Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VII Chapter X
Okay, so, the Pass Perilous and the Red Lands. This place requires a little bit of description; it’s moderately Tolkeinesque. You’ve got a big tower, with walls around it, and another set of walls around that. The whole thing is made of shining white stone, and the gate into the tower grounds has fifty brightly painted shields hung up over it. Outside, in the Pass Perilous itself, we’ve got a nice lawn, not very perilous at all, and it’s all decked out for (what else?) a jousting tournament. I know you saw that one coming. And all along these walls and at the windows of the tower, that’s where the spectators are. The spectators for this coming jousting tournament are all arrayed out in sets of three: one knight, one damosel, and one dwarf, except for the very top of the high tower, where the Red Knight sits and glares out at the world outside.
When the Red Knight sees Gareth and Linet riding up into the Pass Perilous, he’s all, whoa, it’s a knight! The one missing piece of my jousting tournament: an opponent! So he gears up and rides out to meet them, all excited about the coming joust.
He’s disappointed when he sees Gareth in the Black Knight’s armor, since he assumes Gareth is the Black Knight and he’s not going to joust the Black Knight, they’re bros.
“Bro!” he cries. “What’s up?”
“Feh, huh, no no no,” shouts Linet, before Gareth can get a word in edgewise. “This seven-foot-tall guy isn’t your bro! Prettyboy here isn’t even a knight! He’s just a kitchen boy from Camelot!”
“Whoa,” says the Red Knight. “So you’re not the Black Knight?”
“He is so not the Black Knight! He killed the Black Knight! And Sir Kay gave him the derisive nickname Prettyboy and he won’t leave me alone and the two of you should fight already because he also defeated the Green Knight!”
“Whoa, bro, the Green Knight?”
“Yeah! So fight him, because he’s not a knight and so surely you’ll defeat him easily and then I’ll finally be rid of him! It’s not like I like him or anything! I don’t even care!”
According to Malory, Gareth is silent this whole time. Just lets Linet do all the talking.
SMASH CUT to a couple of hours later. Gareth and the Black Knight have been jousting together at the conveniently-already-set-up tournament for hours, and they’re taking a two-minute break. Linet watches from the stands.
“Oh, you poor Red Knight!” she cries. I guess she forgot that back in Chapter III she wanted the Red Knight dead. “You poor, poor dear. It’s so noble of you to generously permit Prettyboy to live for a little while longer! He’s just a poor kitchen boy and I know you could destroy him whenever you wanted!”
The Red Knight, having not read the previous half-dozen chapters, assumes that Linet is being sarcastic, and gets all pissed. He rides in hard on Gareth and wounds him, but Gareth counters at the last minute and wounds the Red Knight! Shocking turnaround!
“Oh, I surrender! Mercy! Mercy!” shouts the Red Knight. “I give up! You win! I hereby disclaim all rights to avenge the Black Knight or the Green Knight or any other colors of knight. I’ll even spot you fifty knights, how about that? Fifty knights, from me to you, no strings attached!”
“Feh,” says Gareth. “Your life isn’t mine to spare or take — it belongs to milady Linet. Milady, what say you?”
“Euuugggh,” Linet groans. “I can’t believe this jeez man oh jeez. Don’t kill him, Prettyboy, I guess. I mean, he’s a knight, technically, obviously not a very good one since you a mere kitchen boy were able to defeat him —“
“So you concede that I defeated him? Yes!” Gareth does a fist-pump. “Score one for Prettyboy!”
“I can live, then, is what we’re landing on?” the Red Knight asks.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” says Gareth. “Here we go, give a nice thank-you to milady Linet.”
And so the Red Knight kneels and thanks Linet, and then leads her and Gareth into his tower at the Pass Perilous, where they get a huge feast and a big party and lots of ladies and knights and sixty knights swear fealty to Gareth, because Malory forgot the Red Knight promised fifty knights and not sixty. Gareth, as knights are wont to do, declines to have these knight accompany him on the rest of his strange adventure, and sends them to Camelot. Linet spends the whole feast belittling Gareth, calling him kitchen boy and so on, and afterwards the Red Knight takes Gareth aside and is like, what’s up with that? Or, as Malory puts it, “the Red Knight had great marvel” of Linet’s behavior.
Anyway, the next morning, with the Red Knight defeated alongside the Black Knight and the Green Knight, Gareth and Linet ride on into the Red Lands and the Indigo Lands beyond. The whole time Gareth has Linet “chiding him in the foulest manner.”
I also have great marvel of Linet’s behaviour. This was painful to read through.