NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Maiden with the White Hands

Maiden of the White Hands
Dame d’Amour, Pucelle aux Blanche Mains

A fairy who ruled the Golden Isle.

She had several suitors, so she declared that she would marry anyone who could defend the Golden Isle against all visitors over a period of seven years. Malgier the Gray, a loathsome knight, was only two years away from winning the challenge when he was killed by Arthur’s knight Guinglain. The Maiden was so pleased by Malgier’s death that she abolished the custom and agreed to marry Guinglain immediately.

Guinglain was in the middle of a quest to remove a curse from Queen Esmeree the Blonde of Wales, however, and – fearful that the Maiden would try to detain him – he sneaked away from the Golden Isle in the middle of the night. Tortured with love for the Maiden, Guinglain returned as soon as he could. The Maiden had followed his progress on the quest. She scorned him upon his return and befuddled him with enchantments of revenge. Eventually, she accepted him back into her heart, but he lost her love for good when he decided to leave her so he could participate in a tournament at the Castle of Maidens.

Le Bel Inconnu | Renaut de Bâgé, 1185–1190