For whatever reason, Malory moved the grand finale of the saga of Sir Tristram from Book X to the very end of Book XII, but in the interests of narrative cohesion, I include it here. We flash ahead to several years later, after Book XI and Book XII. Tristram returned home to Joyous Gard after a bunch of strange adventures; that’s what he’d been doing over the course of Books XI and XII so quit asking. Isoud filled him in on the events he’d missed, which she knew all about through her spy network and her correspondence with Guenever.

“Great!” said Tristram. “Let’s go to Camelot and party!”

“Eugh, let’s not,” said Isoud. “The ladies at Camelot are all so catty; they’re jealous of how hot I am. But no, go without me, and joust a bunch of guys, so that they don’t think you’re chicken.”

So Tristram headed out, not wearing armor for some reason. On the way to Camelot he bumped into Sir Palomides.

“Tristram! Let’s joust and settle our longstanding on-again, off-again enmity!” suggested Palomides.

“Well, I don’t have my armor on, but I’m no chicken!” So they jousted a bunch. Palomides came out on top, but he felt bad on account of he had armor and Tristram didn’t.

“Jerk!” said Tristram.

“Call it a draw?”

“Yeah, okay.” They rode together. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, why haven’t you ever converted to Christianity?”

“Oh, no good reason,” said Palomides. “I’ve been meaning to, I’m just lazy I guess.”

“Here’s what we do. We attack that knight over there…” Tristram pointed at a guy, Sir Galleron of Galway. “And I take his armor, because I don’t have any. Then we do a straight-up joust with us both in armor, and then after that we’ll get you baptized!”

And that is what happened! Sir Galleron was not especially cool with it, but he was outnumbered two to one. Afterwards they forced him to be Palomides’s godfather at the baptism.

“Sorry about being in love with your, well, not wife. Isoud,” said Palomides.

“No big,” said Tristram. “I forgive you.”

They arrived in Camelot! The king and all the court were glad that Sir Palomides was christened… and Sir Tristram returned against to Joyous Gard, and Sir Palomides followed the Questing Beast.

The end! No moral.


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In which Tristram and Palomides kiss and make up — No Comments

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