As promised, Sir Tristram fights with Sir Bleoberis! Actually, no, Tristram fights with Sir Bleoberis’s champion, his brother Sir Blamore. I don’t know why they make that switch at the last minute. Highlights of this joust include King Anguish pointing out that Sir Launcelot, the best knight, is a cousin of Bleoberis’s and Blamore’s; Tristram pointing out that Sir Launcelot (who is the best) is related to the knight he’s jousting; Sir Blamore bragging that the best knight, Sir Launcelot, is related to him; and Sir Bleoberis warning Blamore that while they are quite badass (being related to Sir Launcelot, the best knight) Tristram himself is no small potatoes. Tristram and Blamore fight for so long that onlookers are amazed, then bored, then amazed again! And finally Tristram bashes in Blamore’s head.
Blamore goes down! He’s reeling, he’s on his knees.
“I win!” cries Tristram. “I completely won. Check it out, everybody!”
“Not so fast,” wheezes Blamore. “The battle doesn’t end until I tap out or die, you know that. And I refuse to tap out! I won’t suffer the shame of being the Knight Who Tapped Out. So go ahead and kill me, or else I’ll lie here until my bones knit and then I’ll get up and kill you!”
Tristram is taken aback — after all, Blamore is related to Sir Launcelot! What if Tristram kills him and then Launcelot comes looking for revenge? Also, he isn’t sure he has the heart to slay someone who’s so knightly he continues to threaten his opponent even while lying broken on the ground.
Tristram’s solution is to step back and look to the judges’ table for a ruling. “I don’t want to kill him, for multiple reasons, but I’ve pretty clearly won the match. I grant him mercy. Anguish is cool with that, right Anguish?”
“Sure, sure,” says Anguish. “Thanks for defeating him so soundly, by the way. You’re pretty knightly, you know that?”
The panel of judges exchange glances and shrug and call over Sir Bleoberis for a confab.
“Listen, sires, I don’t know about this mercy bullcrap,” says Bleoberis. “I’m pretty sure that if it were me lying there in the mud, all bloody and broken, Blamore would be pushing for me to get killed in combat. So I think you should require Tristram to slay him. This has nothing to do with providing cover for a later vengeance by anyone we’re related to.”
The judges confer among themselves and announce that since both Tristram and Anguish want Blamore to not die, there’s no good reason for Blamore to die. Therefore their verdict is medical treatment for Sir Blamore and not guilty for King Anguish! The judges also compelled Anguish, Tristram, Blamore, and Bleoberis to kiss and make up, and after the four-way makeout they’re all the best of friends forevermore.
And that’s the story of how Sir Tristam traveled from Cornwall to Ireland, arriving in the company of his best pal, King Anguish. Anguish wastes no time telling his wife and all her relations about how Sir Tristram isn’t such a bad guy, really, and grudgingly they accept him. Also the lovely Isoud is there, and she’s happy to see him as well.
Discussion Question: We made it through this scene without making a Monty Python reference! Good for us, am I right?