Knights of the Round Table

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The Arming and Departure of the Knights, one of the Holy Grail-themed 19th-century tapestries by Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, and John Henry Dearle
King Arthur and his knights in a 14th-century Italian manuscript of the Vulgate Cycle's Quest for the Holy Grail

The Knights of the Round Table (Welsh: Marchogion y Ford Gron, Cornish: Marghekyon an Moos Krenn, Breton: Marc'hegien an Daol Grenn) are the knights of the fellowship of King Arthur in the literary cycle of the Matter of Britain. First appearing in literature in the mid-12th century, the Knights are an order dedicated to ensuring the peace of Arthur's kingdom following an early warring period, entrusted in later years to undergo a mystical quest for the Holy Grail. The Round Table at which they meet is a symbol of the equality of its members, who range from sovereign royals to minor nobles.

The various stories in the cycle present an assortment of knights from all over Great Britain and abroad, some of whom are even from outside of Europe. Their ranks often include Arthur's close and distant relatives such as Agravain and Gaheris, as well as his reconciled enemies and those he defeated in battle, including Galehaut and Lot. Several of the most notable knights, including Bedivere, Gawain, Kay and Yvain, are based on older characters associated with Arthur in the Welsh version of the myth. Many knights appear recurrently, such as Gawain, Lancelot, Percival and Tristan, with each of them featuring as a protagonist or eponymous hero in various works of chivalric romance. Other well-known members include the holy knight Galahad, replacing Percival as the achiever of the Grail, and Arthur's traitorous son Mordred.

By the end of Arthurian prose cycles (including the seminal Le Morte d'Arthur), the knights split up into groups of warring factions following the revelation of Lancelot's adultery with King Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere. In the same tradition, Guinevere is featured with her own personal order of young warriors and knights, known as the Queen's Knights. Some of these romances retell the story of the Knights of the Old Table, led by Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, whilst other tales focus on the members of the 'Grail Table'; these were the followers of ancient Christian Joseph of Arimathea, with his Grail Table later serving as the inspiration for Uther and Arthur's subsequent Round Tables.

Numbers of members[edit]

Piety: The Knights of the Round Table about to Depart in Quest of the Holy Grail by William Dyce (1849)

The number of the Knights of the Round Table (including King Arthur) and their names vary greatly between the versions published by different writers. The figure may range from a dozen to as many as 1,600, the latter claimed by Layamon. Most commonly,[1] there are between 100 and 300 seats at the table, often with one seat usually permanently empty (300 was also chosen by Edward III of England when he decided to create his own Order of the Round Table at Windsor Castle in 1344[2]). In many versions there are over 100 members, as with 140 according to Thomas Malory[3] (150 in Caxton's version) and Hartmann von Aue. Some sources state much smaller numbers, such as 13 in the Didot Perceval, 50 in the Prose Merlin (the prose expansion Vulgate Merlin has 250), and 60 in the count by Jean d'Outremeuse.[4][5] Others state higher numbers, as with 366 in both Perlesvaus and the Chevaliers as deus espees.

Partial lists[edit]

Some of the more notable knights include the following:

Knights of the Round Table
Name Other names Introduction Other medieval works Notes
Accolon Sir Accolon of Gaul Post-Vulgate Cycle, c. 13th century Le Morte d'Arthur Loved by Morgan le Fay, accidentally killed in a duel with King Arthur.
Aglovale Agloval, Sir Aglovale de Galis The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis King Pellinore's eldest son.
Agravain Agravaine Lancelot-Grail, Le Morte d'Arthur Second son of King Lot (of either Lothian or Orkney) and Arthur's sister Morgause.
Arthur Arthur Pendragon, Arturus, King Arthur Y Gododdin, c. 6th century Many High King of Britain, ruler of Logres and lord of Camelot.
Bagdemagus Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, 1170s Meleagant's father and ruler of Gorre.
Bedivere (Welsh: Bedwyr, French: Bédoier) Bedevere Pa Gur yv y Porthaur, c. 10th century Vita Cadoc, Culhwch and Olwen, Stanzas of the Graves, Welsh Triads, Historia Regum Britanniae, Le Morte d'Arthur, numerous others Returns Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake; brother to Lucan.
Bors the Younger Son of Bors the Elder, father of Elyan the White; Arthur's successor in some versions.
Brunor Breunor le Noir, La Cote Male Taile ("The Badly-shaped Coat") Knight who wears his murdered father's coat; brother of Dinadan and Daniel.
Cador (Latin: Cadorius) Historia Regum Britanniae, The Dream of Rhonabwy Raised Guinevere as her ward, father to Constantine; described in some works as Arthur's cousin.
Calogrenant Colgrevance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, 1170s Le Morte d'Arthur Cousin to Sir Yvain.
Caradoc (Latin: Caractacus) (Welsh: Caradog Freichfras, meaning Caradoc Strong Arm) (French: Carados Briefbras) (English: Carados of Scotland) Perceval, the Story of the Grail, the Mabinogion Rebelled against Arthur when he first became king, but later supported him. Sometimes two characters: Caradoc the Elder (a king) and Caradoc the Younger (a knight).
Claudin Lancelot-Grail, Le Morte d'Arthur Virtuous son of the villain king Claudas.
Constantine III of Britain Historia Regum Britanniae, c. 1136 Le Morte d'Arthur Arthur's cousin and successor to his throne; Cador's son.
Dagonet Arthur's court jester.
Daniel von Blumenthal Daniel von Blumenthal, 1220 Knight found in an early German offshoot of Arthurian legend.
Dinadan Prose Tristan, 1230s Le Morte d'Arthur Son of Sir Brunor the Senior.
Ector Hector, Antor, Ectorius Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century Le Morte d'Arthur Raises Arthur according to Merlin's command; father to Kay.
Elyan the White (French: Helyan le Blanc) Son of Bors
Erec Unclear; first literary appearance as Erec in Erec and Enide, c. 1170 See Geraint and Enid Son of King Lac.
Esclabor Exiled Saracen king; father of Palamedes, Safir, and Segwarides.
Feirefiz Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, early 13th century Half-brother to Percival; Arthur's nephew.
Gaheris Le Morte d'Arthur Son of King Lot and Morgause, brother to Gawain, Agravaine, and Gareth, and half-brother to Mordred.
Galahad Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur Bastard son of Sir Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic; the main achiever of the Holy Grail.
Galehault Galehalt, Galehaut Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century A half-giant foreign king, a former enemy of Arthur who becomes close to Lancelot.
Galeschin Galeshin The Vulgate Cycle Son of Elaine of Garlot and King Nentres; nephew of Arthur.
Gareth Beaumains Le Morte d'Arthur, Idylls of the King Also a son of King Lot and Morgause; in love with Lyonesse.
Gawain (Latin: Walwanus, Welsh: Gwalchmai, Irish: Balbhuaidh) Culhwch and Olwen, c. 11th century Conte du Graal, Lancelot-Grail cycle, Prose Tristan,Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Le Morte d'Arthur and many short Middle English romances Another son of King Lot and Morgause; father of Gingalain.
Geraint Geraint and Enid Enid's lover.
Gingalain Guinglain, Gingalin, Gliglois, Wigalois, etc., also Le Bel Inconnu, or The Fair Unknown Le Bel Inconnu Gawain's son.
Gornemant Gurnemanz Perceval, the Story of the Grail Parzival Mentor of Perceval.
Griflet Girflet, Jaufre Jaufré A cousin to Lucan and Bedivere.
Hector de Maris Ector de Maris Quest du Saint Graal (Vulgate Cycle) Half-brother of Lancelot, son of King Ban; Bors and Lionel are his cousins.
Hoel (Welsh: Howel, Hywel) The Dream of Rhonabwy, Geraint and Enid Son of King Budic of Brittany; father to St. Tudwal.
Kay (Welsh: Cai, Latin: Caius) Pa Gur yv y porthaur? 10th century Many Ector's son, foster brother to Arthur.
Lamorak Prose Tristan, c. 1235 Lancelot-Grail Cycle Son of King Pellinore, brother to Tor, Aglovale, Percival, and Dindrane; lover of Morgause.
Lancelot Lancelot du Lac, Lancelot of the Lake, Launcelot Erec and Enide, c. 1170 Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, Lancelot-Grail, many others Son of King Ban from France, most famous for his affair with Queen Guinevere, father of Galahad, most prominent Knight of the Round Table in later romances
Lanval Landevale, Launfal, Lambewell Marie de France's Lanval, late 12th century Sir Landevale, Sir Launfal, Sir Lambewell Enemy of Guinevere.
Leodegrance Leondegrance Guinevere's father, King of Cameliard, and the holder of the Round Table during the period between the death of Uther and the reign of Arthur.
Lionel Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century Son of King Bors of Gaunnes (or Gaul) and brother of Bors the Younger.
Lucan Sir Lucan the Butler Le Morte d'Arthur Servant to King Arthur; Bedivere's brother, Griflet's cousin.
Maleagant Malagant, Meleagant, perhaps Melwas Unclear, a similar character named "Melwas" appears in the 12th century Life of Gildas Lancelot-Grail, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur Abductor of Guinevere.
Mordred Modred (Welsh: Medrawd, Latin: Medraut) Annales Cambriae, c. 970 Many In the Round Table stories, Arthur's illegitimate son through Morgause.
Morholt Marhalt, Morold, Marhaus Tristan poems of Béroul and Thomas of Britain, 12th century Tristan poems of Eilhart von Oberge, Gottfried von Strassburg, Prose Tristan, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur Irish knight, rival of Tristan and uncle of Iseult.
Morien Moriaen Dutch romance Morien, 13th century Half-Moorish son of Aglovale.
Palamedes Saracen, Son of King Esclabor, brother of Safir and Segwarides.
Pelleas Pellias Post-Vulgate Cycle, 1230s Le Morte d'Arthur In love with Ettarre, later lover of Nimue.
Pellinore Lancelot-Grail, Post-Vulgate Cycle King of Listenoise and friend to Arthur.
Percival (Welsh: Peredur) Perceval, Parzifal As Percival, Erec and Enide, c. 1170 Perceval, the Story of the Grail, Lancelot-Grail, many Achiever of the Holy Grail; King Pellinore's son in some tales.
Safir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Prose Tristan Son to King Esclabor; brother of Segwarides and Palamedes.
Sagramore Sagramor Lancelot-Grail, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Prose Tristan, Le Morte d'Arthur Ubiquitous Knight of the Round Table; various stories and origins are given for him.
Segwarides Le Morte d'Arthur, Prose Tristan Son of Esclabor; brother of Safir and Palamedes.
Tor Le Morte d'Arthur Son of King Ars, adopted by Pellinore.
Tristan (Latin/Brythonic: Drustanus; Welsh: Drystan; Portuguese: Tristão; Spanish: Tristán) Tristran, Tristram, etc. Beroul's Roman de Tristan The two Folies Tristans, Marie de France's Chevrefeuil, Eilhart von Oberge, Gottfried von Strassburg, Prose Tristan, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur King Mark's son or relative, Iseult's lover.
Urien Uriens Historical figure Welsh Triads King of Rheged (or Gorre), father of Yvain (Owain mab Urien) and husband of Morgan le Fay.
Yvain (Welsh: Owain) Ywain, Ewain or Uwain Based on the historical figure Owain mab Urien Historia Brittonum, Yvain, the Knight of the Lion King Urien's son.
Yvain the Bastard Ywain the Adventurous, Uwain le Avoutres Urien's illegitimate son.

