Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XVII Chapter 18
With Sir Launcelot’s personal Grail-Quest all done, now Malory turns his attention back to Sir Galahad. He rides around for a while, it doesn’t really matter how long, and eventually he comes to the site of Percivale’s meeting with Evelake, whom, again, Malory has decided is named Mordrains now. A quick googling explains that Evelake is what his mother named him but Mordrains is his Christian baptismal name. That’s is kind of odd because unless I was misinformed in CCD (Catholic Sunday school) your baptismal name is supposed to match that of a saint, and I don’t recall hearing tales of St. Mordrains.
But regardless, I’m going to keep calling him Evelake, the first name we knew him by. Galahad, his many-times-removed grandson, arrives at the abbey from back in Book XIV Chapter 4. He wastes no time, but goes immediately to Evelake.
I’m kidding! First he takes a nap. Then, Evelake.
No! Nap, then Mass, and then Evelake. You can’t rush Sir Galahad.
“Galahad!” cries Evelake, when (finally) the knight visits him. In a flash the many wounds that Percivale saw back when they met close up, and his body becomes young and firm again(?). “And now I’ve miraculously regained my sight! I’ve been waiting so patiently ever since Sir Percivale, that counterfeit inferior Galahad-knockoff, showed up.”
“Let me get a look at you, with these newly-functional eyes. You’re so handsome and virginal! The flower of the lily in whom virginity is signified. You’re a big flower, is what you are. And now I can die. Farewell, stupid decrepit three-hundred-year-old body!”
Then Evelake drops dead, which makes his youthening a few seconds ago seem kind of pointless. But at least he dies happy.
“Well, that’s done,” says Galahad, and leaves.
Galahad rides around some more, it doesn’t matter. He fights a demon-infested well at one point, and he visits King Bagdemagus’s tomb, and Simeon’s tomb. Simeon’s tomb is from this one Sir Launcelot story that Malory isn’t including in his retelling of French romances, even though he’s tossing in this little shoutout. Also he visits a very poorly-described haunted tomb that I think is supposed to be the final resting place of the pagan English king who imprisoned Joseph of Arimethea, and forgives him, so that the poor dead guy who’s been stuck as a wight for three hundred winter and four and fifty gets to die, too.
Galahad: tying up loose ends from the first century AD!
Then Galahad rides around for another week, until he meets Bors and Percivale again, just outside Castle Corbin. Percivale explains about his adventures, which Malory forgot to describe for us, and Bors tells how he’s been wandering around in the wilderness, not seeing another human being. They take a moment to slap one another on the back and enjoy their successful Grail-questing, then go into the castle as a group.
Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XVII Chapter 18 — No Comments
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