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Old 02-25-2005, 02:25 PM   #1
theinfiniteweird
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LC and the Grail Legend

I've been looking at some websites and reading about the Grail Legend. There are many, and they all vary, but the main one is that of Arthur (as indy says). But I have yet to find the story that Indy was talking with Donovan. I need to go back and watch the movie again (or just get a script from the net, but watching the movie is much more fun! ) to get the story more exact so as to research better. So...

As of right now, it seems George took a lot of liberties with the story. And there's a big plothole because what Donavan and Indy discussed, like I said, I haven't found a trace of it. But the bigger plothole is that Henry studied all this and talks about the Grail the way he does, while the legends (the ones I've found so far) do not match what he knows.

This is always a big question amongst Indy people, the whole Grail giving immortality and such. Hence why I'm "researching" it. But so far, it seems that it is pointless. It seems George took a somewhat popular legend and messed with it until it fit well for a movie and all.

Anybody else ever researched this stuff? Anyone got any answers? I could very well be the only person on this website that doesn't know the answers...
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:51 PM   #2
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Depends on what you believe the Grail to be...there are several theories. Some say it is material, some say it is biological.
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Old 02-25-2005, 03:01 PM   #3
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While you're correct, that's not really what I'm talking about (I don't think).

I think I might have just figured it all out. After I've seen the movie and/or read through the script, and done a little more research on the Arthurian legend, I'll report back.
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Old 02-26-2005, 11:55 AM   #4
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Are looking for more verification of the Arimathaea mythos?
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Old 02-26-2005, 11:56 AM   #5
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Sorry, Pale Horse. I thought about this and all and actually yes, what you said does have to do with it. Shame on me for being rash.
<---theinfinitweird, being whipped for being rash.

But I think I figured out the answer to my question.

The most abundandt legend about the Grail is the Arthurian legend. Joseph of Aramathea(sp?) takes it to Britain and other places (maybe), but eventually Arthur comes into play. Lancelot or a seer or someone sees the Grail in a vision. Lancelot and co. go looking for it and find it in the Grail Castle, surrounded by very dense forests for miles and miles and miles around. Lancelot is told by the Fisher King that he can have the Grail but Lancelot fails to ask the right question. Lancelot and/or Gallahad (Lancelot's son) and co. go looking for it again and find it, and ask the right question (the one Knight who is worhty to enter finds it, either Lancelot or Gallahad).

Well, it seems Lucas took some liberties, maybe. The Grail castle in this movie is not set in forests but rather the dessert, and there is a town (even an old town) rather nearby. Also, all the stories I read said that Lancelot and Gallahad were father and son, and in the movie three brothers earched for it. There are more, but this is due, of course, to the enormous amount if legends- and variations between the same legends- that there are. That aside...

That means that the knight in the castle is either Lancelot or Gallahad. Over 500 years ago I think sounds about right, I guess, because a date I remember seeing was 1300-something. So to answer my own question...

I guess Lucas stuck to the legend as best he could. But I'm still very curious and anyone with any other info (anyone here get there doctoral in Arthurian legends? ) come forward and tell me.

I'm still looking for more info on:
-The Arthurian legend in it's entirety.
-How exactly the Grail heals (Provided food and water for Joseph in a tomb; if used by on who is worthy would heal the Fisher King who is terminally ill)
-How it makes one "immortal" (same as above for right now)
-Why can't it pass the seal, and what are the stipulations of it passing and not passing the seal.
-And other questions will come up along the way, I bet.

I might be way to into this...I promise, I do have a life.
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Old 02-26-2005, 11:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Horse
Are looking for more verification of the Arimathaea mythos?

Well, I see I didn't explain very well what i was asking.

Questions that always come up are:

Are Indy and his dad Immortal? Why does the place crash when the Grail goes? WHay can't it go? What if it stays and you go? If not immortal, what extent healing does the Grail do?

And while looking for answers to these and other questions, I started to see that Lucas story in LC and the main stream Arthurian legend didn't seem to add up. So I was curious about that, also. Did Lucas take several liberties, or did he stick true the the story, or a little of both (the latter I've found).

I'll just keep finding stuff about the Arthurian legend.
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Old 02-26-2005, 01:02 PM   #7
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Rereading some stuff, I noticed something.

