Starring: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Fantasy adventure written and directed by Joe Cornish, in which the story follows a young boy, Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis), who thinks he’s just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Patrick Stewart), take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be.
Our Favorite Quote:'A land is only as good as its leaders.' - Merlin (The Kid Who Would Be King) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 30)
Lance: [to Alex] Don’t be a hero. It’s not worth it. I’m the king around here.
[after Alex fights with Lance, who was bullying Bedders]
Mrs. Lee: I’ll give you one last chance, or I’ll just have to give all three of you detention. Who started it?
Alex: No one.
Mrs. Lee: Your behavior here directly affects the rest of your life. You know that, don’t you? It’s a tough world out there, and it’s getting tougher all the time. There’s millions of kids in this country with a better start in life than you. And the world is not going to change. It’s you that has to change.
[referring to Alex fighting with Lance for bullying Bedders]
Bedders: Alex, you saved my life, and now I owe you my undying loyalty. Like Frodo and Samwise, or Chewbacca and Han, or Donkey and Shrek. We’ll make sure we’re on the same bus every morning. And I’ll wait for you at lunch break and after school, so if they ever dare try anything…
Alex: We already do that, Bedders. Lance and Kaye rule the school. There’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing either of us can do. This isn’t junior school anymore. We’re nothings now. We’re the most insignificant, powerless people in the school.
[after pulling the sword from the stone Alex calls Bedders]
Alex: Bedders, tell your dad we’ve got homework together. Come across the garden walls. You’ve got to see what I found.
Alex: Maybe it’s a prank. A YouTube thing. A social experiment. Maybe there were hidden cameras.
[he picks up the sword]
Alex: Look. There’s something written on the guard. Put it into Google Translate. “Gladius Arturi filius Tintageli.”
Bedders: It’s Latin. It means, “Sword of Arthur, son of Tinta-gel.” Who’s Tinta-gel?
[as Alex climbs up to the attic]
Bedders: What are you doing?
Alex: My dad gave me a book once, years ago, about the Knights of the Round Table. I used to know it off by heart.
[he picks up the book “The Knights of the Round Table”]
Alex: It’s not “Tinta-gel,” it’s Tintagel. And Tintagel’s not a person, it’s a place an island off the coast of Cornwall. There’s an old ruined castle there. Some people say it’s where King Arthur was born. I went there once when I was five. It’s where my dad lived. The last time I ever saw him. That’s where I was when he gave me this book. He even signed it. Look.
[he gives Bedders the book]
Bedders: “To Alex, my once and future king. Dad.”
Bedders: Alex, what if this is a message? What if you’re the only person who could have pulled that sword out? What if it’s…
Alex: Go on.
Bedders: But you’ll laugh at me.
Alex: I won’t, I promise.
Bedders: What if it’s the Sword in the Stone?
[they both start to laugh]
[to the students in the class]
Miss Foster: Pay attention, everybody. We have a new pupil joining the class today.
[to young Merlin]
Miss Foster: Why don’t you introduce yourself?
Young Merlin: Greetings, young academicians. My name is…Mertin. Yes, that’s right. Mertin Ambrosius Caledonensis. And I am a perfectly normal contemporary British schoolboy.
[the students laugh]
[Young Merlin starts walking up to Alex and Bedder in the school diner]
Young Merlin: Alexander Elliot! It was you who drew the sword. In four moons there will be darkness in daylight, the dual realms will be bridged, and Morgana will return.
Alex: Oh, no.
[Alex and Bedders get and start to walk away]
Young Merlin: You must saddle your steeds, gird up your armor, gather your allies!
Alex: Go away. We don’t know you, and we don’t want to know you. Leave us alone!
[young Merlin stands up on one of the tables at the school diner]
Young Merlin: Good people, this realm faces mortal danger!
[referring to Alex]
Young Merlin: And this boy among you drew Excalibur. Who will kneel at his feet and swear allegiance?
[Kaye throws an empty bottle at young Merlin, and the other students start laughing]
Alex: Your name isn’t Mertin, is it? It’s Merlin.
Young Merlin: An ingenious alias, don’t you think? Came up with it on the spur of the moment in order to monitor you incognito.
Alex: I thought Merlin was supposed to be an old man. You look about sixteen.
Young Merlin: That’s because I live backwards in time. The older I grow, the younger I become. Honestly, boy, do they teach you nothing in that so called school?
Young Merlin: From now on, nighttime will be dangerous for you too, Alexander. At night the penumbra between light and dark weakens. The Mortes Milles will rise again.
Alex: Mortes Milles? Is that what came to get me last night?
Young Merlin: Fallen warriors from battles of old. Their souls enslaved by evil. For now, they can only enter this realm after dark. But when they rise, time freezes, and every mortal soul disappears, save for the one who drew the sword, and those who have been knighted. Their spell is only broken at sunrise. Or when every risen warrior is destroyed.
