A KORT, and lover of Morgan le Fay. He tried to kill King Arthur twice, but failed. He was eventually killed by Arthur.
A KORT, son of King Pellinore, brother to Percivale and Lamorak, and half-brother to Sir Tor. He traveled with Percivale in search of Launcelot.
A KORT, son of King Lot and Margawse, and brother to Gawaine, Gaheris, Gareth and Mordred. Agravaine was one of the Queen’s knights who was injured during Sir Meliagrance’s attempt to kidnap her. Agravaine is described as an “unhappy” knight, and plotted with Mordred to expose Guenever’s affair with Launcelot. He was killed by Launcelot.
A knight who betrayed Sir Tristram, his cousin, to King Mark by exposing his affair with Isoud.
The Irish king who twice opposed King Arthur. He is father to La Beale Isoud, and friend to Tristram.
The High King of Britain, and founder of Camelot and the Round Table. Son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine, Arthur successfully united a fractured kingdom to unify England. He was married to Guenever, but had no children by her. He was killed by his son Mordred in the Battle of Salisbury, although some believe he will come again.
Brother of Sir Balin, Balan was a powerful knight who helped defeat King Rience of North Wales and helped win the Battle of Tintagil. Balan mistakenly killed Balin.
Sir Balin le Savage was once the best knight in the world, and a KORT. He won a powerful sword, which later belonged to Sir Galahad. Balin and his brother Balan defeated King Rience of North Wales, and took part in the Battle of Tintagil. Balin also killed the Lady of the Lake, and was accidentally killed by his brother, Balan. Also called the Knight with Two Swords.
Father of Sir Launcelot and Sir Ector de Maris, and brother-in-law to King Bors. Married to Elaine, King Ban was an early supporter of the young King Arthur in his campaign against the eleven kings. Also called King Ban of Benwick.
See “Sir Gareth.”
The sole surviving Knight of the Round Table after the Battle of Salisbury, Bedivere threw Excalibur into a lake at King Arthur’s command. He then helped King Arthur board the barge to Avelion, and later became a hermit.
Merlin’s master who wrote down the histories of King Arthur’s battles.
Bohart le Cure Hardy
King Arthur’s illegitimate son.
King Arthur’s illegitimates son, and a KORT. His mother is Lionors.
Brother-in-law to King Ban. He is Launcelot’s uncle, who also supported young King Arthur in his battle against the eleven kings. Called King Bors of Gaul.
One of the the three KORT to reach the Sangreal, along with Sir Galahad and Sir Percivale. Nephew to Sir Launcelot, and brother to Sir Lionel. Bors had one son, Helin le Blank, by the King of Brangore’s daughter, but then became chaste for the rest of his life. He supported Lancelot in the war against King Arthur. Also called Sir Bors de Ganis
Beunor le Noire
A brave KORT who was initially named “La Cote Male Taile” by Sir Kay because of his ill-fitting coat. He later married Maledistant.
La Beale Isoud’s maid and companion.
A sorceress who placed Launcelot under an enchantment to make him think he was sleeping with Queen Guenever when he was really sleeping with Elaine, King Pelles’s daughter.
A faithful KORT, and father to Sir Constantine, King Arthur’s successor. Also called Sir Cador of Cornwall.
Lover of Lanceor, she killed herself when Sir Balin killed him. She was buried by King Mark, who was moved by her tragic demise.
King Arthur’s successor to the throne, and son of Sir Cador of Cornwall.
Tristram’s sarcastic companion.
A KORT, son of King Ban, and brother of Sir Launcelot. Ector had many adventures, and supported his brother during the war with King Arthur. Also called Sir Ector de Maris.
There are four important characters named Elaine in the work.
The first was the daughter of Igraine and the Duke of Tintagil, a sister of Margawse and Morgan le Fay, and half-sister to King Arthur. She married King Nentres.
The second was the wife of King Ban, and mother to Launcelot.
The third was a seducer of Sir Launcelot, and mother to Sir Galahad. She lived with Launcelot at Joyous Gard after his madness.
The fourth was called Elaine le Blank, or the Fair Maiden of Astolat. The daughter of the Baron of Astolat and sister to Sir Lavaine, she died of a broken heart after Launcelot refused her marriage proposal.