In addition, there are many less prominent knights. For instance, the "Healing of Sir Urry" episode in the Winchester Manuscript of Le Morte d'Arthur lists, in addition to many of the above, the following:[6]

  • King Anguish of Ireland
  • Earl Aristance
  • Sir Azreal
  • Sir Arrok
  • Sir Ascamore
  • Sir Barrant le Apres (also known as the King With the Hundred Knights)
  • Sir Bellenger le Beau (Bellinger le Beuse, Bellangre the Bewse; son of Alisuander le Orphelin / Alexander the Orphan, slayer of King Mark and supporter of Lancelot)
  • Sir Belliance le Orgulous
  • Sir Blamor de Ganis (Blamour, brother of Bleoberis)
  • Sir Bleoberis de Ganis
  • Sir Bohart le Cure Hardy
  • Sir Brandiles
  • Sir Bryan de Les Iles (Brian de Listinoise)
  • Sir Cardok
  • Duke Chalance of Clarence
  • King Claryaunce of Northumberland (Clarion)
  • Sir Claryus of Cleremont (Clarius)
  • Sir Clegis
  • Sir Clodrus
  • Sir Crosselm
  • Sir Damas (reformed co-conspirator of Morgan in the Accolon-Excalibur plot)
  • Sir Degrave sans Villainy (fought with the giant of the Black Lowe)
  • Sir Degrevant
  • Sir Dinas
  • Sir Dinas le Seneschal de Cornwall
  • Sir Dodinas le Savage
  • Sir Dornar
  • Sir Driaunt
  • Sir Edward of Orkney (of Caernarfon)
  • Sir Epinogris (son of King Clariance)
  • Sir Fergus
  • Sir Florence (son of Gawain by Sir Brandiles' sister)
  • Sir Gahalantyne
  • Sir Galahodin
  • Sir Galleron of Galway (a Scottish knight from the English Arthurian tradition, also spelled Galaron or Geleron)
  • Sir Gautere (Gauter, Gaunter)
  • Sir Gillimere (or Gillimer, not to be confused with similarly named three different Kings of Ireland in early Arthurian chronicles)
  • Sir Grommer Grummorson (Gromer)
  • Sir Gumret le Petit (Gwyarte le Petite)
  • Sir Harry le Fils Lake
  • Sir Hebes (not Hebes le Renowne)
  • Sir Hebes le Renowne
  • Sir Hectymere
  • Sir Herminde
  • Sir Hervyse de la Forest Savage
  • Sir Ironside (Knight of the Red Launds)
  • Sir Kay l'Estrange (different than Kay le Seneschal)
  • Earl of Lambaile (known as the Count of Lambale in French romances; also Lambayle, Lambelle, etc.)
  • Sir Lambegus
  • Sir Lamiel
  • Sir Lavain (son of Barnard of Ascolat)
  • Sir Lovell (another son of Gawain by Sir Brandiles' sister)
  • Sir Mador de la Porte (brother of Gaheris of Karahau)
  • Sir Marrok (whose wife turned him into a werewolf)
  • Sir Melias de Lile
  • Sir Melion of the Mountain
  • Sir Meliot de Logris
  • Sir Menaduke
  • Sir Morganore (Morganor)
  • King Nentres of Garlot
  • Sir Neroveous
  • Sir Ozanna le Cure Hardy
  • Sir Perimones (brother to Persant and Pertolepe; called the Red Knight)
  • Sir Persuant of Inde (or Persant; also known as the Blue Knight)
  • Sir Pertolepe
  • Sir Petipace of Winchelsea
  • Sir Plaine de Fors (Playne)
  • Sir Plenorius
  • Sir Priamus
  • Sir Reynold
  • Sir Sadok
  • Sir Selises of the Dolorous Tower
  • Sir Sentrail
  • Sir Severause le Breuse (or Severauce, known for rejecting battles with men in favour of giants, dragons, and wild beasts)
  • Sir Suppinabiles (Cornish knight Supinabel from the French Tristan legend)
  • Earl Ulbawes
  • Sir Urry of Hungary (this story's original character and plot device, cursed by a spell of Spanish duchess for killing her son)
  • Sir Villiars the Valiant

Conversely, the Winchester Round Table features only the knights Sirs Alynore (Alymere), Bedwere (Bedivere), Blubtlrys (Bleoberis), Bors De Ganys (Bors de Ganis), Brumear (Brunor le Noir), Dagonet, Degore, Ectorde Marys (Ector de Maris), Galahallt (Galahault or Galahad), Garethe (Gareth), Gauen (Gawain), Kay, Lamorak, Launcelot Deulake (Lancelot du Lac), Lacotemale Tayle (La Cote Male Taile), Lucane (Lucan), Lybyus Dysconyus (Le Bel Desconneu), Lyonell (Lionel), Mordrede (Mordred), Plomyde (Palomedes), Pelleus (Pelleas), Percyvale (Percival), Safer (Safir), and Trystram Delyens (Tristram de Lyones) for the total of merely 24 (not counting Arthur).[7]

Selected members[edit]

Aglovale[edit]

The attributed arms of Agloval de Galles

Aglovale de Galis (Agglovale, Aglaval[e], Agloval, Aglován, Aglovaus, etc.; -de Galles, -le Gallois) is the eldest legitimate son of King Pellinore of Galis (Wales), introduced in the Vulgate Lancelot. Like his father and his brothers (who may include Drian, Lamorak, the original Grail hero Percival, and Tor) he is a Knight of the Round Table.

According to the Post Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Aglovale is the knight who first brings his long lost brother Percival to Camelot to be knighted after meeting him by chance in the woods where Percival lives. In an alternate account in the Livre d'Artus, the young Agloval has all of his fourteen brothers killed during the Saxon wars by the forces of King Rions' relative King Agrippa in their attack on his mother's domain. Agloval then accompanies Gawain and Sagramore in leading an army that defeats the invaders, personally slaying Agrippa but suffering severe wounds.

"Queen Guenever's Peril." Alfred Kappes' illustration for The Boy's King Arthur (1880)

In the Third (Manessier's) Continuation of Perceval, Agloval dies seven years after Percival became the Grail King, causing Percival's retirement to a hermitage to grieve for his final ten years.[8] In the Vulgate Cycle, Aglovale dies accidentally at Gawain's hand during the Quest for the Holy Grail. However, the rewrite in the Post-Vulgate Queste turns it into a deliberate murder, a part of the Orkney clan's long vendetta for the death of King Lot.[9] In Malory, he is among the knights charged by King Arthur with defending the execution of Guinevere, and is killed when Lancelot and his men rescue the queen.

Aglovale appears prominently in the Dutch romance Moriaen, in which he visits Moorish lands in Africa and meets a Christian princess whom he conceives a child with. He returns home and, thirteen years later, his son Morien comes to find him after which they both return to Morien's lands.

In modern works, Aglovale is the eponymous protagonist of Clemence Housman's 1905 novel The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis.

Arthur the Less[edit]

The arms of Arthur le Petit

Arthur the Less or Arthur the Little (Arthur le Petit) is an illegitimate son of King Arthur in the Post-Vulgate Cycle. After Arthur forces himself on a daughter of a knight named Tanas, he orders the child to be named either Guenevere or Arthur the Less.[10] Having been abandoned and raised by a foster mother, the boy is knighted by Tristan and soon proves to be superior to even Gawain and Percival, defeating both of them. However, he is publicly known only as the Unknown Knight, keeping his lineage secret as to not shame his father with the story of his mother's rape. Loyal to King Arthur (who is eventually informed about his son's identity by Morgan), he fights in several wars against domestic and foreign enemies, and is one of Galahad's companions during the Grail Quest. After his father's death, Arthur the Less is defeated by Bleoberis in a duel and curses the kingdom of Logres in his death. The curse manifests itself through King Mark's invasion, which destroys almost all remnants of King Arthur's rule.[11]

Bleoberis[edit]

Shared attributed arms of Blamor and Blioberis

Bleoberis de Ganis is a Knight of the Round Table from the land of Ganis (Ganes, Gannes, Gaunes, Gaunnes), meaning probably Gaul or perhaps Vannes, who was first mentioned by Chrétien de Troyes in his Erec and Enide, named therein as Bliobleheris. He has since appeared by variants of this name in many subsequent works, including as Barant le Apres (Berrant) and Bleoberys (Bleoberis, Bleoboris, Bleoheris) in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur; as Bleobleheris (Bliobliheri) and Bleheris in respectively the First and the Second Continuation of Perceval; as two different characters named Bleheris and Blidoblidas in Meriaduec; as two different characters named Bleherris and Blias, lord Bliodas in Of Arthour and of Merlin; as Bleoris in Henry Lovelich's Merlin; as Bleos von Bliriers in Diu Crône; as Bleriz in Povest o Tryschane; as Bliobleherin in Erec; as Bliobleeris in La Vengeance Raguidel; as Bliobleris de Gannes (Biblioberis, Bla[h]aris, Bleob[l]eris, Bleobleheris, Bleosblieris, Bliaires, Blihoble[h]eris, Bliobeheri, Blioberis, Blyob[l]eris; -de Ga[u]n[n]es) in the French prose cycles; as Blioblieris in Le Bel Inconnu and in Wigalois; as Briobris in La Tavola Ritonda; as Pleherin in Tristrant; and as Pliopliheri in Parzival.

Bleoberis features as a major character in the later romances from the French prose cycles and their adaptations, in which he is portrayed as one of the cousins of the hero Lancelot. There he is son of Nestor de Gaunes and godson of Lancelot's father King Bors, as well as brother of his fellow Round Table companion Blamo[u]r[e] (Blanor[e]). In the Vulgate Merlin, the Livre d'Arthur, and Arthour and Merlin, Bleoberis fights alongside his brother Blamoure in the wars against the rebel kings at Bedegraine, against the Saxons at Cameliard, and against King Claudas in the Wasteland; the latter earns him his nickname "of the Wasteland" (de la Deserte). In both the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate versions of the Queste, as well as in the Prose Tristan, he participates in the Grail Quest. In Malory, he is the lord of the Castle of Gannis in Britain. In the Vulgate and the works based on it, Lancelot eventually makes him the Duke of Poitiers for his part in saving Guinevere, after which Bleoberis becomes an important leader in Lancelot's war against Arthur and Gawain. In the Post-Vulgate Mort, he returns to Britain and arrives at Salisbury after the battle to destroy the corpse of Mordred and build the Tower of the Dead. While searching for Lancelot, he meets Arthur's vengeful son Arthur the Less (himself a member of the Round Table as the Unknown Knight), whom he kills in self-defence. Finding Lancelot at a hermitage with the former Archbishop of Canterbury, he joins them. After Lancelot's death, Bleoberis buries his body at Joyous Gard. In Malory, Bleoberis and his brother first live as monks together with Lancelot and the rest of his kinsmen at Glastonbury Tor, then leave on a crusade and together die in battle in Jerusalem.

