NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Guingomar of Avalon

Gimoers, Gringamore, Gryngamore, Guigomar d’Avalon, Guingamuer, Guinguemar, Gwinganiers

A knight who Chrétien de Troyes calls the Lord of the Isle of Avalon, carrying all black arms, perhaps for anonymity. Morgan le Fay was his lover. He had a brother named Greslemuef of Finisterre and, in Malory, two sisters named Lynet (Lynette) and Lyones (Lyonors). He became Gareth’s brother-in-law and companion.

He shows up at the tournament of the Castle of Maidens in Renaut de Bâgé’s Le Bel Inconnu and at the Castle Perilous tournament in Malory. In the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, his fairy lover is named Brangepart, and he has a son by her named Brangemuer.

Guinguemar has his own non-Arthurian lay in which falls in love with an unnamed fairy, possibly Morgan. He may be connected with Guiomar, Morgan’s lover in the Vulgate romances.

Chrétien lists him among the vassal lords whom Arthur summoned to court for Erec’s wedding. Perhaps Chrétien’s Guingomar became the Vulgate’s Guiomar.

As Gringamore he lives in the Isle of Avilion and is carrying all black arms, perhaps for anonymity. After Gareth had defeated Sir Ironside, Dame Lyonors sent Gringamore to kidnap Gareth’s Dwarf, so that they could learn who and what the champion ‘Beaumains’ was who had freed Castle Dangerous from Ironside’s siege. When brought to Gringamore’s castle, the dwarf used the occasion to boast of his master.

On Gareth’s arrival, Gringamore and his sisters welcomed them both as guests. Without revealing herself as the lady of Castle Dangerous, Lyonors attracted Gareth’s love with passionate flirtation. Observing the looks that passed between them, Gringamore called her aside into a chamber to tell her how much he approved the match, and then went to Gareth to assure him of the lady’s love.

Erec | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Erec | Hartmann von Aue, late 12th century
Le Bel Inconnu | Renaut de Bâgé, 1185–1190
First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval | Attributed to Wauchier of Denain, c. 1200
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470