Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Ugly Hero

The Black Knight
Alait Hardi, Lai Hardis, Lais Hardi, Lais Hardis, Lais of Lardis, Lait Hardi, Laiz Hardiz, the Lays Hardy, Layz Hardy, Lez Hardiz, Lylais the Hardy

A Knight of the Round Table first mentioned in the catalogues of Chrétien de Troyes, next to the Handsome Coward.

The Vulgate Cycle provides his biography: a Black Knight from the castle of Amalvi, the Ugly Hero was properly named Acanor. Although the Ugly Hero and his father were both Christians, Acanor’s dark skin lent him the common nickname.

He participated in Arthur’s wars against King Rions and King Claudas, and in several quests to find a missing Lancelot. After a tournament in Estrangorre, the Ugly Hero swore fealty to King Brandegorre’s daughter.

Lancelot freed him from an imprisonment at the Forbidden Hill (Le Tertre Deuee). Erec defeated him in combat during the Grail Quest. Aside from his deeds in the Vulgate Cycle, he also undergoes a series of knightly adventures in Claris et Laris.

See also
Twelve Peers | The Legend of King Arthur

Erec | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval | Attributed to Wauchier of Denain, c. 1200
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin | 1230-1240
Claris et Laris | 1268