He also appears in some tales as an opponent whom the story's hero must overcome during the course of a quest or an adventure. In the Prose Tristan, Bleoberis abducts Segwarides' wife from King Mark's court, and fights for her against first Segwarides and later the protagonist Tristan. In Wigalois, one of the challenges faced by the protagonist Wigalois (Gawain's son, Gingalain) is to defeat Bleoberis, the fierce guardian of the Perilous Ford. He is similarly the first adversary conquered by Gawain's son Guinglan in Le Bel Inconnu. In Parzival, Orgeluse's suitor boasts of having him either slain or defeated but spared (depending on interpretation of the text). In Tristrant, he is one of King Mark's vassals and an enemy of Tristan, who brutally kills him during his escape from Mark's court.

His name is considered to have been derived from the 12th-century Welsh storyteller known as Bledhericus or Bleheris (possibly Bledri ap Cydifor[12]), who is mentioned in several texts, including being credited by Thomas of Britain and Wauchier de Denain as the original source of their early Arthurian poems. References to the narrative authority of Master Blihis repeat in the Elucidation, in which the character of Blihos-Bliheris appears as the final opponent for Gawain.

Brandelis[edit]

Brandelis' attributed arms

Brandelis (Brandalus, Brandel, Brandeles, Brandellis, Brendalis, etc.) is the name of a number of Arthurian romance characters, including multiple Knights of the Round Table from the French prose tradition. As in the case of several other Arthurian characters, such as King Ban, they might have been derived from the Welsh mythology's figure of Brân.

The best known of these was originally known as Bran de Lis (Brans, Bras, -de Lys), a character related to one of the mothers of the illegitimate sons of Gawain. Bran first appears in the First Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval as one of the brothers of Guilorete (Gloriete) of the Castle Lis, the mother of Gawain's son Lionel (Lioniaus). After Gawain had slain Bran's father Norroiz (Norrois, also Yder de Lis) and two of his brothers (Meliant and Guilorete) in the previous duels in the long feud against him for seducing Guilorete, Bran is about to fight him as well, but they are stopped by Arthur and later become friends. This story is retold in The Jeaste of Sir Gawain, where he appears as Brandles (the name also used for one of Arthur's knights in Sir Gawain and the Carle of Carlisle), and in the Scottish Golagros and Gawane, where he is substituted by Spinagros. In Perlesvaus, Brandalus (Brun[s] Brandelis) de Gales (of Wales) is one of Perceval's uncles along with King Alain, whose name (and title) is shared with the father of Floree, mother of Gawain's son Guinglain in the Vulgate Cycle. In Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Brandiles (Brandyles) is brother of the mother of Gawain's sons (and later his companions at the Round Table) Gingalin, Lovel and Florence.

Sir Brandeliz (Brandalis, Brandelis, Braudaliz) appears in multiple episodes through the Vulgate Cycle (some of which are included in Le Morte d'Arthur), participating in the quests (including the quest for the Grail) and in the wars against Claudas and Galahaut. He dies while fighting either against Lancelot during the latter's rescue of the condemned Guinevere or against Mordred in the final battle. In the standalone romance Claris et Laris, Brandaliz is one of the eleven protagonists other than the eponymous duo; here he is a friend of Claris who, with the help of Merlin, rescues Laris from the prison of the Danish king Tallas among his other acts. In both narratives, he is also repeatedly freed from enemy captivity by the other heroes, including Gawain, Lancelot, and Claris. The Vulgate Lancelot story of Gaheriet's rescue of Brandeliz and his lady might have been rewritten by Malory as an early episode of his "Tale of Sir Gareth", the fourth book of Le Morte d'Arthur. In the Prose Tristan, Brandeliz is a Knight of the Round Table from Cornwall, not Wales.

The Vulgate Cycle also features a different Knight of the Round Table other than Sir Brandeliz, a minor character of Duke Brandelis de Taningues (Brandeban, Brandeharz, Brandelz, -de Tranurgor). Yet another Knight of the Round Table named Brandelis (Brandelis le fils Lac, that is "son of Lac") appears as brother of Erec in Palamedes and the late Italian romance I Due Tristani. The late French romance Ysaïe le Triste features Brandalis' own son, Brandor de Gaunes (of Wales).

In the Didot Perceval, Peredur's uncle is Brendalis of Wales who also has a brother named Brwns Brandalis. A few other Brandalis characters are clearly unrelated to the Round Table, such as that of the Vulgate's Saxon king Brandalis (Braundalis, Maundalis). However, some scholars have connected Bran de Lis with the villains Brian des Isles (Brian of the Isles) from Perlesvaus and Brandin (Branduz) des Isles from the Vulgate Lancelot, as well as to King Brandelidelin from an early German Arthurian romance Parzival, as possibly identical in origin.

Calogrenant[edit]

The attributed arms of Calogrenant

Calogrenant, sometimes known in English as Colgrevance and in German (Diu Crône) as Kalogrenant, among many other variants (including Calogrenan[s/z], Calogrevant, Calogrinant, Colgrevaunce, Galogrinans, Kalebrant, Kalocreant, Qualogrenans), is a Knight of the Round Table and cousin to Yvain. His character has been derived from the Welsh mythological hero Cynon ap Clydno, usually the lover of Owain mab Urien's sister Morvydd; although in Owain, or the Lady of the Fountain, Cynon is stated to be the son of Clydno, possibly connected to Clyddno Eiddin. Roger Sherman Loomis and other scholars speculated that Calogrenant was used specifically as a foil for Kay in some lost early version of Yvain's story. The 12th-century author Chrétien de Troyes characterized him as everything Kay is not: polite, respectful, eloquent, and well-mannered. By this theory, his name can be deconstructed to "Cai lo grenant", or "Cai the grumbler", which would represent another opposite characteristic of Kay, who was famous for his acid tongue.[13]

Calogrenant at the fountain in the BN MS fr.1433 manuscript of Yvain ou le chevalier au lion (c. 1325)

Calogrenant first appears in Chrétien's Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, telling a story to a group of knights and Queen Guinevere. He describes an adventure he had in the forest of Brocéliande, in which there was a magic spring that could summon a large storm. Calogrenant reached the spring and summoned the storm, after which a knight named Esclados attacked and defeated him. Yvain is upset that Calogrenant never told him of this defeat, and sets out to avenge him, embarking on the adventure that sets up the remainder of events in the romance.

Calogrenant appears later in the Lancelot-Grail cycle, though his kinship to Yvain is not as clear as in Chrétien. He dies during the Grail Quest while trying to keep Lionel from killing his own brother, Bors. Bors had faced a dilemma over whom to rescue between Lionel, who was getting beaten with thorns by two rogue knights, and a maiden who had just been abducted, and chose the maiden over his brother. Lionel was not pleased by this, and attacked Bors the next time he saw him. A religious hermit tried to intervene, but was killed accidentally in the process, and Calogrenant stepped in. Bors refuses fight his brother, who slays Calogrenant before attacking Bors; however, God intervenes and renders him immobile.

Thomas Malory recounts Calogrenant's death scene in his Le Morte d'Arthur, but also includes another one later in the narrative. Despite dying on the Grail quest, he appears as one of the twelve knights who help Agravaine and Mordred trap Lancelot and Guinevere together in the queen's chambers. Lancelot has neither armour nor weapons, but manages to pull Calogrenant into the room and kills him; he then uses Calogrenant's sword to defeat the rest of Mordred's companions.

Claudin[edit]

Prince Claudin (Claudine, Claudyne, Claudino) is the son of the Frankish King Claudas of the Wasteland (de la Deserte). He appears in the Lancelot-Grail, the Prose Tristan, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and Le Morte d'Arthur. His father, who he fights for, is a major villain during King Arthur's early reign. However, when Claudas eventually loses the war and flees to Rome, Claudin surrenders and defects to Arthur, who makes him a member of the Round Table. During the Grail Quest, Claudin is one of the companions of Bors the Younger, Galahad and Perceval in Corbenic.

Cligès[edit]

Cligès is the title hero of Chrétien de Troyes' French poem Cligès (and its foreign versions). There, he is an offspring of Arthur's niece Soredamors and Alexander, a son of the Greek (Byzantine) Emperor. Following his adventures, Cliges eventually marries Fenice, a daughter of the German Emperor, and becomes the Greek Emperor himself.

As Cligés (Clicés, Clies, Clygés), he also appears in some other French Arthurian romances, including in the First Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval (where his father is named King Lac) and in Claris et Laris. In the Romanz du reis Yder, he serves Queen Guenloie (Guinevere) until he is expelled from her court after he criticizes her love for Yder (who later promises to reconcile them).[14] In Les Merveilles de Rigomer, he hails from Greece and participates in the quest to conquer Rigomer Castle as one of Gawain's many companions; he also defeats the undead knight in his own episode.[15]

As Clias the Greek (der Grieche Clîas), he has a role in the German Parzival.[16] Thomas Malory calls him Sir Clegis in the Urry list; despite a similar name, this version of the character is not in any way based on the English Sir Cleges (a completely different story set in the times of Arthur's father Uther Pendragon).[17]

Dodinel[edit]

The attributed arms of "Dodinet le Sauvaige"

Dodinel (Dodinas, Dodine[i]s, Dôdînes, Dodinia[u]s, Dodin[s], Dodynas, Dodynel, Didones, Dydonel[l], Lionel, etc.) le Sauvage (le Savage, le Salvage, li Sauvages, li Salvages, el Salvaje, der Wilde, etc.), variously translated to English as the Wild, the Wildman, or the Savage (sometimes also as the descriptive "impetuous" or "fierce"), is a Knight of the Round Table found in a great many works of Arthurian romance, typically featured as a well-known knight yet merely a figurant type of a character, and without a common role. He is nevertheless important in several of such works, including the Third Continuation of Perceval, the Vulgate Lancelot, the Post-Vulgate Merlin, the Livre d'Artus, the Prose Tristan, and Claris et Laris.

