Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VII Chapter V
Meanwhile Gareth catches up with Linet, again. She is not happy to see him.
“I already ditched you twice,” Linet tells him. “What are you doing here? Why do you keep following me? You filthy kitchen boy, with your greasy clothes! Did you think that because you murdered that nice Sir Kay I’d accept you as a real knight? That’s a big NO! You killed him in a totally unfair fight, you didn’t have a spear so it wasn’t a regulation joust anyway. Go home, Prettyboy!”
“Ma’am,” says Gareth, “King Arthur authorized me to participate in your strange adventure and that’s what I’m going to do. So either we go on your adventure, or I just chase you around forever until one of us dies, and I don’t think either of us want that.”
“Screw you, Prettyboy, you kitchen boy! You’re a kitchen boy! You think my strange adventure is all about cooking broth? ‘Cause it’s not. It’s a real adventure, like you need to be a knight for.”
“I’m going to do it, though,” says Gareth.
So fade to black, cut to commercial, and fade back in with Linet tromping across the countryside and Gareth trailing on behind her. As they ride through a forest, suddenly a yokel comes running out of the underbrush!
“Whoa, yokel,” cries Gareth. “Where you up to in such a hurry?
“O knight, thank God I found you,” says the yokel.
“He’s not really a knight!” hisses Linet.
“O knight, in a glade not far yonder a half-dozen churls attacked my boss and bound him hand and foot, and not in a sexy way!”
“I said, he’s not really a knight!”
But Gareth heads over to the glade and attacks the six churls and kills three of them and the other three try to run but he kills them, too. Knights killing fleeing opponents is something I wasn’t expecting when I cracked Le Morte D’Arthur open, by the way. Apparently the knightly code of conduct doesn’t condone killing someone who surrenders, but someone who runs is fair game. Anyway, this is an otherwise pointless interlude.
Afterwards the lord thanks Gareth and invites him home to dinner, but Linet has already started on down the road again, so Gareth apologizes and declines and goes back to chasing after her. She tells him again to get lost because he’s a lousy kitchen boy instead of a proper knight, and then the lord chases her down, too, and invites her to dinner and stay the night, which she accepts, which means Gareth does too.
Linet is rude at dinner, complaining about having to share the dining room table with a kitchen boy, which annoys the lord, so he moves Gareth’s place over to a sideboard, and moves his own there, too, leaving Linet alone at the dining room table.
Discussion Question: Linet is Malory’s first attempt at a female character in a while. Do you think she’s so unpleasant on purpose, or did she just come out that way because Malory can’t write women at all?
Fun Malory Quote of the Chapter: When complaining about having to eat dinner with Gareth, Linet says “him beseemeth better to stick a swine than to sit afore a damosel of high parage.”
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VII Chapter V — No Comments
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