Le Morte d’Arthur


Sir Thomas Malory

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Le Morte d’Arthur Characters

King Arthur

The son of Uther and Igraine, and raised by Sir Ector, Arthur was always destined to pull an enchanted sword (Excalibur) out of the stone and prove his worthiness to be… read analysis of King Arthur

Queen Guenever

Arthur’s wife and the lover of the knight Launcelot. Guenever seems to love Arthur as well, remaining politically loyal to him throughout the book, though until the downfall of the empire she refuses… read analysis of Queen Guenever

Sir Launcelot du Lake

By most accounts the knight of greatest prowess in the kingdom, Launcelot is only matched by Tristram. Launcelot always adheres to knights’ code of honor: defending ladies in distress, granting mercy to knights whom… read analysis of Sir Launcelot du Lake


A sorcerer who arranges for Arthur to be brought up outside the royal court, in exchange for providing Uther with the means of attaining Igraine as his wife. Merlin’s powers include foretelling the future and… read analysis of Merlin

Morgan le Fay

A sorceress and Arthur’s half-sister, who often attempts to trick the knights of the Round Table. Morgan symbolizes all that is both alluring and frightening about women for the men in this story… read analysis of Morgan le Fay
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Tristram (Tramtrist)

The son of a king from Liones, Tristram is destined to become one of the kingdom’s greatest knights, matched only by Launcelot. Tristram is initially not one of the knights of the Round Tableread analysis of Tristram (Tramtrist)

Sir Mordred

Arthur’s illegitimate son by Margawse. Mordred is destined to kill his father someday, and Arthur attempts to have him killed as a child by sending all children born in the month of his… read analysis of Sir Mordred

Isoud (La Beale Isoud)

The daughter of King Anguish, and Tristram’s one great love. Isoud is married off to King Mark, but she never forgets Tristram, even forgiving him when he briefly forgets about her and… read analysis of Isoud (La Beale Isoud)

Sir Galahad

Son of Launcelot and Elaine of Corbin, destined to surpass even his father in knightly prowess. Galahad comes to court as a young, untested knight, but he soon proves himself fated to become an… read analysis of Sir Galahad

Sir Gawaine

A knight in Arthur’s court, and nephew of Arthur. Gawaine often fails to live up to courtly ideals, such as when he refuses to grant a knight mercy and then kills the knight’s lady… read analysis of Sir Gawaine

Sir Gareth (Beaumains)