Dodinel is introduced in Chrétien de Troyes' Erec et Enide, being named there as the ninth best of King Arthur's knights, albeit described as a rude one. Dodinel is also listed among the top knights of Arthur in Chrétien's Yvain as well as in Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight, while The Knight of the Two Swords describes him as a "truly exceptional ... man of many virtues." He might have been originally identical with Percival, which would explain his characteristic epiteth as meaning a man from the woods (wilderness). However, the only possible trace of such motif can be found in the German Lanzelet, in which Dodines lives a double life: as an enchanter owning a magic horse and dwelling near the dangerous Shrieking Marsh (Schreiende Moos) in the summer, and as a knight in Arthur's lands in the winter.

As with his other characteristics, Dondinel's family relations are variably told. In the Vulgate Merlin Continuation, he is portrayed as an illegitimate son of either King Brandegorre or King Bélinant (Balinant, Belinans, Belynans; possibly based on the Celtic god Belinus) de Sorgales ("of South Wales"; Norgales / North Wales in the Vulgate Lancelot) and Eglatine (Eglantine, Eglante, Eglente), and cousin of Galeschin. In the Lancelot en prose, he is son of King Nantres and Blasine, and brother of Galescin. In the Huth-Merlin, he is son of Balin's brother Balaan le Sauvage. In the Didot-Perceval, he is son of the Lady of Malehaut (Dame de Malohaut). In Parzival, he has a brother called Taurian the Wild (der Wilde).

In the Third Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval, one of the six episodes of Gawain's adventures relate his rescue of the "handsome and valiant" Dodinel (Dodinal) from a prison and his lover from a pyre, the latter then also again saved by Perceval. Dodinel is prominent in Claris et Laris, portrayed there as a comical side story character, a Dinadan-like humorously anti-chivalric knight, one who avoids dangerous combat in his wanderings and once escapes from a captivity by posing as a minstrel. He and Dinadan are themselves friends in the Meliadus Compilation; in the Marvels of Rigomer, Dodinel is one of Gawain's quest companions. Thomas Malory in his Le Morte d'Arthur, following some of the Dodinel material from the Vulgate Lancelot as well as his portrayal in the Prose Tristan, has him (named as Dodinas le Savage in the Winchester Manuscript) as a recurring companion of Sagramore and, early in his career, as one of the Guinevere's own ten knights.

His 'biography' can be found in the French prose cycles. In the Vulgate Merlin and the Livre d'Artus, the young teenage Dodinel defects to Arthur early in the king's reign, opposing his own family. In the Livre, he kills the Saxon king Mathmas at the Battle of Clarence (Badon). Having been knighted by Arthur, he joins the Queen's Knights and eventually the Round Table. The Vulgate Lancelot, besides telling the stories of Lancelot's rescues of the captive Dodinel on multiple occasions, has him as one of the only five knights who cross the perilous bridge into Sorelois alive (besides Gawain, Meliant, Yder and Arthur). In the Vulgate Queste, he is one of the Grail knights in Galahad's company. In the Post-Vulgate, Lamorak is slain by Gawain and his brothers when he is injured following an earlier fight with Dodinel. In the end, Dodinel dies fighting against Mordred's forces at the Battle of Salisbury Plain (Camlann).

In Italy, he is called Dondinello and its variants, usually with no epithet (except in the case of Oddinello le Salvaggio in the Tristano Riccardiano). In his unusual characterization in Chantari di Lancelotto, Dodinel (Dudinello) is a villain who joins up with Mordred to conspire against Lancelot. Cantari di Carduino, a Fair Unknown type epic poem possibly based on a lost Dodinel romance, tells the story of his eponymous son Carduino's vengeance against the clan of Gawain for having his father fatally poisoned by the jealous lords including Mordred and Augerisse (probably Gaheris), as well as his other adventures.

Drian[edit]

Drian (Doryan, Driant, Durnor) is one of King Pellinore's sons out of wedlock. He is most prominent in the Prose Tristan which describes him as one of the very best of the Knights, alongside Galahad, Lancelot, Palamedes, and his own brother Lamorak.[18] There, Drian and Lamorak are hated by Gawain for being sons of Pellinore and for being superior knights to Gawain. Drian dies when he fights three of King Lot's sons, unhorsing Agravain and Mordred before being mortally wounded and left for dead by Gawain; Lamorak dies soon afterwards while trying to avenge him.

Drian is called Dornar (Durnor[e]) by Thomas Malory in Le Morte d'Arthur, where he is also killed by Gawain. He appears alongside two knights named Darnarde and Dryaun (Dryaunt, Tryan), both of them also derived from the French Drian.[19] Malory splits Drian's adventures from the Prose Tristan between the latter two: Dryaun guards a bridge with his brother Alain (one of Drian's other brothers), jousting the passing knights; Darnarde visits King Mark's court with Lamorak, where they defeat Mark and all of his knights but Tristan. Darnarde is eventually killed alongside his brothers, Aglovale and Tor, when Lancelot rescues Queen Guinevere from the stake.

Elyan[edit]

The arms of Helain le Blanc

Elyan the White or Helyan le Blanc (also Elain, Elayn, Helain, Hellaine, Helin; -le Blank, -the Pale) is son of Bors the Younger in the prose romance tradition of Lancelot-Grail (Vulgate Cycle). His mother, Claire, is daughter of British king Brandegore (Brandegorre, Brandegoris) and tricked Bors into sleeping with her using a magic ring (the only time Bors broke his vow of chastity). Claire is also half-sister of Sagramore, and their shared mother is daughter of the Eastern Roman Emperor.

At the age of 15, Elyan is brought to Arthur's court by Bors and is accepted as a member to the Round Table. He becomes known as an excellent knight. In the Post-Vulgate Queste and the Prose Tristan, Elyan takes a vacant Round Table seat that had belonged to Dragan (Dagarius) after the latter knight's death by Tristan. Elyan later helps his cousin Lancelot rescue Guinevere after their affair is exposed, and then joins him in exile during their war with Arthur. According to the Vulgate Cycle, true to his lineage, Elyan eventually becomes Emperor of Constantinople.

Elyan should not be confused with Elians (Eliant, Elianz), a Knight of the Round Table from Ireland who occupied Lancelot's vacant seat in both the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate versions of the Mort Artu.

Elyan the White was portrayed by Nigerian actor Adetomiwa Edun as Guinevere's brother in the 2008 television series Merlin.

Erec[edit]

The attributed arms of "Herec le fils Lac"

Erec (French Erech, Eric, Herec, Heret; German Eres; Italian Arecco; Norse Erex), the son of King Lac, is most famous as the protagonist in Chrétien de Troyes' first romance, Erec and Enide, later retold in Erec and other versions. Because of Erec and Enide‘s connection to the Welsh Geraint and Enid, Erec and Geraint are often conflated or confused. Erec's name itself may be derived from 'Guerec', the Breton version of 'Gweir' which was the name of several of Arthur's warriors and relatives in the different early Welsh tales.

In Chrétien's story, Erec meets his future wife Enide while on a quest to defeat a knight who had mistreated one of Queen Guinevere's servants. The two fall in love and marry, but rumours spread that Erec no longer cares for knighthood or anything else besides his domestic life. Enide cries about these rumours, causing Erec to prove his abilities, both to himself and to his wife, through a test of Enide's love for him. He has her go on a long, tortuous trip with him where she is forbidden to speak to him, after which they reconcile. When Erec's father Lac dies, Erec inherits his kingdom. The Norse Erex Saga gives him two sons, named Llac and Odus, who later both become kings. The story of Eric and Enide is also retold within the Prose Tristan.

Enide is entirely absent from the Prose Erec part of the Post-Vulgate Merlin Continuation, in which Erec's mother's enchantment makes him immune to magic. His acts include saving Bors from the enchanter Mabon; he also has a cousin named Driadam, whose death begins Erec's feud with the young Mordred. In the Post-Vulgate Quest of the Holy Grail, Erec is slain by Gawain in revenge for the death of Yvain of the White Hands, and does not regain his father's kingdom; his seat at the Round Table is taken by his friend Meraugis, who had buried him. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, Erec dies during the final battle between the forces of Arthur and Mordred.

In Lanzelet, Erec and Gawain agree to be delivered to the great wizard Malduc (whose father was killed by Erec), so that Guinevere can be rescued from King Valerin's castle; they are then tortured and almost starved to death in Malduc's dungeon, until they are eventually themselves rescued. In Le Morte d'Arthur, Harry le Fyse Lake (or Garry le Fitz Lake, Malory's corruption of the French Herec le Fils Lac) participates in Lancelot's rescue of Guinevere from the stake.

Esclabor[edit]

The attributed arms of "Exclabor ly Viescovtiens"

King Esclabor the Unknown (Astlabor, Esclabort, Scalabrone; -le Mescogneu, -li Mesconneü, -li Mesconneuz) is a wandering Saracen lord from a vaguely Middle Eastern land, usually either Babylon (in today's Iraq) or Galilee (today's northern Israel). He is the father of Palamedes, Safir, and Segwarides, among others. During his long stay in Britain, Esclabor initially hides his faith, trying to pass as a Christian, but soon becomes widely known as a valiant pagan knight.[20]

While visiting Rome, he saves the life of the Roman Emperor; he later travels to Arthur's Logres at the time of Arthur's coronation, where he rescues King Pellinore as well. Esclabor eventually settles at Camelot, later adventuring with Palamedes and Galahad during the Grail Quest. In the Post-Vulgate Queste, eleven of his sons are killed during their encounter with the Questing Beast. Shortly after finally agreeing to convert to Christianity, an act necessary for the full admission into the brotherhood of Round Table,[21] and which also allows his participation in the Grail Quest, Esclabor commits suicide from grief upon learning of his favorite son Palamedes' death at the hands of Gawain.

Gaheris of Karaheu[edit]

Gaheris de Karaheu (Gaharis, Gaheran, Gahetis, Gaherys, Gaheus, Gains, Gareis, Ghaheris; -d'Escareu, -de Carahan/Car[a/e]heu, -de Gaheran/Gahereu, -de Karahau/Karehan), also known as the White (li Blans), is one of the minor Knights of the Round Table and brother of Mador de la Porte. He should not be confused with Gaheris of Orkney, one of King Arthur's nephews and another Knight of the Round Table.

In the Vulgate Lancelot, Gaheris of Karaheu appears in minor roles, mostly as a prisoner, prior to his accidental death. Gawain saves him from Galehaut, while the mysterious White Knight (Lancelot incognito) rescues him from the Dolorous Prison near Dolorous Gard and then again from the Vale of No Return. Later, in the Vulgate Mort Artu, he dies from eating a poisoned apple, which was made by the knight Avarlan and was meant to kill Gawain. The apple is offered to Gaheris unknowingly by Guinevere; the queen is accused of his murder, until she is cleared of the charge in the trial by combat between Mador and Lancelot.[22]

This episode is also included in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, but in these texts the victim is, respectively, either an unnamed visiting Scottish knight or Sir Patrise of Ireland (the poisoner is also renamed by Malory as Sir Pionel). The Italian Tristano Panciaticchiano, where he remains Mador's brother, calls him Giafredi. The overall motif of the manner of his death might have been inspired by account of the fatal poisoning of Walwen (a purportedly historical Gawain) as told in the chronicle Gesta Regum Anglorum.

