Arthur called all the Knights of the Round Table together and had them take a knee.
“All right fellows, it’s finally happening. The Quest for the Holy Grail. Y’all are all going to head out in different directions, seeking the Grail, and frankly it’s a safe bet that we aren’t all ever going to be together in the same place ever again. All the jousting, all the tournaments, it’s all been leading up to this. This is the big one. So before you go, I want to have one last jousting tournament, out in the meadow. Then it’s off on the strange adventure to end all strange adventures! Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose!”
The knights cheered, and then they had their final joust all together (JOUSTING TOURNAMENT 34!). It’s a heartwarming moment. Galahad was allowed to participate, because Arthur really wanted to see what this so-called “best knight” had going for him. Gawaine had to explain to Galahad how jousting worked; at first Launcelot’s son and the purest bestest hottest knightliest knight ever did not know that he needed a lance to joust with. And he refused to pick up a shield, on the grounds that it was silly.
But eventually Gawaine had Galahad more or less situated, and then Guenever up in the stands waved for the tournament to start, and boom, you’ve got your final single-elimination tournament of all the Knights of the Round Table. For once Malory isn’t interested in giving us multiple chapters of blow-by-blow; he’s all into explaining how great Galahad was. Galahad began to break spears marvellously, that all men had wonder of him. Before too long he’d surmounted all other knights, including all the Knights of the Round Table save twain, that was Sir Launcelot and Sir Percivale.
Guenever decided at this point that she wanted to see what Galahad looks like. You might assume she already had, but no. Apparently Merlin had led him in fully armored, helmet included, so Guenever hadn’t seen his face yet, except of course in a continuity error Galahad took his armor off after his entrance and before Guenever met him. She nudged Arthur and told him, and then Arthur shouted down for Galahad to unlace his helm so Guenever could see him.
When Galahad complied, Guenever let out a low whistle. “Soothly I dare well say that Sir Launcelot begat him, for never two men resembled more in likeness, therefore it nis no marvel though he be of great prowess. He really takes after his father in the looks department, wowsa.”
“Wowsa?” Arthur hadn’t been listening, but one of Guenever’s ladies-in-waiting took a mild affront. “Do you really think it’s fair for this Johnny-come-lately to skip into Camelot and claim the title of ‘best knight’ away from our good friend and the greatest and the best, Sir Launcelot?”
“Well, yeah,” said Guenever. “Launcelot, as I’m sure you know, is Jesus Christ’s great-great-great-great-great-grandson, which means his son Galahad is Jesus’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson. So, there you are.”
“Hold up,” I say to Malory. “Are you saying that Jesus had descendants, in contradiction to the usual doctrine that asserts he never married or had kids?”
“Yeah, sure,” says Malory.
“Are you sure you don’t mean that Launcelot and Galahad are descended from Joseph of Arimathea?”
“That too. But no, Guenever said ‘he is of all parties come of the best knights of the world and of the highest lineage; for Sir Launcelot is come but of the eighth degree from our Lord Jesu Christ, and Sir Galahad is of the ninth degree from our Lord Jesu Christ, therefore I dare say they be the greatest gentlemen of the world.‘ Pretty unambiguously she was saying he descended from Christ.”
I boggle. “Are we going to address this claim anywhere else in the book?”