How did King Arthur die?

Updated 21 March, 2023
King Arthur is a legendary figure from the Middle Ages, and his death is shrouded in mystery and myth. According to some versions of the legend, Arthur was mortally wounded in the Battle of Camlan, which was fought against his own son, Mordred. Other versions suggest that Arthur was taken away to the mystical island of Avalon, where he would one day return to lead his people once again. While the exact circumstances of King Arthur's death may never be known for certain, his legend has endured for centuries, inspiring countless works of literature and art.
Detailed answer:

There are different versions of how King Arthur died, but the most popular one is the one portrayed by Thomas Malory in "Le Morte d'Arthur". According to Malory's version, Arthur was betrayed by his own nephew, Mordred, who rebelled against him while he was away fighting in France. Upon learning of Mordred's treachery, Arthur returned to England and engaged in a final battle with him at Camlan. The battle was fierce and lasted for several days, with heavy casualties on both sides. In the end, Arthur and Mordred met face-to-face, and Arthur dealt Mordred a fatal blow with his sword, but was himself mortally wounded.

As he lay dying, Arthur asked one of his knights, Sir Bedevere, to return his sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake from whom he had received it. Bedevere hesitated, as he did not want to leave Arthur alone, but Arthur insisted, and Bedevere obeyed. When Bedevere threw Excalibur into the lake, a hand rose from the water to catch it and disappeared beneath the surface. Bedevere then returned to Arthur and found that he had died. According to legend, Arthur's body was taken to the mystical island of Avalon, where he would be healed of his wounds and one day return to rule Britain again.

In some versions of the story, Arthur did not actually die but was instead taken to Avalon, where he would remain until Britain needed him again. This belief in Arthur's return, known as the "Once and Future King" legend, has been a source of inspiration for many writers and artists throughout history.

While the details of King Arthur's death may be shrouded in legend and myth, his legacy continues to captivate people around the world. The story of his life and his knights of the Round Table has been retold and reimagined countless times over the centuries, and his impact on popular culture can still be seen today.

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