Friday, December 26, 2008

The Paladin (Part 3D): The Knights of the Round Table (con't)

Continuing on with the listing of the important Knights of the Round Table.

Sir Morholt was an Irish warrior who demanded tribute from King Mark of Cornwall until he was slain by Tristan, Mark's nephew and defender.

Sir Palamedes was the son of King Esclabor, brother to Safir and Segwarides. He was a Saracen pagan who converted to Christianity later in his life, and his love for Isolde, brought him into frequent conflict with Tristan. They would eventually reconcile, but share a love-hate relationship through most of the story. Malory has Palamedes and Safir joining Lancelot after the affair with the Queen was exposed, and accompanied Lancelot to France, where Palamedes was made Duke of Provence.

Sir Pelleas was the son of a poor vavasour who seeked after the love of the high-born maiden, Arcade. Though he won her a golden circlet in a tournament, she spurned him and refused to see him. Gawain witnessed Pelleas's humiliation and vowed to help him by going to Arcade wearing Pelleas's armor, pretending to have killed him. Once in her confidences, Gawain plans to woo Arcade on behalf of Pelleas, delivering her to him. Instead, Gawain fell for Arcade himself. When Gawain did not return with the maiden, Pelleas goes out and found them in bed together. Pelleas cannot bring himself to kill them, and left his sword between them in their bed and returned home. The next morning, Arcade recognized the sword and Gawain remembered his promise. Gawain convinced Arcade to love Pelleas and arranged for them to meet, and the pair subsequently get married. In Malory’s tale, Gawain left the maiden (who in this version is called Ettarde) after the incident with the sword. Nimue, one of the Ladies of the Lake, came upon Pelleas, heard his story, and fell in love with him herself. She took vengeance on Ettarde by magic, enchanting her to fall in love with Pelleas as deeply as he loved her. Pelleas, whose love has now turned to hate, spurns Ettarde, and she died of sorrow. Nimue and Pelleas would eventually get married.

King Pellinore was the king of Listenoise. Son of King Pellam, he was most famous for his endless hunt of the Questing Beast, which he was tracking when King Arthur first met him. Pellinore defeated Arthur after three jousts, which led Arthur to praise Pellinore’s skill, and they would be become good friends afterwards. Pellinore had many legitimate and illegitimate children, most notably Tor, Aglovale, Lamorak, Dornar, and Percival.

Sir Sagramore appeared in almost all the legends, although his characterization varies from story to story. In Malory's version Sagramore's prowess varied from situation to situation, and he usually served to lose jousts to better knights, but at times he was a valiant fighter.

Sir Safir was the brother of Palamedes, and he was a courageous and loyal knight. After the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere was exposed, Safir joined Lancelot's side in the ensuing civil war, where he followed Lancelot to Gaul. It was shortly there afterwards, Safir was made Duke of Landok.

Sir Segwarides was a brother of Palamedes and a liegeman of King Mark. In Malory, Tristan had a brief affair with Segwarides' wife, and wounded the knight after being discovered. Tristan later encountered Segwarides on the Isle of Servage, where Segwardies forgave Tristan, and made Segwarides Lord of Servage. In the end, Sir Segwarides was killed during the rescue attempt of Guinevere from the stake.

Sir Tor was brother to Aglovale, Lamorak, Dornar, and Percival. Tor distinguished himself at the wedding feast of Arthur and Guinevere when he took up the quest to retrieve a mysterious white brachet hound that had come into the court. Tor and his brother Aglovale were among the knights charged with defending the execution of Guinevere, where they both died during the rescue.

King Uriens was one of the rebel kings that initially oppose Arthur, but upon their defeat they become Arthur’s allies and vassals. He was always said to be the father of Ywain, and many texts gave him a second son, Ywain the Bastard, fathered on his seneschal's wife.

Sir Ywain was the son of King Uriens and Mogan le Fay. Ywain appeared in all the cyclical accounts such as the Vulgate Cycle, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. His importance was indicated by his close friendship with Gawain and he was one of the last knights to die before Arthur.

Sir Ywain the Bastard was also son of King Uriens the wife of his seneschal. He is often confused with his half brother Sir Ywain, after whom he was named. He was considered a hearty and sensible warrior. His death came at the hands of his cousin Gawain, ironically during the Quest for the Holy Grail. The two met, disguised by their armor, and decide to joust. Ywain was mortally wounded and it was not until Gawain takes him to a hermitage for his last rites that he realized he has killed his own cousin.

Next up the final 6 Knights.
Paladin Series Summary
For ease of reading, I will provide the links to all the blogs in the series:
Part 1A

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