Netflix’s ‘Cursed’ follows the story of a young girl named Nimue. She is born with extraordinary powers that become the reason for her ostracisation in the community, even though a connection with nature is more common for them than in humans. At first, she wishes to relinquish these powers to become normal, but once she finds herself on a quest that could decide the future of her species, she comes to accept her powers and wields them to protect herself and her people.
The story of Nimue has been picked from the legends of King Arthur. Bringing her to the centerstage allows a fresh twist to the story. The show also sparks further interest by weaving real-life historical references in its fabric. With the mysterious breadcrumbs it throws over several episodes, we start to wonder about the era it is set in. What century is ‘Cursed’ set in? Let’s find out.
What Time Period is Cursed Set In?
In creating a new world for itself, every fantasy series also creates an elaborate timeline that not only allows us a look into the future but also gives us a glimpse into the past. It gives a shape to the history, creating grounds for rich backstories, and puts the future into a straight line of sight. However, none of the series ever exactly mentions the time period that they are set in. We get strong medieval vibes from ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Witcher’, but a specific year is never attributed to them. The same happens for ‘Cursed’, where the year of the events never comes into the focus, mainly because it doesn’t matter much for the storyline. Or so it appears in the beginning.
If the events of the real world were of no concern to ‘Cursed’, the writers wouldn’t have thrown in references to real empires and personalities that existed in the past. The mention of Britannia, Charlemagne, the Crusades, the Vikings, and the Byzantine Empire sets some boundaries to the world of ‘Cursed’. Its connection to the story of King Arthur also offers the possibility of a specific era in which we can confine the characters. But even in setting these parameters, the show does its best to keep things as vague as possible. Considering the details at our disposal, we can narrow down the period to a couple of centuries.
In the first season, ‘Cursed’ begins under the reign of King Uther Pendragon. Previous information regarding the historical figure places the timeline somewhere in or after the 5th and 6th centuries. The reference of the kingdom as Britannia also puts it in the nearly same time period. The mention of the Roman Emperor along with Byzantine furthers the claim of the era in and after the 5th century.
Things get a bit dicey when Merlin mentions the fall of Charlemagne. He tells Rugen that he had served in the court of the French king, who fell from power in the early years of the 9th century. Because Merlin has already spent some time in Uther’s court, it is deduced that Charlemagne must have died some time ago. At least a couple of decades, if not centuries. This pushes the period of ‘Cursed’ to the latter half of the 9th century or the beginning of the 10th.
Another stretch in the timeline appears in the last couple of episodes. When Abbott Wicklow meets Father Carden, the latter talks about the war against the Fey as the real Crusades. Tagged as the holy wars, the Crusades were fought between 1096 and 1271. Factoring this detail into the equation, we deduce that the events of ‘Cursed’ take place sometime in the 11th century.
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