In which Sir Percivale and Sir Ector see the Grail
Afterwards Percivale departed to look for Launcelot, while Persides returned to Camelot where he told everyone about how Percivale had rescued him. Percivale had a special message for Kay and Mordred, about how he remembered their saying he wasn’t going to be a good knight; on this strange adventure he intended to prove them wrong. Also Percivale wanted Aglovale to know that Percivale dumped him on purpose, not by accident.
Persides delivered all these messages. And when Sir Aglovale heard him speak of his brother Sir Percivale, he said “He departed from me unkindly.” So Persides had to defend Percivale, and go into the whole story about the rescue again. Mordred and Kay were also annoyed at being called out; Kay pointed out that Percivale had objectively looked like a poor prospect. Finally King Arthur had to step in and get them all to hush.
Meanwhile, Percivale rode a long time. Eventually he came across another knight, one looking pretty rocky. Broken helmet, broken shield: this guy had been strange adventuring and strange adventuring hard. His identity is supposed to be a secret but I’ll tell you: it was Sir Ector the Lesser, Launcelot’s younger brother and one of the original three knights Guenever sent to scour the land looking for him.
Naturally when these two Knights of the Round Table met, they wordlessly attacked one another, each assuming the other was a villain. I’m sure by this point in the narrative that doesn’t surprise you, the reader, in the slightest. But this fight did contain a surprise: Sir Percivale was dehorsed! I know, usually it’s the viewpoint-knight/main character of the story who does the dehorsing, but this time, no. Even with all his broken gear, Ector took Percivale down. Percivale didn’t yield, so they drew swords and spent a day hitting each other with them, for hours and hours. Lots of little cuts, lots of blood lost, Malory says.
Eventually Percivale realized that only another Knight of the Round Table could plausibly offer up this level of opposition, so he stopped the fight and identified himself, and so did Sir Ector, and then they had a laugh because Percivale was Lamorak’s brother and Ector was Launcelot’s brother: they were on the same team all along!
But unfortunately they’d sliced each other up pretty badly and would probably bleed to death together. Kind of like Balin and Balan, back in Book II! This is not a comparison that occurs to Malory. Both Percivale and Ector were pretty bummed about how they were both probably going to bleed to death. While Ector grumbled, Percivale prayed, and then this happened:
Right so there came by the holy vessel of the Sangreal with all manner of sweetness and savour; but they could not readily see who that bare that vessel, but Sir Percivale had a glimmering of the vessel and of the maiden that bare it, for he was a perfect clean virgin, and forthwith they both were as whole of hide and limb as ever they were in their lifetimes. (GRAIL SIGHTING 4!)
“Wow!” said Percivale. “What the gosh-jimmy heck was that?”
“I know,” said Ector. “It was the Holy Grail, borne by a maiden, and it healed us! Pretty awesome. They say you have to be super holy to even see it.”
(Even though Bors and Launcelot both saw it earlier this same Book? Even though.)
“That was pretty amazing,” said Percivale. “I saw a girl, holding a cup! It was crazy.”
Then, in kind of an anticlimax, Percivale and Ector rode off looking for Launcelot, comparing strange adventure notes as they went.
In which Sir Percivale and Sir Ector see the Grail — No Comments
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