The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King

On his first quest, Lancelot rescues the young Elaine from a tower. She falls in love with him and seduces him, and eventually gives birth to his son Galahad. Elaine is a tortured woman who knows Lancelot will never love her, but nonetheless stays true to him. After finding Lancelot mad on the streets, the two live for a while with Galahad in a castle. After Galahad never returns from his quest and Elaine realizes Lancelot will never come back to her, Elaine kills herself.
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Elaine Character Timeline in The Once and Future King

The timeline below shows where the character Elaine appears in The Once and Future King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 3, Chapter 12
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
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...a strange room. The body lying next to him is not that of Guenever, but Elaine. Lancelot is shocked and saddened, but also furious and threatens to kill Elaine: Lancelot had... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 14
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...like that. Nevertheless, their relationship becomes stronger, they argue, bicker and Lancelot tells Guenever about Elaine—although not about him losing his virginity. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 15
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...cousin) had also just returned to court from visiting King Pelles and brings news that Elaine has given birth to a son and named him Galahad (Lancelot's first name). (full context)
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...Guenever confronts Lancelot: she accuses him of lying to her, of being in love with Elaine and keeping it a secret. Lancelot tries to explain, about the butler and the deceit,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 16
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At the Castle of Corbin, Elaine is preparing for her journey to Camelot; she has decided to try and win Lancelot... (full context)
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...become more reserved. He asks Lancelot if anything is the matter—perhaps it is the girl Elaine and the son she claims is Lancelot's. Lancelot confesses the whole tail of Elaine to... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 18
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The next morning, Lancelot and Elaine are summoned to Guenever's chamber. Lancelot is content; the night before he had been summoned... (full context)
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Elaine speaks calmly: "Lancelot was in my room last night…He thought he was coming to you."... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 21
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The following morning Elaine is walking in the castle garden with Galahad. She does not grieve for Lancelot; she... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 22
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Lancelot recovers slowly. Elaine visits him once a day, but does not cry or bother him. One day, Lancelot... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 23
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Spring arrives and Elaine throws a tournament for five hundred knights at her and Lancelot's new home. But, the... (full context)
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One morning, Elaine and Lancelot are sitting on the banks of the moat with Galahad when two strangers... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 24
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Lancelot is resolute to the remonstrations of the knights—he will not leave Elaine. They tell him that the Queen spent twenty thousand pounds looking for him; they talk... (full context)
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The knights have been staying with them for a week now and Elaine knows she is going to lose Lancelot. She makes him promise that if he does... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 38
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...this time, Arthur arranges a tournament that happens to take place near the Castle Corbin—where Elaine now lives out her middle-age. The Queen is bitter and accuses Lancelot of wanting to... (full context)
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As he rides towards Corbin, Lancelot is surprised to see Elaine standing on the battlements where he left her twenty years before. She has grown plain... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 39
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Lancelot is successful at the tournament. He wears a favor made for him by Elaine—although he never usually wears favors (pitying her, he agrees to wear it, thinking it will... (full context)
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Before the tournament, Lancelot had been unable to tell Elaine he would not be staying for good; and now, as she nurses him, he does... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 40
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...river to the palace walls. Inside the barge is the plump body of an aged Elaine—she has committed perhaps the only strong act of her life, she has taken her own... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 42
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...the inner courtyard, and he sees her, it is as if the Grail quest and Elaine has never happened. They are lovers once more. Having forgiven Meliagrance, they decide to stay... (full context)