At this point you may be thinking that you recognize this Pelles! Back in Book IV Malory told us a story about Sir Pellas, who married Nimue and has a perfect jousting record because Nimue stops him from fighting anyone he would lose to. And back in Book VIII and IX he told us about Sir Palamides, who became Sir Palomides when Malory forgot how his name was spelled. But I have done some checking and I’ve got to report that Pelles and Pellas are 100% two different guys, despite their similar names. Don’t worry though, I’ve got your back on this. It’ll be okay.
PS Pelles is in fact a guy we’ve met before, though, you remember Pellam? No? The dolorous stroke? Yeah, that guy, the one who Balin hit. Turns out Merlin was right and he did survive!
FLASHBACK TO BOOK II, CHAPTER 15:
Finally Balin bursts into a chapel. This is a special chapel, is King Pellam’s chapel. It is not a chapel such as Balin has ever seen before. It’s all gold and rich red and purple cloth, and a chaise lounge of the most sumptuous upholstery possible to imagine, with a mysterious figure lying on it. Balin ignores all of that, however; his eye goes immediately to the golden table with the silver legs, upon which sits a spear labeled +3 spear of Longinus. Balin grabs the spear, spins around, and strikes Pellam most dolorously, right in the jimmies.
“Arglebargle!” cries Pellam, and collapses.
“Hah!” says Balin. He feels pretty pleased with himself, and would probably laugh longer, except that just then the entire castle collapses, slaying almost everyone inside. Susie, the knights, Raul with the dying son, all of them, killed nearly instantly. Balin, Pellam, and the whole room they’re in get crushed, and nothing happens on the site for three days and three nights.
FLASHBACK TO BOOK II, CHAPTER 16:
“Pellam survives,” Merlin continues. “He and his few surviving people will rebuild. He’ll be grievously wounded for the next thirty years or so, until Galahad comes by and heals him, during the grail-quest. You completely failed to notice the grail and the preserved corpse of Joseph of Arimathea in the chapel, but they were there.
From here on out, Malory calls this guy Pelles, but I’m just going to call this guy Pellam, because it’s easier for me that way. We already have a Pellas who is a different guy. No reason to be needlessly confusing, Malory.
“I’m Sir Launcelot,” says Launcelot. “You’ve probably heard of me. How about yourself?”
“I’m Pellam, king of whatever country this is,” says Pellam, and you may think this is me joking so check this out:
“And my name is,” said the king, “Pelles, king of this foreign country, and cousin of Joseph of Armathie,” which is how Malory spells Arimathea.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: Man do I like Book XI more than Book X. Why or why not?