Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 14

I got it posted yes! I’ve not been doing very well on the getting things done part lately, maybe because of my anxiety (my novel is getting ready to hunt me down with pitchforks and torches if I don’t get to work on it soon), but I’ve at least been consistent about this so far. *pumps fist*

By then King Ban came into the field, as fierce as a lion, with bands of green and thereupon gold. [So I guess they’re talking about his coat-of-arms thing?][‘Coat-of-arms thing’, I’m so educated lol] ‘Ah,’ said King Lot, ‘We must be discomfited, for yonder I see the most valiant knight in the world, and the man of the most reknown, for there are no two such brothers as King Ban and Bors who are living, wherefore we must retreat or die. And unless we retreat manfully and wisely, there is but death.’

When King Ban came into the battle, he came in so fiercely that the strokes echoed again from the wood and the water. But through the great force of King Ban, they made both the Northern battles that were departed hurtled together for great dread, and the three kings and their knights slew on ever so it was a pity to behold the multitude of people that fled. [Uh…Yeah! Yeah, I know what that means!][And yeah, this is why I usually mess with the wording. Because if left as is, I have a freaking hard time reading it. But in this case? I have noo idea what they’re saying, so I’m not going to hazard a guess.] But King Lot, the King of the Hundred Knights, and King Morganore gathered the people together and did great prowess of arms, and held the battle all that day like hard.

When the King of the Hundred Knights beheld the great damage that King Ban did, he thrust unto him with his horse and smote him high upon the helm, a great stroke, and stunned him sore. Then King Ban was wroth with him and followed on him fiercely. The other saw that and cast up his shield and spurred his horse forward. But the stroke of King Ban fell down and carved a corner off the shield, and the sword slid down by the back of his hauberk and cut through the horse’s steel armour, and the horse even in two pieces, so the sword felt the earth. [Noo save the horsies][It’s a lost cause nvm I give up]

Then the King of the Hundred Knights jumped lightly off the horse, and with his sword he speared King Ban’s horse through and through. [of course] With that, King Ban jumped lightly from the dead horse, and then King Ban smote at the other so eagerly and smote him on the helm so he fell to the earth. Also in that violent battle he killed King Morganore, and there was great slaughter of good knights and many people. [And horses]

By then King Arthur came into the press and found King Ban standing among dead men and dead horses, fighting on foot like a fierce lion, so no one came near him as far as he might reach with his sword, but he caught a grievous blow, whereof King Arthur had great pity. And as Arthur looked about him, he saw a knight that was passingly well horsed, and right then Arthur ran to him and smote him on the helm so his sword went unto his teeth, and the knight sank down to the earth dead. And anon Arthur took the horse by the reins and led him unto King Ban, and said, ‘fair brother, have this horse, for you have great need of it and I repent sorely of your great damage.’ [Oh my gosh, I love the way they talk]

‘It shall soon be revenged,’ said King Ban, ‘for I trust in God my ire is not such but some of them may sore repent this.’

‘I do not doubt it,’ said Arthur, ‘for I see you are willing to follow through on your words. Nevertheless, I may not come to you at that time.’

But when King Ban was mounted on horseback, then the battle began anew, the which was sore and hard, and there was a passing great slaughter. And so through great force, King Arthur, King Ban, and King Bors made their knights withdraw a little. [I assume that refers to the eleven kings’ knights?] But always the eleven kings in their chivalry never turned back, and so they withdrew to a little wood and so over a little river, and there they rested them, for at night they might have no rest on the field. And then the eleven kings and knights put themselves in a group all together as men adread and out of all comfort, but there was no man that might pass them; they held them so hard together, both behind and before, that King Arthur had marvel of their deeds of arms and was passing wroth. [Heh heh. I love how frustrated he’s getting.]

‘Ah, Sir Arthur,’ said King Ban and King Bors, ‘blame them not. For they do as good men ought to do.’ [I remember reading that sentence the first time and REELING because what the heck this isn’t a fairy tale’s black and white take on morality what is this alternate universe]

‘For by my faith,’ said King Ban, ‘they are the best fighting men and knights that I ever saw or heard of. And the eleven kings are men of great worship. And if they were loyal unto you, there would be no king under the heavens that had such eleven knights of such worship.’ [Not saying this isn’t a powerful moment, it is, but I’m going to ruin it by asking where they find the time to philosophize like this during a battle?]

