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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Arthurian Legend

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Stags that Wear Torcs

One of the mysterious creatures that inhabit the dark forests of Arthurian lore is the stag with a crown around its neck.

This bizarre figure has entered heraldry and folklore as well. A stag gorged with a crown (French gorge = “throat”) appears on numerous coats of arms and pub signs.

The meaning is not far to find. The stag is the preeminently crowned animal—“crowned with antler”—and, as such, Lord of the Forest. Still: a crown around the neck? Weird.

Peeking from behind the High Medieval Dudgeon of much Arthurian lore one may sometimes see hints of something older and wilder: retroflections of the early Iron Age, post-Roman Keltic world that gave rise to the later material. And here, I suspect, we may find a key to understanding the stag gorged with a crown.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Glad you mentioned Diana Paxson; she and MZB collaborated on an entire series of Avalon books predating Mists, that start all the
  • Hunter Liguore
    Hunter Liguore says #
    Thank you both for your comments. Yes, it is one of those tough questions regarding responsibility, a theme I see often in MZB's b
  • Heather Kaminski
    Heather Kaminski says #
    This is my favorite novel and I've given some thought to all you have talked about here. Ultimately as is the case with most leade
  • Heather Kaminski
    Heather Kaminski says #
    Good article. Just want to point out error at the end of the seventh paragraph. "Uther was born" should be "Arthur was born."

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