Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Arthur the Less

‘The Unknown Knight’
Arthur the Little

The son of Arthur by the daughter of Tanas, a lovely maiden that Arthur forced himself upon when he encountered her in the forest of Bretheam. Tanas later killed his daughter over an unrelated matter, and abandoned Arthur the Less, still a baby, in the forest. A widow found him and took him in, raising him to the age of fifteen.

He was knighted by Tristan, and he soon proved his prowess by defeating both Perceval and Gawaine in combat.

He called himself “The Unknown Knight” until his true lineage was revealed to him at Arthur’s court. Arthur concealed the fact that Arthur the Less was his son, as he did not want others to know of the rape. Arthur the Less kept the secret, but remained fiercely loyal to his father.

He supported Arthur against his Cornish and Saxon foes, accompanied Galahad during the Grail Quest, and was present at Corbenic (Carbonek), the Grail Castle, to witness Galahad’s success. He also helped to repel King Mark’s invasion of Camelot.

He was slain by Bleoberis, whom he attacked for supporting Lancelot in the war against Arthur.

Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal | 1230-1240
Post-Vulgate Mort Artu | 1230-1240
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240