Alex: That’s why my mum disappeared. That’s why everything went back to normal after you left.
Young Merlin: There are three moons until the solar eclipse when Morgana will seize her opportunity to enter the realm of the living and retake what she lost long ago, Excalibur.
Bedders: Who’s Morgana?
Alex: She was King Arthur’s half-sister.
Young Merlin: She is greed, entitlement, vengefulness. And she has awoken.
Bedders: But why? After all this time.
Young Merlin: Have you seen the world outside your window? This land is divided. Lost and leaderless. Men’s hearts have grown hollow. That’s why her strength returns. And that is why the sword has returned.
Alex: And I’m supposed to stop her? That’s ridiculous. I’m twelve. I’m not even old enough to do a paper round. You’ll have to find someone else. It’s too dangerous, we’ll die.
[gets the sword]
Alex: So, uh, there’s your sword back.
[he drops it on the table]
Alex: It’s been great to meet you, and good luck with everything.
[as Alex and Bedders start to leave, the door slams in their face to stop them, they turn to see older Merlin]
Adult Merlin: Your quest has been decided. There is no turning back!
Bedders: [to Alex] This is the worst, and best, and most terrible, and brilliant, and frightening, and excellent thing that’s ever happened to me!
[shows Bedder the inscription on the stone he pulled the sword out of]
Alex: Look. The inscription. It’s just like in the book. It’s all just like in the book. You were right. He knew. It’s exactly the same in every story we ever read. King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter. None of them know their fathers, and then something amazing happens. And they find out they’re descended from powerful, magical families. That’s me, Bedders. That’s me! My mum said he had his battles and his demons. And now I know what she meant. My dad’s a hero. He’s the key to all of this. We have to go to Cornwall. To Tintagel. We have to find him.
Bedders: But Cornwall’s hundreds of miles away. And you haven’t seen him for years.
Alex: He’ll know where the entrance to the Underworld is. He’ll know how to defeat Morgana. He’s the only one who can help us.
Bedders: Look, Alex. It’s already dark. Merlin said nighttime would be dangerous. He said the penumbra between light and dark weakens. He said…
Alex: The Mortes Milles will rise again.
[after Lance and Kaye fail to pull the sword from the stone]
Alex: I’m the only one who can pull the sword from the stone. I’m the once and future king. I’ll pull it out, and you can hold it, if you both kneel and let me knight you.
Kaye: Oh, my God, you’re such a nerd.
Lance: You’re a king, are you? Really? Well, you’re not royal. So what kind of a king are you?
Kaye: Maybe he’s a Burger King.
Lance: He’s too small to be King Kong.
Kaye: He could be the Lion King.
Lance: Come on, then, Simba. Let’s see you pull it out.
Alex: You swear, if I do, you’ll let me knight you both?
Lance: We swear.
[after Lance and Kaye watch Alex in shock pull the sword from the stone]
Alex: Now, kneel.
Kaye: No way. I don’t kneel. Not for anybody.
Lance: Do it. Then we get to play.
[Kaye kneels in front of Alex]
Alex: I knight thee, Lady Kaye.
[Lance kneels in front of Alex]
Lance: Come on, then. Get on with it.
Alex: I knight thee, Sir Lance.
[Lance suddenly takes the sword from Alex and pushes him aside]
Lance: What are you going to do now, Percy Jockstrap? Cast a spell? Summon a dragon?
Alex: Sort of.
[just then a demon rises from the rubble]
[as they are being chased after by Morgana’s demons]
Bedders: Where did you learn how to drive?
Kaye: Mario Kart.
Lance: First. You want me not to smash your faces in?
Alex: Yes, please.
Lance: Then you want us to skip school tomorrow morning, go to Cornwall with this freak new boy, find your long-lost dad, kill some demon sorceress, and save Britain from slavery?
Lance: And out of all the people in the entire world, even though there’s already a royal family, you’re actually the real, true king?
Alex: Trust me, I’m as shocked as you.
Lance: Well, there’s one thing I don’t get. Why would people like us help people like you?
Kaye: Yeah. Why would we like even be seen with you?
Alex: Because you’re the strongest people I know. In the heat of battle, we had each other’s backs. We just saved each other’s lives without even thinking about it. And that’s exactly what King Arthur did. He made his enemies his allies. He united the warring tribes of Britain and formed a band of loyal knights. And together, they defeated an enemy bigger than all of them. And think about it. King Arthur’s most loyal knights were called Lancelot, Kay and Bedivere.
Alex: So that’s your names.
Kaye: Oh, my God. He’s right.
