Arthur's Mantle

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Arthur's Mantle


Arthur's Mantle is the Arthurian legend name given to the Ancient Merlin's interdimensional device which he used to hide from the Ascended Ancients as he developed an anti-Ori weapon.

Earth Mythological References

According to Arthurian legends, Arthur's mantle, or cloak, gave the wearer invisibility while he could see everyone around him. Arthur's mantle is one of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain which "reveal a preoccupation with worthiness of the person finding or using them: they will not work for the unworthy. This is a clear indication of their function in the king's relationship with Sovereignty: they cannot be found or wielded by any save the rightful king or champion of the king. Merlin was supposed to have procured these from their owners and taken them to his abode of glass on Bardsey Island." (Encyclopedia of the Celts; see also: Mystical WWW)

Bardsey Island (Welsh: Ynys Enlli) lies off the Lleyn peninsula, in north Wales. There are those who associate this island with the Isle of Avalon of Arthurian legends, where Merlin is said to sleep "in a magical glass castle, probably of his own volition rather than having been imprisoned by the Lady of the Lake. He is surrounded by the Thirteen Treasures of Britain, and is constantly attended by nine bardic companions." (Britannia King Arthur: Bardsey Island)

Stargate References

Arthur's Mantle keyboard
Carter and Mitchell enter an alternate dimension
Lee studies the device after Carter and Mitchell disappear

Among the treasures discovered in the Avalon caverns in the Glastonbury Tor in England was a small black keyboard which was taken back to the SGC to be studied by Lt. Col. Samantha Carter and Dr. Bill Lee. They spent six months studying it and were about to send it to Area 51 where more detailed and dedicated research could be conducted because they hadn't made much of a headway in determining the device's purpose or function. Not yet ready to let her research go to someone else, Carter tried one more experiment on the device, attempting to stabilize the fluctuating electo-magnetic output which indicated that the device was interactive. As soon as she performed her adjustment, she and Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell who was standing nearby were hit with a bright light and phased into an alternate dimension. They sought Daniel Jackson, hoping that he'd be able to see them having been phase-shifted into an alternate dimension before (3.21 "Crystal Skull"), but Daniel couldn't see or hear them. Based on this, Carter explained, "See, according to M-theory that unites the five super-string theories, there are several spacial dimensions, eleven actually, that exist in parallel with our physical reality," and concluded that they had entered an "alternate alternate" dimension, one different from the alternate dimension into which Daniel had been sent. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")

Daniel determines the device's function by researching Arthurian legends
Daniel finds the Stargate address where Merlin took his weapon
Daniel inputs the sequence to return to his own dimension

The device displayed Ancient writings in the air above its keyboard. These writings were only visible to those who had entered the alternate dimension through the device, but the keyboard could be used by those in either dimension. Carter and Mitchell used the keyboard to communicate with Daniel by using one key for "yes" and another for "no" to answer his questions. While Daniel tried to translate the display through Carter's keyboarding, Dr. Lee continued to monitor the device's output and retrace Carter's steps which rendered the two SG-1 members invisible. He thought that he could reverse the procedure, but ended up putting Daniel out of phase instead. This proved to be a blessing in disguise, as Daniel could then see the display and do his translations much faster. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")

Daniel read the research recorded in the device and discovered that Merlin had created it to keep his research a secret from the Ascended Ancients. Merlin himself had once been ascended, but retook human form because of the threat the Ori posed to the safety of the galaxy. Merlin knew that the Ancients weren't doing anything to protect themselves from the Ori and he couldn't just stand by and do nothing as long as the Ori existed. He developed the interdimensional device to keep his work outside of the Ascended Ancients' watchful gaze. Not understanding the advanced technology, the writers of Earth's Arthurian legends described the device as a cloak which rendered its wearer invisible. Most likely Merlin demonstrated this device to Arthur, and it is possible that Arthur himself used it, thus creating the myth of Arthur's mantle. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")

According to what Daniel read in the notes, Merlin completed the weapon on Earth but hid it on another planet, the Stargate address for which was recorded in the database. Daniel read as much of the database as he could before he had to input the sequence to return the three team members back to their own dimension before the power to the device was depleted. Daniel shared the information he gleaned from the device with the Asgard, who in turn determined how the anti-Ori weapon worked and how to use it once it was recovered. Unfortunately, the weapon, also known as the Sangreal, was not where it was thought to be, so a galactic-wide search became necessary. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle", 9.20 "Camelot Part 2")

Interestingly enough, the dimension into which the device phased its subjects could be seen and heard, but not touched, by those using the Sodan cloaking devices. This is most likely because both technologies were of Ancient design. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")


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--DeeKayP 13:24, 16 April 2006 (PDT)