Galehodin[edit]

Galehodin le Gallois (Galeh[a/o]udin, also Gal[l]ides, Gallind[r]es, etc.) is Galehaut's nephew and godson, and his designated successor as the King of Sorelois. Galehodin is introduced in the Prose Lancelot as the young grandson of the King of Norgales (North Wales). There he is the lord of the town and castle of Pennin (Peningue), and desires to follow the great hero Lancelot so he can learn from him. He is described as one of the tallest knights in the world, wearing only a plain white shield. Together with Mordred and Mador, he easily triumphs over the men of Gorre in a tournament against King Bagdemagus.

In the Italian Tavola Ritonda, Galehaut's heir is his son named Abastubagio, a character corresponding with that of Galehodin as he appears in the Prose Tristan. Both appear in their respective texts in the role of the host of the great tournament in Sorelois.

A Knight of the Round Table and Galehaut's cousin named Galahodin (Galihod[i/y]n, Galyhod[i/y]n) appears as one of closest companions of Lancelot in Thomas Malory's telling, in which Galahodin takes much of Galehaut's traits from the French tradition. Galahodin, described as an sub-king in Sorelois, serves Lancelot as one of his chief knights during the war against Arthur, later joining him in the hermitage at the end of his life. Before that, one of the episodes borrowed from the Prose Tristan tell of Galahodin's attempted kidnapping of Isolde, foiled by Palamedes. Malory's Galahodin should not be confused with two of his original characters from Le Morte d'Arthur, Lancelot's own relatives Galyhod (Gal[i/y]hud) and Gahalantyne (Gahalantin), who are also close companions of Lancelot. After taking over the lands in France, Malory's Lancelot appoints Galahodin as the duke of Saintonge, Galyhod as the earl of Périgord, and Gahalantyne as the duke of Auvergne. They eventually stay together with Lancelot and Galahodin as their fellow monks at the end. The Hebrew King Artus includes Galaodin de Gaulis (of Gaul) among Lancelot's followers.

Galeschin[edit]

The attributed arms of the Duc de Clerence

Galeschin (Galeshin, Galescin, Galessin, Galachin, Galathin, Galescalain, Galeschalains, Galaas, etc.) is the son of King Arthur's half-sister Elaine and King Nentres of Garlot. He first appears in the story of the Dolorous Tower in the Vulgate Cycle, in which he and his cousin Yvain attempt to rescue their other cousin Gawain from the wicked lord Carados; both are taken captive as well, but the trio are eventually rescued by Lancelot. (Galeschin is later additionally rescued by Lancelot from the Vale of No Return.) Though mentioned in a few other stories, his role is ultimately minor. He loosely inspired the character of Duke Chalance (Chalaunce) of Clarence, a Knight of the Round Table appearing in different episodes of Le Morte d'Arthur.

Roger Sherman Loomis derives the name Galeschin from the name Galvariun, found on the Modena Archivolt. He theorizes that the name was altered to make it sound more like Galesche, the Old French word for Gaul, and derives the name Galvariun from the epithet Gwallt Euryn, found in Culhwch and Olwen, which he translates as "Golden Hair". Oddly, Galeschin is also called the Duc de Clarence in the French literature prior to the 14th century; this could not possibly refer to the position of Duke of Clarence (which did not exist yet at the time and does not refer to a place name), leading Loomis to translate it as the "Lord of Light".[23]

Gaswain[edit]

Gaswain (one of many variants of his name) is a recurring character in the French and French-inspired Arthurian romances. He is often associated with the similarly named nephew of King Arthur, Gawain of Orkney, while being cast as Gawain's companion or opponent. Like Gawain's, his character is considered to be derived from the prototype of the warrior by the name Gwrvan and its variants, found in the early Welsh Arthurian tales Culhwch ac Olwen, Peredur fab Efrawg, Preiddeu Annwn, and Trioedd Ynys Prydein.

Within the chivalric romance tradition, he is first found as Garravain (Garravains) d'Estrangot among Arthur's knights in some manuscripts of the Old French Erec et Enide (Gasosin von Strangot in the German version Erec). He is also listed by the name Gasouains in the First Continuation of Perceval ou le Conte du Graal. In Les Merveilles de Rigomer, he is Garradains, a knight of Arthur traveling with Gawain on a quest to conquer the enchanted castle of the Irish queen Dionise.

In Diu Crône, Gasozein de Dragoz arrives at King Arthur's court and claims to be the first lover and rightful husband of Guinevere, unsuccessfully demanding her to be returned to him. Gasozein later rescues Guinevere from her brother Gotegrin, who wants to kill her for her infidelity, but then he kidnaps her in turn and nearly rapes her. However, Gawain arrives in time, defeats Gasozein in a duel, sends him back to Arthur to revoke his claim, and even arranges Gasozein's marriage with his own sister-in-law Sgoidamur.

He appears under the nyame Guengasoain (Gasouains, Guengasoains, Guengasouain[s], Guingasoain) as the antagonist of La Vengeance Raguidel, in which Gawain and Yder attempt to avenge his murder of the knight Raguidel. Here he is a nephew of King Aguissant (Angusel, a brother of King Lot in the Historia Regum Britanniae) and a former captive of the fay sorceress Lingrenote, the lady of the Nameless Castle. Lingrenote makes him her knight and arms him with powerful enchanted weapons, making him near invincible. He is nevertheless successfully slain by Gawain with the help of Yder, the latter of whom then marries Guengasoain's daughter Trevilonete.

The plot of Meraugis de Portlesguez revolves around the protagonist Meraugis competing for the love of Queen Lidoine with his friend named Gorvain Cadrut, in addition to dealing with Gawain. Gorvain loses Lidoine to his rival, but ends up happily married to one of her maidens, Avice. In Hunbaut, Gorvain Cadrus of Castle Pantelion takes Gawain's unnamed sister hostage, seeking vengeance against him for the death of one of his relatives. He is defeated and taken captive by Gawain, who sends him to Arthur's court at Caerleon as a prisoner; there, he eventually becomes a Knight of the Round Table.

In the Vulgate Estoire de Merlin (and the English Of Arthour and of Merlin), the young Gaswain de Estrangot (Gasoain, Gosenain; -de Estrangort) fights alongside Gawain in the battles against the invading Saxons, his great feats earning him an early seat at the Round Table. When Gawain wrongly accuses him of treason, he gives Gawain a severe face wound in a trial by combat in front of King Arthur. In the Vulgate Lancelot, he is noted as "very valorous and a good speaker", and is involved in the adventures of Kay and others. He is with Gawain when they are both captured and imprisoned in the Dolorous Prison until the rescue by Lancelot, who also later frees him from Turquine's captivity on another occasion.

Gornemant[edit]

Gornemant of Gohort, also known as Gornemant de Goort or Gurnemans of Gorhaut (among other variants such as Gornemans or Gormans), is the knight best known as Percival's mentor. He is mentioned in a few early romances and is prominent in Perceval, the Story of the Grail, in which he instructs the young hero in the ways of knighthood. Gornemant is the uncle of Blanchefleur, whom Percival later marries after successfully defending her city against attackers. The author Wolfram von Eschenbach also gives him three sons (Gurzgi, Lascoyt, Schentefleurs), as well as a daughter named Liaze who falls in love with Percival but he declines to marry her. In the Italian Tristan romances, he appears under the name Governale, and is entrusted by Merlino (Merlin) to care for and edecate the young Cornish prince Tristano.

His character appeared as Gurnemanz in Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, in which he is one of the main Grail Knights.

Griflet[edit]

Girflet's attributed arms

Griflet (/ˈɡrɪflɪt/) the son of Do is a ubiquitous character in Arthurian legend, where he was one of the first Knights of the Round Table.[24] He is first found in Chrétien de Troyes' Erec et Enide, named there as Girflez li filz Do. Like many other Arthurian romance characters, his origins lie in Welsh mythology; in this instance, it is the minor deity Gilfaethwy fab Dôn.[25]

He is notably the eponymous hero of his own, early chivalric romance, Jaufre. He also appears as Gerflet in Beroul's Tristan and Parcevals Saga; Gerflet li fius Do in Mériadeuc; Gifflet in Escanor; Gifflet (Girfles) li fieus Do in the Livre d'Artus; Giflés (Gifles) li fius Do in Perceval ou le Conte du Graal, Li Biaus Descouneüs, and Libeaus Desconus; Giflet le fils de Do in Le Bel Inconnu; Giflet fis Do in Sir Gawain and the Lady of Lys; Girflet (Giflet, Giflez, Giftet, Girfles, Gyfles, Gyflet, Gyrflet) le (li) fils (filz) Do (Doon, Dos) in the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate prose cycles; Girfles (Girlflet, Girflez) li filz Do in the Prose Tristan; Girflez le fils Do in Lancelot, le Chevalier de la Charrette; Girflez in La Mule sans Frein; Griflet (Gifles, Gifflès, Gifflet, Gryflet, Gryfflet) li fieus Do (Dou) in Le Morte d'Arthur; Grifles in Henry Lovelich's Merlin; Grimfles in the English Prose Merlin; Gyffroun in Ywain and Gawain; and Iofreit (Jofreit) fils Idol in Parzival.[26] Further texts featuring him include Hunbaut, La Vengeance Raguidel, and the First and Fourth Continuations of Perceval.[27]

Giflet throwing Excalibur into the lake in a 1470 illustration for the 13th-century romance La Mort du roi Arthur

In French chivalric romance prose cycles, he first appears as a squire early in King Arthur's rule. He is a cousin to Lucan and Bedivere.[26] He joins the Round Table after personally slaying one of the Saxon kings, but gains a notoriety for being taken captive often. According to the French Mort Artu, he was one of the few survivors of Arthur's final battle and was asked by the dying king to return his sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. In Le Morte d'Arthur, however, Sir Griflet is one of the knights killed by Lancelot's rescue party at the execution of Guinevere, making Griflet's cousin Bedivere the knight who casts away Excalibur; this role is given to Bedivere also in the earlier English adaptations of the Mort Artu.

Hector de Maris[edit]

The attributed arms of Hector des Mares

Hector de Maris (Ector de Maris, Estor de Mareis, Hector de Marais, Hestor des Mares, etc.) is the younger half-brother of Lancelot; Bors and Lionel are his cousins. His name means Hector of the Fens (the form used in Norris J. Lacy's translation of the Vulgate Cycle); he should not be mistaken with Sir Ector (Hector), the father of Kay and foster father of Arthur. Hector's adventures are many and wide-ranging, especially within the Vulgate and the Post-Vulgate prose cycles. He is also the eponymous protagonist of the Italian Cantare di Astore e Morgana.

