This morning we were alerted to Sir Ian McKellen‘s reading of Archer’s incantation from Fate/stay night thanks to Kotaku. As always, hearing the dulcet tones of one of the world’s premiere thespians is an absolute delight, and though this clip is short, I highly recommend you take a moment of your time just to let his words of sword craft wash over you.
The interview in question took place on the Chinese streaming service Bilibili, a channel that covers anime, manga, and gaming fandoms in China, and allows users to submit, annotate, and interact with hosts on the channel. This alone may be the explanation of the request to recite the Fate/stay night monologue, but no one—including McKellen—seems really completely sure why he was asked to read this particular incantation.
Fate/stay night is the story of an amateur magus’ journey into the Fifth Holy Grail War. The participants battle for possession of a chalice that makes wishes and dreams come true, which feels appropriate for a man known in some circles for his rousing leadership of a merry band of questers in Middle Earth is talking of sword making and grand adventures with magical battles.
Regardless of why the viewers who tuned in on Bilibili asked McKellen to read this passage, we’re glad they did. Really, I’d like it if Sir Ian McKellen would just read all books to me forever because I think I could replace my entire commuting playlist with that kind of entertainment, and something tells me he’d make even the really old books I don’t want to read (but feel like I should) very interesting. Can we just get a full channel of him reading things? What do you want to hear? Tell us in the comments below!