Lancelot and Co. go and look for the Grail. Percival (many other names are used for the same guy), finds it, doesn't get it. Lancelot Finds it, doesn't get it. Galahad (Lancelot's son)l finds it, get's it.

That's were Lucas gets "The last of three brothers..." from, I guess.

I need to study the Arthurian Grail Legends much more before commenting all about them.
I'll refrain from posting for a while until some others have (hopefully) posted so as not to keep double posting.
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Horse
Depends on what you believe the Grail to be...there are several theories. Some say it is material, some say it is biological.

And there are others who believe it is a spiritual quest and I have also heard theories that the grail is really a literary device.The word grail itself comes from 'graal',which means 'vessel',I think.


'-Why can't it pass the seal, and what are the stipulations of it passing and not passing the seal.'

In all three movies,you always have to get rid of the artifact at the end.This may have just been one of those liberties taken by the writers to make sure that happened.
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Old 02-27-2005, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theinfiniteweird
Rereading some stuff, I noticed something.

Lancelot and Co. go and look for the Grail. Percival (many other names are used for the same guy), finds it, doesn't get it. Lancelot Finds it, doesn't get it. Galahad (Lancelot's son)l finds it, get's it.

That's were Lucas gets "The last of three brothers..." from, I guess.

I need to study the Arthurian Grail Legends much more before commenting all about them.
I'll refrain from posting for a while until some others have (hopefully) posted so as not to keep double posting.

No serious study of the Grail legend is complete without reading Perlesvaus. There are some slightly better ebook versions of this text out there, but this should suffice for the time being. It will be more accurate than some of the information google and other search engines initially provide.

Hopefully you are a quick reader. I would hate for this thread to get put off while you read. If it does, I'll bump it for discussion.
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Old 02-27-2005, 04:11 PM   #10
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Dig

The "Crusade" story seems to be a mix of two other Grail legends,
the Templars and the Cathars, with plenty of liberties thrown in.

Over the years the Grail has changed form innumerable times.
I've even read that it was a wonder-working stone. Early versions
have Percival finding it, then later Galahad. But Donovan's tale deals
with other myths.

The Knights Templar have always been closely associated with the
Grail and the date references in the movie fit the period. If you're
looking for more "Grail lore" - start with these guys! As far as I know
the 3 brothers/stone markers and manuscript were all made-up but
Indy does mention one of the knights traveling from the desert
back to France...

The *real* Nazi Grail search is where the Cathars come into play.
The Cathars were druid-types who were deemed heretics during the
Spanish Inquisition and all killed (just like the Templars). Some believed
that a few Cathars escaped with the Grail and protected it in mountain
fortress (just like the Templars) in the caves of Montsegur in southern
France.

Now, the fascinating Indy-type aspect is the story of Otto Rahn.
In the early '30s, a down-and-out German authour/historian wrote
a book about the Cathar legend based on his personal field research
and that of his inspiration, Antonin Gabal and fueled by the medieval
poem, "Parzival". Hitler henchman and Grail-enthusiast Heinrich Himmler
hired Otto Rahn to do more research/books, which he did. The Nazis
even raided a French monastery in the search. After 5 years on Himmler's
staff, Rahn (supposedly gay and of Jewish descent) was disgusted with
the Nazi regime and wanted out. He was found dead in the mountains
under cloudy circumstances in 1939.

So "Crusade" comes near these tales but keeps the Grail closer to home
sowewhere in Turkey. Alexandretta/Iskenderun and Republic of Hatay
are/were real but I'm not familiar enough with the Crusades and the
Spanish Inquisition (or the Bible for that matter) so I don't know quite
how Turkey ties in. Anyone else have any idea?

As for the "passing the seal" bit - don't sweat it, that's all made-up for
the movie. (I like to think that the healing powers remain past the seal
but the immortality does not. Otherwise, Henry Sr. would be in trouble).

Here's a link to a decent article on Otto Rahn:

http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6824/otto.htm
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Old 03-01-2005, 09:46 AM   #11
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Pretty cool. So you don't think Indy and Donovan were going by one single Arthurian legend. I mean, this was in 1939. We've advanced a lot since then and maybe back then they only had/knew about one legend, or only one was mainstream, or thought as "true", or whatever.