As told in the Vulgate Merlin, Hector is an illegitimate son of King Ban of Benwick, who, magically helped by Merlin, fathered him with the Lady de Maris. He is raised by his maternal grandfather Agravadain the Black, lord of the Castle of the Fens. In the Vulgate Lancelot, he fights against the Saxons and saves his relative Elaine the Peerless. He is successful at tournaments, prevailing against such esteemed knights as Palomedes and Perceval. He is, however, one of the knights defeated and imprisoned by Turquine before being rescued by his brother Lancelot; he returns the favour by finding the lost Knight of the Lake after Lancelot's period of insanity and returning him to the court. He has a long relationship with Lady Perse of the Narrow Borderland after saving her from a forced marriage; he also has an affair with a cousin of the Lady of Roestoc prior to reuniting with Perse. In the Post-Vulgate Queste, his friendship with Gawain turns into the hatred following Gawain's killing of Erec. Hector participates in the great Grail Quest, during which his companions besides Gawain include Arthur the Less and Meraugis. Like most others, Hector is proven unworthy of achieving the sacred relic. Nevertheless, he helps the Grail hero Galahad to destroy the Castle of Treachery, and the appearance of the Grail revives him and Perceval after the two mortally wounded each other.

Lancelot stops his half-brother Hector from killing Arthur defeated in battle, as depicted by William Dyce in King Arthur Unhorsed, Spared by Sir Launcelot (1852)

When Lancelot is caught in his affair with Guinevere, Hector stands by his half-brother and leaves court with him. He becomes one of the top leaders of Lancelot's faction, participating in the battle to rescue the queen at her would-be execution and the subsequent defence of Lancelot's castle Joyous Guard. He accompanies Lancelot in France when they are expelled from Arthur's kingdom, before later returning to Britain to help defeat the Saxon army aided by Mordred's sons after the Battle of Camlann (Salisbury). He then joins his brother at the Archbishop of Canterbury's hermitage, and later dies on a crusade in the Holy Land.

King with the Hundred Knights[edit]

The King with the Hundred Knights (Roi des Cent Chevaliers, sometimes translated as the "King of the Hundred Knights") is a moniker most commonly used for an Arthurian character popular in the Old French chivalric romance tradition. He has also appeared under many different names, including Heraut (Berant, Horel, Horiaus, Hovaux, etc.) li Aspres in the Prose Tristan, Malaguin (Aguignier, Aguigens, Aguigniez, Aguysans, Alguigines, Angvigenes, Malaguis, Malauguin[s], etc.) in the Prose Lancelot, and Margon in the Third Continuation of Perceval, the Story of the Grail; Thomas Malory referred to him also as Sir Barant (Berrant) le Apres. Conversely, in some other works, such as Palamedes, he is not given a proper name. The legendary figure of Malaguin seems to be loosely based on the historical Maelgwn, an early 6th-century king of Gwynedd known for propagating Christianity in Britain.

His first known appearance is possibly in Lanzelet as Ritschart, a count opposing King Lot who is mentioned as having a hundred knights and is later aided by Lancelot. However, his major role as the "King with the Hundred Knights" is from the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate Merlin continuations, in which he is one of the chief rebel leaders opposing King Arthur in the battle of Bedegraine. However, after experiencing a prophetic dream, he joins Arthur to fight the invading Saxon pagans in God's name. He remains on Arthur's side during Lot's second rebellion, then fights against Arthur in the service of Galehaut in the Vulgate Lancelot. Afterwards, he again submits to Arthur's rule and joins the Round Table, later taking part in the war against Rome. (The chronology of that is different in Malory's compilation.) Lancelot of the Laik, a Scottish version of the Vulgate Lancelot, splits hia character into the King with a Hundred Knights and Maleginis, two different minor kings serving Galehaut.

He is the ruler of the land variably known as Estrangore in the Livre d'Artus alternative continuation of Merlin, Malahaut (Malehaut, etc.) in the Estoire de Merlin and the Prose Lancelot, Guzilagne in La Tavola Ritonda, Piacenza in the Italian I Due Tristani, and Tumane in Lanzelet. The Vulgate Lancelot gives him a sister (known only as the Lady of Malahaut), a son named Maranz (Marant, Marauz, Martans, Martant), and a daughter named Landoine (Landoigne). The Prose Tristan and Le Morte d'Arthur mention him as a lover of one of Morgan le Fay's companions, the enchantress known as the Queen of North Wales. In I Due Tristani, he marries Riccarda, the half-giant sister of Galehaut.

In the Third Continuation of Perceval, his son, named Cargril (Cargrilo), falls in one-sided love with Perceval's cousin Sore Pucelle. Margon and Cargril besiege her castle; however, Gawain lifts the siege, and Sore Pucelle avenges the death of her lover (whom they had hanged) by launching Cargril from a catapult. In La Tavola Ritonda, the King with the Hundred Knights dies fighting alongside King Amoroldo of Ireland (an Italian version of Morholt) at the Battle of Lerline, in a factional conflict in which Lancelot and Tristan find themselves opposing each other.

Lac[edit]

King Lac (French: Roi Lac, literally "King Lake") is the father of Erec introduced in Chrétien de Troyes' Erec and Enide and its variants. His counterpart in the Welsh Geraint and Enid is named Erbin. His kingdom is variably known as Nantes, Destrigales ("Outer Wales", possibly South Wales), Carnant, and Black Isles. In the Guiron le Courteous part of Palamedes, King Lac is himself a Knight of the Round Table. Thomas Malory retained him in this role in his Le Morte d'Arthur as the King of the Lake. He is entirely unrelated to Lancelot du Lac (of the Lake).

In his redefinition in the Post-Vulgate Cycle, King Lac is son of Canan, a peasant-born Greek king. The Post-Vulgate Quest of the Holy Grail tells of Lac's poisoning by the sons of his brother, King Dirac, and the young Erec's exile from their kingdom of Saloliqui to Britain following Lac's murder. In this version, Lac was married to the sorceress Crisea (Ocise), who was the sister of Pelles, the Fisher King.

Besides Erec, King Lac's children include a daughter, who is unnamed in Chrétien's Perceval but called Jeschute in Parzival. Lac's other sons include Sir Brandelis in Palamedes and in I Due Tristani, and Cligés in the First Continuation of Perceval, who themselves become Knights of the Round Table.

Lohot[edit]

Lohot (Loholt) is a character loosely based on Llacheu, one of King Arthur's sons from the early Welsh tradition. He appears as the king's legitimate son by Queen Guinevere in the works such as Lanzelet and Perlesvaus (as Ilinot and Elinot, respectively). In the Vulgate Cycle, on the other hand, he is Arthur's bastard and the son of Lady Lisanor (Dame Lionors).[28][29] In Perlesvaus, he is treacherously killed by Kay so that the latter can take credit for the defeat of the giant Logrin; his murder causes Guinevere to die of sorrow. In the Vulgate Cycle, he dies young from illness after being rescued from the Dolorous Prison by Lancelot.[29] Thomas Malory renamed him as a very minor character called Borre (Bohort, Bohart, Boarte) le Cure Hardy ("the Strong Heart"), and his mother as Lyzianor.

Lucan[edit]

The attributed arms of "Lucam le Bouteillier"

Lucan the Butler (Lucanere de Buttelere, Lucan[s] li Bouteillier, Lucant le Boutellier, Lucas the Botiller, Lucanus, etc.) is a servant of King Arthur, the son of Duke Corneus, a brother of Bedivere, and a cousin of Griflet. He and his relatives are among Arthur's earliest allies in the fight against the rebel kings such as Lot, Urien and Caradoc, and he remained loyal to Arthur throughout his life.

Lucan took on the post of royal butler, a significant position in charge of the royal household. He was supposed to have been in charge of the royal court, along with Bedivere the Marshal and Kay the Seneschal. He fought for Arthur's right to the throne at the Battle of Bedegraine and against subsequent rebellions. He was known to always attend the royal tournaments, and was once hurt so badly by Tristan that Yvain had to escort him to Gannes Abbey for medical assistance.

In most accounts of Arthur's death in the romance literature, from the Lancelot-Grail cycle to Le Morte d'Arthur, Lucan is one of the last knights at the king's side at the Battle of Camlann and is usually the last of them to die. Lucan remained loyal to King Arthur throughout the schism with Lancelot, and on occasion acted as a negotiator between them. Similarly, he stayed by the monarch's side during Mordred's rebellion and tried to dissuade Arthur from his final attack on his son/nephew, but was unsuccessful and the king became fatally wounded. Worried about looters roaming the battlefield, Lucan and Bedivere attempt to move the dying Arthur into a nearby chapel for safety, but the strain is too much for Lucan and his old wound bursts open, spilling out his bowels; he succumbs to his own wounds just before the king returns Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake and sails off for Avalon. Though the knight Arthur asks to cast the sword into the lake is usually Griflet (Lancelot-Grail) or Bedivere (Le Morte d'Arthur, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, the Stanzaic Morte Arthur), the 16th-century English ballad King Arthur's Death ascribes this duty to Lucan.[30]

A character named Lucan appears in the 2004 film King Arthur. Played by Johnny Brennan, he is a young boy found and cared for by Arthur's warrior Dagonet.

Mador de la Porte[edit]

Mador's attributed arms

Mador de la Porte (French: Mador, Amador; English: Mador, Madore, Madors; Italian: Amadore; Irish: Mado) is a minor Knight of the Round Table in the late Arthurian prose romances. His epithet "of the Gate" (de la Porte) suggests he might have been Arthur's porter; if so, Mador might be equated with Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr ("Mightygrasp") who is Arthur's porter in medieval Welsh tales.

"At last the strange knight smote him to the earth, and gave him such a bugget on the helm as well-night killed him." Lancelot Speed's illustration for The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights, abridged from Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur by James Knowles (1912)

Mador's best known role is in an episode of the Vulgate Mort Artu (and consequently in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur) that tells the story of his trial by combat against the incognito Lancelot, Queen Guinevere's champion for her innocence following the poisoning of Mador's brother Gaheris de Karahau. Mador loses the duel to Lancelot (without losing his life in the process), saving Guinevere from the accusation that almost led her being burnt at the stake.

Besides the Vulgate Mort Artu and the English works based on it, Mador also appears or is referenced in several other works, including in the Prose Lancelot, in the "Tournament of Sorelois" episode found in some versions of the Prose Tristan and the Prophecies de Mérlin (as well as in Le Morte d'Arthur), in the Post-Vulgate Cycle, in the Guiron le Courtois part of Palemedes, in Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight, in the Sicilian romance Floriant et Florette, and in the Compilation of Rustichello da Pisa. The Vulgate Mort Artu notes him as exceptionally tall and says there was hardly a knight in Arthur's court who was stronger. This is repeated in the Version I of the Prose Tristan, in which Tristan considers him second only to the half-giant Galehault in size and strength. In Le Morte d'Arthur, he is also a companion of the young Mordred.

