Anyway. Back on Joyous Isle, Percivale and Ector tried to get Launcelot to return with them to Camelot. Launcelot didn’t want to, since Guenever banished him. Ector lay out a multipart argument in favor of Launcelot’s return:
* Everybody in Camelot misses you.
* Especially Guenever, who hasn’t been saying word one about this so-called banishment.
* Also right now the top number one knight is Sir Tristram, because you aren’t around any more.
* You really want Tristram to be A-1 Knight Prime? Come on! Tristram is a horrible jerk!
* Did we mention that Guenever gave us awesome expense accounts? She’s spent like twenty thousand pounds of silver, funding our quests. That’s how much she cares!
FUN FACT: In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, one pound of silver (50c of encumbrance) is worth five gold pieces, so Guenever spent 100 000 gp on funding knights! That is as much as it costs to buy a brazier of commanding fire elementals, or to go in halvsies on a mirror of life trapping!
“Well, brother, I will do after your counsel, and ride after you.” Launcelot was on board! He, Ector, and Percivale made ready to return to Camelot.
Only problem: his wife Elaine. Lady Elaine cried and cried, that Launcelot should leave her. There was zero chance of Elaine going to Guenever’s court, but she begged him to at least take along their son Galahad. Galahad was apparently fifteen winter old now, even though that makes no sense at all, what with Percivale and Ector having been searching for Launcelot for only two years, and Galahad couldn’t have been more than four when they set out.
Launcelot declined to bring Galahad with him back to Camelot, though he left open the possibility of knighting him in the future. Elaine promised that he would be a great knight, the best man of his kin except one.
So Launcelot, Ector, and Percivale returned to Camelot, that is called in English “Winchester.” Elaine cried, and wailed about how much she’d miss her beloved, and eventually (spoiler alert) she died of grief. So way to go there, Launcelot my man!
In Camelot Ector and Percivale took turns recapping the second half of Book XI and all of Book XII up to this point, explaining what Launcelot had been up to for the last two years or decade or whatever. At every relevant plot point, Guenever sobbed noisily.
“Man,” says Arthur when they finally finished. “That’s quite a story. I mean, we all figured you’d gone mad. I guess it was all swooning over the love of your wife, the fair lady Elaine? Am I right, Launcelot good buddy? Huh? Huh?” Arthur elbowed Launcelot in the ribs, and chortles.
“Heh, yeah, well…” Launcelot had trouble sustaining eye contact with Arthur, for some reason. “I did go kind of crazy there, yeah.”
Bors and Ector and Lionel and Percivale and Aglovale and all of the rest of the Benwick faction of knights, Launcelot’s brothers and cousins, they all exchanged meaningful glances.