For today’s post I would like to do a countdown of my top 5 portrayals of the enchantress Morgana! As anyone who reads this blog knows I adore all things Arthurian, and my two favorite Arthurian females are Guinevere and Morgan. This countdown does not take into account the way Morgana is portrayed (or how I feel about her being portrayed in this light) it is based on the quality of the acting. Without further ado here are my top five Morgans of the screen!
Number 5: Julianne Margulies in The Mists of Avalon
~In this adaptation of the iconic fantasy novel Julianne Margulies took on the central role of Arthur’s half sister. The film is a miniseries, and honestly very fun to watch. I especially thought the casting of both Margulies, and Angelica Huston (as Vivienne, the Lady of the Lake) was well done! This is one of the only adaptations (that made it to screen) that show Morgan as a powerful woman who was not a villain.
Number 4: Helena Bonham Carter in Merlin
~I love Helena Bonham Carter, and that includes her portrayal of Morgan Le Fay in this 1998 miniseries based on the story of Merlin!
Number 3: Myrna Loy in A Connecticut Yankee
~I could not overlook that one of my favorite actresses of the 1930s played Morgan in an adaptation of the Mark Twain novel. The costumes, and watching Myrna Loy, are the best parts of this film!
Number 2: Eva Green in Camelot
~In the 2011 Starz series Eva Green played a very manipulative, sexy, and scheming Morgan. This is how the character is often portrayed, at least since she was reimagined as an antagonist in the medieval period. She is a powerful woman, and very magical, meaning she was feared (the same reason Guinevere is most often seen as a harlot in the medieval tales)! Green does a fantastic job of playing the villain in this adaptation.
Number 1: Helen Mirren in Excalibur
~My number one had to go to Helen Mirren, who played Morgan, as the classical medieval scheming enchantress. She played her in the iconic Arthurian film Excalibur! To me this is still one of the great versions of the tale, and I think Helen Mirren is a living legend of the stage and screen!
Special Mention: Katie McGrath in Merlin. This is the 2008 television adaptation of the legends, and it starts out showing Morgana as a young woman trying to deal with powers she cannot understand, and her progress towards villainy is made understandable (as she learned she had a claim to the throne and was not told of her true parentage originally).
~I hope you have enjoyed this countdown. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!