Morgause

Young Gareth appealing to his mother Morgause (Queen Bellicent) to let him go serve King Arthur in Tales from Tennyson, 1902

Character in later Arthurian traditions.

- Morgause
Young Gareth appealing to his mother Morgause (Queen Bellicent) to let him go serve King Arthur in Tales from Tennyson, 1902

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Sir Gawaine the Son of Lot, King of Orkney, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)

Gawain

Character in Arthurian legend, in which he is King Arthur's nephew and a Knight of the Round Table.

Character in Arthurian legend, in which he is King Arthur's nephew and a Knight of the Round Table.

Sir Gawaine the Son of Lot, King of Orkney, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
"Gavvain's" attributed arms
"Galvagin" depicted in the Italian Modena Archivolt (c. 1135)
Gawain unwittingly fights Yvain in the Garrett MS. No. 125 manuscript of Chrétien's Knight of the Lion (c. 1295)
"Walewein" follows a flying checkboard in a 14th-century Dutch manuscript Roman van Walewein (en het schaakspel)
"Sir Gawain seized his lance and bade them farewell", Frank T. Merrill's illustration for A Knight of Arthur's Court or the Tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1910)
"The Passing of Sir Gawaine", Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of the Grail and the Passing of King Arthur (1910)
Parzival's Gawain in a capital relief at the Church of Saint-Pierre, Caen
"Sir Gawaine finds the beautiful Lady", Howard Pyle's illustration from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
John Tenniel's illustration for "The Song of Courtesy", George Meredith's take on Gawain and the Loathly Lady published in Once a Week magazine in 1859
The Vigil by John Pettie (1884)
"Nevertheless You, O Sir Gauwaine, Lie." Florence Harrison's illustration for Early Poems of William Morris (1914)
"In the morning one of these ladies came to Gawaine." William Henry Margetson's illustration for Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (1914)
"Now you have released me from the spell completely." William Henry Margetson's illustration for Hero-Myths and Legends of the British Race (1910)
Sir Gawain bends over the exhausted Maid Avoraine in concern after she has proved her love by running after his horse for two days. John Everett Millais' and Joseph Swain's wood engraving illustration for Robert Williams Buchanan's poem "Maid Avoraine" published in Once a Week magazine in 1862

In the best-known versions of the legend, he is the son of Arthur's sister Morgause and King Lot of Orkney and Lothian.

Uther Pendragon, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)

Uther Pendragon

Legendary king of sub-Roman Britain (c.

Legendary king of sub-Roman Britain (c.

Uther Pendragon, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)
Uther Pendragon in a crude illustration from a 15th-century Welsh version of Historia Regum Britanniae
Uther, on horseback and disguised as Pelleas, watches Igraine picking flowers in Uther and Igraine by Warwick Deeping, illustrated by Wladyslaw T. Benda

The theme of illegitimate conception is repeated in Arthur's siring of Mordred by his own half-sister Morgause in the 13th century French prose cycles, which was invented by them; it is Mordred who mortally wounds King Arthur in the Battle of Camlann.

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

Gareth

Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend.

Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend.

Howard Pyle's illustration for The Story of Sir Launcelot and His Companions (1907)
Gareth, Lyonesse and the Red Knight in Overthrowing of the Rusty Knight by Arthur Hughes (c. 1894–1908)

He was the youngest son of King Lot and Queen Morgause, King Arthur's half-sister, thus making him Arthur's nephew, as well as brother to Gawain, Agravain, and Gaheris, and either a brother or half-brother of Mordred.

King Loth's attributed arms

King Lot

King of Lothian, the realm of the Picts in the Arthurian legend.

King of Lothian, the realm of the Picts in the Arthurian legend.

King Loth's attributed arms

He is generally depicted as the husband of Arthur's sister or half-sister, often known as Anna or Morgause.

Agravain's attributed arms

Agravain

Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, whose first known appearance is in the works of Chrétien de Troyes.

Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend, whose first known appearance is in the works of Chrétien de Troyes.

Agravain's attributed arms
"He killed Sir Agrawaine with his first blow, and in a few minutes twelve dead bodies lay around him." Andrew Lang's Tales of the Round Table (1908)
The Royal Navy military transport HMT Sir Agravaine during World War II

He is the second eldest son of King Lot of Orkney with one of King Arthur's sisters known as Anna or Morgause, thus nephew of King Arthur, and brother to Sir Gawain, Gaheris, and Gareth, as well as half-brother to Mordred.

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)

Later variants most often characterised him as Arthur's villainous bastard son, born of an incestuous relationship with his half-sister, the Queen of Orkney named either Anna, Orcades, or Morgause.

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.

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.

Perceval arrives at the hermitage in a 15th-century illustration of Perceval

Perceval, the Story of the Grail

Unfinished fifth verse romance by Chrétien de Troyes, written by him in Old French in the late 12th century.

Unfinished fifth verse romance by Chrétien de Troyes, written by him in Old French in the late 12th century.

Perceval arrives at the hermitage in a 15th-century illustration of Perceval
The story's episode of Gawain on the Perilous Bed (lit périlleux) as engraved in a 14th-century ivory
The opening lines of the 14c Welsh language 'Peredur' from the Red Book of Hergest; Jesus College, Oxford (MS 111) version

An important episode is Gawain's liberation of a castle whose inhabitants include his long-lost mother (see Morgause), his grandmother Ygerne and his sister Clarissant, whose existence was unknown to him.

Gaheriet's attributed arms

Gaheris

Knight of the Round Table in the chivalric romance tradition of Arthurian legend.

Knight of the Round Table in the chivalric romance tradition of Arthurian legend.

Gaheriet's attributed arms
"They fought with him on foot more than three hours." N. C. Wyeth's The Slaying of Sir Lamorak in The Boy's King Arthur (1922)

A nephew of King Arthur, Gaheris is the third son of Arthur's sister or half-sister Morgause and her husband Lot, King of Orkney and Lothian.