Returning the King: The Medieval King in Modern Fantasy

Tales of kingship in modern fiction, specifically in the work of Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) and George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones), are similar to the medieval models, as kingship and the requirements of kingship were popular themes in medieval texts, including Beowulf and King Horn.

Creativity, the trickster, and the cunning harper king: A study of the minstrel disguise entrance trick in “King Horn” and “Sir Orfeo”

What does a hero do when he finds himself in an impossible situation where customary tactics are useless; magic is not in the cards, and divine intervention unlikely? He could give up. Or he could use cunning. In both King Horn and Sir Orfeo, the hero wiggles out of just such a squeeze by using a minstrel disguise entrance trick—a sort of musical Trojan horse for which the enemy’s closely guarded gates swing open in welcome.

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