‘I may not love them,’ said Arthur. ‘They would destroy me.’ [Pragmatic teenager misses the point, again]

‘That we know well,’ said King Ban and King Bors, ‘for they are your mortal enemies, and that has been proved aforehand. And this day they have done their part, and it is a great pity for their willfulness.’

Then all the eleven kings drew together. And then King Lot said, ‘Lords, you must do otherwise than you do, or else the great loss is still to come. You may see what people we have lost and what good men we lose, because we wait always on these infantrymen, and ever in saving on of the infantrymen, we lose ten horsemen for him. For the noble Arthur will not tarry on the infantrymen, for they may save themselves, the wood is nearby. And as we horsemen be together, let each of you kings make an ordinance that none of us shall break upon pain of death. And whoever sees any man make to flee, he should slay him immediately, for better that we should slay a coward than through a coward we all be slain. What say you?’ asked King Lot. [Tell me I’m not the only person who thinks of Aragorn every time I see some variation of that sentence] ‘Answer me, all ye kings.’

‘It is well said,’ quoth King Nentres; so said the King of the Hundred Knights; the same said King Carados and King Uriens; so did King Idres and King Brandegoris; and so did King Cradelment and the Duke of Cambenet; and the same said King Clarience and King Anguisant, and they swore they would never fail each other, neither for life nor for death. [yaaay long lists of names] And whosoever fled should be slain. Then they amended their harnesses and righted their shields and took new spears and set them against their thighs, and they stood as still as a group of trees.

This battle scene is looong but I’m not complaining. 🙂 Although I will say my favorite part of the legends is all the stupid drama. I live for stupid drama.

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 13

So I was almost late posting this, because I perform stunningly on deadlines, especially self-imposed ones, but I got it all done in time! Yay!

Also, Jenelle solved my conundrum on whether or not to make myself a little banner by sitting down and making me one. Thank you. It’s beautiful.

Then Lucan saw King Anguisant who had lately slain Moris de la Roche, and Lucan ran to him with a great, short spear and gave him such a fall that the horse fell down to the earth. [Is it just me, or are there a lot of people getting hit with spears and surviving? Or is plate armor just that good?] And Lucan found Bloias de la Flandres and Sir Gwinas there on foot, two hardy knights. And in the wood that Lucan was in, he slew two knights and horsed Bloias and Gwinas again. Then waxed the battle passing hard on both parties, but Arthur was glad his knights were horsed again.

And then they fought together and the noise rang out by the water and  the wood, wherefore King Ban and Bors made themselves ready and dressed their shields and harnesses. And they were so courageous that many knights shook and trembled for eagerness. […I have never shook or trembled for eagerness unless it was, I don’t know, about ice cream or something, but okay.][War is like ice cream to these people]

All the while, Lucan, Gwinas, Briant, and Bellias of Flanders [*squints* That’s not the same Bloias de la Flandres, is it? They’re spelling it in a different way?] held strong against six kings, King Lot, King Nentres, King Brandegoris, King Uriens, and King Anguisant. So with the help of Sir Kay and of Sir Griflet, they held these six kings hard, so they barely had any power to defend themselves. [Okay, so…‘them’ refers to the kings. Got it.] But when Arthur saw that the battle would not be ended by no manner, he became angry as a lion, and steered his horse here and there on the right hand and on the left hand, and he stinted not till he had slain twenty knights. Also he wounded King Lot sore on the shoulder and made him to leave that area, for Sir Kay and Griflet with King Arthur did great deeds of arms.

Then Ulfius, Brastias, and Sir Ector fought against the Duke Eustace, King Cradelment, King Clariance of Northumberland, King Carados, and the King with the Hundred Knights. [I am panting after having to type out so many names] So these knights fought with these kings and made the kings avoid the place.

Then King Lot made great dole for his damages and his fellows, and said unto the ten kings, ‘Unless you do as I devise, we shall be slain and destroyed. Let me have the King with the Hundred Knights, [Lmao is that just how everyone refers to him] King Anguisant, King Idres, and the Duke of Cambenet, and we five kings will have fifteen thousand men of arms with us, and we will go apart while you six kings hold battle with twelve thousand men. And when we see that you have fought long with them, then will we come on fiercely, and unless we do this we shall never match them.’ [Is it actually possible to just…sneak off with a large part of your army during a battle without the other side noticing? Or am I misunderstanding something?] So they departed as they here devised, and six kings made their party strong against Arthur and made great war for a long time.

