Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Safir, Safire, Saphar

Son of King Esclabor and brother of Palamedes, Florine, and (in Malory) Seguarades (Segwarides).

Sirs Safere and Segwarides, already christened, came with their still-unbaptized brother Palomides to the tournament at Castle Dangerous. Safere seems to appear next at the tournament given by King Carados, seemingly somewhere on the south coast, where he, Carados, and a score of other knights were struck down by young Sir Alisander le Orphelin. Safere put in another appearance at Duke Galeholt’s tournament in Surluse. Between tournaments, he seems to have put in a good deal of time in errantry. In judicial combat at Arthur’s court, he killed the Count of the Plank, his father’s mortal enemy.

After the Lonazep tournament, somehow having acquired the shield used by Ector de Maris, Safere met, fought, and defeated one Sir Helior le Preuse and won the lady with him. Helior had just won this lady from Sir Epinogris (Epinegris), and Palomides arrived, to win her back for Epinogris, in time to see the fight between Helior and Safere.

Palomides then fought Safere for more than an hour to win the lady; at last, admiring each other’s strength, they inquired and learned each other’s identities and Safere knelt to beg Palomides’ forgiveness, afterward helping him escort the lady back to Epinogris. Safere then rode with Palomides for a time, but they were soon captured by men whose lord Sir Palomides had slain in the lists at Lonazep. Safere fought beside Palomides until they were defeated through weight of numbers, then spent three days in prison with him and was put on trial with him; Safere was found not guilty, while Palomides was sentenced to die.

He must have been equally delighted later to learn of Palomides’ rescue of Lancelot.

Safere became a knight of the Round Table and continued to enjoy his tournaments, fighting at Winchester and elsewhere. He and Palomides were among Guenevere’s guests at the small dinner when Patrise was poisoned. They clove to Lancelot’s party when the break came, helped Lancelot rescue Guenevere from the stake, and accompanied him into exile, where Safere was made Duke of Languedoc.

Safere is occasionally associated with his own shield. The design of his shield can differ, but it often incorporates symbols or imagery reflecting his loyalty and dedication to his fellow knights.

Prose Tristan | 1230-1240
Les Prophecies de Merlin | Richart d’Irlande, 1272-1279
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470