Malory flashes forward seven years.  Everything is the same, except Launcelot has become a priest.  The hermits have become a regular little monastery of quiet introspection and contemplative meditation.  One morning, at breakfast, Launcelot tells his fellow-hermits that he had a marvelous advision the night before: Guenever, dead.

“Was this a dream, or a holy vision?” asks the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“Holy vision, I’m pretty sure,” says Launcelot.  “My Guenever-related dreams are extremely different.”

“We’d better go to Almsbury, then, and check it out,” says the Archbishop.

So after breakfast, Launcelot together with seven or eight of his nine close friends, sets out for Almsbury.  It’s not terribly far, thirty miles, but the hermits lack horses and are not in fighting shape, so it takes them two days to hike it.  Frankly I think that thirty miles in two days is pretty good, but what do I know?  I’m a coddled American who rarely walks more than three miles in a stretch.

When they arrive in Almsbury, they go immediately to the convent, where Guenever lies in state.  She’s dead, sure enough.  Oddly enough, though, she’s only a half-hour dead.  When she died, a mere thirty minutes prior to Launcelot’s arrival, she predicted that he would come for her, and told the nuns to ask Launcelot to bury her with her husband.

In a wash Launcelot realizes that it’s finally all over, well and truly.

They bear Guenever’s body back to the hermitage, where they hold a nice funeral for her and inter her with Arthur.  Launcelot, so stoic before, breaks down during the funeral.

“Suck it up, man,” says the Archbishop.  “It’s unseemly!”

“No.  No, it’s not unseemly.  For our love was a special thing, and it’s only right that I mourn her.  She and I had a real thing going for a while there.  It can’t be wrong of me to mourn her.”

Then Launcelot stops eating and dies.  He dies very slowly, over weeks.  The odd bit here is that, according to Malory, he shrinks before he goes, and dies a foot shorter than when he lived.  Sir Bors and the Archbishop try to talk him into eating, but they can’t bring him around.  Instead he asks for a funeral, and is told he’ll get a good one.

“Don’t bury me here, with Arthur and Guenever; I don’t deserve it.  Bear my body back to Joyous Gard.”

Afterwards the Archbishop falls asleep.  He dreams a holy vision of his own: Launcelot happy in heaven.  Sir Bors rushes in and wakes him.

“You were laughing in your sleep!  But I have sad news…”

“Launcelot is dead,” says the Archbishop.  “Yes, I had a vision.”

And it’s true!  He’s dead.

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.

Sir Meliagrance, decapitated by Launcelot with one hand tied behind his back, in Book XIX.

Sir Tristram, murdered by King Mark sometime before Book XX.

Sir Colgrevance, again, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Agravaine, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Mador de la Porte, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Meliot de Logris, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Petipase of Winchelsea, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Galleron of Galway, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Melion of the Mountain, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Astamore, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Grummore Grummursun, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Curselaine, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Florence, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Lovel, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Gingalin, slain trying to arrest Launcelot, in Book XX.

Sir Gaheris, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Gareth, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Belliance, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Segwarides, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Griftlet the Caterer, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Brandiles, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Aglovale, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Tor, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Gauter, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Gillimer, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Reynolds, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Damas, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Priamus, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir “the Other Kay” Kay, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Driant, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Lambegus, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Herminde, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

The Green Knight, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

The Red Knight, slain by Launcelot during his rescue of Guenever, in Book XX.

Sir Gawaine, died of injuries after retaking Dover from Mordred, in Book XXI.

Sir Mordred, slain by King Arthur in the final battle, in Book XXI.

King Arthur, traveled to Avalon, in Book XXI.

Sir Lucan, died of injuries sustained in the final battle, in Book XXI.

Sir Lionel, slain in battle in London for some reason, in Book XXI.

Sir Launcelot du Lake, of old age, in Book XXI.

Starred entries are knights who were not, technically, members of the Round Table, but who were more or less solid Camelot-allies.  Total knights officially dead: fifty-three.


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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XXI Chapters 11 and 12 — No Comments

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