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By Odin's Beard

Born under a Fiery Star

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I happened upon a children's book called Stories from King Arthur from the 50s or 60s, and there is a passage about King Arthur being born under a Fiery Star in the shape of a dragon, it is a pretty short chapter so I will just post the whole thing:


The Fiery Star

One dark and stormy night Merlin stood at one of his seventy windows, and kept looking, and looking up at the wild sky.  He was expecting to see something there: something very unusual and wonderful, which one of his fairy books had told him to expect. For a long time, however, nothing happened. The watching magician only saw the clouds racing like inky shadows over the clear high spaces that were sprinkled with stars. Then, all at once, he caught sight of a little pearly glimmer in the north. This little pearly glimmer grew brighter and brighter; it turned from silver to gold, and from gold to a deep shining red, like the red of rubies. Merlin gazed still more eagerly, and presently, in the heart of the red glow he saw a great star brighten, as you might see a crimson fire suddenly break into a shining flame. From the great star one ray shot out suddenly, brilliant as a diamond and slender as a knight's spear. At the end of the ray appeared a globe of fire, which, as Merlin still watched, uncoiled itself slowly and took the shape of a beautiful and terrible dragon.  This fiery dragon opened its mouth and sent out two more rays, one to the east, the other to the west.  The eastern ray seemed to have no end to it, but disappeared in brightness, so that you might almost have thought the sun was just going to rise.  The ray to the west went into the night-shadows, and then broke up into seven smaller rays, which spread themselves in a golden fan above the shadowy peaks of the distant hills.

When Merlin had seen all this happen, he laughed gladly, and, flying down the long stair-case of his fairy home, as lightly as a bird or a butterfly, he set off on invisible wings through the night. Always the fiery dragon shone in the sky overhead; and Merlin knew that its bright form was hanging just over the castle of Uther, the King.  As the wizard drew near to the castle he dropped on to his feet on the grass, and took on the form of an old man, wrapped in a cloak.  With his white beard blowing about him in the wind, and the hood of the cloak drawn down over his eyes and forehead, Merlin walked up to the castle gates and knocked loudly with his staff.


Now, all this time the great flaming dragon was lying, stretched out in the sky, steeping the towers and turrets of the castle in a crimson light, fiery and terrible. The guards and servants, the porters, the cooks, and the pages had seen it, and were frightened out of their wits. Nobody dared to answer the door at first, so Merlin knocked again, much more loudly.

Then, when a terrified porter appeared, the magician, in a voice of authority, demanded to be taken to the presence of the King.

There was something in Merlin's voice that the porter dared not disobey. He hurriedly opened the great gate and let the old man in. Then he led Merlin through the courtyard-all lit up by the dragon-down the great stone corridor, across the hall, hung with gorgeous tapestry, where terrified pages waited, dressed in satins and silks. Then the porter paused and pointed ; and Merlin went on alone right into the royal apartment of the King.

King Uther sat on his throne, pale and grave, and quite alone. Through a great window, curtainless and arched, came the fiery glow from the dragon in the sky. It stained the fresh green rushes on the floor with crimson, and shone all about the solitary figure of the King.  Uther looked up at the sound of footsteps, and saw an old man coming slowly up the room, wrapped in a long cloak, with a snow-white beard that streamed, in long thick strands, far be low his waist.

"Who are you ? Why do you come here unbidden and unannounced?" demanded the King Sternly. But, before he finished speaking, the old man threw back his cloak, and Uther saw who he was.

"Merlin-my friend Merlin !” he cried in an altered voice. "I am indeed glad you have come!  What means this blazing and terrible dragon in the sky?  Is it a sign of some cruel disaster, some great trouble, that is about to fall upon my house?"

Then Merlin answered. His voice sounded glad and triumphant that King Uther knew the news was good even before the magician gave it. 

The dragon is the most wonderful sign that has ever shone in the sky above the castle of a King,” cried Merlin.  "I have been watching for it night after night, hoping and longing to see it come!  It means that to you, and to the beautiful lady you love, a little Prince will be born.  This little Prince will be the greatest King the world ever saw. He will reign over many subjects, and will conquer all his enemies.  He is the ray from the mouth of the dragon that goes to the east, and he will be as bright and beautiful as the rising sun.  The ray that goes to the west, and breaks up into seven rays, is your daughter. She will be, not only a Princess, but a fairy, and have seven fairy children, who will teach the men-children of the West the songs that fairies sing.  See how the seven rays end in a shining mist! That is the meaning of the fiery dragon, King Uther--the meaning that I have hurried into your presence to explain!"

Uther listened breathlessly, and, all the time, the light from the dragon shone crimson upon the faces, and hands, and robes, of the old wizard and the young King. Then Uther leant forward and pressed his fingers on Merlin's arm.

"My beautiful lady?" he said eagerly. "Do you mean Ygierne?"

He could hardly wait for Merlin's reply, because he had loved Ygierne for months, but she was shut up in a castle, quite out of his reach.

