Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


‘Fair Hands’

Kay’s derogatory nickname for Gawaine’s brother Gareth. Meaning “fair hands”, it indicated that the young Gareth’s hands were untarnished by work or combat. Gareth kept the name throughout his first two years at Arthur’s court – one year as a kitchen page, and one as a knight.

His mother, Morgause, eventually revealed his true identity while visiting Camelot.

The name suggests Malory’s familiarity with the Le Bel Inconnu or Fair Unknown romances, featuring Gawaine’s son.

Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470