Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Handsome Coward

Biaux Coars

A noble Knight of the Round Table found in Chrétien’s Erec, alongside the Ugly Hero (Ugly Brave). He may have a relation to the Coward Knight of Perlesvaus. Chrétien lists him as the fifth best of Arthur’s knights, one guesses that his cowardice was the same sort displayed by the Cowardly Lion of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books (who is quite a different personality from the otherwise delightful comic character played by Bert Lahr).

In the second Perceval continuation and the Didot-Perceval, he loves an ugly woman named Rosete, and he fights Perceval when Perceval insults her honor. Rosete later became beautiful at Arthur’s court. According to the Prose Tristan, he participated in the Grail Quest.

Erec | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval | Attributed to Wauchier of Denain, c. 1200
Didot-Perceval | c. 1220-1230
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240