Morgan le Fay

Morgan le Fay by Frederick Sandys, 1864. "Here she stands in front of a loom on which she has woven an enchanted robe, designed to consume the body of King Arthur by fire. Her appearance with her loose hair, abandoned gestures and draped leopard skin suggests a dangerous and bestial female sexuality. The green robe that Morgan is depicted wearing is actually a kimono."
Fata Morgana (Italian for "Morgan the Fairy" ) by Giambologna (c. 1574)
Morgan with Lancelot under an apple tree in a Siedlęcin Tower fresco (early 14th century)
Morgan le Fay by Edward Burne-Jones (1862)
Henry Fuseli's Prince Arthur and the Fairy Queen (c. 1788)
Frank William Warwick's Voyage of King Arthur and Morgan le Fay to the Isle of Avalon (1888)
Morgan Le Fay by John R. Spencer Stanhope (1880)
Morgan discovers her unfaithful lover with another lady within the Vale of No Return, an illustration for the Vulgate Lancelot du Lac (c. 1480)
William Henry Margetson's illustration for The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1908)
"She was known to have studied magic while she was being brought up in the nunnery."
Queen Morgan le Fay, Beatrice Clay's illustration from Stories of King Arthur and the Round Table (1905)
"There was a time when great was her enmity towards King Arthur, so that she plotted his ruin not once only nor twice; and that is a strange thing, for it is said that she herself was the kinswoman of the King."
Morgan le Fay Casts Away Excalibur's Scabbard, H. J. Ford's illustration for Andrew Lang's Tales of King Arthur and the Round Table (1902)
Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of the Champions of the Round Table (1905)
"She was clad in all the glory at her command, and her appearance was so shining and radiant that when she came into that room Sir Launcelot knew not whether it was a vision his eyes beheld or whether she was a creature of flesh and blood."
"How Morgain granted Lancelot a leave from her prison to conquer Dolereuse Gard." (Lancelot en prose c. 1494 or later)
How Morgan le Fay Gave a Shield to Sir Tristram by Aubrey Beardsley (1870)
A detail of La Mort d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur) by James Archer (1860)
Morgan and Accolon in Eric Pape's illustration for Madison Cawein's poem "Accolon of Gaul" (1907).
"With haughty, wicked eyes and lovely face, Studied him steadily a little space."
Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of the Grail and the Passing of King Arthur (1909)
"And Sir Bedivere stood upon the shore and looked upon the face of King Arthur as it lay within the lap of Queen Morgana, and he beheld that the face of King Arthur was white like to the ashes of wood, wherefore he wist that he was dead."
Morte D'Arthur by Daniel Maclise (1857)
Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
How the Fairies Came to See Ogier the Dane by H.J. Ford (1921)
"And, in tones more musical than mortals often hear, she sang a sweet lullaby, a song of fairyland and of the island of Avalon, where the souls of heroes dwell."
Beatrice Clay, Morgan le Fay with Excalibur (1905)
Fata Morgana; Nude Study by John Macallan Swan (1905)
Morgana and Orlando as painted by George Frederic Watts (1865)

Spyrys), is a powerful and ambiguous enchantress from the legend of King Arthur, in which most often she and he are siblings.

- Morgan le Fay
Morgan le Fay by Frederick Sandys, 1864. "Here she stands in front of a loom on which she has woven an enchanted robe, designed to consume the body of King Arthur by fire. Her appearance with her loose hair, abandoned gestures and draped leopard skin suggests a dangerous and bestial female sexuality. The green robe that Morgan is depicted wearing is actually a kimono."

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Sir Mordred by H. J. Ford (1902)

Mordred

Figure who is variously portrayed in the legend of King Arthur.

Figure who is variously portrayed in the legend of King Arthur.

Sir Mordred by H. J. Ford (1902)
The Death of Arthur, George Housman Thomas's illustration for Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur in an 1862 edition by James Thomas Knowles
Mordred's attributed arms featuring the symbol of the Orkney clan according to chivalric romance heraldry
Lancelot fighting Mordred and Agravain in Guinevere's chambers, Walter Crane's illustration for Henry Gilbert's King Arthur's Knights (1911)
N. C. Wyeth illustration for Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur (1922) "Then the king ran towards Sir Mordred, crying, 'Traitor, now is thy death day come.'"
Roddy McDowall as Mordred in the Broadway musical Camelot (1960)

Arthur, having been gravely wounded in battle, is sent off to be healed by Morgen (Morgan) in Avalon.

