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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
 
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
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     as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
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     as well as [[List of all comics]] and the pages it has been split across, which are obviously not comic pages.
and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-9)}}
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    The extra one difference corresponds to 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so.
({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-9)) / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%)
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remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
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and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}}
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({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete articles|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
 
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== Latest comic ==
 
== Latest comic ==
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<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|Lots of people]] contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
 
<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|Lots of people]] contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
  
You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
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You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
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*If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
  
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
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*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
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*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete articles|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
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*If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
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*We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go [[explain xkcd:Advertise Here|here]].
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
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If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
  
Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
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Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
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If you need assistance from an [[explain xkcd:Administrators|admin]], post a message to the [[explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests|Admin requests]] board.
  
 
[[Category:Root category]]
 
[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 03:05, 4 September 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have an explanation for all 1526 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Sword in the Stone
That seems like an awful lot of hassle when all I wanted was a cool sword.
Title text: That seems like an awful lot of hassle when all I wanted was a cool sword.

Explanation

This comic references the fables of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In Arthurian legend, whoever can remove the Sword in the Stone is the lawful king of England. Arthur is an orphan being raised in secret; he notices the sword, removes it, and is proclaimed king. The sword is sometimes identified as Excalibur, although in other versions Excalibur was acquired by King Arthur from the Lady of the Lake. The most familiar version of this story is The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White which is based on Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. The musical animated film by Walt Disney is also well known.

In this comic, Megan (in the role of Arthur) pulls out The Sword in the Stone. A flash of light comes down and music plays, and a heavenly voice tells her she has ascended to the throne of England. Megan then pulls out her phone, which is very much unlike the Medieval King Arthur and searches on Wikipedia for England and begins to replace the sword into the rock. The title text furthers this plot, having Megan comment on the hassle when the only thing she was interested in was the sword. Apparently Megan is not enthusiastic about power, and her choice is made when she sees how problematic it could be to reign over the country of England.

A key element of the joke is what Randall implies Arthur (or Megan) would see when he searched for information on England, especially information concerning being an English ruler. English history is rife with monarchic strife, and a brief inquiry into the percentage of British rulers who died in battle or as a result of political intrigue vs those who died of natural causes would quickly lead most sane people to conclude that the risks associated with ruling England far outweigh the benefits. From the time of the Roman Empire all the way up to Charles II's reclamation of the throne, England was one of the most contested and most difficult to hold chunks of real estate on Earth. Besides the constant threat of usurpation, as evidenced by the numerous wars for the crown, such as the Norman Conquest and the War of the Roses, there were also constant difficulties in managing the frontier regions. This can be seen in Hadrian's Wall, a creation of the titular Roman Emperor designed to keep the ever difficult Scots out of the areas of Roman control (the Scots would be a constant problem for England up until the reign of King James; think of Braveheart for a good example of the regular headaches they caused, seen from the English point of view), as well as the Welsh uprisings that occurred with such consistency that you could set your watch to them.

It should be noted that in Arthurian Legend, it is stated that Arthur would return when England most needed him. It is possible that the Arthur in this comic is a 21st century person (a reincarnation of the old Arthur).

The timing of this comic might relate to the excitement of the yellow press about the birth of princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana this week and the burden of a royal of having a whole life in public shaking hands of strangers. It is also probably not a coincidence that this comic was published the day before the UK General Election, which took place on May 7, 2015. This election decides the modern day leader of England and the rest of the UK.

Transcript

[Megan walks up to a sword in a stone.]
[Megan tries to pull the sword out of the stone.]
[A flash of light and music plays as she removes the sword.]
[While standing with the swords a voice from heaven speaks in gray shaky letters:]
Heavenly voice: The Throne of England is yours
[Megan takes out her smart phone and writes:]
Wikipedia
England
[Megan reads on her phone.]
[Megan starts to replace the sword back into the stone.]


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Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: Here's how.
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.

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