32 Facts About Lancelot


Lancelot du Lac, written as Launcelot and other variants, is a character in some versions of Arthurian legend where he is typically depicted as King Arthur's close companion and one of the greatest Knights of the Round Table.


Lancelot's name appears third on a list of knights at King Arthur's court in the earliest known work featuring him as a character: Chretien de Troyes' Old French poem Erec and Enide.


Lancelot reappears in Chretien's Cliges, in which he takes a more important role as one of the knights that Cliges must overcome in his quest.


The book's Lancelot is Arthur's nephew, the son of Arthur's sister Queen Clarine.


Lancelot's character was further developed during the early 13th century in the Old French prose romance Vulgate Cycle, known as the Lancelot-Grail.


Gaston Paris argued that the Guinevere-Meleagant episode of the Prose Lancelot is an almost literal adaptation of Chretien's poem, the courtly love theme of which seemed to be forced on the unwilling Chretien by Marie, though it can be seen as a considerable amplification.


Lancelot is often tied to the religiously Christian themes within the genre of Arthurian romance.


An early part of the Vulgate Lancelot describes in a great detail what made him "the most handsome lad in the land", noting the feminine qualities of his hands and neck and the just right amount of musculature.


Lancelot's eyes were bright and smiling and full of delight as long as he was in a good mood, but when he was angry, they looked just like glowing coals and it seemed that drops of red blood stood out from his cheekbones.


Lancelot provides him with other enchanted items with various abilities, including a lance, a sword, a tent, and a mirror.


Lancelot eventually is made a member of Arthur's elite Round Table after releasing the king's nephew Gawain from enemy captivity.


The Maleagant episode actually marked the end of the original, non-cyclic version of the prose Lancelot, telling of only his childhood and early youth, before the later much longer versions.


Nevertheless, just as in Malory's "French book" source, his Lancelot too devotes himself to the service of Guinevere early on in his tale.


Lancelot plays a decisive role in the war against the Saxons in Lothian, when he again rescues Arthur and Gawain and forces the Saxon witch-princess Camille to surrender.


Lancelot dedicates his deeds to his lady Guinevere, acting in her name as her knight.


Lancelot accepts and uses his boon to demand that Galehaut surrender peacefully to Arthur.


The exact nature of Galehaut's passion for Lancelot is a subject of debate among modern scholars, with some interpreting it as intimate friendship and others as love similar to that between Lancelot and Guinevere.


At first, Lancelot continues to serve Galehaut in his home country of Sorelois, where Guinevere joins him, after Lancelot saves her from the bewitched Arthur during the "false Guinevere" episode.


Lancelot becomes one of the most famous Knights of the Round Table, even attested as the best knight in the world in Malory's own episode of Sir Urry of Hungary, as well as an object of desire by many ladies, beginning with the gigantic Lady of Malehaut when he is her captive early on in the Vulgate Lancelot.


On his side, Lancelot falls in a mutual but purely platonic love with an avowed virgin maiden, whom Malory calls Amable.


Lancelot even kidnaps him repeatedly, once with her coven of fellow magical queens including Sebile.


On one occasion, Morgan agrees to temporarily release Lancelot to save Gawain, on the condition that Lancelot will return to her immediately afterwards; she then sets him free under the further condition that he not spend any time with either Guinevere or Galehaut for a year.


Lancelot flees and vanishes, wandering the wilderness for years.


Lancelot, shown the Holy Grail through a veil, is cured of his madness, and then chooses to live with her on a remote isle, where he is known incognito as the Wicked Knight.


The quest is initiated by Lancelot's estranged son, the young teenage Galahad, having prevailed over his father in a duel during his own dramatic arrival at Camelot, among other acts that proved him as the most perfect knight.


Ultimately, Lancelot's affair with Guinevere is a destructive force, which was glorified and justified in the Vulgate Lancelot but becomes condemned by the time of the Vulgate Queste.


Lancelot saves the Queen from an accusation of murder by poison when he fights as her champion against Mador de la Porte upon his timely return in another episode included in Malory's version.


The civil war between Arthur and Lancelot was introduced in the Vulgate Mort Artu, where it replaced the great Roman War taking place at the end of Arthur's reign in the chronicle tradition.


Lancelot dies of illness four years later, accompanied only by Hector, Bleoberis, and the former archbishop of Canterbury.


Lancelot refuses to kiss Lancelot one last time, telling him to return to his lands and that he will never see her face again.


Lancelot, dressed in brown, living with his companions in a hermit hut at the end of his life.


Lancelot appeared as a character in many Arthurian films and television productions, sometimes even as the protagonistic titular character.