Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Gawaine’s Wife

Another of Gawaine’s strange adventures is about how he got his wife.

A Christmas holiday when King Arthur rode through the forest he met a giant, who explained that if the king could not give him an answer to what every woman wanted most of all before the new year, the giant would capture him.

When the New Year’s Eve got closer the king had not an answer yet to the question. In a gloomy mood he rode out to meet the giant and in the same forest he saw a lady who were terribly ugly but who said that she would give him the answer if she could marry Gawaine. The king could only promise that he would bring Gawaine to her the next day, and to this promise he got to hear the answer, which he told the giant who got furious when the answer were right.

The next day Gawaine went with Arthur to the forest, and due to loyalty to his king he took the scarecrow on his saddle, rode her home and had the wedding. On the wedding day he closed his eyes and took his bride in his arms, and then the uglyness fell off her; happy she told her husband half of the enchantment were broken; from now on she will be beautiful for only twelve hours.

Did Gawaine want her beautiful in sunlight or moonlight? Gawaine would rather have her beautiful during night, so he, alone, could enjoy her beauty, but when he understood that it was more important for her to look good during day he choosed that. Overjoyed his bride explained the enchantment were broken completely; he had allowed her what every woman wants most of all: to get her will through.

See also
Dame Ragnell | The Legend of King Arthur