NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Liones, Lionesse, Lionors, Lyones, Lyonesse, Lyonores, Lyonoros

Sister of Lynette, chatelaine of Castle Dangerous (also called Castle Perilous), lady and wife of Sir Gareth, Dame Lyonors also had a brother, Sir Gringamore, and a niece, Dame Laurel. Lyonors is Tennyson’s name of her and is used here.

Though rather outshadowed by her sister, Lyonors does show considerable character of her own. Hers must have been a wealthy castle, for she was able to host a tournament there for Arthur’s knights and others. She also seems to have been a competent chatelaine, to judge by her foresight when Gareth’s dwarf brought her word that his master and her sister was nearing the castle. She sent the dwarf to a hermitage appertaining to Castle Dangerous, taking the hermit

wine in two flagons of silver, they are of two gallons, and also two cast of bread with fat venison baked, and dainty fowls; and a cup of gold. … And go thou unto my sister and greet her well, and commend me unto that gentle knight, and pray him to eat and drink and make him strong …

She was besieged by Sir Ironside, the Red Knight of the Red Lands. She was coy, for even after Gareth defeated Ironside for her, she declared she would not love her champion until he was

called one of the number of the worthy knights. And therefore go labour in worship this twelvemonth, and then thou shalt hear new tidings.

In this she may only have acted according to the postures of her milieu. Apparently endowed, however, with a sense of humor, she enlisted her brother’s aid for an elaborate practical joke involving the kidnaping of Gareth’s dwarf and encompassing Lyonors’ own flirtation, under an assumed identity, with Gareth (who had not until then seen the lady of Castle Dangerous close up). No prude, she was ready enough to go to bed with Gareth now, before marriage, though Lynette prevented it. They were married at the castle of Kynke Kenadonne.

See also
Lynette | The Legend of King Arthur