U is for Uther Pendragon

“U” was a tough one for sure. There aren’t a ton of literary characters whose names begin with “U,” and even fewer of those are from books I’ve actually read. But, here’s what I settled on:

U is for Uther Pendragon – from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle

Uther is of course the father of King Arthur. He’s pictured here begging Merlin to cast the Magical Booty Call™ spell that will transform Uther into the likeness of his enemy Gorlois in order to get it on with Gorlois’s wife, Lady Igraine. He is, to quote another well-known knight, Sir Mix-a-Lot, “Begging for a piece of that bubble.”

Uther of course appears in all sorts of different books and poems. I attributed him to the Pyle book because it’s the one version I’ve actually read. I have to admit, though, that the version of the Arthur stories that’s most stuck in my brain is the 1981 John Boorman film, Excalibur. As a youngster, I particularly enjoyed the Uther/Igraine scene because 1) it showed two people having sex, and b) it showed two people having sex, one of whom was wearing chain-mail.

I think I’ve got solid choices worked out now for “V” and “W,” but “X,” “Y,” and “Z” still have me stumped.

Next week: “V”…

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