Also known as Beaumains, Gareth proves himself at court under an unknown identity: he comes from noble blood, but would rather be known for his actions than for his illustrious lineage. He is the brother… read analysis of Sir Gareth (Beaumains)
Minor Characters
King Uther Pendragon
The true father of Arthur. Uther is the king of England until his death before the beginning of Arthur’s reign.
Queen Igraine
Arthur’s mother, originally wife to the Duke of Cornwall. She is tricked into sleeping with Uther only hours after her husband’s death and then is convinced that marrying Uther will be best for the kingdom.
Duke of Cornwall
Originally Igraine’s husband, until Uther and his men lay siege to the Duke’s castle, and he is killed when attempting to escape.
Sir Ector
A good, faithful knight whom Merlin chooses to raise Arthur.
Sir Kay
The son of Sir Ector and Arthur’s foster brother. He later becomes one of Arthur’s knights, although he is often a foolish or hotheaded figure.
King Leodegrance
An ally of Arthur and the father of Guenever.
King of Northgalis
A sometime enemy of Arthur.
King with the Hundred Knights
Another sometime enemy of Arthur.
King Mark of Cornwall
Tristram’s uncle and husband to La Beale Isoud, King Mark is one of the major villains of the book. Although Tristram saves Mark’s kingdom, Mark marries Isoud knowing of his nephew’s love for her, and for much of the book is plotting Tristram’s downfall out of jealousy and spite.
Nimue (The Lady of the Lake)
A sorceress who enchants and traps Merlin but often helps Arthur and other knights. In one story, it is she who gives Arthur Excalibur and its scabbard. However, it is sometimes unclear whether the Lady of the Lake is one lady or if the name refers to multiple characters.
Sir Meliot
Nimue’s cousin and a knight of Arthur’s court.
King Pellinore
An ally of King Arthur. He first appears in pursuit of a strange beast (the “Questing Beast”), and later defeats and almost kills Arthur before Merlin reveals Arthur’s identity to him.
Sir Percivale
A knight in Arthur’s court, and the son of King Pellinore. He is found worthy enough to be permitted to seek the Holy Grail.
King Lot
King of Lothain and father of Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine, and Gareth. He is a rival of Arthur and is killed by Pellinore.
Queen Margawse
Wife of King Lot and mother of Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine, and Gareth. Margawse is also the half-sister of Arthur and mother to their son Mordred.
Sir Lamorak
Son of King Pellinore and brother to Aglovale and Percivale. He is killed by Gawaine and his brothers.
Sir Nabon le Noire
The lord of the Isle of Servage whom Lamorak fights in revenge after Nabon kills his cousin.
Sir Frol of the Out Isles
A knight who joins some of Lamorak’s adventures, but is later killed by Lamorak.
Belliance le Orgulus
Frol’s brother, who fights with Lamorak in revenge.
Sir Gaheris
A knight in Arthur’s court who participates (along with his brothers Gawain and Agravaine) in the slaying of Lamorak and Margawse. He is exiled from court, but then returns and is accidentally killed (with his brother Gareth) by Launcelot.
Sir Agravaine
A knight in Arthur’s court who finally reveals to Arthur the details of Guenever’s affair with Launcelot, setting off a series of events that lead to the realm’s downfall.
King Rience
An enemy of Arthur’s.
King Nero
An enemy of Arthur’s and brother of Rience.
Sir Balin le Savage
A knight who kills the Lady of the Lake and is banished for it. He is otherwise an excellent knight and staunch ally of Arthur’s, and goes on several quests early in the book.
Sir Balan
Balin’s brother. Balin and Balan kill each other when they don’t recognize each other.
Sir Uriens
The husband of Morgan le Fay.
Sir Accolon of Gaul
The lover of Morgan le Fay. Morgan gives him Excalibur to fight Arthur.
Another lover of Morgan le Fay, killed by Tristram.
A young squire whom Arthur makes a knight. Griflet immediately challenges another knight to fight, and is struck down.
The son of Uriens, a knight in Arthur’s court.
Lady of the Rock
A lady whom Uwaine defends against Sir Edward and Sir Hue.
Sir Edward
A knight whom Uwaine fights and kills.
Sir Hue
Sir Edward’s brother, whom Uwaine also fights and kills.
A knight who is killed by Balin. His lover then kills herself with his sword.
A knight who can become invisible. He is the brother of King Pellam and is killed by Balin.
King Pellam
The brother of Garlon. He is wounded by Balin and later healed by Galahad.
Garnish of the Mount