Yvain fighting Gawain in order to regain the love of his lady Laudine. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion

Chivalric romance

Type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the noble courts of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe.

Type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the noble courts of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe.

Yvain fighting Gawain in order to regain the love of his lady Laudine. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion
Holger Danske, or Ogier the Dane, from the Matter of France
A knight rescues a lady from a dragon.

Morgan le Fay never loses her name, but in Le Morte d'Arthur, she studies magic rather than being inherently magical.

Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions (1907)

Ywain

Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions (1907)

Sir Ywain, also known as Yvain, Owain, Uwain(e), Ewaine, Iwain, Iwein, Ivain, Ivan, etc., is a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, wherein he is often the son of King Urien of Gorre and the sorceress Morgan le Fay.

Guinevere watching the mortally wounded Arthur being sailed off to Avalon in Queen Guinevere by James Archer (c. 1860)

Guinevere

Early-medieval queen of Great Britain and the wife of King Arthur.

Early-medieval queen of Great Britain and the wife of King Arthur.

Guinevere watching the mortally wounded Arthur being sailed off to Avalon in Queen Guinevere by James Archer (c. 1860)
Guinevere by Henry Justice Ford (c. 1910)
Lady Guinevere, Howard Pyle's illustration for The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
Guinevere Takes Refuge in a Convent, Edmund H. Garrett's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Court (1911)
Guinevere with Enid and Vivien by George and Louis Rhead (1898)
Guinevere and Iseult by William Morris (1862)
Ritter und Dame (Sir Lancelot und Guinevere) by Wilhelm List (c. 1902)
Meigle stone detail
A scene preceding the kidnapping by Maleagant: "How Queen Guenever rode a maying into the woods and fields beside Westminster."
Arthur Rackham's illustration from The Romance of King Arthur (1917), abridged from Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur by Alfred W. Pollard
Ellen Terry as Guinevere in the play King Arthur by J. Comyns Carr in the Lyceum Theatre production, designed by Edward Burne-Jones, in an American postcard mailed 12 January 1895
A 1961 photo of Robert Goulet as Lancelot and Julie Andrews as Guenevere in the musical Camelot

One of such cousins is Guiomar, an early lover of Morgan le Fay in several French romances; other cousins of Guinevere include her confidante Elyzabel (Elibel) and Morgan's knight Carrant (or Garaunt, apparently Geraint ).

The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon by Edward Burne-Jones

Avalon

Legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend.

Legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend.

The Last Sleep of Arthur in Avalon by Edward Burne-Jones
La Mort d'Arthur by James Archer (1860)
Lead cross inscribed with Arthur's epitaph, published in William Camden's Britannia (1607)
Glastonbury Tor in 2014
Etna peak above clouds in 2008
Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) seen from Aberdaron (Braich y Pwll) in 2009

Avalon was associated from an early date with mystical practices and figures such as Morgan le Fay.

King Uther and Igraine after Gorlois's death, from Uther and Igraine by Warwick Deeping, illustration by Władysław T. Benda, 1903

Igraine

Mother of King Arthur.

Mother of King Arthur.

King Uther and Igraine after Gorlois's death, from Uther and Igraine by Warwick Deeping, illustration by Władysław T. Benda, 1903
Merlin taking away the infant Arthur from Igraine. An illustration by N. C. Wyeth for The Boy's King Arthur (1880): "So the child was delivered unto Merlin, and so he bare it forth."
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In Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, her daughters by Gorlois are Elaine, Morgause and Morgan le Fay.

Attributed arms devised for Urien in the later Middle Ages, featuring the raven

Urien

Late 6th-century king of Rheged, an early British kingdom of the Hen Ogledd .

Late 6th-century king of Rheged, an early British kingdom of the Hen Ogledd .

Attributed arms devised for Urien in the later Middle Ages, featuring the raven
King Urience slain by his own wife Morgane in Eric Pape's illustration for Madison Cawein's 1889 poem "Accolon of Gaul"

During the reign of Uther Pendragon, Urien marries the young King Arthur's sister (often Morgan le Fay, but sometimes another sister is named, such as Hermesan in the Livre d'Artus and in Of Arthour and of Merlin).