In the meanwhile the ambushment of King Ban and Bors broke out, and Lionses and Phariance had the vanguard, and the two knights met with King Idres and his fellowship. And there began a great medley of breaking of spears and smiting of swords, with slaying of men and horses. And King Idres was near at discomfiture. King Anguisant saw that and put Lionses and Phariance at the point of death; and the Duke of Cambenet came on immediately with a great fellowship. So these two knights were in great danger of their lives so they were fain to return, but always they rescued themselves and their fellowship marvelously. [Fain: ‘Glad or content under adverse circumstances (to be able to pursue a certain course of action).’ (Thank God for Middle English dictionary.)]

When King Bors saw those knights put aback it grieved him sore; then he came on so fast that his fellowship seemed as dark as indigo. [I wouldn’t necessarily associate fast motion with the color indigo, but okay, whatever]

When King Lot saw King Bors, he knew him well. Then he said, ‘O Jesus defend us from death and horrible maims, [I think that’s a good prayer we should all say from time to time] for I see yonder a king, one of the most worshipful men and one of the best knights of the world, is inclined unto his fellowship.’ [So I don’t…exactly know what that sentence means. Yay for reading comprehension!]

‘Who is he?’ said the King with the Hundred Knights.

‘It is,’ said King Lot, ‘King Bors of Gaul. I marvel that they came into this country without us knowing at all.’

‘It was by Merlin’s advice,’ said a knight.

‘As for him, said King Carados, ‘I will fight with King Bors, and you will rescue me when I need it.’

‘Go on,’ they all said, ‘we will do all that we may.’ Then King Carados and his host rode on at a slow pace till they came as close to King Bors as a bow-shot; then both parties let their horses run as fast as they might. And Bleoberis, who was godson unto King Bors, and bore his chief standard, was a passing good knight. [What was the point of bringing this guy up? He’s not doing anything at the moment?]

‘Now we shall see,’ said King Bors, ‘how these northern Britons can bear arms.’ And King Bors encountered with a knight and smote him through with a spear so he fell dead unto the earth, and afterwards drew his sword and did marvelous deeds of arms that all parties had great wonder of, and his knights failed not, but did their part; and King Carados was smitten to the earth. With that came the King with the Hundred Knights and rescued King Carados mightily by force of arms, and he was a passing good knight of a king, and but a young man.

This is completely, 100% off-topic, but a spider built a gigantic web in front of our driveway. I think he was trying to trap our car or something. It was vaguely threatening. I tried to move the spider, because I had a feeling that would not go as well for him as he thought it would, but apparently he keeps trying to build it back. For an animal that has a reputation for cunning, they can be pretty dumb sometimes.

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 12

A part of me cannot believe that I am already on part twelve. I guess I’ve been doing this for longer than I thought.

Also, I really need to make myself a little banner rather than constantly using ~~~ to separate out sections. But on the other hand, I kind of like ~~~. But if I were to make myself a little banner, I’d like for it to be blue and have something to do with moths. I don’t know.

This introduction has literally nothing to do with the post, but then, when is my blog ever on topic? I’d like to think I make being off-topic a theme.


Then King Arthur, King Ban, and King Bors, with their good and trusted knights, set on the eleven kings so fiercely that they made them overthrow their pavilions on their heads [no idea what that sentence means, but okay I’m probably just a bad reader][You know what, I won’t even going to try to decipher that one], but the eleven kings by manly prowess of arms took a fair champain, [I know that sounds like the drink, but it’s not, it means an open field or a battlefield, and I think they’re saying that they managed to get good terrain][Also, ‘manly prowess of arms’, my goodness this book] but there lay slain that morrow ten thousand good men. And so they had before them a strong passage yet were they fifty thousand hardy men. [Okay, so it’s clearly referring to Arthur’s men here (I think?), but I wish this book would start using people’s names more often rather than saying ‘them’. Because sometimes I legitimately do not have a clue as to who this book is referring to.]

