Sir Ector

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Sir Kay showeth the mystic sword unto Sir Ector, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights. (1903)

Sir Ector /ˈɛktɔːr, -ər/, sometimes Hector, Antor, or Ectorius, is the father of Sir Kay and the adoptive father of King Arthur in the Arthurian legend. Sometimes portrayed as a king instead of merely a lord, he has an estate in the country as well as properties in London.

Ector appears in the works of Robert de Boron and the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, as well as later adaptations such as the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. In these versions, Merlin takes Arthur from his biological parents King Uther Pendragon and Igraine, and brings him to Ector's estate. Merlin does not reveal the boy's true identity, and Ector takes him on and raises him with Kay as his own son. When Kay is old enough to be knighted, Ector's young ward serves as his squire.

In The Once and Future King T. H. White says his lands lie in the "Forest Sauvage"; some later writers have used this as well.

In the earlier Welsh stories, the father of Kay (Cei) is instead named Cynyr (Kyner).[1]

In Other Media[edit]

  • In the 1963 Disney animated musical-fantasy-comedy movie The Sword in the Stone Sir Ector is voiced by actor Sebastian Cabot and often treats Arthur harshly, and possesses a clear authority over him, treating him more as a servant, while doting on his birth son Kay. However, he does care for Arthur, as shown in his first scene, where he scolds Kay for allowing Arthur to go into the forest alone and worried that he might be dead. He also appoints him as Kay's squire, and clearly has affection for Arthur, and does not always want to treat him poorly, but rather feels responsible for his welfare. After Arthur is revealed as the rightful King of England, he regrets his mistreatment of the boy and (out of fear of his former charge's reprisal) begs for Arthur's forgiveness.
  • In the 1981 epic-fantasy film Excalibur Sir Ector is portrayed by actor Clive Swift.
  • In the 2011 historical-fantasy-drama TV series Camelot Sir Ector is portrayed by actor Sean Pertwee.