A lady who refused to love Sir Pelleas, and slept with Sir Gawaine, for which she was put under a love spell by Nimue in atonement. She died of a broken heart.
A companion of Joseph of Aramathie, Evelake asked God to let him live until the purest knight in the world visited him. Evelake died in Galahad’s arms.
A KORT, son of King Lot and Margawse, brother to Gawaine, Agravaine, and Gareth, and half-brother to Mordred. He killed his mother for having an affair with Sir Lamorak. Gaheris was killed by Launcelot.
A KORT, son of Sir Launcelot and Elaine of Corbin, and grandson of King Pelles. Galahad became the best and purest knight in the world, surpassing even his father. He found the Sangreal along with Sir Percivale and Sir Bors, and died a year later.
A KORT, son of King Lot and Margawse, brother to Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine, and half-brother to Mordred. Gareth was initially called Beaumains, which means “fair-hands.” He used this name to disguise himself while in the first two years of his service to his uncle King Arthur. Gareth successfully defeated the Knight of the Red Launds and his kin, and rescued and married Dame Lioness. He was killed by Sir Launcelot.
A KORT, son of King Lot and Margawse, brother to Gaheris, Agravaine, and Gareth, and half-brother to Mordred. Gawaine was the favorite nephew of his uncle, King Arthur, and was spirited if not always noble. Gawaine treacherously killed King Pellinore and Sir Lamorak. After his brothers Gareth and Gaheris were killed by Launcelot, he encouraged King Arthur to go to war against Launcelot. He died from a wound sustained by Launcelot during this war, and was buried at a chapel in Dover.
Tristram’s loyal servant, who teaches him many skills and languages.
Wife of King Arthur, his beautiful and admired queen. She was daughter to King Leodegrance, and a long-time lover to Sir Launcelot. This affair helped bring down the fellowship of the Round Table, after which she became an abbess.
Wife of the Duke of Tintagil, and later of Uther Pendragon. Mother of King Arthur, Margawse, Morgan le Fay, and Elaine.
A KORT originally known as the Knight of the Red Launds, during which time he was defeated by Sir Gareth for besieging the castle of Dame Lioness.
Daughter of King Anguish of Ireland. She was Sir Tristram’s lover and wife to King Mark. Isoud was a noted healer. Her full title is La Beale Isoud.
Joseph of Aramathie
A follower of Jesus Christ who took Christ’s body from the cross and placed him in his own tomb. He brought the Sangreal to England and helped spread Christianity there. He returned to life to say mass over the knights who found the Sangreal, including Sir Galahad.
A loyal KORT, Sir Kay was King Arthur’s foster brother and seneschal. He was not a gracious knight, and often mocked others. Referred to as Sir Kay the Seneschal.
Lady of the Lake
A mystical figure who gave King Arthur his sword, Excalibur, and was later killed by Sir Balin le Savage.
Son of King Pellinore, brother to Sir Percivale and Sir Aglovale, and half-brother to Sir Tor. He was one of the best knights of his generation, but was treacherously killed by Sir Gawaine and his brothers.
Son of an Irish King who was killed by Sir Balin, and lover of Colombe.
The greatest KORT (save his son Galahad), and Arthur's most loyal knight. His long affair with Guenever was catalyst to the destruction of Camelot and the Round Table. Son of King Ban of Benwick and Elaine, brother of Sir Ector de Maris, and father of Sir Galahad. He ends up at war with King Arthur after his affair with Queen was revealed, eventually became a priest, and died shortly after Guenever. Often referred to as Sir Launcelot du Lake.
A KORT, son of the Baron of Astolat, and sister to Elaine. He was extremely loyal to Sir Launcelot, who knighted him, and sided with him in his battle against King Arthur. He married Dame Felelolie.
The sister of Dame Lioness and Sir Grigamore, she accompanied Sir Gareth and ridiculed him on his adventures. She was also an enchantress who once brought a dead man back to life. Married to Sir Gaheris. She was also called the Damosel Savage.
A KORT, son of King Bors, nephew of Sir Launcelot, and brother to Sir Bors. Lionel supported Launcelot in his war with King Arthur.