Then it drew toward day. ‘Now you shall listen to my advice,’ said Merlin to the three kings. ‘King Ban and Bors, with their fellowship of ten thousand men, should be put in the wood beside here in an ambushment and stay there secretly, and they should go there before the light of the day comes. [I changed a few of the words + sentence structure to make it actually legible to me, as I usually do. Was that the correct definition for the words? I am pretty sure that was the correct definition for the words. #professional]  And they should not stir until you and your knights [Wait he’s talking to Arthur?] have fought with the eleven kings for a long while. And when it is daylight position your troops exactly before the northern host and the passage that they may see all your host. For then they will be more bold when they see about you but twenty thousand men, and they will be the gladder to suffer you and your host to come over the passage.’

The three kings and all the barons said that Merlin said passingly well, and it was done soon as Merlin devised. So on the morn, when both armies saw each other, the army of the north was well comforted. Then to Ulfius and Brastias were delivered three thousand men of arms [What does that mean], and they set on them fiercely in the passage and slew so many on the right hand and the left hand that it was a wonder to tell.

When the eleven kings saw that so small a fellowship did such great deeds of arms, they were ashamed and set on them fiercely again, and Sir Ulfius’ horse was slain under him, but he did marvelously well on foot. [Don’t care about Sir Ulfius, but the poor horse. RIP.] But the Duke Eustace of Cambenet and King Clariance of Northumberland were always grievous on Ulfius. [‘Grievous.’ I kind of like it and I’m too unimaginative to think up a modern equivalent. So I shall refrain from butchering the text for now.] Then Brastias saw his fellow fare so, and he smote the duke with a spear so that horse and man fell down. King Clariance saw that and returned the same unto Brastias, and both smote the other so that horse and man went down to the earth, and so they lay stunned for a long while, and the hard bones of their horses’ knees were broken. [RIP horses number two and three #thehorsesdeservedbetter #therealcasualtiesofthisbattle]

Then came Sir Kay the Seneschal with six fellows accompanying him, and they did passing well. [This was back when Kay was cool and not a useful plot device to make all the other young heroes look better by comparison, so back then he could actually win the occasional fight, you see.] With that the eleven kings came, and both Griflet and Lucan the butler were put to the earth, horse and man, by King Brandegoris, King Idres, and King Anguisant. [I hope I have consistent spelling on all these names, because each and every one of these characters’ names has like ten spellings. I am not entirely sure that I have consistent spelling on all these names.] Then waxed the battle passing hard on both parties.

When Sir Kay saw Griflet on foot, he rode unto King Nentres and smote him down, and led his horse unto Sir Griflet and horsed him again. Also Sir Kay with the same spear smote down King Lot and hurt him passing sore. [Wait, seriously? Kay took on King Lot and won? Maybe Kay just got old later on and that’s why he stopped winning fights.] The king with the Hundred Knights saw that and ran unto Sir Kay and smote him down and took his horse, and gave the horse to King Lot, whereof King Lot thanked him.

When Sir Griflet saw Sir Kay and Lucan the butler on foot, he took a sharp spear great and square [idk what that means, but whatever ‘square’ is, it’s not the shape so], and rode to Pinel, a good man of arms, and smote horse and man down. And then he took his horse and gave it to Sir Kay.

Then King Lot saw King Nentres on foot. He ran unto Melot de la Roche and [guess what they’re going to say] smote him down horse and man, [YOU GUESSED IT! It was really hard, wasn’t it?] and gave King Nentres the horse and horsed him again. Also the King of the Hundred Knights saw King Idres on foot and ran unto [*deep breath* Hoo boy, let’s see if I can spell this] Gwiniart de Bloi, and smote him down horse and man, and gave King Idres the horse and horsed him again; and King Lot smote down Clariance de la Forest Savage, and gave the horse unto Duke Eustace. [So, according to this book, medieval warfare is all about falling off your horse and then having to get back on a horse? Is that accurate to real life? It makes sense, though] And so when the eleven kings were horsed again, they drew together and said they would be avenged of the damage they had taken that day.

