Black Knight (Arthurian legend)

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For other uses, see Black knight (disambiguation).

The Black Knight appears in different forms in Arthurian legend.

In one tale he is a knight who tied his wife to a tree after hearing she had exchanged rings with Perceval. Perceval defeated the black knight and explained that it was an innocent exchange. A supernatural Black Knight is also summoned by Sir Calogrenant (Cynon ap Clydno in Welsh mythology) in the tale of Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. Calogrenant is bested by the Black Knight, but the Black Knight is later killed by Ywain (Owain mab Urien) when he attempts to complete the quest that Calogrenant failed.[1]

A black knight is also the son of Tom a'Lincoln and Anglitora (the daughter of Prester John) in Richard Johnson's Arthurian romance, Tom a'Lincoln. Through Tom, he is thus a grandson of King Arthur, though his proper name is never given. He killed his mother after hearing from his father's ghost that she had murdered him. He later joined the Faerie Knight, his half-brother, in adventures.

A black knight is also mentioned as being killed by Gareth when he was traveling to rescue Lyonesse.

In popular culture[edit]

A giant knight, clad in black, named Orgoglio (Pride) appears in The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, whom Prince Arthur kills after first severing his arms and legs.

In The Black Knight (1954), Alan Ladd plays a character with the alter-ego of the Knight, who defends Camelot and King Arthur against a plot to bring down the kingdom.

Monty Python was inspired by this character and created their own black knight which appears in their film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

In Conquests of Camelot the Black Knight of Glastonbury was a spirit that held Sir Gawain captive.

In Sonic and the Black Knight the Black Knight is featured as a villain.

In Dark Souls, Black Knights are featured as enemies.


  1. ^ Cotterell, Arthur; Storm, Rachel (1999). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology. Hermes House. p. 161. ISBN 1-84038-516-2. 

See also[edit]