So Sir Gawaine and his brother Gaheris are riding together, knight and squire, after the white hart, and before too long they come across a pair of knights on horseback jousting at each other.
Gawaine rides up in between the two knights and shouts at them to take a break and tell him what their troubles are, and also I assume (Malory doesn’t say) whether they saw a white hart come by.
The two knights explain that they aren’t just any random pair of dudes, they’re brothers. Sorlouse of the Forest and his younger brother Brian of the Forest (Brian of the Forest, that greatest character of the Arthurian canon) were hanging out and a little while ago they spotted a white hart, running hard, chased by thirty black hounds and one white hound.
Sorlouse wanted to chase after the hart, because he could tell straightaway that this was an adventure hook set up for King Arthur’s wedding, and if he ran down the hart he could take it to the wedding, to which he was not invited, and show it off and get introduced to Sir Kay and Guenever and everybody.
Brian, on the other hand, wanted to do all of those things himself, on the grounds that he, Brian of the Forest, was a better knight than his brother. So naturally they were jousting over it.
“Okay, so, first off, dummies, you shouldn’t be fighting,” says Gawaine. “That one’s a no-brainer. Save your violence for foes who aren’t your brother. I’m sure this dictum will never turn around ironically on me.”
Gaheris nods, because what are the odds that he and Gawaine or their presumed-dead infant half-brother Mordred could ever end up on the opposite sides of an issue?
Anyway, Malory says that Gawaine chastises them for fighting together, and suggests that they go to King Arthur and apologize to him for fighting one another. Apparently this is a reasonable thing to suggest! Sorlouse and Brian agree to it.
At first Gawaine wants them all to head back to Camelot together, but Brian and Sorlouse have lost a lot of blood fighting one another and will need to recuperate for a bit, so Gawaine decides to press on after the white hart without them, but instructs them to, as soon as they’re feeling up to it, head to Camelot and apologize to Arthur and let him know that Gawaine sent them.
So the one set of brothers go one way and the other set of brothers go another, and Gawaine and Gaheris arrive at the next scene.
A great rushing river! Hella majestic! The hart spotted! Even as Gawaine approaches, it swims to the other side, hounds chasing it.
“My lucky day!” cries Gawaine, and makes to cross the river, but pauses when another knight appears over on the other side of the river.
“Give up,” shouts the other knight. “Do not chase this hart over here or else we’ll have a fight!”
“Screw you!” shouts Gawaine back, and swims across. Or, to be more precisely correct, he instructs his horse to carry him over the water.
Sure enough, Gawaine and this other knight fight, blah blah, Gawaine is great, blah blah, other knight gets dehorsed.
“Give up?” asks Gawaine.
“No!” says the other knight.
“Well I’ll just kill you then! Also what’s your name?” asks Gawaine.
“I am Sir Allardin of the Isles!” shouts Allardin.
So Gawaine dismounts and they do the part of the joust where you fight on foot. If this were the story of Sir Allardin then maybe there’d be another outcome, but no. Gawaine knocks his block, as they say, off. It’s messy.
Gaheris compliments Gawaine on the helmet-crushed-into-brainpan finishing move he just pulled off, and they move on, the white hart having already departed.
Discussion Question: Brian of the Forest? Really?