The meanwhile came in Sir Ector with an eager countenance, and found Ulfius and Brastias on foot, in great peril of death, that were foul defoiled under horse-feet. [I don’t know what that means, I’m not going to look up the words, that is the most perfect sentence ever and I will not spoil the joy with a meaning.] Then Arthur, like a lion, ran unto King Cradelment of North Wales and smote him through the left side so that the horse and the king fell down. And he took the horse by the reins and led him to Ulfius, and said, ‘have this horse, my old friend, for you have great need of it.’

‘Thank you,’ said Ulfius. Then King Arthur did so marvelously in arms that all men had wonder.

When the King with The Hundred Knights saw King Cradelment on foot, he ran unto Sir Ector who was well-horsed, Sir Kay’s father, […we knew that] and smote horse and man down and gave the horse to the king and horsed him again. [I’ll admit I legit thought King Cradelment had died. I guess he just got wounded?] [It’s just a flesh wound!] And when King Arthur saw the king ride on Sir Ector’s horse, he was wroth and smote the king on the helm with his sword, so a quarter of the helm and shield fell down, and the sword carved down onto the horse’s neck. [So much horsey violence smh the horses deserved none of this] And so the king and the horse fell down to the ground.

Then Sir Kay came unto Sir Morganore, seneschal to the King of the Hundred Knights and smote him down horse and man, and led the horse unto his father Sir Ector. Then Sir Ector ran unto a knight named Lardans and smote horse and man down, [This, ladies and gentlemen, is what you refer to as a crutch phrase] and led the horse to Sir Brastias, who had great need of a horse and was greatly defoiled. [Nope. Still not looking up what defoiled means.]

Brastias beheld Lucan the butler, who lay like a dead man under the horses’ feet, [I will assume ‘under the horses’ feet’ to be metaphorical or else he’d be needing better medical care than you could find at the time] and ever Sir Griflet did marvelously to rescue him, but there were always fourteen knights on Sir Lucan. So then Brastias smote one of them on the helm that it went to the teeth, [ow] and he rode to another and smote him so the arm flew into the field. [*has to physically restrain self from making the ‘flesh wound’ joke twice in one chapter*] Then he went to the third and smote him on the shoulder so his shoulder and arm flew into the field. [No] [No I won’t make the joke]

And when Griflet saw the rescue, he smote a knight on the temples so head and helm went to the earth. And Griflet took the horse of that knight and led him to Sir Lucan, and bade him mount the horse and avenge his hurts. For Brastias had slain a knight before and horsed Griflet. [I always find Griflet’s name so hilarious for some reason. I mean. Griflet. It’s just the way it sounds.]


And that was chapter twelve, and I kind of can’t believe I’ve come this far 🙂 I’m enjoying this book, a lot!

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, parts 10 and 11

In which Le Morte D’Arthur gets its Iliad moment! Not by having a fight scene, but by having a long list of everyone involved in the fight!

Okay, so in all fairness, this list is not nearly as long as the Iliad’s, but I HAD TRAUMATIC FLASHBACKS, OKAY? But you know what? There’s no Ulfius in this chapter. Le Morte D’Arthur, we’re still good.

Oh, and also someone had a vision and a few battle plans got made.


And so within a short time the three kings came to the Castle of Bedegraine, and found there a passing fair fellowship that was well-equipped, whereof they had great joy, and food they wanted none.

This was the cause of the northern host: they were reared for the insult and rebuke the six kings had at Caerleon. [I like how the book describes that. Like some seventeen-year-old insults them so they’re just going to go and GET TOGETHER AN ARMY.] And these six kings, by their means, gat unto them five other kings, and thus they began to gather their people.

And they swore that, for weal nor woe, they should not leave each other till they had destroyed Arthur, and then they made an oath. The first that began the oath was the Duke of Cambenet, and he said he would bring with him five thousand men of arms, the which were ready on horseback. [Of course we needed a long, drawn-out list. I thought I was free of this curse after I finished the Iliad.] Then swore King Brandegoris of Stranggore that he would bring five thousand men of arms on horseback. Then swore King Clariance of Northumberland that he would bring three thousand men of arms. Then swore the King of the Hundred Knights, who was a passing good man and young, that he would bring four thousand men of arms on horseback. [Okay, why does he have that nickname? That’s such a weird title to have. Like, they could have called him, ‘The King of the Four Thousand Men of Arms’ and it would have made about as much sense.][New theory: whoever came up with that did it just to annoy his scribe by giving him a long and hard name to write out.] Then swore King Lot, a passing good knight and Sir Gawain’s father [Gawain yay!], that he would bring five thousand men of arms on horseback. Also swore King Urience, who was Sir Ywain’s father, of the land of Gore, that he would bring six thousand men of arms on horseback. Also swore King Idres of Cornwall that he would bring five thousand men of arms on horseback. [I SWEAR THE SIZE OF THIS BOOK COULD HAVE BEEN CUT IN HALF.] Also swore King Cradelmas to bring five thousand men on horseback. Also swore King Anguisant of Ireland to bring five thousand men of arms on horseback. [Wait, is that like Iseult’s dad][You know what, I think it is!] Also swore King Nentres to bring five thousand men of arms on horseback. Also swore King Carados to bring five thousand men of arms on horseback. [THE LIST IS FINALLY OVEER.]

