King of Galloway

An uncle of Erec’s, this bountiful and generous monarch was at Nantes for his nephew’s coronation; in Chrétien’s earliest romance, we find him going with King Cadoalant of IrelandGuivret the Little, and Yder (the son of Nut) to escort Enide and Guenevere to the great hall. Presumably, if not among Arthur’s vassals, the King of Galloway was among his friends and allies.

In Chrétien’s last romance, however, Galloway seems to have become a land of some mystery and peril – D.D.R. Owen cites evidence that the actual country and suffered bad repute, and that four mss, include a couplet indentifying it as an evil land with perverse people. The rest of Chrétien’s text may not bear this out: as I interpret the peril, it comes from a few renegade individuals; the general populace seems passively sympathetic, and if the King of Galloway was to reappear in Gawaine’s adventures, it must have been in the part that Chrétien never managed to add.