Bleoberiis, Bleoberys, Bleriz, Blerois, Bleos of Bliriers, Blioberis, Bliobleherin, Bliobleheris, Bliobleris, Breoberiis, Briobris, Plihoplehri, Pliopliheri, Pliopliherin
be sister's children unto my lord Sir Lancelot du Lake.
Malory first mentions Bleoberis as standardbearer for his godfather in the battle of Bedegraine during the first rebellion of British kings against Arthur. He also participated in the battles against the Saxons and the wars against Agrippe and Claudas, and he went on the Grail Quest.
Though usually described as skilled and honorable, he is sometimes depicted as malicious. One time, before King Mark’s marriage with La Beale Isoud, Bleoberis rode into Mark’s court, demanded a gift, and, on being granted it for sake of his renown and his place as a knight of the Round Table, he helped himself to Sir Segwarides’ wife as the fairest lady at court and rode off with her. Segwarides came to rescue his wife, and Bleoberis defeated him.
Next Tristram, who was at the time her lover, came on the same errand and defeated Bleoberis. The lady, however, was miffed at Tristram for letting her husband attempt her rescue first and refused to return with Tristram, insisting instead that Bleoberis take her to the abbey where Segwarides lay wounded. Bleoberis complied.
Another time, Lancelot and Bleoberis came upon Lamorak and Meliagrant in the midst of a battle over which queen was lovelier, Morgawse or Guenevere. Seeing Lancelot about to enter the fray on Meliagrant’s side in defense of Guenevere’s beauty, Bleoberis quelled the quarrel with some very sensible words:
My lord Sir Launcelot, I wist you never so misadvised as ye are now ... for I warn you I have a lady, and methinketh that she is the fairest lady of the world. Were this a great reason that ye should be wroth with me for such language?
Presumably the lady that Bleoberis mentions here is distinct from Segwarides’ wife, but we never learn more about her.
Bleoberis and his brother arraigned King Anguish of Ireland, as described under Blamore. Bleoberis was castellan of Ganis Castle, probably in Cornwall and probably named after the kingdom of his godfather. Active in tournaments and in jousting adventures in the books of Tristram, and one of Guenevere’s guests at the intimate dinner party when Sir Patrise was poisoned.
He was also present at the battle of Salisbury (the final battle against Mordred), and was one of the few survivors. In the aftermath of the battle, he tied Mordred’s body to a horse and dragged it around the field until it was torn to pieces. On the battlefield, he constructed the Tower of the Dead, from which he hung Mordred’s head.
Searching for Lancelot, he later came across Arthur the Less (King Arthur’s son), who attacked Bleoberis for supporting Lancelot in the Lancelot-Arthur conflict. Arthur the Less was slain in the battle.
He helped Lancelot rescue Guenevere from the stake and supported them when they were accused of treason. Bleoberis later followed Lancelot into exile and was made the Duke of Poitiers. Later still, he became one of the hermits at the grave of Arthur. He retired to a hermitage with the former Archbishop of Canterbury or with Lancelot. After Lancelot’s death, Bleoberis took his body to Joyous Guard and buried it. After he stabilized his own lands, he, Blamor, Ector, and Bors traveled to Jerusalem where they died on Good Friday, fighting the Turks.
In a variation in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, he is slain by Duke Orguelleuse of La Lande (Orilus of Lalander).
Bors is known for his piety and loyalty, and he is sometimes depicted with his own shield. The shield’s design is not as well-defined in the legends as some others, but it is often associated with religious symbols or images representing his virtues.
Erec | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Erec | Hartmann von Aue, late 12th century
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Le Bel Inconnu | Renaut de Bâgé, 1185–1190
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Vulgate Mort Artu | 1215-1230
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal | 1230-1240
Post-Vulgate Mort Artu | 1230-1240
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470