A 14th-century Polish fresco at Siedlęcin Tower depicting Lancelot fighting the evil knight Turquine in a scene from the French Vulgate Cycle

Le Morte d'Arthur

15th-century Middle English prose reworking by Sir Thomas Malory of tales about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table, along with their respective folklore.

15th-century Middle English prose reworking by Sir Thomas Malory of tales about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table, along with their respective folklore.

A 14th-century Polish fresco at Siedlęcin Tower depicting Lancelot fighting the evil knight Turquine in a scene from the French Vulgate Cycle
A 14th-century "Round Table" at Winchester Castle, Malory's Camelot
The holy island of Mont-Saint-Michel where Arthur slays an evil giant in one of the only few supernatural elements of the Roman War story
"How Arthur by the mean of Merlin gat Excalibur his sword of the Lady of the Lake", illustration for Le Morte Darthur, J. M. Dent & Co., London (1893–1894), by Aubrey Beardsley
"How Sir Launcelot slew the knight Sir Peris de Forest Savage that did distress ladies, damosels, and gentlewomen." The Romance of King Arthur (1917), abridged from Malory's Morte d'Arthur by Alfred W. Pollard and illustrated by Arthur Rackham
"'Lady,' replied Sir Beaumains, 'a knight is little worth who may not bear with a damsel.'" Lancelot Speed's illustration for James Thomas Knowles' The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1912)
"The Holy Grail, covered with white silk, came into the hall." The Grail's miraculous sighting at the Round Table in William Henry Margetson's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1914)
Arthur's final voyage to Avalon in a 1912 illustration by Florence Harrison
Arthur being taken to Avalon in Alberto Sangorski's 1912 illustration for Tennyson's poem "Morte d'Arthur"
N. C. Wyeth's title page illustration for Sidney Lanier's The Boy's King Arthur (1917)
The two volumes of illustrated edition of Le Morte Darthur published by J. M. Dent in 1893, with vellucent binding by Cedric Chivers.

It also includes the tale of Balyn and Balan (a lengthy section which Malory called a "booke" in itself), as well as other episodes such as the hunt for the Questing Beast and the treason of Arthur's sorceress half-sister Queen Morgan le Fay in the plot involving her lover Accolon.

The Lady of the Lake in Lancelot Speed's illustration for James Thomas Knowles' The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1912)

Lady of the Lake

Name or a title used by several fairy-like enchantresses in the Matter of Britain, the body of medieval literature and mythology associated with the legend of King Arthur.

Name or a title used by several fairy-like enchantresses in the Matter of Britain, the body of medieval literature and mythology associated with the legend of King Arthur.

The Lady of the Lake in Lancelot Speed's illustration for James Thomas Knowles' The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1912)
Nimue in Howard Pyle's illustration for The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
Viviane with Merlin in Witches' Tree by Edward Burne-Jones (1905)
The Lady of the Lake finds Lancelot at Tintagel Castle to cure his madness caused by Morgan in a dream vision of Guinevere's infidelity to him. Evrard d'Espinques' illumination of the Vulgate Lancelot (BNF fr. 114 f. 352, c. 1475)
The gift of the sword Excalibur in an illustration for George Melville Baker's Ballads of Bravery (1877)
George Housman Thomas' illustration for The Story of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, adapted from Le Morte d'Arthur by James Thomas Knowles (1862)
"'Look!', said the Lady Nimue, 'Ye ought to be sore ashamed to be the death of such a knight!'" William Henry Margetson's illustration for Janet MacDonald Clark's Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1914)
The Passing of Arthur in Andrew Lang's Stories of King Arthur and His Knights (1904)
Llyn Ogwen as seen from the slopes of Pen yr Ole Wen in 2008

Different sorceresses known as the Lady of the Lake appear concurrently as separate characters in some versions of the legend since at least the Post-Vulgate Cycle and consequently the seminal Le Morte d'Arthur, with the latter describing them as a hierarchical group, while some texts also give this title to either Morgan or her sister.

The Morrígan as a crow

The Morrígan

Figure from Irish mythology.

Figure from Irish mythology.

The Morrígan as a crow

There have also been attempts by modern writers to link the Morrígan with the Welsh literary figure Morgan le Fay from the Matter of Britain, in whose name mor may derive from Welsh word for "sea", but the names are derived from different cultures and branches of the Celtic linguistic tree.