Lady of the Castle Perilous, which was besieged by the Knight of the Red Launds. She was saved by Sir Gareth, whom she later married. Sister to Linet and Sir Grigamore.
King Arthur’s lover and mother of their illegitimate son, Borre.
One of the kings who attacked King Arthur at Carlion, King Lot was killed at the Battle of Bedegraine by King Pellinore. Was married to Margawse, and was the father of Gawaine, Gaheris, Gareth, and Agravaine. His full title was King Lot of Lothian and Orkney.
A loyal KORT who helped King Arthur after the Battle of Salisbury, but sadly lost his life due to his injuries. Brother of Sir Bedivere. Sometimes called Sir Lucas, or Sir Lucan the Butler.
The Roman Emperor who made war on Britain. Was killed by Arthur in battle.
Daughter of Igraine and the Duke of Tintagil, sister to Elaine and Morgan le Fay, half-sister to King Arthur, mother of Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine, and Gareth, and mother to Mordred by Arthur. She was also called The Queen of the Orkneys, and was killed by her son Gaheris for her affair with Sir Lamorak.
The Maimed King
See “King Pellam.”
A mighty KORT, son of the Irish King Marhalt, and brother to the wife of King Anguish. Eventually killed by Sir Tristram.
King of Cornwall, husband to Isoud and uncle to Tristram. He was an unkind King who murdered his own brother, and treacherously killed Tristram, who was having an affair with his wife.
A KORT who nevertheless kidnapped Queen Guenever and was killed by Sir Launcelot for it.
A powerful sorcerer who was King Arthur’s advisor. Though initially a frequent help to Arthur, he predicted the downfall of the Round Table, and was eventually imprisoned under a rock by Nimue.
Arthur's son by incest with Queen Margawse, and the man who kills the king. Mordred was predestined to kill his father and bring the fellowship of the Round Table to an end, so Arthur tried to kill him while he was a baby, to no avail. He later became a KORT, and helped reveal the affair between Launcelot and Guenever. When Arthur went to war with Launcelot, he ruled in Arthur's place but tried to take over, which led to the war that cost both him and Arthur their lives.
Morgan le Fay
Arthur's half-sister, and a powerful sorcerer who attempted to kill him on many occasions. She was daughter of Igraine and the Duke of Tintagil, wife of King Uriens, mother to Sir Uwaine, lover of Accolon and others, and sister to Margawse and Elaine. Despite their turbulent relationship, Morgan escorted King Arthur’s body to Avelion after the Battle of Salisbury.
A hermit who wisely suggested to Gawaine that he give up the Grail Quest.
Also called the Damosel of the Lake, Nimue was a powerful sorcerer who trapped Merlin under a rock. She was the wife of Sir Pelleas, and helped King Arthur occasionally throughout his reign.
Queen of Northgalis
An enchantress and friend of Morgan le Fay’s. She was one of the four women to accompany King Arthur’s body to Avelion.
A KORT, and both friend and enemy to Sir Tristram over his love of Isoud. He searched for the Questing Beast, and was converted from paganism to Christianity.
Also called “the Maimed King,” he was wounded by Sir Balin by the spear of Longinus, which had once pierced the side of Jesus Christ. He was eventually healed by Sir Galahad.
A KORT who was in love with Lady Ettard, though she scorned his advances. Eventually, he fell in love with Nimue.
Father of Elaine, who was the mother of Sir Galahad. He was a descendant of Joseph of Aramathie, and protector of the Sangreal.
The powerful KORT who killed King Lot. He searched for the Questing Beast, but never found him. He was killed by Sir Gawaine. Pellinore was also the father of Sir Lamorak, Sir Percivale, Sir Aglovale, Sir Tor, and Eleine. Also the brother-in-law to the Queen of the Wastelands.
Sir Percivale de Galis
A virginal KORT who reached the Sangreal along with Sir Galahad and Sir Bors. Percivale was the son of King Pellinore, brother to Sir Lamorak and Sir Aglovale, and half-brother to Sir Tor. His sister aided him on his Grail quest. Percivale died in Sarras. Often called Sir Percivale de Galis.