The Livre d'Artus version of the Vulgate Merlin Continuation mentions Madoc li Noirs de la Porte (Madoc the Black of the Gate) among the knights who come to the aid of Aglovale to fight against the forces of Agrippe. He may be further identical with the knight Mado, who is twice briefly mentioned in the First Continuation of Chrétien's Perceval. Mado also appears as antagonist in the 16th-century Irish Arthurian tale Eachtra Mhelóra agus Orlando (The Adventures of Melora and Orlando), wherein he is the villainous son of the King of the Hesperides in love with Arthur's daughter Melora, who disguises herself as a man and fights incognito as a knight to defeat Mado and his ally Merlin.

Meliant[edit]

The attributed arms of "Mellienderis"

Meliant (Melians, Melyans) is a Knight of the Round Table featured in several chivalric romances. There are also multiple other Arthurian characters by this name.[a] He should furthermore not be confused with Tristan's father Meliadus, who is sometimes known as Melias.[32]

In the writings by Chrétien de Troyes and Wolfram von Eschenbach, Meliant de Lis is the King of Lis. Along with Bagdemagus and Meleagant, he declares war on his foster-father, Tiebaut (Lyppaut), after being rejected by the latter's daughter Obie. Gawain, fighting for Obie's sister Obilot, captures Meliant, who then reconciles with Obie in her captivity. A different version of this story, as told by Heinrich von dem Türlin, names him Fiers von Arramis, whom Gawain also forces to surrender to a young lady who is a sister of his beloved (Flursenesephin). In the Livre de Artus, Meliant de Lis marries Gawain's own lover Floree.

In the Vulgate Cycle's Queste, Melians de Danemarche (Denmark, Dianarca) is a squire of Galahad, who knights him during the Grail Quest. Later, Sir Melians joins Bors and Percival at Castle Corbenic at the end of the quest.[33] King Arthur appoints him to the Round Table, but he later sides with Lancelot in the civil war in the Vulgate Mort. In reward for his support, including his role in the rescue of Guinevere, Lancelot makes him an earl ruling one of Lancelot's domains on the continent. Malory calls him Melias de Lile (de Lisle) in Le Morte d'Arthur.

Morholt[edit]

The attributed arms of Morholt d'Irlande

Morholt of Ireland (Marha[u]lt, Marhaus, Morold, Amoroldo) is an Irish warrior who demands tribute from King Mark of Cornwall until he is slain by Mark's nephew Tristan. In many versions, Morholt's name is prefaced with a definite article (i.e. The Morholt) as if it were a rank or a title, but scholars have found no reason for this.[34]

He appears in almost all versions of the legend of Tristan and Iseult, beginning with the verse works of Thomas of Britain and Béroul. In the early material, Morholt is the brother of the Queen of Ireland and the uncle of Tristan's future love (both mother and daughter are named Iseult). He comes to Cornwall to collect tribute owed to his country; instead, however, Tristan challenges him to battle on the remote Saint Samson's Isle in order to release his people from the debt. Tristan mortally wounds Morholt, leaving a piece of his sword in the Irishman's skull, but Morholt stabs him with a poisoned spear and escapes to Ireland to die. The injured Tristan eventually travels to Ireland incognito to receive healing from Iseult the Younger, but is found out when the queen discovers the piece of metal found in her brother's head fits perfectly into a chink in Tristan's blade.

The authors of later romances expanded Morholt's role. In works like the Prose Tristan, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, he is a Knight of the Round Table before his fateful encounter with Tristan. The prose romances add many further details to Morholt's career; the Post-Vulgate and Malory record his adventures with the young Gawain, Gaheris and Yvain early in King Arthur's reign. In the later versions, Tristan takes Morholt's place at the Round Table when he joins the company himself.

Priamus[edit]

Priamus (Pryamus) is a Roman ally of Emperor Lucius in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, following the Alliterative Morte Arthure. He claims to be descended from Alexander of Africa and Judas Maccabeus. Upon meeting Gawain in "The Tale of King Arthur and Emperor Lucius", he defects from Lucius to join forces with King Arthur.[35] In return, Arthur appoints him as the Duke of Lorraine. He later dies at the fight for Guinevere. In Malory's version, two of Priamus' brothers also become Knights of the Round Table: Edward of Carnarvon and Hectymere.

Safir[edit]

Saphar's attributed arms

Safir (Safire, Safere, Saphar) is the youngest son of the Saracen king Esclabor in the Arthurian legend. He appeaered in the Prose Tristan and Le Morte d'Arthur, and his name was included on the Winchester Round Table. Two of his brothers, Segwarides and Palamedes, also belong to the Round Table.

Safir appears in many works of Arthurian literature, usually alongside his brother Palamedes. In one story, Safir disguises himself as Ector de Maris, fights with Helior le Preuse, defeats him, and wins Espinogres' lady. Vowing to defend the lady's honor, Palamedes arrives and locks swords with Safir, not realizing it is his brother. After fighting for an hour to a standstill, both are impressed with each other's prowess and skill, and decide to ask the other's identity. Safir is devastated to find that he was fighting with his own brother and asks Palamedes for forgiveness; together, they return the lady to Espinogres. Later, after the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere is exposed, Safir and Palamedes join Lancelot's side in the ensuing civil war between Lancelot and King Arthur. When they are banished to Lancelot's homeland in Gaul, Safir is made Duke of Landok while Palamedes becomes Duke of Provence.

Segwarides[edit]

The attributed arms of "Securades"

Segwarides (Seguarades, Seguradés, Seguradez, etc.) is a son of the Saracen king Esclabor who becomes a liegeman of King Mark. His other brothers include the fellow Round Table knights Palamedes and Safir. It is possible there have been originally two characters of this name, but the stories in which they appear fail to differentiate between them.

"Sir Segwarides rides after Sir Tristram." F. A. Fraser's illustration for Henry Frith's King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (1912)

He is cuckolded by Tristan in the Prose Tristan and Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Tristan has a brief affair with Segwarides' wife, and wounds the knight after being found out. Tristan encounters Segwarides again on the Isle of Servage; Segwarides forgives him, saying he "will never hate a noble knight for a light lady," and the two team up to avoid the dangers of the isle. Soon afterwards, Tristan makes Segwarides the Lord of Servage. In Malory, Segwarides is eventually killed trying to repel Lancelot's rescue of Guinevere from the stake.

Tor[edit]

The attributed arms of Tor

Tor appears frequently in Arthurian literature, albeit always in minor roles. In earlier mentions Tor's father is King Ars (Aries),[36] but in Post-Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Aries is his adoptive father while his natural father is King Pellinore.[37][38] His namesake, Le Tor of Scotland, is also featured in the story of Sebile in the Arthurian prequel romance Perceforest.

In the Post-Vulgate and Malory, Tor's many siblings include Aglovale, Drian, Lamorak, Percival, and Dindrane. He is born when Pellinore sleeps with his mother "half by force", and she marries Aries shortly afterward; here Aries is not a king, but a shepherd. The young Tor is also raised as a shepherd but dreams of becoming a knight. His parents take him to the teenage King Arthur, who makes the boy one of his first knights in recognition of his qualities. Later Merlin reveals Tor's true parentage, and Pellinore embraces his son; neither Aries nor his wife seem offended. Tor distinguishes himself at the wedding feast of Arthur and Guinevere when he takes up a quest to retrieve a mysterious white brachet hound that had come into the court. According to Malory, Tor and his brother Aglovale are present among the knights charged by Arthur with guarding the execution of Guinevere and they both die when Lancelot and his followers rescue the queen.[39]

Yvain the Bastard[edit]

The attributed arms of Yvain the Bastard

Yvain the Bastard (Yvain[s] / Yvonet / Uwains li/le[s] Avou[l]tres, -l'Avo[u]ltre, -li Batarz) is a son of King Urien of Gore, often confused with his half-brother Yvain, after whom he was named. While the older Yvain is Urien's legitimate child from his wife Morgan le Fay, Yvain the Bastard was sired by Urien on the wife of his seneschal. He is encountered frequently in Arthurian romance as a hearty and usually sensible knight, fighting in Arthur's wars and questing for the Holy Grail with Galahad and Gareth. He was killed by his cousin Gawain late during the Grail Quest when the two, disguised by their armour, randomly meet and decide to joust. It is not until Gawain takes him to a hermitage for his last rites that he realizes he has fought, and killed, his own cousin.

Thomas Malory in Le Morte d'Arthur split him into two characters: Uwaine les Avoutres, the son of Urien and Uwaine les Adventurous, an unrelated knight.[40] Yvain the Bastard and Yvain les Avoutres are also separate characters in the Scottish Lancelot of the Laik. In Perlesvaus, his own son named Cahus dies while serving as Arthur's own squire on a strange adventure, killed by a giant in a deadly dream.

Yvain of the White Hands[edit]

His attributed arms

Yvain of the White Hands (Yvain/Yvonet aux Blanches Mains) is another different Knight of the Round Table named Yvain in the Old French romances. There, and in the English Arthour and Merlin, he is unrelated to Iseult of the White Hands and to the "main" Yvain (son of Urien), although Thomas Malory later merged him with the latter. He serves Arthur in the Saxon wars, later participating in the quests to learn the fate of Merlin and to find the missing Lancelot. In Palamedes, he is son of a knight named Darie. In the Prose Tristan, he is injured by King Mark and healed in a Cornish abbey. In the Post-Vulgate Queste, he is mistakenly slain by Erec, for which in turn Erec is killed by Gawain, and his seat at the Round Table is then taken by the Unknown Knight (Arthur the Less).

Other Arthurian fellowships[edit]

Queen's Knights[edit]

Le Morte d'Arthur scene of Guinevere with some of her unarmed knights before they are ambushed by Maleagant, as depicted in Queen Guinevere's Maying by John Collier

The Queen's Knights (Chevaliers de la Roine) are the knights who serve King Arthur's wife Queen Guinevere in the Old French prose cycles. They are also known in French texts as the "Knights of Queen Guinevere" (Chevaliers de la Roine Guenievre, the form used in the Livre d'Artus[41]) and the more elaborate "Valiant Knights of Queen Guinevere" (Chevalier vaillant de la Roine Gueneure[42]). Members of this group carry only plain white shields, often accompanying the queen and engaging in rivalry against the more experienced Knights of the Round Table.[43][44] Heroes Gawain and Lancelot are among those who first serve as the Queen's Knights in their youth after being knighted by Arthur, before winning enough honour to be promoted to fill the Round Table when a vacancy occurs. Others include the young Sagramore when he mortally wounds the Knight of the Round Table named Agravadain (unrelated to Agravain), grandfather of Hector de Maris, in defense of his comrades.

