Pellinore

When she saw he would not abide, she prayed unto God to send him as much need of help as she had, and that he might feel it or he died

Pellinore

CharactersBackground Essay Author: Alan Lupack
In the Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal, Pellinore is said to follow the Questing Beast and to be the father of Aglovale, Lamorak, Perceval, Perceval’s sister, and other children. The thirteenth-century Vulgate Merlin says that he is the Maimed King and the brother of Alan the Fisher King and of Pelles. He is also, according to Malory, the father of an illegitimate son named Tor, whose mother is the wife of Aryes the cowherd and who is knighted when it is revealed that Pellinore is his father. In Malory’s Morte d’Arthur, the sword Arthur drew from the stone breaks as he fights Pellinore. To save the king, Merlin casts a spell on Pellinore and then takes Arthur to receive a new sword, Excalibur, from the Lady of the Lake. Subsequently, Pellinore becomes an ally of Arthur’s and slays the rebellious Lot, an act that leads to a feud between their families. Years later, Gawain and his brothers kill Pellinore and Lamorak. In the triple quest of Gawain, Torre, and Pellinore, Pellinore ignores the pleas of a lady whose lover had been wounded, for help. Ignoring her pleas, Pellinore pursues his quest. The knight dies and the lady kills herself with his sword. Their bodies are eaten by lions and other wild beasts. Pellinore later learns that the lady was his daughter, Alyne; The knight was Myles of the Laundis, who was speared from behind by Lorayne le Saveage, a false knight and a coward. In the first two books of T. H. White’s The Once and Future King (1958), Pellinore becomes a comic figure.
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