The Letter For The King
Although the series topped the Netflix ratings in the Netherlands, it also received very mixed critical reviews, mostly directed towards the execution of the series based on the book by Dragt. Mark Moorman of De Volkskrant awarded the show 3 out of 5 stars and commented: "With nice young actors, beautiful cinematography and a strong quest, The Letter for the King is a reasonable success. But it does feel a bit like Netflix has crushed our favourite children's book with a steam engine." Belinda van de Graaf of Trouw also awarded the series 3 out of 5 stars and wrote: "In their dedication to inclusivity, the creators went even further. Tiuri's most important companion is no longer a boy (Piak) but a girl, Lavinia. And near the end, there is an intimate kiss between two trainees. Sweet, that kiss between two guys, but that scene just appeared out of thin air. The same counts for all the hocus pocus that the creators added. It's understandable why Tonke Dragt prefers talking about literary adaptions of her book, rather than visual adaptions."
The Letter for the King
At the end of the season, Tiuri was successful in his quest to deliver the letter to King Unauwen, revealing the treachery of Prince Viridian. Despite the transformation into the shadow creature by Prince Viridian, he was defeated by Lavinia, revealed to be the prophecied hero.
Parents need to know that The Letter for the King is a book-inspired fantasy series about a young knight named Tiuri (Amir Wilson). He's a misfit whose compassionate character and strong principles earn disdain from those around him but prove invaluable in fulfilling his destiny. The story raises issues like racial, ethnic, and class prejudice, but the characters' actions ultimately work against bias in positive ways. Characters' true loyalties can be difficult to figure out, making it hard to decide who's a hero and who's a villain. While the show minimizes the violence that's common in this genre, you can still expect to see plenty of weapons (swords, knives, crossbows, etc.), as well as intense death scenes -- but little blood. There's some romance between characters; expect kissing and the like. Language is infrequent and typically involves name-calling ("scum," "idiot," and "brats," for instance), as well as "ass" and "dammit."
THE LETTER FOR THE KING centers on 15-year-old Tiuri (Amir Wilson), the stepson of a Dagonaut knight whose high hopes for his adopted son following in his footsteps go mostly unfulfilled. Despite all the best training, Tiuri's destiny as a knight isn't promising, and his gentle nature doesn't ingratiate him to his peers competing to earn the title, either. But when fate steps in and sweeps Tiuri off on a dangerous quest to deliver a secret letter given to him by a dying knight in the hopes of saving the kingdoms from a looming darkness wrought by the bloodthirsty Prince Viridian (Gijs Blom), this unlikely hero's true destiny begins to take shape. As he races across the land on the magnificent and intuitive steed Ardanwen, he makes allies and enemies along the way and slowly confronts the truth about who he is and where his destiny will take him.
The Letter for the King tries so hard to make its story a sweeping, engrossing saga that it sometimes loses itself in the magnitude it's attempting to convey. Viewers are inundated with characters and kingdoms (all with unfamiliar names, of course), prophecies and social constructs, stereotypes and mysticism right from the start, and it's a little too much to grasp at first. It takes several episodes for the series to really gain traction and the pieces to fall into place, at which point more interesting characters are introduced and factor into Tiuri's quest, either as allies or as those who hope to keep him from fulfilling it. One thing the series does very well is make the young characters far more interesting than the adults, and viewers will especially appreciate the complexities of Tiuri's and Lavinia's relationship and the dynamics that play out among the teens tasked with tracking down and capturing the young hero. The bottom line? This series can be laborious to watch, especially in the beginning, but it's beautifully adapted and it minimizes the violence and language that can permeate the fantasy genre.
When Tiuri is asked by a dying knight to deliver a letter to the king of neighboring kingdom Unauwen within 14 days, he runs in the other direction, which is both refreshing and deeply relatable. But destiny has other plans for Tiuri. He is more or less forced to accept the task, setting out on a quest that will bring him allies, enemies, and the chance to be a hero, should he choose it.
Letter For the King just premiered on Netflix. The six-part fantasy adventure series follows the adventures of knight-in-training Tiuri (Amir Wilson), as he is unwittingly pulled into a high-stakes mission to, yes, deliver a letter to the king. Along the way, he meets friends and makes enemies, in a tale of magic, monasteries, and mad horses that is fun for the whole family.
Simon Thompson is an experienced journalist and groundbreaking producer based in Los Angeles. He has worked for the biggest brands in the industry, including Variety, Indiewire, E! News, BBC, Reuters, IGN, and the Oscar-nominated ITN Productions. Simon is a voting member of several guilds, including BAFTA and the Television Academy, and is an Emmy voter. He can be found on Twitter @ShowbizSimon and you can see more of his work on his website. www.thisissimonthompson.com
Inspired by the Dutch novel De brief voor de Koning by Tonke Dragt, the latest live action fantasy foray from Netflix sees a young teenage boy called Tiuri caught up in a quest to save the kingdom from a terrible and bloody fate. Following hot on the heels of other fantasy programmes such as Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Carnival Row and The Witcher, The Letter for the King makes a strong initial impression. This is mainly due to the high production values and solid casting, which are two particularly important aspects when adapting fantasy works, as you are presenting a large world with a lot of characters.
What the show lacks in plot it makes up for with its cinematography and setting. A good amount of the production was shot in New Zealand and it looks absolutely phenomenal. As The Lord Of The Rings showed the world, it really is the best place to use for a fantasy setting. There is something so mesmerizing and glorious about a character riding a horse over a vast, hilly, green landscape. New Zealand is also fantastic in the fact that there is a great variety of environments due to there being two main islands. One moment the characters will be walking along a vast beach and the next they will be climbing up a snow covered mountain. Although some of the special effects used in The Letter For The King are a bit weak, the show more than makes up for it with the enchanting and all-encompassing backdrop of New Zealand.
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Netflix says: The Letter for the King is the story of a ruthless prince who threatens to cast the world into darkness, when a young knight in training named Tiuri (Amir Wilson) embarks on an epic quest to deliver a secret letter to the king.
Amir Wilson stars as Tiuri, a young knight in training tasked with delivering a secret letter to the king of his fantasy realm. The quest is a challenging one, with Tiuri and his companions constantly in danger of evil forces from a ruthless prince. But in true high-fantasy fashion, the stakes get even higher when Tiuri learns of a prophecy foretelling the rise of a hero who will defeat the prince and save the world.
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