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"The Return of the King"
Season/Series: 3
Number in season: 9b
Original Airdate: United States November 26, 1998
Canada May 3, 1999[1]
Germany March 5, 2002[2]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Mario Cabrera
"Arthur's Treasure Hunt"
"Attack of the Turbo Tibbles"
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"The Return of the King" is the second half of the ninth episode in the third season of Arthur. It was later adapted into the book King Arthur.


On a field trip to the medieval fair, Arthur's class is being humiliated in competitions against a class led by Mr. Ratburn's old teacher. Can Arthur turn things around?


The episode opens with the kids going on a field trip to a medieval fair. When they make it to the fair, Mr. Ratburn's class sees that another school, Glenbrook Academy is there too.

The teacher with them is Mr. Pryce-Jones, who was Mr. Ratburn's teacher when he was in school. Arthur notices a sword put in a stone and anyone who can get it out will become "King of the Fair," but no matter how hard he pulls, it will not come out.

Throughout the day, the Lakewood students compete with the Glenbrook students in several Middle Ages-themed competitions, losing every single one. The entire class loses in a tug of war. Arthur loses at a medieval maze. Francine loses at archery. Brain fails at a trivia competition. Even Buster loses at a pie eating contest. At lunch, it is revealed that Mr. Pryce-Jones was very strict, and when Arthur, Buster, Francine, and Brain overhear Mr. Haney talking with him, they think that if Lakewood loses all of the contests, Mr. Pryce-Jones will replace Mr. Ratburn as their teacher.

The final event is a castle building contest. The Lakewood students work hard and build a beautiful castle, but they lose to Glenbrook because their castle is not historically accurate.

At the end of the day, the Glenbrook students and Mr. Pryce-Jones all try to remove the sword from the stone, but they all fail. Just when it is Arthur's turn, he hears the barker's reference to "a gentle hand" and suddenly realizes the secret of the sword. Just as his friends come over to get him to leave, Arthur pulls the sword out with ease. Arthur becomes the King of the Fair and everyone (even the Glenbrook students) cheers. Mr. Pryce-Jones, who himself could not figure out the puzzle, congratulates Mr. Ratburn, declaring he taught Arthur well. Mr. Haney then explains to the children that they misheard his conversation with Mr. Pryce-Jones and that he will not be replacing Mr. Ratburn, but instead will be tutoring Mr. Haney's nephew and niece (who are obviously worried about the prospect).

As they head home, Buster remarks that Mr. Pryce-Jones probably gave all his kids homework. Hearing this, Mr. Ratburn assigns the class a report on medieval times, much to their chagrin.






  • Sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt is translated to I am, you are, it is, she/he is, we are, you are, they are.
  • The Lakewood kids all sat across from their counterparts at the lunch table, except for Fern sitting across from Maria's lookalike.
  • Mr. Pryce-Jones never mentions Mr. Ratburn's first name except referring him to his last name. The staff may have discarded the name "Emil" as it was only heard in "Arthur's Baby." His other first name with his middle name "Nigel Charles," wasn't given to Mr. Ratburn until season 5 in 2000.
  • Colleen, the girl who competed with Francine in the Archery, cheated by licking her bow and arrow, which caused it to slip and push Francine's arrow out of the bullseye, but she got away with it.
  • It is never revealed if Mr. Haney's niece and nephew are his brother's kids or his sister's kids.

Episode connections[]

  • There was a remade clip of the episode from "D.W., Queen of the Comeback."
  • Arthur somehow later on owns the sword he pulled out of the stone as he is seen pulling it out from underneath his bed in "Arthur and D.W. Clean Up."
  • The Friar Judge who gives Buster and Rusty the Pie Eating Contest appears as a waiter in Mind Your Manners.
  • Arthur's voice clip where he says, "Hey!!!" is reused from Arthur's Eyes in the title card.

Cultural references[]

  • The title for this episode is a reference to the third installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King.
  • The sixteenth king of England (starting with William the Conqueror) was Edward IV.
  • Buffy claims to be six generations removed from Henry V. There are 577 years between Henry's death and the episode which makes the claim highly unlikely (a generation is about 30 years).
  • The correct answer being Earth in Brain's Wheel of Fortuna game is based on the geocentric model, a theory that was prevalent since ancient times on the idea that all the planets, the sun, and moon revolved around Earth.
  • Medieval tennis was played with heavier balls, but it was also played indoors, not on an open court as in the episode.
  • Arthur pulling the sword from the stone is a play on the legend of King Arthur, who became king that way.


  • Arthur falls backwards when he sees his "shadow" move, but he rips through the wall facing forwards.

Differences from the book[]

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