Guenevere and the Poisoned Apple

It was at this time that Guenevere held a "privy dinner" for twenty-four other knights of the Round Table, to show that she took joy in all of them. The knight named Avarlan tries to arrange for Gawain to eat some poisoned fruit, but Guenevere innocently gives the fruit to Gaheris of Carahew (or Sir Patrise of Ireland) instead, and he dies. Gaheris' brother, Mador of the Gate, accuses Guenevere of murder.

Guenevere was accused of the crime, reproached by Arthur himself for being unable to keep Lancelot at hand when she needed him, and driven to beg Sir Bors to champion her in Lancelot's place. Meanwhile, the body of the maiden of Escalot arrives at Camelot in a boat, and Guinevere learns that Lancelot did not love her. Lancelot were secretly informed of the situation by Bors, and he laid low and let Guenevere stew, not showing up until the very last minute, in time to defend Guinevere against the charge. He exonerates her, and the lovers are reconciled.

Shortly after this incident, Lancelot tried to stay in London with the Queen while the rest of the court went to Winchester for a great tournament. This time Guenevere told Lancelot to leave her and attend the tournament, lest their enemies use the occasion for further scandal. Lancelot said:

Madam, I allow your wit, it is of late come since ye were wise.

Somewhat illogically, after accepting Guenevere's reasoning, he went to Winchester in disguise, and his wearing of the favor of Elaine of Astolat in the lists led to another jealous rift, which was not quite healed until Elaine's death bore testimony to Lancelot's avoidance of sexual entanglement with her.

In justice, Guenevere seems genuinely to have pitied the dead Elaine. She also prudently insisted that from now on Lancelot wear her favour in tournament, to avoid such injury as he sustained at Winchester when his kinsmen, not knowing him, ganged up on him.

See also
- Background of Guenevere / Guinevere
- Becoming a Queen
- The Invading Kings
- The Flower Bride
- Lancelot and Guenevere
- The Poisoned Apple
- The False Guenevere
- Abduction Stories
- Guenevere's Sentence
- The Abbess Queen
- The Character