The Queen of the Wilderness lays down some science on Sir Percivale.
TRUE THING ONE: Nobody but Galahad should ever wear red. Going around in red is bragging that you’re the best ever, and only Galahad actually is the best ever.
TRUE THING TWO: Merlin built the Round Table originally, and it got from him to (eventually) Uther, and from him to Guenever’s father Leodegrance, and then to Arthur. He made it round like the world is round, because the brotherhood of the Round Table is catholic and all-encompassing. Rich man, poor man, heathen, Christian, they’re all alike at the Round Table. To join the Round Table is to renounce father, mother, wife, child, national flag, king, everything except the Round Table itself. At least that’s what Merlin had in mind originally.
TRUE THING THREE: The whole point of the Round Table is to achieve the Grail. That is why Merlin built it, to provide a solid platform for Grail-achieving.
TRUE THING FOUR: Back when the Round Table was new, Merlin explained this to people, and somebody asked him, Merlin, how can we recognize someone who is going to achieve the Grail? And Merlin uttered a serious bona fide prophecy: three white bulls would eventually achieve the Grail. Of these three bulls, two would be virgins and one would have merely sworn an oath of celibacy. Also, one of the bulls would be way better than his father, as much as the lion passeth the leopard both of strength and hardiness.
TRUE THING FIVE: Merlin’s anonymous audience in those ancient times (when the Round Table was new and Merlin was spouting this prophecy for the first time) responded by suggesting that instead of all this elaborate prophecy brouhaha Merlin install a magic chair that only someone destined to achieve the Grail could sit in. Much more straightfåorward than all this stuff abouts bulls and the lion and the leopard and so on. Contrary to everything established about Merlin up to this point, Malory insists that Merlin knew a good idea when he heard it, even if it wasn’t originally his. So Merlin built the Siege Perilous to go with the Round Table.
“Whoa,” says Percivale. “That explains a lot, I guess? But actually I was asking about Sir Galahad. Remember, ma’am? I’ve been trying to ask you about Galahad for like a full day now, and you keep changing the subject. Galahad. Galahad!”
“Promise you won’t try to joust him?”
“Fine then. Ride up the road there to Goothe Castle. It’s a few hours away, and its lord is Galahad’s cousin-germain. He’ll put you up overnight, and maybe have some advice for you. Afterwards, unless the cousin has better instructions, keep on to Castle Carbonek, where you’ll meet… well, I’m not saying things are going to get weird and mystic, but things are going to get weird and mystic.”