NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Knight of the Tomb

An adventure encountered by Perceval in the Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval and the Didot-Perceval. Perceval came across a tomb in his quest to hunt a white stag for the lady of Chessboard Castle. The Knight of the Tomb, also known as the Black Knight, who came from the forest of Argonne, lived in the tomb at the behest of his paramour.

In the Second Continuation, the Knight of the Tomb emerges and fights with Perceval, is defeated, and must return to the tomb. In the Didot-Perceval, Perceval frees him, and the ungrateful Knight of the Tomb shoves Perceval into the tomb and locks it. However, the Knight of the Tomb, who didn’t have a mount, was unable to get Perceval’s enchanted mule to move. He was forced to release Perceval from the tomb and to resume his place.

During the battle between Perceval and the Knight of the Tomb, Garsallas, the Knight of the Tomb’s half-brother, ran off with Perceval’s hound and the head of a stag Perceval had slain, sending Perceval on a series of quests that prolonged his return to Chessboard Castle.

Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval | Attributed to Wauchier of Denain, c. 1200
Didot-Perceval | c. 1220-1230