Mists of Avalon Henge–Our Post for Solstice!

still from the movie Mists of Avalon

It’s time for our winter solstice post and we just stumbled on the knowledge that we missed a movie that includes a lintelled stone circle, so here it is! Please note that we have not seen this movie or even, in the interest of full disclosure, taken time to watch the entire clip from which we grabbed the picture above.

The movie, The Mists of Avalon, was made for television rather than the big screen and starred Anjelica Huston and The Good Wife, Julianna Margulies, as Morgana. It has to do with the women connected with King Arthur and his not-so-very-good-friend-because-he-did-his-wife, Lancelot. It is based on a book by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and if you wish to know more, meet our friend Google and knock yourself out!

The point here is that it included a stone circle with one lintel over a pair of uprights, and that puts it in our wheelhouse. We are glad that they portray the stones as already ancient with all the paint worn off. Arthur came along long after the megaliths were erected.

Well, look, we have to get going, so here is this: we wish everyone out there a Good Yule, happy solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Joyous Festivus, Happy New Year, and/or whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate! For those meeting tonight at Achill Henge or the henge at Esperance, we are with you in spirit! Oh, and those who meet at the great ruin on Salisbury Plain itself. Say hi for us!

And until next time, happy henging!

Another Movie Replica: The Black Knight, 1954

photos are stills from this clip posted on TCM

We were going to do one post listing all the movies we know of so far that contain Stonehenge in some form. We’d already posted the movies This Is Spinal Tap and The Colour of Magic, and we thought we could round up the ones that were left in one quick post. Then we watched this video again. Lolz!!!1! It deserves a post of its own!

A synopsis of this section of the movie (from a full synopsis on this page) reads: “John, as the Black Knight, rides off to summon Arthur’s knights, as Linet, the abbot and the remaining monks are taken by the Vikings to the mysterious rocks of Stonehenge, where they are readied as sacrifice. Arthur, John and the knights arrive in time to rescue Linet and the clergymen and destroy Stonehenge.” But, trust us, this does not capture the madness of the wildly dancing girls, the heavily made-up so-called virgin about to be sacrificed, and the wild priests or druids presiding over it, let alone the dramatic rescue of said virgin and the about-to be roasted monks. Don’t you just hate those evil pagans?! ;-)

Then, of course, there’s the pulling down of the stones at the end of the sequence. They come down quite easily,  pulled by knights on horses.  Think how that would have impacted on Britain’s tourist trade! Reminds us of National Lampoon’s European Vacation in which Chevy Chase backs into one trilithon and the whole thing goes down like dominoes. D***ed Americans!!

Score for this replica: 7½ druids. We think they did a fine job of mocking up what Stonehenge might have looked like long ago, considering it was 1954. As a matter of fact, we think they may have used the Maryhill replica (see here for our post on that one) for this aerial shot and just mocked up the parts they needed for the close-ups. Still, nicely done.

Our thanks to Bob Bradlee aka StonehengeGuy for steering us to this classic Stonehenge depiction. It is good to laugh!

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The Colour of Magic; Virgin Sacrifice Gone Awry!

COM clonehenge 3from Youtube

We have long thought that if there is a Heaven (and we could get into it), it must consist of new, unread Discworld books, and friendly people who like to discuss them as much as we do.  Discworld author Terry Pratchett has given us many hours of happiness, and we were bowled over to find, upon renting the Discworld movie The Colo(u)r of Magic last week, that it includes a Stonehenge replica.

On the Discworld, stone circles are the computers and druids are the IT specialists and hardware consultants. (Yes, there is a Discworld and Pratchett Wiki. Get over it.) Here’s a druid line from The Light Fantastic: “They’re having trouble with the big circles up on the Vortex Plains. So they say, anyway; I wished I had a bronze torc for every user who didn’t read the manual.

In the scene above, Twoflower, the Discworld’s first tourist, is intervening in a druid ritual, for although he appreciates its ethnic charm and primitive simplicity, he objects to the actual killing of the virgin . . . The druids aren’t thrilled to have him interfere, and the plot carries on from there.

Silly stuff, definitely, but as always Pratchett uses silly stuff to address serious issues sideways and to lampoon cliches and human foibles. Score for this replica: 6 druids. [Later correction by one P.G.: 7 Wizzards and an ArchChancellor] It’s just some trilithons, but one of those  druids is awarded for the gentle jab at society’s  romanticising of the henge builders and users. But without all that romanticising there wouldn’t be so many replicas, now, would there? And then where would we be?