Shortly after exiling Launcelot in a fit of pique, Guenever organizes a small banquet, for herself and a couple of dozen knights. They divide up easily into factions!
THE ORKNEY FACTION
His brother Sir Agravaine
Their brother Sir Gaheris
Their brother Sir Gareth
And their half-brother Sir Mordred
THE BENWICK FACTION
His brother Sir Blamore
Their brother Sir Bleoberis
Their cousin Sir Ector the Lesser
Their other cousin Sir Lionel
THE GUYS WHO HAPPENED TO BE IN CAMELOT THAT WEEKEND FACTION
Sir Kay, Arthur’s seneschal and cool older brother
His assistant Sir Brandiles
Their contemporary Sir Galihud
A guy they kind of know Sir Galihodin
And Sir Breunor, who copied Sir Gareth’s whole bit
THE FORMER SUPPORTING CAST MEMBERS RETURNING FOR TOKEN CAMEOS FACTION
Sir Palomides, Tristram’s frenemy
His brother Sir Segwarides the cuckold
Gareth’s acquaintance the Indigo Knight, Sir Persant
Gareth’s other acquaintance the Black Knight, Sir Ironside
And Sir Mador of the Harbor, who has been mentioned a few times now, Launcelot jousted with him in a tournament once
THE LEFTOVERS FACTION
Sir Patrice, who you wouldn’t know, because he’s from Ireland
Aliduk, who isn’t a knight apparently
Sir Astamore, who is kind of a dick,
And finally Sir Pinel the Dimwitted, the late Sir Lamorak’s cousin.
As dinner winds down, Sir Gawaine asks someone to pass him the fruit, because (as Malory is sure he’s mentioned before, like, lots of times) Sir Gawaine just looooooves fruit. Guenever is always careful to have plenty of fruit on hand whenever she has Gawaine over for dinner, so that he’ll be sated with pears and he won’t freak out and murder anyone. So the fruit bowl is getting passed up the table! Sir Pinel (who is both a dimwit and the late Sir Lamorak’s cousin, as I just observed) gets his hands on the fruit bowl and reasons that if he puts a poison apple in there, Gawaine will eat it and then die and then Sir Lamorak will be avenged! So he does that.
The fruit bowl is handed by Pinel to Astamore to Aliduk and so on, but when it gets to Patrice, things take a turn for the predictable. Patrice sees the fruit in the bowl and figures he’s entitled to an apple, he’s a guest at the table same as anyone. So he takes the poison apple, eats it, and then his head explodes from the poison.
Seriously! When he had eaten it he swelled so he brast, says Malory.
All the knights leap up! Swords are drawn! Harsh words are shouted! Sir Gawaine figures that poison apple was meant for him, and dives under the table for safety!
Sir Mador in particular is pissed, because Patrice was his cousin. Cousins take the murder of cousins seriously in this day and age! Mador’s pissed, and he knows who to blame: the woman whose bowl of fruit the poisoned apple came from! None other than Guenever!
Knights of the Round Table who have died: a list I surely won’t have to update as we go on from here!
Sir Balin, slain by Sir Balan in Book II.*
Sir Balan, slain by Sir Balin in Book II.*
Sir Accolon, slain by King Arthur as a result of Morgan’s plan failing in Book IV.*
King Pellinore, slain offscreen by Sir Gawaine sometime after the start of Book IV.
Sir Chestaline, Sir Gawaine’s youthful ward, slain by Roman soldiers during Book V.*
Sir Marhaus, slain by Sir Tristram early in Book VIII.
Sir Lamorak, slain offscreen by Sir Gawaine and his brothers around the time of Book X.
Sir Uwaine, slain by Sir Gawaine in Book XVI.
Sir Colgrevance, slain by Sir Lionel in Book XVI.
King Bagdemagus, slain by Sir Gawaine sometime prior to Book XVII.
Sir Galahad, ascended into heaven with the Grail in Book XVII.
Sir Percivale, died of grief after coming in second on the Grail-Quest, in Book XVII.
Sir Patrice, ate a poisoned apple intended for Sir Gawaine, in Book XVIII.
Starred entries are knights who were not, technically, members of the Round Table, but who were more or less solid Camelot-allies. Gawaine-related deaths: 6 of 13.