True Detective and the Coming of the King in Yellow

King_in_Yellow_and__Page_by_zombiequadrille“Along the shore the cloud waves breaks,

The twin suns sink behind the lake,

The shadows lengthen

………………………………….In Carcosa.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,

And strange moons circle through the skies,

But stranger still is

…………………………….Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,

Where flap the tatters of the King,

Must die unheard in

………………………………Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead,

Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed

Shall dry and die in

……………………………..Lost Carcosa.”

Cassilda’s Song in The King in Yellow. Act I. Scene 2.

For those of us who love weird fiction, Lovecraft, Derleth, Chambers, and all the great and talented ones who have come after, we have waited for years for our literary movement to break into the mainstream. We came close when Guillermo del Toro attempted to bring The Mountains of Madness to the big screen. But then budgetary concerns killed that dream, and we wondered what the next break through might be. And then came True Detective from HBO.

At first, True Detective seemed like a very good police procedural. Then came Episode Two, when it was revealed that our victim had met a man who opened her eyes to a whole new world. He was, she said, “a king.” But not just any king. He was a king in yellow, and he came from a city called Carcosa. Then in Episode Four, we learned that our main suspect was a part of a cult, one that worshiped certain forbidden gods with sacrifices on ancient stone slabs spread throughout the dark lands beyond civilization. Given that the show is set in Louisiana, all I need is an  Inspector Legrasse and I’ll be in heaven.

How far will True Detective dive into the unimagined truths that lie at the edge of man’s understanding? We cannot yet know, but no matter what the answer, for millions who have never seen the Yellow Sign, a new journey into heretofore unknown worlds of mystery has begun.

Heard about the King in Yellow on True Detective and don’t know what to think? It’s time to experience it, first-hand… (Just to warn you, the format is a little wonky with this book, but the stories are all there and if you can get past that you should enjoy it. You can also get the original King in Yellow for free, but it does not include Chambers’s later weird fiction, such as “The Maker of Moons”).

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2 responses to “True Detective and the Coming of the King in Yellow

  1. How exciting is this? Judging from episode 5, this series is going somewhere very interesting. Even in Rust Cohle’s philosophical ramblings he says things right out of Ligotti. The idea that being human is an illusion. But I wonder Brett….what will happen to us all if we watch the last episode?

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