Thx for all the info! Keep it coming! Hopefully more people will join. This has now gotten me interested in the legends behind the other two films. This thread could be something awesome yet!
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:37 PM   #12
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WOW! Just figured something out- yesterday, while watching the end of LC, during the credits. I caught the movie right before the second "device of such lethal cunning", and watched it to the end. I was trying to catch the phrase about bondarey of immortality, and gave the whole scene there some hard thought, as I usually do. Well, I understand now!

One understanding: My friend said this durign a movie bible study, and I didn't catch it then. Maybe the Grail Indy picked wasn't the exact grail- maybe since he simply choose wisely, it was the correct one. Granted, this is an Indy movie, and you are left hanging with the thought that it's msotly material facts, but sitll, neat thought.

But the main thing: The Fisher King in the main Arthurian legend was mortaly wounded but could not use the Grail to heal himself (he had a mortal wound)for he was not worhty, but it kept him alive anyway (though mortaly wounded) by giving him food and drink, and basically never letting the wound get so bad he'd die. So when Lancelot or whichever knight found it, he was worthy, and used it to heal the Fisher King. It parallels the movie, yes. But more importantly- the Grail didn't grant the king immortality. It simply kept him healthy enough to live, and healed his wounds eventually, and gave him food and drink- but if he had went somewere without the cup, no more free food and drink, and no more healing power of the Grail (as Donovan states right before "what you believe"). So therefore...

The cup doesn't grant it's user immortality in the sense we think of it. It grants immortality by being a food and drink forever-generator, and healing wounds and reparing the body- hence, keep drinking from it, and you never die. Since the Grail is not aloud to go beyond the Great Seal, then it's like I've thought all along: to stay alive forever, you'd basically have to keep going into the stinking place and using the cup, hoping you didn't die while not close enough to the cup (or even close enough, not having a wound that would make it to were you couldn't drink form the cup) or just live in the temple as the knight does.

I remember somewere in the legend it stating the cup couldn't leave the castle of the Fisaher King. So- Cup can't leave, you must stay there to keep the cup handy. I guess Hitler and his men, after learning this, could've made base camp right there.

Disclaimer- I'm excited as I type this and need to hurry and get off (library is closing) so if I made any mistakes or it's hard to understand, I'll post a follow up. In any case, what does everyone think? Sound like a good theory/description?
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Old 03-23-2005, 08:03 PM   #13
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Have you seen/heard Richard Wagner's Parsifal?
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:50 AM   #14
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Nope. The only resources I've looked at are some on the net which I could find. A majority of them refer to the same Arthurian legend, while there are some other legends about a totally different story, same Grail.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:34 PM   #15
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Speaking of Wagner and the Grail... I'm pretty sure that Henry Jones Sr and Elsa Schneider both have first names derived from characters in Wagner's opera Lohengrin.

To be more precise, Elsa's first name comes from the heroine in Lohengrin, Elsa of Brabant. While Henry's name -- and Indy's, since he was just "Indiana" in previous films -- is shared with Henry the Fowler, the kindly old Holy Roman Emperor. (And in the original German, that's "Heinrich der Vogler" - as in Colonel Vogel.)
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:45 AM   #16
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A tangent: Has it been discussed how Donovan died? How did a false grail cause such a expedited and gruesome death? The power of the true grail to give long life seems pretty benign compared to the punishment dished out by drinking from a false one.

A mystical cause is inferred, but I'd like to plunge a bit further, like figuring out how the spiked gate impaling Forrestal was triggered by breaking a light beam. The difference is the cups, as the same water is used. Did the false cups have some substance lining the inside that causes super fast telomere decay? If so, maybe the lining of the true grail had something that fortified telomeres?

But this couldn't be I suppose. Splashing false grails in the same water as used by the true grail might pollute it. Any ideas anyone?
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiana
Any ideas anyone?
What's wrong with the mystical cause, or more specifically, "divine magic"?

And for the record, if I heard something similar happening in real life, I'd be the first in line to argue for a natural explanation. But in the realm of Indiana Jones - that only closely resembles our own - where the existence of supernatural is pretty much a confirmed thing, I'm just going to roll with that as the most likely one.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
What's wrong with the mystical cause, or more specifically, "divine magic"?

