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Is Netflix’s Cursed Based on a True Story?

July 17, 2020
3 min read

Netflix’s ‘Cursed’ is a fantasy drama that follows the story of a young girl named Nimue. It lures us in with magic and ancient secrets, but soon enough, we notice some well-known characters and elements in the story. It feels all too familiar to us, which is why we start to wonder if it has roots in reality. Despite its fantasy elements, there is a touch of historical fiction in the show, and several real-life events or people are mentioned in it. Does this mean that Nimue’s story is also a retelling of a real tale in history? Is ‘Cursed’ based on a true story? Here’s the answer.

Is Cursed Based on a true story?

No, ‘Cursed’ is not based on a true story. It is based on a novel of the same name by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller. Both Wheeler and Miller had grown up listening to the Arthurian legends and seeing them transpire on screen, either as a TV show or a movie. Be it Disney’s ‘Sword in the Stone’ or John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur’, they had been drawn into the world of myth and fantasy and were keen on exploring various aspects of this story. When they sat down to talk about the prospects of a project that they could collaborate on, they found themselves talking about their love for the tale of Arthur, Excalibur, and all the tales surrounding them.

Finding a common ground, they started to explore various threads of the story. Because it had already been retold and recreated so many times, they wanted to bring a fresh twist to it, rather than repeating the same old thing all over again. In their discussions, they found that the character of the Lady of the Lake was an important one and connected several characters through a common thread. And yet, she was not as recurrent in the retellings and adaptations. To pursue the story from her point of view not only allowed them to turn the narrative in a different direction but also gave them a way into the better-known legends, which could later play bigger roles in the overall arc of the story.

Once they started to build upon it from Nimue’s perspective, they discovered that it gave them a lot of ground for romance and tragedy, while opening the doors to the realm of magic and fantasy, allowing more substance and backstory for every single character. Giving charge to Nimue, also meant more depth for characters like Merlin, Arthur, Lancelot, Percival, Gawain, and Morgana, among others.

Apart from all the fantasy stuff, the writers also found that following the story from Nimue’s perspective also broadened its horizons across the genre and found its footing in reality. The story begins with Nimue’s people being killed for being different. They are forced away from their homes by religious zealots, and wars are fought in the name of God and honor. Amongst this mayhem, it falls on young people like Nimue to take responsibility for the world and fight to make it better. The events of our world don’t stray much from these plotlines, and that’s what makes the story all the more relatable.

Read More: Cursed Timeline, Explained

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