Alex: The legend says Arthur’s knights gathered at a round table so that they were all equal. And look…
[they all look down at the dinner table, which is rectangular]
Alex: Quick, Bedders. Lift up the flaps.
[they lift the flaps of the dinner table, which makes it a round table]
Alex: See? None of this happened by accident. This is destiny. This was meant to be.
[at Tintagel Island as they sitting in a line, shivering]
Bedders: You know, we really should huddle together for warmth.
Lance: No way. I’m not huddling with anyone. I don’t huddle.
[later that night, we see them all asleep, huddled together]
Adult Merlin: You’re a king, Alexander. A leader, not a follower. You need nothing, but that which you already have.
Mary: Alex, we have to have a serious talk about that sword and this whole King Arthur thing.
Alex: We will, but I have to show you something first.
[fills up the bathtub with water]
Alex: Everything I said about the sword is true. I can prove it. But first we have to promise never to lie each other ever again, to always trust each other, whatever happens. Do you promise?
Mary: I promise.
Alex: I promise too. Now don’t freak out, okay?
[he turns towards the bathtub]
Alex: Lady of the Lake, this is Alexander Elliot. If my quest is noble and true, please return Excalibur.
[after a long pause suddenly a hand shoots out of the water holding the sword]
Alex: Morgana’s not dead.
Kaye: Oh, no.
Lance: You’re kidding.
Alex: She’s coming back, into the real world. That’s why we need defenses. A fortress, a castle.
Young Merlin: The Mortes Milles will rise from the land across the roadway. They’ll attack head-on in a great and terrible multitude.
Alex: The eclipse gives us one advantage. It’s not night or day. So this time, Merlin can fight beside us. But the five of us won’t stand a chance on our own. We need to raise an army.
[to the students at the school]
Mrs. Lee: Everyone, gather round. Quickly now. This boy has a very important announcement.
Alex: My name is Alexander Elliot. A few days ago, I found a sword in a stone. Then I found out it wasn’t just any sword in a stone, it was the Sword in the Stone, Excalibur.
[the students laugh]
Alex: I know. I know. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true, and I can prove it. This boy, Mertin, is really the wizard, Merlin. And if you don’t believe me, then just watch.
[young Merlin sneezes, turns himself into an owl, flies around the students before turning himself back into human form]
Young Merlin: [to himself] How humiliating.
[to the students]
Alex: So who will stand with us today? Who will stand up to save their friends, their future, their country? Who will join us?
[no one responds; young Merlin whispers in Mrs. Lee’s ear]
Young Merlin: Activa.
Mrs. Lee: And by the way, this is instead of lessons today.
[all the students cheer]
[as they’re facing off Morgana and her army]
Bedders: Alex, don’t die.
Alex: I’ll do my best.
[after defeating Morgana and her demons]
Young Merlin: I’ve seen many great battles in my time. The siege of Guinnion Fort, the Saxons halted on Badon Hill. But believe me, none were fought as bravely as yours against Morgana and the Mortes Milles. You have truly surpassed my every expectation.
Alex: Merlin, we won the battle, but Britain’s still the same place it was before.
Kaye: Yeah, how can we ever change anything else?
Lance: And, even with the sword, who’s ever going to listen to us?
Bedders: It’s true. We’re just kids.
Young Merlin: That may be so. Yet know this. There is a wise, old soul within every child.
[he sneezes and transforms into older Merlin]
Adult Merlin: And a foolish child in every old soul. Perhaps you have more battles yet to fight. They may not be against demons, or undead knights, or won with swords, or armies. But even if you do not wield Excalibur, you will still know what it stands for, what you stand for.
Adult Merlin: Sir Beddersvere, I gave you the power of metal duplication. I was going to take it away, but now, I believe you can be trusted with it.
Bedders: Really? Seriously? Thank you, Merlin!
[he shakes Merlin’s hand]
Bedders: I promise I’ll never use it for anything but good.
Adult Merlin: Sir Lance, Lady Kaye, you are brave, loyal and noble. You have learned to fight for others, not just fight for yourselves. You are truly Knights of the Round Table.
[Lance shakes Merlin’s hand]
Lance: Thank you, Merlin.
[Kaye shakes Merlin’s hand]
Kaye: Thank you, Merlin.
Adult Merlin: Alexander, I borrowed this book of yours, made a few alterations.
[he gives Alex back the book “The Knights of the Round Table” with the cover of the book now showing the images of Alex, youn Merlin, Bedders, Kaye, and Lance, Alex embraces Merlin]
Alex: Thanks, Merlin.
Adult Merlin: A land is only as good as its leaders. And you will make excellent leaders.
[Alex throws back to the Lady of the Lake]
Total Quotes: 30
What do you think of The Kid Who Would Be King quotes? Let us know what you think in the comments below as we’d love to know.