

I wanted to recount this story because … there’s little in this trailer that tells that alludes to any of this (we see a fox, which is one of the animals the lord hunts?), so we’re obviously getting a new take on this tale. The cast list for the movie doesn’t even really imply this is Arthurian just that there is a “King” and if you don’t know the story of the Green Knight (which many do not) you might not even know this is Arthurian.

And that’s fine! This all looks very cool and if it departs from the source, that’s awesome. It makes me more interested! I love the ominous discussions of fear and greatness and the strangely gory puppet show. I’m very curious how the director, David Lowry, who has given us other sorts of surreal films like Pete’s Dragon will approach this story.

Also, the Green Knight, when we do see him, looks quite cool. And did we mention Dev Patel is there, looking great and wielding a sword? Dev Patel, y’all. We’re here for him finally getting the massive stardom he deserves and roles like this.

What do you think of The Green Knight teaser? Where are our Arthurians at?

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.