And for the record, if I heard something similar happening in real life, I'd be the first in line to argue for a natural explanation. But in the realm of Indiana Jones - that only closely resembles our own - where the existence of supernatural is pretty much a confirmed thing, I'm just going to roll with that as the most likely one.

There's nothing wrong (or right) with the mystical cause, it being the writer's explanation. It's just the grail is obviously blessed (or rigged) and bestows healing and long life, while all the other cups are obviously cursed (rigged) and viciously so. Many of the booby traps in IJ are explainable, as clever as they are. I cited the spiked gate as it made for a good discussion. No one really could offer a good explanation as to how it worked. I enjoyed the attempt to think of a way that it might work. I don't mind that any satisfying answer was not found.

You have to admit that a mystical cause is too easy, but it serves a story line that appeals to a demographic. We can understand the benefits of choosing the right one - long life and good health - but boy do you get clobbered for choosing the wrong one and there is a really good chance of choosing the wrong one: only one cup is right. And how do the wrong cups do that 'accelerated decrepitude' act on someone? I suggested some agent affecting one's telomeres at a great stretch of course.

I know there is no answer other a mystical cause. But the mystical cause is also not a satisfying answer to me. I just feel a twinge of dissatisfaction with it. I'd like to ruminate on how it might work.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickiana
I know there is no answer other a mystical cause. But the mystical cause is also not a satisfying answer to me. I just feel a twinge of dissatisfaction with it. I'd like to ruminate on how it might work.
Okay. I'll give it a shot.

Technically, there is nothing against the laws of our own reality's physics that would make rapid aging impossible. It would take some pretty advanced technology to pull off such a feat, but it's not something that simply can't be done because reality says "no".

Now, when I started thinking about this, I was immediately reminded of Arthur C. Clarke and his "third law" - Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. I also said that I'm willing to believe it's divine magic simply because it fits the Indiana Jones stories' fictional genre.

So, what if we switch the genre? Let's pretend for a moment that the Indiana Jones stories are not serial adventures with a hint of supernatural, but science fiction.

And the technology I'm talking about? Nanites. Microscopically tiny machines that can modify your body according to their programming when they enter your innards. And these machines don't reside in any of the cups. They reside in the grail water. By default, they're programmed to attack the living cells, rapidly deteriorating them. This is what happens if you try to drink that water using not one of the fake grails, but any cup.

However, the real Grail contains a microchip that will send a signal to the nanites - instead of attacking the cells, the machines are now programmed to restore them.


So yeah. That's how this stuff would work if LC was a science fiction story. But of course, it's not a suitable genre for Indiana Jones, because such advanced technology would have to be alien in origin, and there is no hint of alien presence in... wait. Because then...

...then KotCS came along. Do the math.

Well, they're interdimensional really, but I'd say that doesn't change the final constant.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:38 AM   #20
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Nicely done.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:52 AM   #21
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Nicely thought out, Finn. The concept of advanced science appearing as magic to us did occur to me, but you sorted it out nicely, especially with the water containing the nanites and the grail affects them positively.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:39 AM   #22
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As I recall, one had to be a virgin to find the Holy Grail and Indiana Jones would hardly qualify.

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Old 08-11-2016, 11:13 AM   #23
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So presumably crossing the seal de-activates the microchip, causing the nanites to revert to their original programming.
I`m liking this idea.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:39 PM   #24
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We don't really have to stop with the Grail. What I always found curious about Indy's kind of supernatural is that it's not just specific type of supernatural, but the principle of "all myths are true" applies as well. Christian artefacts, Sankara stones and their roots in hinduism, Chinese mythology... all seems a fair game, even when their mythological roots (none of which are found to be a complete hoax) are in clear contradiction against each other.

So KotCS became bit of a game changer. Now we can reliably apply Clarke's third law to explain most, if not all of them. God's radio, Sankara stones, Atlantis*, and what else... Just like the crystal skulls, all simply advanced alien (interdimensional?) technology that goes beyond human comprehension - especially from the standpoint of 1930s and earlier. Those actual myths are simply a primitive mind's attempt to explain them.

*Although, this seems to be the suggestion with Atlantis in the first place. So the hints have actually been out there a while.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:58 PM   #25
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Finn almost has me convinced that a Steampunk Indiana Jones would be entertaining.
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