Now we turn back to Castle Perilous, where Lionesse and Gareth are all shacked up and living in sin, and also Sir Gringamore and Dame Linet are there too.  Arthur’s messenger arrives with the invitation to Camelot, and Lionesse is all overcome with fangirl squee!! for King Arthur.  She’s like, you run back to Camelot and you tell Arthur that I will be coming running, running do you hear me?  So the messenger returns to Camelot with a positive impression.

Afterwards Gareth is like, “listen, if we go back to Camelot, my mother will probably be there and my brothers and it will be a whole big thing.  Like Launcelot before me, I just want to get away from all that crap.”

“Well, you’re the man, so, I’ll do whatever you say,” says Lionesse.  “Please, tell me what decision I’ll make.”

(I do not think Malory writes very good dialogue for women. What do you think?)

“Here’s what we do,” says Gareth.  “Go to Camelot without me, and when they ask about me don’t say anything, and invite everyone here for a big jousting tournament, winner gets to marry and rule you and also I get all your lands and a crown and a really high-end falcon, too.”

“You bet,” says Lionesse, and boom, she rides off to Camelot and of course they all ask her about Gareth and she’s all not telling and then she invites them all to a big jousting tournament and they accept, en masse.

Lionesse next goes to the Isle of Avalon, which, you’d think Malory would have mentioned this before, but no.  The Isle of Avalon is where Gringamore lives, and it’s where she and Gareth and Gringamore and I guess Linet meet up.

“There’s just one flaw in my plan,” announces Gareth.  “I can’t win the jousting tournament wounded like this.  I got wounded when LInet’s knight kept attacking me, as we all recall.”

“Oh, yeah, I was meaning to offer you some of my magic healing ointment,” says Linet.

 

So, Gareth assembles all his new vassals — the Red Knight, the Green Knight, the Indigo Knight, and the other Red Knight — and lines them up to be on his side in the big jousting tournament.  Arthur arrives with all the knights everywhere, knights from Orkney and Scotland and Cornwall and so on.  I’m not going to identify all of these knights, but rest assured Malory goes on for a long time.  This jousting sequence is chapters long.  Chapters!  Eventually he just gives up and is all and more that cannot be recited.

Okay, one knight name: Sir Grummore Grummursum.  He’s Scottish.

At Castle Perilous they make all kinds of big plans and preparations for this jousting tournament.  Among other things, Lionesse lends Gareth a color-changing ring, like a mood ring, which maybe is magical and will help Gareth win the tournament and maybe it’s just a symbol of her love, who can say?  While he’s wearing it his tabard and gear and all change colors, cycling through all the colors of the rainbow.

Anyway.  Then there are pages and pages and pages of jousting.  I’m just going to give you a representative sample.

“And there encountered Sir Percival with Sir Carados, and either brake their spears unto their hands, and then Sir Turqine with Sir Lamorak, and either of them smote down other’s horse and all to the earth, and either parties rescued other, and horsed them again.”

I read that, I’m like, wait, didn’t Sir Launcelot kill Sir Turquine back in Book VI for all the knight-abducting he was doing?  But I don’t care enough to determine whether it’s a different knight or a continuity error or a flashback or what.

At one point someone notices that a knight wearing a mood ring is being all badass, and Sir Tristram thinks to ask the castle servants which knight that is, and they explain that it’s Sir Gareth.  Tristram is all, ho ho, I will fetch him back to his mother, but Peter the dwarf figures this out and gets Gareth to take the mood ring off, such that Tristram loses track of which knight he is, but King Arthur is a sharp cookie and works out that Gareth is the one in yellow, yellow being the color Gareth was in when he removed the mood ring.

Gawaine chases after Gareth, who hides by taking the mood ring back, but he gets away, he and Peter, and soon enough they’re hiding out in the woods away from Castle Perilous and the tournament and everything.  Peter suggests they go back and return Lionesse’s magic ring to her, but Gareth is still worried about his mother dragging him back to Orkney, and won’t go himself — he just gives the ring to Peter and tells the dwarf to drop it off while Gareth rides off, which is what they end up doing.


Comments

Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VII Chapters XXVI to XXX — No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *