alory changes scenes abruptly, and spends a half-chapter filling us in on Sir Bors and Sir Lionel, who are either Launcelot’s cousin and brother, or are both Launcelot’s cousins; Malory contains multitudes. The two relatives-of-some-kind of Launcelot’s set out at the same time as Percivale, but they never found Launcelot. Instead, Bors dragged Lionel to the court of King Brandegore, where Malory tramples on his own continuity yet again.
Remember how in Book XI, chapter 4, Bors turned down an offer of sex on the grounds that he only loved one woman, so-called “Princess Brangoris’s Daughter?” Well, now Malory is spelling that name Brandegore instead of Brangoris, but that isn’t the continuity error I mean. Back then, he and the princess had a daughter together, who was named Elaine (just like Arthur’s sister and Launcelot’s mother and Launcelot’s wife, all of whom are different characters). Suddenly, though, Malory claims that Bors actually had a son in Brandegore’s court, a lad of fifteen years name of Helin No-Last-Name, so named because his parents weren’t married.
Bors visited his son and his son’s mother and grandfather, while Lionel just stood around tapping his foot. Bors thought Helin was a fine young man, totally worthy of being recognized as his son, so he and Lionel set aside their quest for Launcelot and instead returned with Helin to Camelot, where Arthur knighted him and so he proved a good knight and adventurous.
You can totally see how Malory needed to interrupt Launcelot’s ongoing saga to provide the secret origin of Sir Helin No-Last-Name, right? Right?