King Rience of North Wales
A king who made war on Arthur, and was defeated by Sirs Balin and Balan.
Duke of Tintagil
Igraine’s first husband, who refused to allow his wife to be seduced by his enemy, King Uther Pendragon. He was the father of Margawse, Morgan le Fay, and Elaine. Also called the Duke of Cornwall.
A KORT who was illegitimate son of King Pellinore, fostered by Aries the cowherd. Half brother of Percivale, Lamorak, and Aglovale.
A brave KORT, and one of the greatest knights in the world. He was son of King Meliodas of Lioness and Elizabeth of Cornwall, the nephew of King Mark, and the lover of Le Beale Isoud. He was later married to Isoud la Blanche. He was ultimately killed by his treacherous uncle, King Mark.
A KORT who was husband of Morgan le Fay and a one-time enemy of King Arthur.
A KORT whose cursed wounds were healed by Sir Launcelot. He later supported Launcelot in his war against King Arthur.
High King of England, husband to Igraine, and father to Arthur. Gave his son to Sir Ector to raise. His death left the kingdom in chaos.
A KORT who was mistakenly killed by his cousin, Sir Gawaine. He was son of King Uriens and Morgan le Fay.
Queen of the Waste Lands
A reclusive queen who guided Percivale, who was also her nephew, on the Grail Quest. She was one of the four women who took King Arthur’s body to Avelion.
One of Uther Pendragon's loyal knights. He found Merlin to help Arthur when the king grew sick while besieging the castle of the Duke of Tintagil.
A loyal king under Uther Pendragon, he married Igraine's daughter Elaine at Uther's behest. King of Garlot.
Archbishop of Canterbury
The head of the Church of England. There are two who factor into the epic. The first is the man who declared that the true king of England would pull the sword from the stone. The second is he who accused Mordred of sacrilege for trying to overthrow Arthur's reign, and then disappeared to become a hermit.
A loyal knight under Arthur, who fights alongside him in his early battles for control of the realm.
A loyal knight under Arthur, who fights alongside him in his early battles for control.
A French king who was at war with King Bors and King Ban. Arthur promised his allies he would help vanquish Claudas if they would support his cause for control early in his reign.
A loyal knight under Arthur, he fought alongside him in his war against the northern kings.
An ally of Arthur's, and father to Guenever.
Brother to King Rience. He wages war on Arthur after his brother is disgraced.
Son of Morgan le Fay.
Herlews le Berbeus
A knight who is killed by Sir Garlon, the invisible knight. It is he whose death teaches Balin of the existence of Sir Garlon.
A knight who uses the power of invisibility to sinister purpose. Sir Balin hunts him down and defeats him.
A cowherd who fostered Sir Tor, and requested Arthur make him a knight.
A knight who fought for the love of Nimue.
Sir Meliot of Logurs
A knight who fought for the love of Nimue.
Daughter to King Pellinore, she killed herself when her father, not knowing who she was, refused to help her dying lover.
An ignoble knight who imprisoned knights through trickery. King Arthur was trapped in his prison, and ultimately escaped with the prisoners after fighting against Sir Accolon as proxy, to settle Damas's conflict with his brother Sir Ontzlake.
Younger brother to Sir Damas, he fought prisoners that Damas captured to fight in his stead. He ends up with the manor after Arthur defeats Sir Accolon, who was fighting in Ontzlake's stead.
The giant in Flanders
A tyrannical oppressor of people in Flanders. Arthur slaughters the giant soon after arriving to fight Lucius, particularly because the giant had kidnapped and killed the Duchess of Brittany.
A cousin of Lucius who insults the British people, and is beheaded by Gawaine for it. This act leads to a pursuit and battle.
A KORT whom Sir Gawaine meets after the war with Rome. He wants to become a Christian, and through valor earns baptism and inclusion in the fellowship. He is left behind to rule Rome and its surrounding cities.
A KORT who leads an expedition to find food while Arthur is besieging a castle in Tuscany.
A king for whom Launcelot fights after Bagdemagus's daughter rescues him from imprisonment in Morgan le Fay's castle.
A villainous knight who kidnaps Sir Lionel and others, all to punish Sir Launcelot, who had killed his brother. Launcelot eventually kills Turquine to rescue the prisoners.