A knight whom Balin tries to help, though Balin ultimately ends up contributing to his death.
Sir Damas
A treacherous knight who briefly imprisons Arthur.
Sir Ontzlake
The younger brother of Sir Damas. He becomes one of Arthur’s knights.
Accolon’s cousin and a member of Arthur’s court. Morgan le Fay saves his life.
A knight rumored to hate women. He adventures with Gawaine and Uwaine, and is later killed by Tristram.
Duke of the South Marches
A knight who fights with Marhaus and, after losing, has to pledge allegiance to King Arthur.
A giant whom Marhaus fights and kills.
Earl Fergus
He hosts Marhaus and tells him about the threat of the giant Taulas.
Sir Howell
Arthur’s cousin, whose land Arthur saves from a giant.
Sir Cador
A knight in Arthur’s court, who assists in the battles against the Romans.
Sir Phelot
A knight who attacks Launcelot while Launcelot is assisting his wife, whose hawk has disappeared. Launcelot kills him.
Sir Pedivere
A knight who kills his unfaithful lover and whom Launcelot conquers. Guenever sends him to Rome in penance.
Tristram’s tutor and servant.
Tristram’s cousin. He often works against Tristram on behalf of King Mark.
A woman Arthur briefly falls in love with. She bears him the son Borre.
Arthur’s son by Lionors. He becomes a knight of the Round Table.
A knight of Mark, whom Mark kills when he refuses to kill Tristram.
A knight of Mark who witnesses Bersules’ murder and accuses Mark of treason.
A knight whose father was killed by Mark and who tries to avenge this death, but is wounded.
Sir Bliant
A knight who nurses Launcelot back to health after Launcelot goes mad.
Emperor Lucius
The Roman emperor who fights against Arthur and is killed by him.
A man from Tuscany, descended from Alexander the Great, who fights Gawaine and then allies himself with him.
Sir Ector de Maris
A knight in Arthur’s court, and half-brother to Launcelot.
Sir Bors de Ganis
A knight in Arthur’s court, the brother of Lionel and son of King Bors. He is one of the three knights to achieve the Sangreal.
Pridam le Noire
A knight that Sir Bors fights against in his quest for the Sangreal.
Sir Colgrevance
A knight in Arthur’s court who is killed by Lionel while trying to save Lionel’s brother Sir Bors.
King Mordrains
A king associated with the mystical ship that holds the sword belonging to Galahad.
Sir Lionel
A knight in Arthur’s court, the brother of Sir Bors and the nephew of Launcelot.
A knight in Arthur’s court.
Sir Turquine
A knight who imprisons many of the knights of the Round Table. He is finally killed by Launcelot.
Sir Belleus
A knight whom Launcelot fights but who then becomes one of the knights of the Round Table.
Tristram’s father, king of Liones.
Tristram’s mother and sister to Sir Mark.
Dinas the Seneschal
A knight and supporter of Tristram.
Isoud la Blanche Mains
Tristram’s wife and daughter of King Howel in Brittany. Tristram leaves her when he recalls his true love for the other Isoud (La Beale Isoud).
The brother of Isoud la Blanche Mains. He comes to fall in love with La Beale Isoud.
King Howel
A king in Brittany, and the father of Isoud la Blanche Mains.
King Anguish of Ireland
A king whom Tristram fights on behalf of Mark, but who is later reconciled with Tristram.
Dame Bragwaine
Isoud’s maid.
Sir Palomides
A Saracen (Muslim) knight who is in love with Isoud. He later converts to Christianity and joins the Round Table.
King Hermance
A king murdered by his two sons, a murder that Palomides avenges.
Sir Helius
Hermance’s son, killed by Palomides.
Sir Helake
Hermance’s other son, also killed by Palomides.
Sir Ebel
A knight of Hermance.
Sir Galihodin
A knight who jousts with and loses to Palomides.
A knight whom Palomides defends after Epinogris loses his lover to Helior le Preuse.
Helior le Preuse
A knight whom Palomides defeats.
King Ban
The King of Benwick, and father of Launcelot.
King Bors
The brother of Ban, and father of Sir Bors de Ganis.
Merlin’s master and biographer, who writes down details of all of Arthur’s battles.
Elaine of Corbin
A woman who sleeps with Launcelot and gives birth to Galahad.
King Pelles
The father of Elaine of Corbin.
A lady of Elaine of Corbin, who tricks Launcelot into sleeping with Elaine.
Sir Bromel la Pleche
A knight in love with Elaine of Corbin.
Elaine le Blank
A woman who falls in love with Launcelot and dies of lovesickness.
Sir Bernard
The father of Elaine le Blank.
The brother of Elaine le Blank and a follower of Launcelot.
Sir Ulfius
A knight in Arthur’s court. He serves Uther before him, and helps Merlin carry out his plans.
Sir Brastias
A knight in Arthur’s court.
Sir Pelleas
