The plain of Bedegraine, where the battle is to take place, is awash with tents. King Arthur barely leaves his own pavilion, and talks instead to Sir Kay, Sir Ector and Merlyn about his vision for the Order. Arthur decides the knights must sit at a round table, to prevent hierarchy, and that he will call them the Knights of the Round Table.
Arthur perfects his vision for his Order. The Round Table is symbolic throughout the novel for Arthur's vision for a system of justice and equality that refuses to accept an idea of superiority of one person over another.
The most important thing, Arthur says, is to catch the knights young before they are impressed by the old chivalry—for instance, the young child Lancelot. Merlyn then tells Arthur that King Leodegrance has a round table that will do and, seeing as Arthur is going to marry his daughter (which Arthur did not yet know), he could ask for it as a wedding present.
Arthur learns from Merlyn that he will one day marry Queen Guenever—Merlyn tells Arthur much of what to expect from his life; although Arthur tries to forget most of it so that he can live without fated knowledge.