A vile knight who threatens Launcelot while the knight is fetching Phelot's wife's hawk from a tree. Launcelot speedily defeats and kills him.
Knight of the Black Launds
A knight clad in black whom Beaumains kills after the knight insults him.
Brother to the Knight of the Black Launds. He is defeated by Beaumains in a duel.
Brother to the other colored knights. He is defeated by Beaumains in a joust, and then lets Beaumains and the damosel sleep at his castle.
Brother to the other colorful knights, and one of the many whom Beaumains defeats.
Knight of the Red Launds
A tyrannical knight whose offenses attracted the notice of Beaumains, who then defeated him.
Brother to Dame Lionesse, beloved of Sir Gareth (Beaumains).
King of Liones, and father to Sir Tristam.
Wife to King Meliodas, and mother to Sir Tristam.
Isoud la Blanche
Daughter of King Howel of Brittany, she married Tristram after he helped her father.
A giant knight on whom Sir Lamorak visits retribution for killing one of Lamorak's cousins.
A damosel who was assigned La Cote Male Taile to help her on a quest. Though she initially mocked him for his youth and strange coat, she eventually married him.
Son of King Howell, and brother to Isoud la Blanche Mains.
A mythical creature with the head of serpent, the body of a leopard, the buttocks of a lion, and feet like a hart. Also called Galtisant. Sir Palomides spends much of his life in pursuit of this creature.
A lord whose sons were killed by Tristram, and who tries to punish the knight by keeping him captive. When Tristram's illness threatens to kill him, Darras lets him leave on the condition that he will protect the man's two living sons.
A knight from Cornwall whom Mark brings to England to help assassinate Tristram. He ultimately refuses to carry out the king's orders, and is killed for it.
A knight from Cornwall whom Mark brings to England to help assassinate Tristram. He was appalled when Mark killed Sir Bersules, and so tells King Arthur of Mark's plan.
King Arthur's fool, and a KORT.
King Mark's popular younger brother. Boudwin defeats the Saracens, and is killed by Mark from jealousy. His grandson would later kill Mark to avenge Boudwin's death, though this is not detailed in the epic.
Son to Prince Boudwin, and nephew to King Mark. He eventually sires the son who would kill King Mark for his treachery.
A knight who schedules a tournament intended to kill Sir Launcelot. Tristram arrives disguised as Launcelot, and is not defeated.
A knight whom Launcelot meets during his madness. Sir Bliant takes good care of Launcelot, and helps him survive during this difficult period.
Sir Galahad's squire, whom he knights while searching for the Sangreal. When Sir Melias dies after attempting to steal a gold crown, Galahad learns that only a virtuous knight could find the Sangreal.
King of Sarras, the city to which Galahad, Percivale and Bors bring the Sangreal. He is a tyrant and imprisons the knights until he grows sick and dies.
A cousin of Sir Lamorak, who tries to poison Gawaine for the murder of Lamorak, but accidentally kills Sir Patrise instead.
An Irish knight who is killed after eating a poisoned apple which Sir Pinel meant for Sir Gawaine. Queen Guenever is initially blamed for his murder.
A kinsman of Sir Patrice, who dies after eating an apple poisoned by Sir Pinel. Mador calls for Queen Guenever to be punished for the crime. He unknowingly fights Launcelot to prove the Queen's guilt, and loses.
The Baron of Astrolat, with whom Launcelot stays when attending a tournament held by Arthur. Launcelot stays here so he can keep his identity a secret and fight his brethren in disguise.
A knight who works with Sir Agravaine and Sir Mordred to prove Launcelot's adultery. He is the first one killed when they try to capture Launcelot.
Le Morte d'Arthur Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Le Morte d'Arthur is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
The Lady of the Lake greets Arthur at the lake. She then instructs him to row out onto the lake and take the sword and scabbard from the hand that holds it. Arthur does so, and the hand once again disappears in the water.
I think irony might be a better word to use than contrast. Lucan tries to help Arthur but is actually in more need of help himself. When Arthur finally comes to (after being helped by Lucan) he witnesses Lucan, "foaming at the mouth and part of...