"Yes, I mean Ygierne,"answered Merlin. "I promise that you shall have her for your bride. I promise, too, that you and she shall have this bright and beautiful Prince and this fairy-like Princess for your children. But, if you are to marry Ygierne through my help, you must make me a promise in return."

"What is that?" asked Uther.  "Tell me!  There is no promise that I would not make for the sake of beautiful Ygierne!"

"You must promise that, as soon as your little son is born, you will give him into my care. He has a great work to do in the world, and can only learn to do it if I have the charge of him. Give me your promise, Uther, and I will set about the performance of mine!”

Then King Uther, for a moment, felt uncertain and sad.  Where would be the gladness in a little princely son, if the child was to be taken away from him as soon as he was born?  But he loved Ygierne so passionately that, after only hesitating for one second, he consented.

"Very well, Merlin!” he cried. "Very well!  You shall have my little son to bring up as your own child, if you will only make it possible for me to marry my beautiful lady, Ygierne!" 

The red shining through the window, which fell from the fiery dragon in the sky, grew stronger and fiercer as Uther spoke. When he had given the promise the light blazed crimson and terrible about the throne on which he sat, and showed up all the diamonds and sapphires in his sceptre and crown.  A peal of thunder rolled above the palace; a flash of lightning darted about the grey stone towers, The blazing dragon seemed to close its jaws. As it closed them the rays drew slowly back into its great mouth-the one ray from the east, and the seven rays from the west.  It stretched out its long fiery claws, and two great golden wings rose, waving, over its great golden head. Then, all at once, it spread out these wings and hung, poised, above the castle, so that all the pages, and cooks, and scullions, and porters, hid themselves in the darkest corners and cupboards and cellars they could find!  But, in stead of swooping down upon the castle, as they expected, the blazing dragon struck its wings together once-twice-thrice.  Once, twice, thrice, the thunder pealed out again; and, before its echoes had died away, the fiery creature had shot, swift as an arrow, far through the night-sky, leaving a long tail of starry light, like the tail of a comet, behind it.

Even King Uther had crouched for a moment, and covered his face. When he took his jewelled satin cloak from his eyes, the royal throne-room was empty, dark, and still. Merlin had vanished with the dragon, and had gone back to the fairy house of seventy windows and sixty doors. The King was left alone, with the promise of a beautiful bride and wonderful little son.

The King stepped down from his throne and went to the window. He looked up to the sky, and saw it dark and clear, silvered over with little quiet stars. Then he summoned a herald (who came, trembling still) and told him to take his trumpet and go through the castle, crying aloud these words:

King Uther has been told the meaning of the blazing dragon in the sky. It is a sign of great gladness, and victory, and well-being for himself and for his kingdom. From now the King will be known as King Uther Pendragon, and he lays commands on his royal sculptors that two golden dragons immediately be made. One of these dragons will be set up in the capital of his kingdom. The other will be carried by his royal standard-bearer into every battle. These are the orders of Uther Pendragon, King of the lordly and ancient country of Britain!"


There are two children born under bleeding star, a boy and a girl.  The boy will be King Arthur and be as the rising sun (Dawn), and who will unify the kingdoms,  and the girl will bear seven fairy/children who will carry on the line of kings.


The children's book version comes from The History of the Kings of Britain, by Geoffrey Monmouth:


there appeared a star of wonderful magnitude and brightness, darting forth a ray, at the end of which was a globe of fire in form of a dragon, out of whose mouth issued forth two rays; one of which seemed to stretch out itself beyond the extent of Gaul, the other towards the Irish Sea, and ended in seven lesser rays.  

CHAP. XV.--A comet presignifies the reign of Uther.

At the appearance of this star, a general fear and amazement seized the people; and even Uther, the king's brother, who was then upon his march with his army into Cambria, being not a little terrified at it, was very curious to know of the learned men, what it portended. Among others, he ordered Merlin to be called, who also attended in this expedition to give his advice in the management of the war; and who, now being presented before him, was commanded to discover to him the significance of the star. At this he burst out into tears, and with a loud voice cried out, "O irreparable loss! O distressed people of Britain! Alas! the illustrious prince is departed! The renowned king of the Britons, Aurelius Ambrosius, is dead! whose death will prove fatal to us all, unless God be our helper. Make haste, therefore, most noble Uther, make haste to engage the enemy: the victory will be yours, and you shall be king of all Britain. For the star, and the fiery dragon under it, signifies yourself, and the ray extending towards the Gallic coast, portends that you shall have a most potent son, to whose power all those kingdoms shall be subject over which the ray reaches. But the other ray signifies a daughter, whose sons and grandsons shall successively enjoy the kingdom of Britain."  


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If there is any connection to this story at all, it may have served as somewhat of an inspiration to George.  We already know who was reborn under a star.  A bleeding star in this story.  Daenerys Targaryen and the dragons were all reborn when the red star was close to the planet.  She is the King Artur, the person who awakened dragons from stone.  It was not a sword but a dragons pulled from stone in this story.

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