‘Merry Maiden,’ ‘Cheerful Damsel’
Gaia Donzella, Gaia Pulcella
In Pulzella Gaia, Gawain fights against her when she assumed the form of a serpent. She defeats him and becomes his lover, but cautioned him never to reveal the existence of their love. However, he did to spite a jealous Guenevere, so she no longer came when he summoned her. Guenevere, who had had her advances rejected by Gawaine arranged matters so that Arthur nearly executes him for making false boasts about his beautiful paramour.
Pulzella Gaia arrived with the fairy army to rescue him, but she told him her mother would imprison her, which she did, making her stay up to her waist in water. However, Gawaine rescued her and made Morgan captive.
This tale is a variation of the story of Lanval in which Pulzella’s character is called Triamour.
Pulzella Gaia is in fact a title, not a name, signifying the Cheerful Damsel.
Palaus | The Legend of King Arthur
La Tavola Ritonda | 1325–1350
La Pulzella Gaia | 1350-1375