So their whole host was of fifty thousand men of arms on horseback, and ten thousand men on foot. Then they were soon ready and mounted upon their horses, and they sent forth their scouts, for these eleven kings in their ways laid a siege upon the castle of Bedegraine. And so they departed and drew toward Arthur, and left few to abide at the siege, for the castle of Bedegraine belonged to King Arthur, and the men that were therein were Arthur’s. [‘Abide’ means something else in modern English, but Middle English Dictionary gives the meaning as ‘to delay; to tarry’. I guess? Is that the correct meaning in this context?]


So by Merlin’s advice they sent out scouts to patrol the countryside, and they met with the scouts of the north, and King Arthur’s scouts made them to tell which way the host came, and then they told it to Arthur. And King Ban and Bors counseled that they let burn and destroy all the country afore them where they should ride. [So, I guess they’re saying Arthur had a scorched earth policy? Probably? That’s what they’re saying, right?]

The King of the Hundred Knights had a wondrous dream two nights before the battle, that there blew a great wind and blew down their castles and their towns, and after that came a flood and bore it all away. All the kings that heard of the vision said it was a token of a great battle. […I cannot see how it could have been a clearer sign that they were going to lose. Do you need God to SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU OR SOMETHING.] Then by Merlin’s council, when they knew where the kings would ride and lodge that night, at midnight they set upon them as they were in their pavilions. But the guard for the northern host cried, ‘lords, at arms, for here be your enemies at your hand!’


Annnd that was the chapter! I love this book. :’-)

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, part 7

I was honestly wondering if I’d be able to post this today, because I’ve been feeling pretty sick and tired, but here we are! Yay! Hopefully I feel better soon. >_<


Then King Arthur came out of his tower, and he had under his tunic a coat of double mail, and there went with him the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Baldwin of Breton [or maybe Britain], Sir Kay, and Sir Brastias. These were the men of most worship who were with him.

And when he and the kings met, there was no meekness, but stout words on both sides; but always King Arthur answered them, and he said he would make them to bow, as he lived. Wherefore they departed with wrath, and they bade each other farewell. So the king returned to the tower again and armed himself and all his knights.

‘What will you do?’ asked Merlin to the kings. ‘It would be better to stop now, for you shall not prevail here though you were ten times so many.’

‘Would we be well-advised to be afraid of a dream-reader?’ asked King Lot. [I’m not even sure if Morgause was a magician in the legends, but she usually is in modern stories, which makes me wonder what kind of relationship she’d have with King Lot. Lot seems downright scornful of magic. So do they not really get along? Does she hide her magic from him, or does he accept it, maybe with a slight eyeroll when she isn’t looking? All of them are possibilities, and it’s kind of an interesting relationship to think about.]

With that Merlin vanished away and came to King Arthur and bade him to set on them fiercely. And in the meanwhile, three hundred good men, of the best that were with the kings, went straight to King Arthur, and that comforted him greatly. [That conveniently timed desertion!] [I mean, I guess it’s not completely a deux ex machina, because Malory already mentioned Merlin convinced some people in the last chapter, but whatever let me make fun of this book in peace.]

‘Sir,’ said Merlin, ‘do not fight with the sword you got by miracle, until you see the battle turn for the worse, then draw it out and do your best.’

So forthwith King Arthur set upon them in their lodging. And Sir Baldwin, Sir Kay, and Sir Brastias slew so many on the right hand and the left that it was a marvel. And always King Arthur on horseback did marvelous deeds of arms, and many of the kings had great joy of his deeds and hardiness. [King Lot: You guys do realize that is our men he’s killing, right?!

