Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VIII Chapter 33
By way of apology, Mark takes Tristram on a hunting trip. He brings along the lovely Isoud as well as around thirty other knights. They set up tents out in the forest and they hunt all day and they joust all night.
Before the vacation ends, along comes a couple more knights onto the scene: Sir Lamorak, from France, and his pal Sir Driant. According to Wikipedia, Lamorak is King Pellinore’s son, but Malory doesn’t bring that up immediately, any more than he explains why Lamorak and Driant happened to be wandering through the woods only to stumble upon Mark’s campsite. Maybe they’re looking for the Questing Beast, a plot point Malory abandoned ages and ages ago.
Lamorak and Driant want to join in the jousting. They’re allowed to participate, and while Driant loses badly to one of Mark’s knights, Lamorak wallops ‘em all.
“Heavens,” says Mark. “That fellow is quite the jouster!”
“Yeah, I know that guy,” says Tristram. “I know him from France. He’s Sir Lamorak, from France. He’s an excellent jouster, good at venery. Good knight all around.”
“Let’s you and him joust,” says Mark. “Show him what we can do, up here in Cornwall. Otherwise he might think we’re just losers.”
“I dunno, sire,” says Tristram. “He’s a nice guy, and I feel like I’d be taking advantage; he’s all winded from beating those thirty other dudes.”
“C’mon, do it,” says Mark. “Do it. Do it. Do it for the lovely Isoud. Do it for me, her husband.”
“Well, okay,” Tristram says. He’s reluctant. “I mean, it’s really unchivalrous of me. This isn’t, like, beheading a woman for no reason, or abandoning a knight to die pointlessly. This is right up there in the chivalric code. I mean, I can do it, but he’ll be pissed if I do.”
“I don’t care,” says Mark. “Go joust that knight!”
Again, Tristram would rather not, but Mark insists, so he mounts up and rides over to Lamorak, and dehorses him lickety-split.
“Wow,” says Lamorak. “That was quite the joust. Now dismount, Tristram, so we can continue this on foot.”
“Nah, I’m good,” says Tristram. “Let’s just call it here.”
“Tristram, buddy, it’s one thing to dehorse me, but to dehorse me and then refuse to let me win back on points through on-foot swordfighting? You gotta give me a chance to win my money back, man, c’mon.”
“I, Sir Tristram of Liones —“
Lamorak interrupts. “I know you’re Sir Tristram. We know each other from France. I thought we were friends!”
“I have done you a disservice in dehorsing you, Sir Lamorak, from France, and taking advantage of your being winded —“
Lamorak interrupts again. “It’s not a big deal, just let’s finish the joust!”
Tristram ignores him. “And after taking advantage like that, which I only did because my liege King Mark insisted, I cannot sully myself by jousting further with you. It would be unfair.”
“What’s unfair is you quitting halfway through! Tristram you jerk! I thought we were friends! This horse, a mare’s son hath failed me, now a queen’s son shall not fail thee! By the honor of my mother the queen, I insist we joust!”
“Can’t do it, pal, can’t do it. It’d be just too dishonorable.”
“For serious? I’m getting pissed off over here!”
“For serious, my friend.”
“You know what? We aren’t friends any more,” Lamorak snaps. He and his pal Sir Driant ride off in a huff.
Discussion Question: Would you watch I Insist We Joust, a reality show in which contestants compete in various kinds of jousting and venery over the course of a six-week season? Why or why not?
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book VIII Chapter 33 — No Comments
HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>