One morning Galahad gets up extra-early for some solo Grail-prayer time.  When he arrives at the tabernacle, there’s already a guy there!  Galahad doesn’t recognize him until after they’ve celebrated Mass, but it’s Joseph of Arimathea.  Joseph congratulates him on achieving the Grail and on not having any sex!  I guess there were a bunch of women in Sarras throwing themselves at him?

Bors and Percivale come in at the tail end of this, and Galahad kisses them goodbye before his big exit.

Fair lord,” he says to Bors, “salute me to my lord Sir Launcelot my father, and as soon as ye see him, bid him remember of this unstable world.  It’s a reference to our shared adventures in Chapter 13.  He’ll know what I mean.”

And then, abruptly, he keels over!  A flight of angels appear and escort his soul (and also the Grail, which they take with them) up to Heaven.  Also the Spear of Longinus, which Malory forgot to mention Galahad had brought along from Castle Corbin.

Bors is pretty bummed about the whole thing, but Percivale is completely broken-hearted.  Galahad won and ascended directly into heaven!  And Percivale was left behind.  Now there’s no more Grail!  It’s depressing!  Percivale forsakes his arms and armor and dresses up as a hermit.  He moves to a hermitage outside Sarras, where he spends fourteen months crying and praying until he dies of grief.  Bors, meantime, keeps busy with all the duties of the vice-king of Sarras in the absence of King Galahad.

Once Percivale has received a full state funeral, Bors figures that’s pretty much it for the Grail quest.  He resigns his position in the Sarras government, boards a handy ship, and after a whole series of adventures Malory doesn’t care enough to describe, he’s back at Camelot.

“Well, that was a pretty crazy three to five years,” says Bors.  He tells everyone about his experiences.  It takes a while.

“Wow,” says Arthur, once he’s done.

“Oh, one last thing,” says Bors.  “Launcelot, Galahad’s last words were something about how you need to remember of this unsiker world as ye behight him when ye were together more than half a year.”

“Oh, yeah.”  Launcelot has little response to that.  “Bors, ye are right welcome to me,” he says lamely.  “All that ever I may do for you and for yours ye shall find my poor body ready at all times, while the spirit is in it, and that I promise you faithfully, and never to fail.  And wit ye well, gentle cousin.  Ye and I will never depart asunder whilst our lives may last.

“Sure,” says Bors.  “Last two guys I made that deal with are both dead, but whatever.”

And that ends the Grail quest!  Fade to black.


Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XVII, Chapters 22 and 23 — No Comments

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