Arthurian Legend Review

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Who is Ambrosius Aurelanius?

A warlord in Arthurian legend who is one of the few factual people; said to be Arthur's ancestor

What is the relationship between Uther Pendragon and Ambrosius?

He is said to be the son or brother of Ambrosius, which makes his bloodline Roman + Britton

Who is Uther Pendragon?

He is a powerful warlord who fought to unite Brittain under one ruler. He also tries to unite all warlords, but does not succeed. In some versions of legend, Uther's wife dies birthing a child by the name of Morgause. In other versions, Uther has no wife, becuase he thinks no woman is good enough. Either way, he lacks a male heir to the throne.

Who is Igraine?

She is a common woman who is already married to a man by the name of Duke Goloris, another warlord. The two have a child by the name of Morgan Le Fay. However, Uther Pendragon takes one look at Igraine and falls passionately in love with her. Merlin (Uther's advisor) says he will help him get Igraine, by killing Duke Goloris, however, Uther must hand over their first born son to Merlin. Uther agrees. Duke Goloris is sent into a suicide mission and killed. Merlin then diguses Uther as Goloris and rapes Igraine, forcing her to marry him to prevent humiliation. On December 21, in Tentagile Castle, Arthur is born. With the birth of Arthur, he has two half-sisters, Morgause + Morgan Le Fay. Igraine is terribly upset when Arthur is born because he is taken from her. She never forgives Uther.

Who is Merlin?

Merlin is said to be a "wizard", although he was most likely a Druid priest, or a professional preacher in Celtic society. They had the most important role in their religion. They were the ones who knew and did everything about the religion. Merlin acted as the advisor for Uther as well as his
son, Arthur. Merlin is morally ambigous, meaning he is not always on the good side. When he is much older, he falls in love with the sorceress known as Nimue. Depending on the story, he either takes her in as a daughter or leaves their relationship as lovers. He either gave her some of his powers or taught her the art of magic. Arthur is taken to Merlin daily for training to become a knight.

How does Arthur become king?

Merlin conjures up an anvil with a sword stuck inside it. He inscribes the following words on the anvil: "Whoever pulleth out this sword, from this anvil; is rightwise King, born of England. Many warlords attempt to pull the sword, but do not succeed. Arthur, however, manages to succeed.

How does Arthur get the rest of the kingdom, besides his family members, to swear fealty to him?

Although Arthur pulled the sword, and Arthur's foster family swore fealty to him, most of the warlords did not readily accept Arthur as king. Kai becomes his seneschal, or manager. Arthur then proves himself at the Battle of Bath, where he pishes back an army of Saxon invaders, despite being outnumbered. Unfortunately, his sword is shattered, so Merlin takes him to the Lady of the Lake for a new sword.

Who is the Lady of the Lake?

The Lady of the Lake, aka Vivienne, is a water deity extermely popular with Celtic society because water deities were believed to control the essential essence of life itself. People went to her to ask for gifts and luck (where the expression Lady Luck and wishing wells originate). When Arthur is taken to the Lady of the Lake for a new sword, Merlin orders him to out to the middle of the lake. There, a women's arm appears with Arthur's new sword, Excalibur, in hand. Because Arthur is in possession of Excalibur, he will never lose in battle. The scabbard (leather case for the sword) of Excalibur prevents the wearer from being wounded in battle.

What is Arthur's biggest sin?

According to legend, Morgause is married to a man named King Lot. Morgause is power hungry and desires to rule. Lot does not initially approve of Arthur as King. He is in his 40's.
After a battle such as the Battle of the Bath, the people would celebrate their victory. It is natural to invite local women. Morgause is invited and hooks up with Arthur. Arthur does not know that she is his sister. Unfortunately, the two of them end up in bed. The next morning Merlin reveals the truth to Arthur and tells them that a child was conceived that night. Its name is Mordred. Merlin tells Arthur that one day, Mordred will destroy him and his kingdom. However, Arthur continues ruling despite this prophecy.

Who is Guinevere?

One day, Arthur goes to make peace with another king from another kingdom. The king lets him spend the night. In the middle of the night, he hears a woman's voice. He finds a beautiful woman called Guinevere and insists they marry. Merlin realizes that Guinevere will cause Arhur grief and insists he pick another girl but Arthur refuses. He has fallen madly in love with Guinevere.

What is Camelot?

