arthurian literature

Malory’s Le Morte D’Athur Book 12 – Oh You Thought Tristram Was Done?

In an effort to get these out of my draft queue, I’ll start posting these again every week or so. In case you lost track, we left off with Galahad back in June.

Lancelot wanders around out of his wits for several years, has some encounters, is treated well by some people and badly by others, fights some animals, and eventually ends up back at Elaine’s father’s castle, where someone finally recognizes him. As with the last chapter, he is restored by the magic of the Grail. A deeply depressed Lancelot decides that he may as well stay here; he certainly can’t return to Arthur’s court after all of this. He takes a new name (Le Chevaler Mal Fet, the Knight Who Has Trespassed), and once a day looks sadly in the direction of his love.

And then, of course, there’s a tournament. Percival and Ector arrive and go a few rounds jousting with Lancelot, who asks their names, and thus everyone realizes who is who. A tearful reunion follows. Ector wants him to come back. Lancelot is reluctant to do so, but Ector prevails. Elaine, who really doesn’t know when to stop, promises that she’ll bring Galahad to be knighted at Pentcost. “Do whatever you want,” is the literal translation of his reply. 

Ector and Percival return with their long-lost knight, and the whole story (or at least the parts that don’t involve the queen) is soon known. Everybody but his immediate family, who know what’s what, blames Elaine for the whole business.

And then we go back to GODDAMN TRISTRAM Thomas what the hell?? Did you lose a few pages and have to add them in later on?

Isoud has gotten all the news from Camelot, and tells Tristram all about it. There’s going to be a feast, to which she sends Tristram by himself so that he won’t have to deal with any trouble from other knights on her account. Tristram almost immediately runs into Palomides. It has been a kinda-sorta plot point previous to this that Palomides (a Saracen) has thus far refused to be christened, although both of his brothers have converted. The delay is due to an ancient vow of Palomides’, and he just needs to fight one more guy to fulfill it. Tristram volunteers to be that guy, and they finally have the knock-down drag-out that’s been promised for half of this collection. After which they are reconciled, and Tristram gets to be one of Palomides’ godfathers, and that is legit the end of their story.

Because now we get into the real meat of the Grail story, or as I like to think of it, 150 pages of Lancelot whump.

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