Knights of the Round Table – Loyalty and Valour

Last week I wrote an article on two of King Arthur’s knights and I thought it would be interesting to look at some more. If you’ve read The Moon Stealer books you’ll know there’s an Arthurian element in them, inspired by the tales of the Knights of the Round Table.

Sir Galahad’s earthly mission ended after the Holy Grail was located, and he transcended to the pearly gates of heaven. The two knights that had escorted him to Sarras, were each great in their own rights and some of their stories include:

Sir Percival

To shield Percival from the violence of the world, his mother raised him in a secluded environment. Her son was a natural adventure seeker, however, and his greatest dream was to become one of King Arthur’s knights. It is reported that she died of sorrow when he abandoned her to achieve his goals by going to Arthur’s court, where he was ridiculed by an older knight. This did not break his spirit, and Percival immediately set out to fight a knight who had offended Queen Genevieve. He overcomes the offender, kills him and takes his vermillion armour as a reward.

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After this achievement, Percival begins training under Gornemant, who is a highly skilled, experienced knight. During their time together, his teacher’s niece is kidnapped and Percival rescues and then marries her. One of his greatest accomplishments as a Knight of the Round Table, was the retrieval of Excalibur, which he rescued from a group of mischievous faeries. They appeared smaller than children and wore bright garments and headwear, and became the inspiration for the modern myth about garden gnomes.

Sir Percival remained one of the king’s most trustworthy knights, but he was changed forever after the awe-inspiring events that took place during the quest for the Holy Grail. After Sir Galahad disappeared from the earth, Percival became a hermit and chose to live in the forest outside of Sarras for the rest of his life.

Sir Bors de Ganis 

Bors the Younger was the son of the King of Gaunnes (Bors the Elder), and as his heir became king upon his father’s death. When he was a child, he and his brother were also rescued by The Lady of the Lake after rebelling against Claudas’ court. The boys were Lancelot’s cousins, and they all learnt the skills of the sword together which served Bors well when he became a part of King Arthur’s court. Even though he was not the kingdom’s most skilled swordsman, Sir Bors had incredible physical strength to fall back on and risked his life for the king on more than one occasion. He became revered for his loyalty and fearlessness, even killing three dragons simultaneously.

Of the three knights who transported the Holy Grail to Sarras, Bors was the only one to return to Arthur’s court. Even though he wished to remain chaste, he was seduced by the daughter of King Brandegoris with the aid of a magic ring, and their union resulted in the birth of Elyan the White, who later became the Emperor of Constantinople.

After his affair with Genevieve had been discovered, there became a great conflict between King Arthur and Lancelot. Sir Bors’ loyalty to his cousin was stronger than that of his loyalty to his king, and he remained Lancelot’s lifelong supporter. After his cousin died, Bors returned to the Holy Land and died fighting in the crusades.

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