Random king: I know, but he looks so good while doing it! So hardy!

I won’t call Arthur a Gary Stu, not at all. But this is such a Gary Stu moment XD]

Then King Lot broke out on the back side, with the King with The Hundred Knights and King Carados, and set on Arthur fiercely behind him. With that Sir Arthur turned with his knights and smote before and behind, [he was smiting everywhere] and Arthur was ever in the foremost press until his horse was slain. And therewith King Lot smote down King Arthur. With that Arthur’s four knights rescued him and set him on horseback. [So, ‘press’ could mean ‘army’, and I’m not seeing any other definition that works well in context, but who knows. I’m not entirely sure.]

Then he drew his sword Excalibur, and it was so bright in his enemies’ eyes that it gave light like thirty torches. [Wait, I thought he received Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake? Are there two Excaliburs? Has my life been a lie? (*whispers* is this another inconsistency)] And therewith he put them to flight and slew many people. And then the commons of Caerleon arose with clubs and staves and slew many knights, but the kings held them off with their knights that were left alive, and so fled and departed. And Merlin came unto Arthur and counseled him to follow them no further.


I’ve been being a slow reader lately, but I’m still making progress on this book. Posting these have been keeping me on track. But I do need to remind myself not to get distracted. Sometimes it’s easy for me to abandon a long book in order to chase after something new and shiny, and I refuse to do this here. I really want to finish this book! I love it so far!

Le Morte D’Arthur, book 1, parts 5 and 6

These two chapters are fairly short, so I decided to combine them both into one blog post. We’ll see how that works.

It would have been really nice if I could have done all the editing for this post the day before rather than the day of, and it would have been even nicer if I could have gotten a drawing done, but I’ve been having a pretty stressful week, so I don’t really blame myself. Oh well. It happens.


And at the feast of Pentecost, all manner of men tried to pull out the sword, but none prevailed except Arthur. [le gasp! Because he hasn’t pulled it out thirty times already!] Wherefore all the commons cried at once, ‘We will have Arthur as our king and we will delay him no more, for we all see it is God’s will that he be our king. And we will slay whoever holds against him.’ [Help! Help! I’m being repressed!] And everyone kneeled at once, both rich and poor, and begged forgiveness for having delayed him so long [yeah, you’d better], and Arthur forgave them. He took the sword between his hands and offered it upon the altar where the Archbishop was, and so he was made knight by the best man that was there. And so soon the coronation was held.

And there he was sworn unto his lords and the commons to be a true king and to stand with true justice from thenceforth the days of this life. Then he made all the lords that held of the crown to come in and do service as they ought. And many complaints were made to Arthur of great wrongs that were done since the death of King Uther, of many lands that were stolen from lords, knights, ladies, and gentlemen. So King Arthur had the lands given again to the people that owned them.

When the king had established all the countries around London, he made Sir Kay seneschal of England, Sir Baldwin constable, and Sir Ulfius chamberlain. [Gah that man gets so much he doesn’t deserve] [Middle English Dictionary gives the definition for country as ‘Any politically organized area, whatever its size: realm, domain, country, province, county, town, etc.’] And Sir Brastias was made warden to wait upon the north from Trent forwards, for at that time the area held the most of the king’s enemies. [Look! Another winner! Why do Ulfius and Brastias keep showing up, I don’t like them.] But within a few years, Arthur conquered all of north Scotland and all that was under Scotland’s obeisance. A part of Wales also held against Arthur, but he overcame them all, as he did the remnant of his enemies, through the noble prowess of himself and the knights of the Round Table. [But he doesn’t get the Round Table until after he marries Guinevere, though? Wait, I think this is talking about what he does later in the story, nvm] [Also, wow that was the shortest chapter of ever]