In the Middle English compilation Le Morte d'Arthur, the simple "Queen's Knights" form is used by the author Thomas Malory who also describes them as "a grete felyshyp of men of arms".[45] In Malory's version, Lancelot later rescues a new generation of them when they are captured together with Guinevere by the villain Maleagant (himself sometimes depicted as a rogue member of the Round Table), after the Queen ordered her knightly companions to surrender as to not forfeit their lives.

Arthur's minor tables[edit]

The Post-Vulgate Cycle has two other table-based orders within Arthur's court. The first of these is the Table of Errant Companions (Tables des Compaignons Errans), reserved for the knights errant who are actively seeking adventures while awaiting promotion to the Round Table.

The second one is rather ingloriously called the Table of Less-Valued Knights (Tables des Chevaliers Moins Prisiés), the members of which (who originally included Perceval[46]) are, as its name indicates, lower in their rank and status.[47] This group seems to be derived from the knights of the Watch (also translated as the Guard), featured in the Vulgate Cycle's Prose Lancelot and first mentioned by Chrétien in Perceval.

Round Table predecessors[edit]

Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie introduced the Grail Table as a direct precursor to the Round Table, once used by the followers of Joseph of Arimathea, one of the earliest Christians and the original Grail guardian, who had traveled from the Holy Land to Britain generations earlier.[48] In the prose continuations of Robert's poem, their descendants include Lancelot and the Fisher King. The Grail Table is again briefly used by the holy knight Galahad (offspring of the union between Lancelot and the Fisher King's daughter) when he and his companions (Percival and Bors) are served mass after successfully completing the Grail Quest.

The attributed arms of Seguran le Brun

Some French and Italian prose romances and poetry feature the original fifty knights of the Round Table from the times of Uther Pendragon, the late father of King Arthur. It is known in Italian retellings of the Prose Tristan as the Old Table (Tavola Vecchia),[49] contrasting with those of Arthur's Round Table known as the New Table (Tavola Nuova). Their stories include that of Branor the Dragon Knight, "the flower of the Old Table",[50] still unsurpassed in his skills at the age of over 100, known in French as Segu[a]rant (Sigurant) le Brun (Malory's Severause le Breuse). Following the death of Uther, the Round Table is kept in possession of King Leondegrance until he gives it to the young Arthur as the dowry of his daughter Guinevere.

An even earlier forerunner of the Round Table appears in Perceforest, where Arthur's distant ancestor, the eponymous King Perceforest, establishes the elite Order of the Franc Palais (Ordre du Franc Palais) to fight against the forces of darkness; the Order ends up destroyed by the evil Julius Caesar during his invasion of Britain. This happens even before the birth of Christ, but nevertheless is presented in the author's contemporary High Middle Ages style setting just like the other Arthurian romances; as willed by the Sovereign God (Dieu Souverain, here apparently the coming Christian god to whom the Roman and other pagan deities willingly submit and work for[51]), the Franc Palais numbers the selected 300 British knights chosen for their valor and seated in the specially constructed building by the same name.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For instance, one Meliant (named Brano in the Italian compilation La Tavola Ritonda) is a relative of King Faramon's daughter Belide when she falsely accuses Tristan of rape in the Prose Tristan. In Perlesvaus, an explicitly villainous Meliant is an enemy lord of Arthur, allied with the traitorous Kay; he is eventually killed by Lancelot who had previously also slain his evil father. In the Vulgate Lancelot, Carados of the Dolorous Tower takes one Melyans le Gai's wife as his mistress.[31] Another Meliant from the same cycle is an ancestor of Gawain (and himself is descended from Peter, an early Christian follower of Joseph of Arimathea) in the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daniel Mersey, Myths & Legends: The Knights of the Round Table, page 4.
  2. ^ Jennifer Westwood, Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain, page 314.
  3. ^ Withrington, John (1993). ""He Telleth the Number of the Stars; He Calleth Them All by Their Names": The Lesser Knights of Sir Thomas Malory's "Morte Darthur"". Quondam et Futurus. 3 (4): 17–27. JSTOR 27870251.
  4. ^ Theresa Bane, Encyclopedia of Mythological Objects, page 132.
  5. ^ Christopher W. Bruce, The Arthurian Name Dictionary, page 140.
  6. ^ Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, the Winchester Manuscript. Edited and abridged by Helen Cooper, this book was published by Oxford University Press in 1998.
  7. ^ Martin Biddle, Sally Badham, A.C. Barefoot, Round Table: An Archaeological Investigation, pages 255-260.
  8. ^ de Troyes, Chrétien (2015). The Complete Story of the Grail: Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval and Its Continuations. ISBN 9781843844006.
  9. ^ Lacy, Norris J. (2010). Lancelot-Grail. ISBN 9781843842385.
  10. ^ Lacy, Norris J.; Asher, Martha (2010). Lancelot-Grail: The post-Vulgate Quest for the Holy Grail & the post-Vulgate Death of Arthur. ISBN 9781843842330.
  11. ^ Arthur's Children in Le Petit Bruit and the Post-Vulgate Cycle by Ad Putter, University of Bristol.
  12. ^ Chinca, Mark (10 April 1997). Tristan. ISBN 9780521408523.
  13. ^ Loomis, Roger (1949). Arthurian Tradition and Chretien De Troyes. Columbia University Press.
  14. ^ Adams, Alison (1983). The Romance of Yder. DS Brewer. ISBN 9780859911337.
  15. ^ Summerfield, Giovanna (2010). Vendetta: Essays on Honor and Revenge. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443821018.
  16. ^ Hasty, Will (17 September 1999). A Companion to Wolfram's Parzival. Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 9781571131522 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ Weston, Jessie L. (5 April 2018). The Three Days ́ Tournament. BoD – Books on Demand. ISBN 9783732651238 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ Busby, Keith; Thompson, Raymond H. (8 November 2005). Gawain: A Casebook. Routledge. ISBN 9781136783524 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ Karsten, Gustaf E. (17 September 1956). "The Journal of English and Germanic Philology". University of Illinois – via Google Books.
  20. ^ Huot, Sylvia (15 July 2016). Outsiders: The Humanity and Inhumanity of Giants in Medieval French Prose Romance. ISBN 9780268081836.
  21. ^ Armstrong, Dorsey (2006). "The (Non-) Christian Knight in Malory: A Contradiction in Terms?". Arthuriana. 16 (2): 30–34. doi:10.1353/art.2006.0083. JSTOR 27870753. S2CID 162386579.
  22. ^ Jean Frappier, ed., La Mort le roi Artu, Paris: Droz, 1996, pp 75–6, 291. ISBN 2600001832).
  23. ^ Loomis (1997), p. 63.
  24. ^ Monaghan, Patricia (2014). The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. Infobase Publishing. p. 230. ISBN 9781438110370. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  25. ^ Gantz, Jeffrey; trans. (1976) The Mabinogion. London and New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044322-3.
  26. ^ a b Bruce, Christopher W. (2013). The Arthurian Name Dictionary. Routledge. pp. 220–221. ISBN 9781136755385. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  27. ^ Lacy, Norris J.; Ashe, Geoffrey; Ihle, Sandra Ness; Kalinke, Marianne E.; Thompson, Raymond H. (5 September 2013). The New Arthurian Encyclopedia: New edition. Routledge. ISBN 9781136606328 – via Google Books.
  28. ^ Arthurian Romances trans. W. Kibler and C. W. Carroll (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1991); The High Book of the Grail: A translation of the thirteenth century romance of Perlesvaus trans. N. Bryant (Brewer, 1996); Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation trans. N. J. Lacy (New York: Garland, 1992-6), 5 volumes.
  29. ^ a b Guerin, M. Victoria (1995). The Fall of Kings and Princes: Structure and Destruction in Arthurian Tragedy. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804722902.
  30. ^ "King Arthur's Death" is a continuation of the ballad "The Legend of King Arthur". See Noble, James (1991). "King Arthur's Death". In Lacy, Norris J. (Ed.), The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, pp. 262–263. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  31. ^ Loomis (1997). p. 11.
  32. ^ "Drustan and Esyllt – the Lost Romance?". 11 February 2022.
  33. ^ Loomis (1997). p. 157.
  34. ^ Curtis, Renée L. (translator) (1994). The Romance of Tristan, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-282792-8.
  35. ^ "Le Morte Arthur", Le Morte d'Arthur, De Gruyter, pp. 13–129, 1975, doi:10.1515/9783111392165-002, ISBN 978-3-11-139216-5
  36. ^ For example, Chrétien de Troyes' list of knights in Erec and Enide. From Owen, Arthurian Romances.
  37. ^ Lacy, Lancelot-Grail, volume 4.
  38. ^ Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book III, ch. IV, p. 83.
  39. ^ Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XX, ch. VII, p. 880.
  40. ^ Malory, Sir Thomas (19 August 1996). Le Morte Darthur. Wordsworth Editions. ISBN 9781853264634 – via Google Books.
  41. ^ Heinrich Oskar Sommer, The Structure of Le Livre d'Artus, and Its Function in the Evolution of the Arthurian Prose-Romances, page 22.
  42. ^ Ulrike Bethlehem, Guinevere, a Medieval Puzzle: Images of Arthur's Queen in the Medieval Literature of England and France, page 392.
  43. ^ Phyllis Ann Karr, The Arthurian Companion, page 539.
  44. ^ Beverly Kennedy, Knighthood in the Morte d'Arthur, page 119.
  45. ^ Arthurian Interpretations, Volume 3, page 87.
  46. ^ Bogdanow, Fanni (19 August 1966). "The Romance of the Grail: A Study of the Structure and Genesis of a Thirteenth-century Arthurian Prose Romance". Manchester University Press – via Google Books.
  47. ^ Norris J. Lacy, Samuel N. Rosenberg, Daniel Golembeski , Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation, Volume 10, pages 67-91.
  48. ^ "Highlights in the Story". www.lancelot-project.pitt.edu.
  49. ^ Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 15, page 206.
  50. ^ The Arthur of the Italians: The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Italian Literature and Culture, page 78.
  51. ^ Maddox, Donald; Sturm-Maddox, Sara (February 2012). The Medieval French Alexander. ISBN 9780791488324.

Sources[edit]

  • Chrétien de Troyes; Owen, D. D. R. (translator) (1988). Arthurian Romances. New York: Everyman's Library. ISBN 0-460-87389-X.
  • Lacy, Norris J. (Ed.) (1 April 1995). Lancelot-Grail: The Old French Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation, Volume 4 of 5. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8153-0748-9.
  • Malory, Thomas; Bryan, Elizabeth J. (introduction) (1994). Le Morte d'Arthur. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-60099-X. (Pollard text.)
  • Loomis, Roger Sherman (1997). Celtic Myth and Arthurian Romance. Academy Chicago Publishers. ISBN 0-89733-436-1.
  • Wilson, Robert H. The "Fair Unknown" in Malory. Publications of the Modern-Language Association of America (1943).

External links[edit]