The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King

King Pellinore Character Analysis

King Pellinore is one of the first knights Wart meets as a child. He is a bumbling idiot, but good-hearted, whose life purpose is to chase the Questing Beast. However, in Book II, Pellinore falls in love with the Queen of Flanders' daughter and abandons his quest. King Pellinore is Sir Percival's father—one of the knights to find the Holy Grail.

King Pellinore Quotes in The Once and Future King

The The Once and Future King quotes below are all either spoken by King Pellinore or refer to King Pellinore. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ace Books edition of The Once and Future King published in 1987.
Book 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

Before the clink there were just the beeches, but immediately afterward there was a knight in full armor, standing still and silent and unearthly, among the majestic trunks…All was moonlit, all silver, too beautiful to describe.

Related Characters: King Pellinore
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

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King Pellinore Character Timeline in The Once and Future King

The timeline below shows where the character King Pellinore appears in The Once and Future King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 2
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
...the knight responds that he too is lost. He says that his name is King Pellinore and he's been chasing the Questing Beast for seventeen years. (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
The Questing Beast, according to King Pellinore, has the head of a serpent, the body of a leopard, and the haunches of... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
Suddenly, they hear a loud noise. Sure it's the Questing Beast, Pellinore grabs his lance and gallops after it. He quickly gets tangled in a tree, but... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 7
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
Wart finds himself deep in the Forest Sauvage with Merlyn at his side. King Pellinore emerges out of the gloom, shortly followed by Sir Grummore Grummerson wearing proper tilting garb... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 15
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
...has come to dinner in the hall. There is dancing and eating, and even King Pellinore and William Twyti (the King's Huntsman) sing. Finally, Sir Ector winds up the whole proceedings... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 16
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
...job. The whole castle shivers with excitement; boar-hunting is dangerous and unpredictable. Wart and King Pellinore can barely eat, while Sir Ector and Sir Grummore eat with gusto—Kay misses breakfast all... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
...The foot-people soon gather and a small barrel of wine is provided. However, suddenly King Pellinore appears frantically, exclaiming the most horrible thing has happened. The gathering moves off after him... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
King Pellinore says that he had not meant to leave the questing beast alone, and he angrily... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 17
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
...bounded off into the snow weeks ago, to be followed two hours later by King Pellinore. Merlyn, in his tower with Wart, asks him what he would like to be. Wart... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 22
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
King Pellinore arrives for the knighting ceremony with news from London: King Uther Pendragon has died. The... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
The sword, Pellinore continues, has not yet been pulled out although all the Lords of London have been... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 5
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
...see a magic barge on the water. Inside of the barge are three seasick knights—King Pellinore bursts into tears after being reprimanded by Sir Grummore. Upon landing, the knights hop out—the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 7
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
This is how the three knights had arrived at Orkney: King Pellinore had been chasing the questing beast, who had dived into the ocean. He had hailed... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 9
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
To help King Pellinore get over his lovesickness, Sir Palomides and Sir Grummore decided to dress as the questing... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
Soon, the knights finish the questing beast costume. They tell Pellinore that they have spotted a beast near the cliff earlier. Pellinore is confused and unexcited;... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
Sir Grummore and Sir Palomides button themselves into the costume. Meanwhile, King Pellinore stands under the dripping cliff in full armor, thinking about the Queen of Flanders' daughter,... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 11
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
After breakfast, Pellinore walks out along the shore where he comes across Sir Grummore and Sir Palomides dressed... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
...and draw the drawbridge in time. The whole party mounts the battlements to look for Pellinore (who they believe must have been eaten). After an hour or so, two figures appear... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 13
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
A few weeks later, King Pellinore is sitting atop the cliff with his bride-to-be. They are to travel to England the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
...is excited to see his old friends again and quickly arranges a wedding for King Pellinore. No trouble is spared—there are flowers, bells, and feasts. Meanwhile, far away Merlyn jumps up... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 1
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
Lancelot is fiercely in love with Arthur. When they were embarking for France after Pellinore's wedding, King Arthur had called him over. Arthur had told him that he wanted to... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 26
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
...Agravaine, Mordred and Gawaine have killed his mother because they found her in bed with Pellinore's son Sir Lamorak and then stabbed Sir Lamorak in the back. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 30
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
The next arrival is Sir Aglovale, one of the young sons of the late King Pellinore, wearing a black sash for his late mother. Aglovale wants to kill Mordred and Gawaine... (full context)
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
...adventures. He recounts the tale of his brother Sir Percivale who had been much like Pellinore and whose letter had been found in the hands of their dead sister. Percy had... (full context)