A knight of Arthur. He first loves Ettard, but later is a lover of Nimue.
A lady whom Sir Pelleas loves. She rejects all his advances and sends knights to fight him.
A knight in Arthur’s court.
Breunor le Noire (La Cote Male Taile)
A knight, and brother to Dinadan.
A knight whom Tristram must fight while taken prisoner.
A knight that fights with La Cote Male Taile.
Sir Carados
A knight that captures Gawaine, and is killed by Launcelot.
Sir Pellounes
A knight whom Tristram lodges with.
Sir Persides
Pellounes’s son.
A damsel whose name (or nickname) means “Ill-speaking.” She travels with La Cote Male Taile and mocks him constantly.
King Claudas
The enemy of Ban and Bors, as well as of Arthur.
Sir Aglovale
A knight in Arthur’s court, and son of Pellinore.
Sir Tor
The illegitimate son of Pellinore.
A knight that fights with Tor.
A woman who travels with Gareth and constantly insults him, though he saves her many times.
Linet’s sister and Lady of the Castle Dangerous.
The brother of Lionesse and Linet.
Duke de la Rowse
A knight whom Gareth fights and conquers.
Knight of the Black Launds
A knight who jousts with and is defeated by Gareth.
Green Knight
The brother of the Knight of the Black Launds. He jousts with and is defeated by Gareth.
Red Knight
The brother of the Green Knight and the Knight of the Black Launds. He jousts with and is defeated by Gareth.
Persant (the Blue Knight)
Also known as the Blue Knight, a protector of Gareth. He is the brother of the Green, Black, and Red Knights.
Knight of the Red Launds
A knight who besieges Lionesse at her castle. He jousts with and is defeated by Gareth.
A knight who is angered when he isn’t chosen to be a part of the Round Table, but who later proves his worth.
Son of Bagdemagus, a knight who kidnaps Guenever.
Sir Sagramore le Desirous
A knight in Arthur’s court who fights against Tristram.
Sir Dodinas le Savage
A knight in Arthur’s court who also fights against Tristram.
Sir Segwarides
Palomides’ brother. His beautiful wife is fought over by several other knights, including Tristram.
Sir Safere
Brother to Palomides and Segwarides.
Sir Adtherp
A knight who tries to defend La Beale Isoud against Palomides.
Sir Brandiles
A knight of the Round Table.
Sir Bedivere
A knight in Arthur’s court who is with Arthur at his death, and throws Excalibur into the river.
Sir Lucan the Butler
The brother of Bedivere.
Breuse Saunce Pité
A villainous knight who often flees rather than fighting. His name means “without pity.”
Sir Fergus
A knight who witnesses Tristram’s descent into madness.
A giant killed by Tristram.
Sir Dinant
A knight whom Tristram saves from the giant Tauleas.
A sorceress who enchants Arthur out of love for him, and whom he eventually kills.
A hermit and holy man.
Archbishop of Canterbury
A historical figure, the leader of the Church of England based in London.
The fool or court jester in Arthur’s court.
Joseph of Arimathea
The first keeper of the Sangreal (Holy Grail), a Biblical figure who helped carry Jesus’s body down from the cross.
A man converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea. He lives 300 years until meeting Galahad.
Melias de Lile
A knight who accompanies Galahad on the Holy Grail quest.
Sir Lavaine
A knight and follower of Launcelot.
Sir Urre
A knight healed by Launcelot, who then becomes loyal to him.
Sir Bleoberis de Ganis
Launcelot’s cousin.
Sir Blamore de Ganis
Bleoberis’s brother.
The leader of the Sessoins, King Mark’s enemies. He is killed by Tristram.
Prince Boudwin
King Mark’s brother, whom Mark kills in jealousy after Boudwin performs well in battle.
Boudwin’s wife, who escapes after Mark kills her husband.
King Mark’s nephew. Mark kills his father (Mark’s own brother) but Alisander and his mother escape.
Constable Bellangere
The husband of Anglides’ cousin. Anglides and Alisander live with him after escaping from Mark.
A damsel who falls in love with Alisander.
Bellengerus le Beuse
The son of Alisander and Alice, who kills Mark.
A Saracen (Muslim) knight who imprisons a damsel. Palomides cuts off his head and frees her.
Sir Galahalt
A prince who holds jousting tournaments, and becomes jealous of Launcelot.
King Estorause
A king who imprisons Galahad, Percivale, and Sir Bors.
A knight who tries to poison Gawaine.
The knight who mistakenly dies from Pinel’s poisoning.
Patrise’s cousin who tries to avenge his death.
One of Arthur’s governors, and the man who becomes king after Arthur’s death.
A knight of Mark's, who disobeys his king's dishonorable orders.
A lord whose sons are killed by Tristram.
Sir Driant
A knight of Arthur.