King of Escavalon


Near the outset of Chrétien’s Grail romance, Percivale’s mother tells him that his oldest brother served and was knighted by the King of Escavalon. Apparently this king died in circumstances that allowed Guigambresil to accuse Gawaine of his murder, challenging Arthur’s knight to trial by combat before the young and elegant King of Escavalon, the old king’s son, “handsomer than Absalon”.

When Gawaine arrives at Escavalon, he seems not to realize that he has reached his destination. He meets the young king, who is out hunting, but neither recognizes the other, and the king greets him hospitably, sending him to the castle with a messenger to bid his sister entertain this new guest well. She does, until a vavasour comes in who happens to know Gawaine.

The vavasour rouses the entire town, which hates Gawaine for its old king’s murder, and when Guigambresil arrives, he finds Gawaine and the King’s sister defending themselves against a mob. Guigambresil locates the king, who, finally learning his guest’s identity, rules that the royal promise of hispitality remains sacred but, on the advice of another(?) vavasour, postpones the trial by combat for one year on condition that Gawaine use that year to search for the Bleeding Lance.

The King of this realm is named Alain, the father of Florie (Floree), who married Gawaine and became the mother of Wigalois by him.


See also
Alderman of Escavalon | The Legend of King Arthur
Sister of the King of Escavalon | The Legend of King Arthur
Vavasour(s) of the King of Escavalon | The Legend of King Arthur