Camelot is the legendar center of King Arhur's realm. Camelot is a dream city, a utopia, King Arthur's capital where he dispenses justice, holds feasts, and surrounds himself with knights. Camelot represents a perfect city with a perfect government.

Who is Morgan Le Fay?

Morgan Le Fay, aka Morgana or the Morigan (Celtic goddess of death) is Arthur's half-sister (related through Igraine). Legend can't decide if she was good or bad. Le Fay means of the fairies. Morgan was said to be a witch. She was very beautiful and used that to her advantage. She was able to fly and is a shape-shifter.

What is the round table?

The round table is a table that represents the idea of equality among honorable men. It was given to Guinevere by her father, King Leodegrance, gave it to her as a wedding gift. Each knight has a seat at the round table. Only one seat remains empty, for the most perfect of knights to go on the quest for the holy grail. The vacant seat is known as the Siege Perilus. If any imperfect knight sits in the Siege Perilus they shall immediately be killed. By now, most men are willing to die for Arthur because he is such a great leader.

Who is Lancelot du Lac?

Lancelot du Lac, or Lancelot of the Lake, is a French prince who unfortunately has a deceased father and a mother that abandons him. He was brought up by the Lady of the Lake.

How does Lancelot become a knight?

Arthur and Lancelot eventually become best friends because of their many similarities. Because of this, Arthur makes Lancelot the queen's protector. Unfortunately, Lancelot and Guinevere fall madly in love with each other. They admit it to each other. They do not tell Arthur, however, because they do not want to hurt Arthur. Lancelot ends up leaving Camelot because he cannot stand keeping this secret from Arthur.

Who is the Lady Elaine?

The fisher king shows Lancelot the Holy Grail as a reward for killing the dragon. Lancelot is getting lonely, but eventually he seduces the Lady Elaine and they have a son. He leaves her because he is digusted with himself.

Who is Galahad?

Galahad is Lancelot's son. They do not have a very good relationship, however. He is very cocky. He is the Perfect Knight that is meant to sit in the Siege Perilus and embark on the quest to the Holy Grail. Bors and Percival are sent with him. Unfortunately, Bors meets his demise once he sees the Holy Grail. Percival, however, returns to Camelot.

Who is Gawain?

Gawain is the first son of King Lot and Morgause. Defying his father, he joins the round table. Although Gawain is hot-headed and impulsive, he is one of Arthur's most greatest and loyal knights.

Who are Agravaine and Gaheris?

Twin brothers sent over from Orkney to Camelot.

Who is Gareth?

Gareth, known as the Gentlest Knight, was another one of the boys sent over from Orkney. He hero worships Lancelot. He was like the son Lancelot never had.

Who is Mordred?

Mordred, the fourth and oldest of the boys sent over from Orkney, looks very much like King Arthur and is his son (from Morgause)

How do Lancelot & Guinevere betray Arthur?

Lancelot eventually returns to Camelot. They eventually meet in secret, but they are exposed to Arthur by Agravaine and Gaheris. Lancelot is banished. The law states that an Adultress (or two-timer) calls for a sentence of death, by burniing to the stake. However, Arthur still loves Guinevere and cannot bear to see her harmed but if he doesn't follow the rules he can't expect his subjects to do so. He calls Lancelot in to rescue Guinevere. Guinevere is taken back to France but she wants to return to Camelot for her punishment. She is forgiven by the subjects and continues being Queen. Lancelot continues in exile.

How does Mordred become a king?

Arthur becomes heartsick and takes a battalion to France. On the way, he is attacked by Saxons. Although Arthur is not really dead, word gets to Camelot that Arthur has been killed. Because of this, Mordred takes the throne. Whether or not he was treacherous enough to plan the whole scheme, legend cannot decide.

What happens at the battle of Camlann?

When Arthur returns from France, he learns that Mordred has taken the throne. The two must meet on the battlefield to decide who is the rightful king. The fighting begins. The two meet each other on the battlefield. Arthur kills Mordred and Mordred deals Arthur a mortal wound. Excalibur disappears. Arthur asks one of his knights, Sir Bedivere, to throw Excalibur into the Lake to return it to the Lady of the Lake. Arthur declares his nephew king. Arthur is dying, however, a boat appears in the midst of the lake, aboard it are the Lady of the Lake and Morgan Le Fay. Morgan gives a prophecy saying to the grieving people not to worry and when the world needs him most... King Arthur will return.

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