Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book IX Chapter 3
Kay watches them ride off. He’s annoyed at Breunor and Marcie both: Breunor’s really holding a grudge about Kay’s nickname for him (which Kay still thinks was hilarious) and Marcie insulted him to his face. “Hey, Dagonet,” he says. Dagonet, Malory is shocked we don’t know this already, did we not do any prereading? Dagonet is Arthur’s court jester. “Dagonet, go joust Sir Ill-Fitting Suit over there. It’ll be hilarious.”
Dagonet is always game for a prank, so he mounts up and rides after the pair. Dagonet’s got a horse and armor and all the usual knightly accouterments, by the by; he’s actually Sir Dagonet of the Round Table. Some sources describe him as having been knighted as a joke, and others suggest he’s an excellent knight in addition to his jestering. Malory falls in the former camp.
So he challenges Breunor to a joust, but when Breunor tries to joust him, he does a pratfall instead.
“Dip!” cries Marcie. At this point Malory invents a nickname for her, Ill-Speaker, on account of she’s all the time insulting people in general and Breunor in particular. “Sir Ill-Fitting Suit, what kind of knight are you? King Arthur’s court jester shows up to joust you, and you go for it? You just come across as an idiot, you know that, right?”
Breunor and Marcie ride along, with Marcie listing off all the ways Breunor is a lousy knight. It’s Sir Prettyboy and Linet all over again; Malory doesn’t even try to hide it. Breunor takes the abuse like a trooper, probably because Malory thought it was funny. Eventually another knight rides up behind them — Sir Bleoberis, Launcelot’s cousin! You remember him from all the hot Launcelot’s-cousin action in Book VIII.
Bleoberis jousts Breunor. Malory does not explain why, but I’m guessing Bleoberis felt sorry for Kay & Dagonet picking on the kid. They joust and Bleoberis dehorses Breunor easily! You might think Bleoberis would be stuck jobbing to the hot young main-character of the day, but no. Sir Ill-Fitting Suit picks himself up and draws his sword, but Bleoberis declines to continue the joust.
“We had our fun. I proved my point,” he says.
“What are you, chicken?” crows Marcie. She is not very good at making friends.
“Don’t mind Ill-Speaker here. Frankly I consider it an honor to have been dehorsed by you, Sir Launcelot’s Cousin,” says Breunor. Marcie finds this unsatisfying but she’s the only one.
A couple of days of travel later, Breunor and Marcie stumble across our old friend Sir Palamides, also late of Book VIII. Again, he and Breunor joust, and again, Breunor is dehorsed handily, and again, the other knight declines to continue on foot.
“Why are you even calling yourself a knight and following me around?” demands Marcie. “You can’t beat anybody except the jester, and he was doing a pratfall!”
“It’s all good, Ill-Speaker,” Breunor says. “I mean, hey, Sir Launcelot’s Cousin is related to Sir Launcelot. And Sir Palamides is right up there in the ranks, near Sir Lamorak and Sir Tristram and all those guys. If they don’t want to dismount and fight me on foot in the second part of the joust, hey, that’s fine by me. I’m young and learning.”
“You know the reason they didn’t want to dismount is because it would have been an insult to their abilities for you to even try to slow them down a little,” says Marcie.
Around this time Sir Mordred shows up and starts traveling with Breunor and Marcie. Malory mentions this apropos of nothing. It’s almost as if he’s papering over a transparent continuity error in his first draft. Then the trio arrive at Castle Orgulous! Apparently this is where they were headed? Malory’s vague. At Castle Orgulous, there’s only one rule: if you’re a knight, you have to win a joust or you lose your life your freedom your horse. They keep revising the penalties to be less punitive, because otherwise no one would visit, and Castle Orgulous needs your tourism dollars.
A couple of knights come out. Mordred and Breunor joust with them, and long story short Breunor chases a wounded knight into the courtyard of Castle Orgulous and kills him, while Mordred and the other knight fight to a draw.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book IX Chapter 3 — 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>