Then the king removed to Wales and let cry a great feast that would be held at Pentecost after his coronation at Caerleon. [Total side note, but from what I remember, wasn’t Arthur’s main castle at Caerleon earlier in the legends? Then it shifted to Camelot? I always just thought it was interesting that the iconic castle wasn’t really mentioned until the twelfth century.] Unto this feast came King Lot of Lothian and of Orkney with five hundred knights. Also came King Uriens of Gore with four hundred knights. And there came King Nentres of Garlot with seven hundred knights. [*gasp* Elaine makes a sighting! Vicariously. Does she even show up in this book? She is Arthur’s sister? Did  you never get along with her or something, Arthur? Maybe she just likes to stay the hell away from this mess of a family? (Can’t blame her)] The king of Scotland came to the feast with six hundred knights, and he was but a young man. And also there came to the feast a king that was called the King with the Hundred Knights, but he and his men were passing well-equipped. Also there came the king of Carados with five hundred knights. [I swear, if I have to type ‘and also came this king to the feast’ one more time…Malory!]

And King Arthur was glad of their coming, for he thought that the kings and knights had come for love of him and to honor him at his feast, wherefore the king was joyful and sent the kings and knights great presents. But the kings would not receive them, but rebuked the messengers shamefully and told them they had no joy in receiving gifts from a beardless boy that was of low blood, and they sent Arthur word that they would have none of his gifts. [Aww, so Arthur’s going, ‘Yay, new friends! Presents?’] But they said they were come to give him gifts of hard swords between the neck and shoulders. [I kind of like that quote. It has impact (no pun intended). I may steal that one of these days. Even if it doesn’t show up in my current retelling, I may just use it for something.]

And they came hither and told the messengers plainly that it was a great shame to them all to see such a boy have rule of so noble a realm as this land was. With this answer the messengers departed and told King Arthur this answer, wherefore by the advice of his barons he took himself to a strong tower with five hundred good men.

Within fifteen days Merlin came among them to the city of Caerleon. All the kings were passing glad of Merlin and asked him, ‘for what cause is that boy Arthur your king?’

‘Sires,’ said Merlin, ‘I shall tell you the cause, for he is King Uther Pendragon’s son born in wedlock, gotten on Igraine, the duke’s wife of Tintagel.’

‘Then he is a bastard,’ they all said. [I have no idea how exactly this works, but I think technically he might be? I remember reading that the church accepted children out of wedlock as legitimate as long as the parents married before the child was born, but legally it was much more messy. *shrugs* But I don’t know if there’s a loophole for this specific situation or if what Merlin’s saying is all rhetoric. I tried to google whether Arthur was illegitimate and all I got were results for Mordred, lol. I need to learn more about medieval law.]

‘No,’ said Merlin. ‘Arthur was begotten more than three hours after the death of the duke, and King Uther wedded Igraine thirteen days after. And therefore I prove him no bastard. And no matter what you may say, he shall be king and overcome all his enemies, and before he dies he shall be king of all England and have under his obeisance Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, and more realms than I will now rehearse.’

Some of the kings marveled at Merlin’s words and deemed it should be as he said, and some of them laughed him to scorn, like King Lot, and more others called him a witch. But they agreed with Merlin that King Arthur should come out and speak with the kings, and he would come safely and go safely. So Merlin went unto King Arthur and told him what he had done, and bade him, ‘fear not, but come out boldly and speak with them, and spare them not, but answer them as their king and chieftain, for you shall overcome them all whether they will or no.’


I have been having a pretty stressful week–a pretty stressful year, actually–and this book has been great. Reading this has been giving me something to do that is also useful, and that helps so much when I have depression and anxiety. Sometimes not doing anything feeds into those feelings, but when I have those feelings, I can’t do anything, so it’s a vicious cycle. Reading and analyzing a text just gives me a simple task to complete, and sometimes that’s what I need to get me through my day.

I really need to learn more about medieval law. Studying medieval society is so fascinating to me, because it’s so different. You (or at least I) tend to go in on the assumption that everything will work as a mix of Shakespeare and Victorian England, and then you get confused when it’s not like that at all. (Or, if you’re like me, you go in expecting a mix of Song dynasty China and Victorian England for…some reason. I have no idea what is up with me, and I’m sorry.) Women had agency in ways you wouldn’t expect, and they had agency taken away from them in ways you wouldn’t expect. And then there are the bits that are just weird, like the fact that you didn’t actually have to get married before a priest–you could have a private ceremony with no one there to witness it, and you were married. I love researching this time period. I went in thinking, ‘bah! It can’t be that different!’, and I realized how little I actually knew, and just…history is amazing.