Blaylock & Johnson: Using Pendragon as Muse

Below is both an interview with screenwriter Lee Blaylock, as well as a brief segway into where Lawhead came from, and some of the art he has inspired through the years with his “story worlds,” including incredible music by Jeff Johnson!

Jon Croft profile image
by Jon Croft
Blaylock & Johnson: Using Pendragon as Muse

Jeremy Boreing, godking and cofounder of The Daily Wire, has mentioned before how he got to the point of actually purchasing the rights to make Pendragon into a series. It was a very real influence on him growing up, influenced his values, and what he wanted to do with his life. So, here we are, with Boreing giving us updates weekly from his very real Pendragon set in Hungary. This series may well compete with some of the most popular and culturally impactful series and films of the last decade, such as Game of Thrones, The Chosen, The Witcher, and House of the Dragon. Exciting!

So, how did we get here? What does a writer have to do, both novel writer, as well as screenwriter, to get Jeremy Boreing's attention and get people like him to invest in these kinds of stories? A great deal, really.

Some have to suffer for years in obscurity. Others may get noticed but nothing may seem to eventually come from it. The art world can be notoriously fickle, and most people have never heard of screenwriter Lee Blaylock, nor have many Christians even heard of veteran musician Jeff Johnson, even though he has tirelessly labored to write, craft, perform, and produce more than four decades worth of music to not much fanfare. Often, like so many artists, they do not experience notoriety their entire lives.

But now, The Daily Wire is nothing to sneeze at, and their work is rising in the public consciousness. So how did they get Blaylock on board? Listen to the screenwriter’s interview here (please excuse some of the audio issues in their interview).

But wasn’t all of this after the novels, and inspired by the novels? Yes. They were from the 80’s. I actually learned about them myself from the music of Jeff Johnson, who introduced me to many great works of Christian fiction in the 80’s, 90’s, and 00's. More on him coming up.

But sure, let's start with the fantasy novels. Stephen R Lawhead is American but after working as a journalist and in the music industry, he started writing and moved to the UK to work on his Arthurian stories, after pilgrimaging there and seeing what he could see. This was the place for him to get more of his writing done! Now in Oxford, this change of pace and of environment no doubt assisted him on his quest for the holy legends of yore and pursuing the discovery of Christian mythologies such as Arthur, St. Patrick, Robin Hood, and many other legends of Crusader knights and monks on pilgrimage to holy lands from a far.

Some of this is contained in this written interview conducted some years ago, and it gives you an idea of the kind of work Lawhead works on, and what kind of Christian artist he is. Click on the picture below to read the entire interview, or go here.

Many readers of fantasy, historical fiction, and Christian fiction have found the books to be in their top ten book series’ and many Christians have been very inspired by them through the years. In fact, one of my favorite musical artists, Jeff Johnson, spent seemingly the entire nineties composing multiple music albums as companion pieces to Lawhead’s books.

Johnson has made albums entitled The Bard & The Warrior, Byzantium, Patrick, Songs from Albion I-III, King Raven, and Eirlandia, all inspired by and named after many of Lawhead’s books, such as his Pendragon books, his Albion series, his Eirlandia series, his King Raven books, and his books called Byzantium and Patrick. Wouldn’t it be something if Daily Wire and Johnson collaborated on some of the music for DW's The Pendragon Cycle series?

This music can seen and heard here and other places online. I’d check out his work anyway, as he specializes in incredible Christian and Celtic music.

Jeff does truly beautiful work, and the kind of prose that this lends itself to is often biblical, medieval, and ancient mythology. Here are some examples of the kind of writing that will be in this series, one from the character, Merlin, and the other spoken from Taliesin. It transports us to a different place and time, when things were often simpler, but also when heroes were often bolder, and life was more dangerous.

Lawhead doesn’t really give an interview about the Pendragon Cycle online (at least not one that we can find), likely because this series was released back in the 80’s, but he does give an expansive talk and reading of his book Skin Map in Dallas in 2010. It’s not related to Pendragon, but it is always nice to see authors narrating their own work.

My hope is that The Daily Wire will interview him for promotional purposes for this series, and will do so very skillfully, but we will see. We also hope they will seek to collab with Jeff Johnson on a special selection of music for the series. We at Media Moses are endeavoring, as well, to be able to begin interviewing artists such as Lawhead and Johnson in the near future, so keep an eye out for this kind of thing from us coming up.

About getting into The Pendragon Cycle book series, we recommend audio books to start out, because it takes some time to get started. About that, this review of the books is useful because it presents the potential problem of the chronological inconsistencies that plague many book series, like The Chronicles of Narnia. This can prepare you for these potential hiccups in reading the series, which I don’t actually consider a major problem, even though this reviewer does.

But, if you read the review below, you’ll see that the best part is the comments from Stephen Lawhead himself down at the bottom of the review, where he offers a correction.

Go here for the "Starving Artist" review.

To learn more about Stephen R Lawhead, you can go to his Wikipedia or his website.

Here’s to hoping the best for this production, and that many more will read, listen, and see major changes in our society as we continue to hope and pray for renewal in our society. We may not have a Kingdom of Summer, but maybe even something brighter, if we hope, pray, and work together for such a change to come.

Did you enjoy this article? What kind of obscure artists and work do you hope one day to be noticed and recognized for its beauty? Let us know on our X!

Jon Croft profile image
by Jon Croft

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