King Arthur is the legendary leader who united all of Britain and ushered in an age of chivalry and justice. His parents were King Uther and Igraine. Most literary sources treat Arthur’s birth as being based on a horrible treachery by Uther, who used a spell to appear to be Igraine’s husband, Gorlois (whom Uther had killed in battle). However, The Mists of Avalon portrayed the relationship between Uther and Igraine as entirely voluntary, and the spell used by Uther was merely so he could get past the castle guards.
All literary sources treat Arthur’s death the same way. He was killed by his illegitimate son, Mordred, in battle.
In most sources, Mordred’s mother is a close family member of Arthur. In some books, Mordred’s mother is Arthur’s half-sister (The Mists of Avalon, Hawk of May). In other books, Mordred’s mother is Arthur’s aunt (Le Morte D’Arthur, The Once and Future King). In all cases, Arthur has no idea he is related to the woman; in most cases, the woman does know that they are related (the lone exception is The Mists of Avalon).
King Arthur is one of the most popular and recognizable figures in literature and folklore. In addition to appearing in hundreds of books, the character has been the subject of several movies. Actors who have played King Arthur include Richard Harris (Camelot, 1967), Sean Connery (First Knight, 1995), Clive Owen (King Arthur, 2004) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Camelot, 2011).