The name of two related characters from the Arthurian legends and, aside from Arthur, possibly the best known of all the Arthurian characters.
Lancelot de la Blance Terre
The grandfather of Lancelot of the Lake. Descended from Nascien, he was the son of Jonah (Jonaans) and the father of Kings Ban (Lancelot of the Lake’s father), Bors, and Guinebaus (Gwenbaus). Born the heir to Gaul, he doubled his kingdom by marrying the daughter of the King of Ireland.
While drinking from a chapel fountain one day, his cousin, the Duke of the White Fortress, who was also the husband of King Lancelot’s mistress, sneaked up behind him and beheaded him, sending his head into the fountain. The fountain boiled, burning the Duke, and continued to boil until the Grail Quest, when Galahad put his hand into the fountain. Lancelot of the Lake found his grandfather’s body and buried it next to his grandmother’s.
Forest of the Boiling Well | The Legend of King Arthur
Marthe | The Legend of King Arthur
Lancelot of the Lake
Ancalot, Galahad, Galahos, Lanç, Lançarote, Lanceloet, Lancelos del Lac, Lancelott, Lancelus, Lanchelot, Lancilotto, Lancillotto, Lançolot, Lanseloit, Lanselos, Lanselot, Lanselotos, Lanslate, Lanslod, Lansselos, Lantsloot, Lanzelet, Lanzelot, Lanzilet, Lanziloto; Launcelot du Lake, - du Lac; Launselake, Lawnslot, Llancalot
Blow, weary wind,
The golden rod scarce chiding;
Sir Launcelot is riding
By shady wood-paths pleasant
To fields of yellow corn.
He starts a whirring pheasant,
And clearly winds his horn.
The Queen's Tower gleams mid distant hills;
A thought like joyous sunshine thrills,
"My love grows kind."
Lancelot, probably the most famous of all Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, was the most illustrious of an illustrious family which included King Ban of Benwick his father, King Bors his uncle, Sirs Lionel and Bors de Ganis his cousins, and Sir Ector de Maris his bastard British-born half-brother. He plays a part in many of Arthur's victories, but Arthur's eventual downfall is also brought about in part by Lancelot, whose affair with Arthur's wife Guenevere destroys the unity of Arthur's court.
Lancelot is a popular character, and has been the subject of many poems, stories, plays, and films as a famous figure in the Arthurian cycle of romances. To the great majority of English readers the name of no knight of King Arthur's court is so familiar as is that of Sir Lancelot. The mention of Arthur and the Round Table at once brings him to mind to moderns as the most valiant member of that brotherhood and the secret lover of the Queen. Lancelot, however, is not an original member of the cycle, and the development of his story is still a source of considerable disagreement between scholars.
- Childhood and becoming a Knight
- The Love of Lancelot and Guenevere
- To the Rescue
- Lancelot and his Virgin love
- "... the two most unfortunate knights..."
- Lancelot went mad
- The Grail Adventures
- Arthur's and Lancelot's deaths
- Another Version
- Lancelot's Family and Retainers
- Lancelot's Foreign Hosts
- Lancelot's Ring
- Lancelot's Tower
Lancelot's 'Foreign' Hosts
When on his way through the marches of Gore to the Sword Bridge, the evening after leaving the "Church of the Tombs" and parting from "Portia", Lancelot met a vavasour returning from hunting in the woods, his game lashed to his large gray hunting horse. The vavasour took Lancelot home as a guest to his family, which included a wife, two unmarried daughters, and five sons - two of them already knighted. They had been born in Logres, but somehow strayed into Gore, where they had been living captive for a long time.
Two of the sons, one knighted and the other not, accompanied Lancelot next day, guiding him through the Stony Passage, briefly joining an uprising raised by more prisoners from Logres at the rumor that the champion foretold to free them had finally arrived, and then lodging for the night with another well-to-do knight.
At some point in their journey, Lancelot knighted the younger of his guides. After an apparently uneventful day of travel, they found hospitality at the household of a knight and a lady with an unspecified number of sons and daughters - "foreign" prisoners or not, these people were as gracious as Lancelot's earlier hosts. This stopping-place was where the man Phyllis Ann Karr very tentatively identified with the Haughty Knight of the Heath challenged and fought Lancelot with a horse to replace the one slain in that combat.
The original two young men continued with Lancelot the next day until reaching the Sword Bridge that evening. They witnessed his crossing; one can assume that, after seeing him reach the other side in safety (his injuries they could not see), they returned to their own home, spreading the news.
The fairy who raised Lancelot - Chrétien does not further identify her - gave him a ring whose stone had the power to free him from any spell or magical illusion. Once, for instance, finding himself and his companions trapped in a strong castle in the marches of Gore, and suspecting enchantment, he held the ring up before his eyes, gazed at the stone, and called on God and his lady the fairy, trusting her to hear and rescue him; by the fact that nothing happened, he knew that the castle was real and solid, that they had to fight their way out by natural means.
Later in the same adventure, he used his ring again to prove that the two lions or leopards apparently set to guard the farther end of the Sword Bridge were, unlike the bridge itself and the castle described above, more illusory enchantments.
Chrétien describes an island in the middle of the large, broad arm of the sea that lay beside Gore. Upon this island Meliagrant had a tower built for the special purpose of imprisoning Lancelot: the stone for this tower had to be ferried over the water, and its construction took almost fifty-seven days.
Later on, however, in the part added by Godefroi de Leigni, the tower seems to be not on an island, but standing lonely on the shore beside the arm of the sea.
King Bademagu's Daughter | The Legend of King Arthur