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The Forgotten Round Table: Witches

It’s here! For those who prefer a solid book in hand, a print version of Tisisphone’s Quest is now available.

And now back to your regularly scheduled musings….

Everyone knows about Morgan le Fay. Many have heard of  Nimue and the Lady of the Lake (sometimes they’re the same person). HOWEVER did you know that the Arthurian canon is veritably swarming with women who do magic? No? A brief survey is in order.

Sir Marrok’s Wife

We don’t even get to know her name, but we do learn that she turned him into a werewolf for seven years, and I for one would have liked to know more about that.

Linet

A major character in Gareth’s story, she is the sister of the lady he rescues. Her magic doesn’t come up until Gareth and said sister are engaged, at which point Linet makes it her business to make sure they don’t consummate the wedding prematurely, by sending spectral opponents to attack him every night. She later marries Gareth’s brother Gaheris, who one has to assume is very respectful.

Annowre

A sorceress who targets Arthur for sex and lures him with her into the Forest Perilous. He is saved by the intervention of Nimue and Tristram, after which Arthur kills the sorceress.

Hellawes

One of the astonishing number of women who go after Lancelot in the course of this book, although in this case she has given up on trying to have his love and will settle for his (dead) body. To that end, she sets a trap for him. After he gets away, she is so distraught that she dies.

Brisen

She works for Pelles, the king at the heart of the Grail story. It’s thanks to her magical intervention that Galahad is conceived, and later on that Lancelot gets to spend a few years being restfully insane. Notable in that she is one of the only women he meets who isn’t after him herself, but for someone else.

Morgan’s Coven

Morgan le Fay is said to have learned necromancy (!) at a nunnery (!) as a young woman. She has three friends who show up in one of Lancelot’s adventures, the queens of Northgalis, Eastland, and the Out Isles, and they all do magic.

Someone could write a book just based on that. (I’d be surprised if someone hasn’t already done it.) Honestly, why include the fourteenth account of a tournament when we could have been reading about all of these other people?

2 thoughts on “The Forgotten Round Table: Witches”

  1. Just wanted to thank you for bringing up all of these Arthuriana posts, particularly this one. It led me to do more research into all of the sorceresses in these various stories and start writing that side of the story. Hope you’re doing well!

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    1. That’s great! Thank you for writing. 🙂 There’s so much fun stuff to explore in these stories – I hope you’ll stop in and let me know how things are going!

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