Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Mauduit the Wicked Giant

le Jaiant Malduit, Malduit the Giant

One country, possibly in or near Cornwall (that part of the island being noted for them) was infested with giantsArthur killed them all except a giantess and her baby son, whom he gave, along with the land, to a knight who asked for them. The baby giant was Mauduit. At fourteen, he was larger than a grown man. At fifteen, he was knighted by his foster-father. Later, he killed his parents in a fit of rage and began terrorizing the countryside.

Finally he fell in love, but the lady accepted him only on condition that he swear to amend and not to leave his castle. He hung his arms in a pavilion, hoping some knight would take them and thus give him an excuse to leave his castle. The people charged twelve damsels to guard Mauduit’s arms.

Ywaine came along and found an old woman beating a dwarf. At first she said she would stop if Ywaine kissed her, but then she amended the condition and make him take down Mauduit’s helmet, sword, and shield. She tied the helmet and sword to the tail of her horse and made Ywaine carry the shield. Then she rode away, while the dwarf and the twelve damsels grieved. Ywaine had innocently given Mauduit the excuse to leave his castle.

Ywaine only learned the story later, from a hermit of the country. Ywaine fought and conquered a knight named Triadan and told him to go to the giant with the message that Ywaine alone was responsible and the people of the country should be spared. Mauduit’s answer was to cut off Triadan’s hand and go on a spree of indiscriminate slaughter.

Some of the people captureed Ywaine and imprisoned him in the Castel del Trespas to await Mauduit’s coming. Here, LancelotBorsGareth, and Bagdemagus found their comrade. Bors insisted on carrying Mauduit’s shield and fighting the giant. Bors, of course, won and killed Mauduit.

Lancelot, or Le Chevalier de la Charrete | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal | 1230-1240