Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Great Fool

A nephew of Arthur and the hero of an Irish and Scottish Gaelic folk-tale, Eachtra an Amadán Mhór (‘The Adventure of the Great Fool’ or ‘The Lay of the Great Fool’).

The story centers around a fool or a jester, who is described as being physically deformed and mentally slow. Despite his shortcomings, he falls in love with a beautiful princess and embarks on a quest to win her hand in marriage. Along the way, he encounters various obstacles and challenges, including a series of tasks set by the princess’s father, a powerful king.

When he came of age, he proved himself a skilled fighter by visiting Arthur’s court and defeating Gawain, as well as three obscure knights known as the Red Knight, the Purple Knight, and the Speckled Knight.

His adventures owe something to Perceval or Peredur. He was raised in the woods, ignorant of his nobility because his family was Arthur’s enemy, his brothers were killed for plotting against Arthur.

The tale is notable for its blend of comedy and romance, as well as its use of folkloric motifs and elements of Irish mythology. It has been compared to other medieval romances from the Celtic tradition, such as the Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen and the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Eachtra an Amadán Mhór has been the subject of numerous translations and adaptions.

See also
Colored Characters | The Legend of King Arthur

Eachtra an Amadán Mhór | 16th or 17th century