Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VII Chapter XIV
At this point I’m a little confused, because Malory starts off this chapter with “so the book saith,” suggesting he’s merely repeating what he’s read, but the minimal amount of research I’ve done suggests that Malory invented this particular book out of whole cloth. So either he’s referring to a nonexistent source to make himself sound smart (thus presaging political discussion on Facebook by over 500 years), or else I’m mistaken about him being the original author of this tale. I’m sure there’s an explanation for this.
Anyway, at this point we shift our attention over to Lionesse, under siege in Castle Dangerous. Peter the dwarf has shown up and explained to Lionesse than Linet and Gareth are coming, and Lionesse wants to know all about Sir Prettyboy. Peter does a good job of talking him up, explaining that he’s an awesome knight traveling incognito despite being the son of King Lot of Orkney (Peter is explicit about this bit), and recapping his exploits so far.
1) Drowning a pair of knights (Lionesse knows exactly the two Peter’s talking about, oddly enough; they were the Knight brothers, Gerard the Knight and Arnold the Knight).
2) Killing the Black Knight.
3) Defeating the Green Knight.
4) Defeating the Red Knight (but not the other Red Knight).
5) Defeating the Indigo Knight.
6) Oh, also he beat Sir Kay and fought Sir Launcelot to a standstill. How Peter knows all this isn’t addressed.
Lionesse thinks this is all awesome, and entrusts Peter with some wine and fresh bread and venison and so on, and sends him out with it, so that Gareth can have a nice big meal before he jousts with the other Red Knight. She also wants him to determine whether Gareth is a gentleman or not, so she’ll know whether or not to fall in love with him.
At some point Malory didn’t bother to mention, I guess Peter learned how to teleport or something, because boom, he’s instantly at the Indigo Knight’s place, where he meets Linet and Gareth. The three of them head on to a hermitage, where they have a nice meal courtesy Lionesse.
Then Peter leaves them behind and teleports to the other Red Knight, who wants to know what the hell is going on with all this teleporting and isn’t there a siege on Castle Dangerous how is Peter getting in and out at will? Peter pulls the other Red Knight aside and explains that Linet is on her way over, with a badass knight from Camelot.
The other Red Knight frets at this news. “Is it Sir Launcelot, or Sir Tristram, or Sir Gawaine, or Sir Lamorak?”
“Then I’ve got nothing to worry about. I can take any other knight easily.”
“I dunno about that. He’s the son of a king and he defeated the Black Knight, the Green Knight, the Red Knight (not you, the other one), and the Indigo Knight.”
“Oh, jeez,” says the Red Knight, sort of like Peter Fonda in the Limey. “What’s his name?”
“Now, that I won’t tell you, for whatever reason. But Sir Kay calls him Prettyboy.”
The other Red Knight scowls. “Yeah, well… he won’t be so pretty when I’m done with him.”
“Anyone ever tell you you’re a dick, other Red Knight?”
DISCUSSION QUESTION: Would this story be improved if the part of Peter the dwarf was played by Nimue? I think so, too.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VII Chapter XIV — No Comments
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