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The Knights of the Round Table are the knightly members of the legendary fellowship of King Arthur in the literary cycle of the Matter of Britain, in which the first written record of them appears in the Roman de Brut written by the Norman poet Wace in 1155. In the Arthurian romance tradition, the Knights are an order in the service of Arthur, tasked with ensuring the peace of the kingdom and charged with leading the quest for the Holy Grail. The Round Table at which they met was supposed to represent the equality of all the members. Different stories presented different numbers of the Knights, ranging from only 12 to as many as 150 or more.

List

Their total number (always symbolic) and the names vary depending on the text. The first sources state 24, 36 or 72. For Robert de Boron, for whom the Round Table is a replica of the table of the Last Supper, they are fifty. In some versions, including Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory, they are 150 ("three times fifty" is a phrase that is often found in Welsh or Irish texts, which means "a large number" or even "immeasurable"). Bedivere, Gawain and Kay are the oldest characters associated with Arthur. Those most popular and best known today may include:


Knights of the Round Table
Name Other names Introduction Other medieval works Notes
Aglovale Agloval, Sir Aglovale de Galis The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis King Pellinore's eldest son
Agravain Agravaine Lancelot-Grail, Le Morte d'Arthur Second son of King Lot (of either Lothian or Orkney) and Arthur's sister Morgause
Arthur Arthur Pendragon, Arturus Y Gododdin, c. 7th century Many High King of the Britons, ruler of Logres and lord of Camelot
Bagdemagus Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, 1170s Meleagant's father and ruler of Gorre
Bedivere (Welsh: Bedwyr, French: Bédoier) Bedevere Pa Gur yv y Porthaur, c. 10th century Vita Cadoc, Culhwch and Olwen, Stanzas of the Graves, Welsh Triads, Historia Regum Britanniae, Le Morte d'Arthur, numerous others Returns Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake, brother to Lucan
Bors the Younger Son of Bors the Elder, father of Elyan the White; in some versions Arthur's successor
Brunor Breunor le Noir, La Cote Male Taile ("The Badly-shaped Coat") Knight who wears his murdered father's coat, brother of Dinadan and Daniel
Cador (Latin: Cadorius) Historia Regum Britanniae, The Dream of Rhonabwy Raised Guinevere as his ward, father to Constantine, described in some works as Arthur's cousin
Calogrenant Colgrevance, Cynan Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, 1170s Le Morte d'Arthur Cousin to Sir Yvain
Caradoc (Latin: Caractacus) (Welsh: Caradog Freichfras, meaning Caradoc Strong Arm) (French: Carados Briefbras) Perceval, the Story of the Grail, the Mabinogion Rebelled against Arthur when he first became king, but later supported him. Sometimes two characters, Caradoc the Elder (a king) and Caradoc the Younger (a knight)
Claudin Lancelot-Grail, Le Morte d'Arthur Virtuous son of the villain Claudas
Constantine III of Britain Historia Regum Britanniae, c. 1136 Le Morte d'Arthur Arthur's cousin and successor to his throne, Cador's son
Dagonet Arthur's court jester
Daniel von Blumenthal Daniel von Blumenthal, 1220 Knight found in an early German offshoot of Arthurian legend
Dinadan Prose Tristan, 1230s Le Morte d'Arthur Son of Sir Brunor the Senior
Ector Hector, Antor, Ectorius Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century Le Morte d'Arthur Raises Arthur according to Merlin's command, father to Kay
Elyan the White (French: Helyan le Blanc) Son of Bors
Erec Unclear; first literary appearance as Erec in Erec and Enide, c. 1170 See Geraint and Enid Son of King Lac
Esclabor Exiled Saracen king, father of Palamedes, Safir, and Segwarides
Feirefiz Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, early 13th century Half-brother to Percival and King Arthur's nephew
Gaheris Le Morte d'Arthur Son of King Lot and Morgause, brother to Gawain, Agravaine, and Gareth, and half-brother to Mordred
Galahad Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur Bastard son of Sir Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic, the main achiever of the Holy Grail
Galehault Galehalt, Galehaut Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century A half-giant foreign king, a former enemy of Arthur who becomes close to Lancelot
Galeschin Galeshin The Vulgate Cycle Son of Elaine of Garlot and King Nentres, nephew of Arthur
Gareth Beaumains Le Morte d'Arthur, Idylls of the King Also a son of King Lot and Morgause, in love with Lyonesse
Gawain (Latin: Walwanus, Welsh: Gwalchmai, Irish: Balbhuaidh) Culhwch and Olwen, c. 11th century Conte du Graal, Lancelot-Grail cycle, Prose Tristan,Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Le Morte d'Arthur and many short Middle English romances Another son of King Lot and Morgause, father of Gingalain
Geraint Geraint and Enid Enid's lover
Gingalain Guinglain, Gingalin, Gliglois, Wigalois, etc., also Le Bel Inconnu, or The Fair Unknown Le Bel Inconnu Gawain's son
Gornemant Gurnemanz Perceval, the Story of the Grail Parzival Mentor to Perceval
Griflet Girflet, Jaufre Jaufré A cousin to Lucan and Bedivere
Hector de Maris Ector de Maris Quest du Saint Graal (Vulgate Cycle) Half-brother of Lancelot, son of King Ban; Bors and Lionel are his cousins
Hoel (Welsh: Howel, Hywel) The Dream of Rhonabwy, Geraint and Enid Son of King Budic of Brittany, father to St. Tudwal
Kay (Welsh: Cai, Latin: Caius) Pa Gur yv y porthaur? 10th century Many Ector's son, foster brother to Arthur
Lamorak Prose Tristan, c. 1235 Lancelot-Grail Cycle Son of King Pellinore, brother to Tor, Aglovale, Percival, and Dindrane. Lover of Morgause
Lancelot Lancelot du Lac, Lancelot of the Lake, Launcelot Erec and Enide, c. 1170 Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, Lancelot-Grail, many others Son of King Ban from France, most famous for his affair with Queen Guinevere, father of Galahad. Most prominent Knight of the Round Table
Lanval Landevale, Launfal, Lambewell Marie de France's Lanval, late 12th century Sir Landevale, Sir Launfal, Sir Lambewell Enemy of Guinevere
Leodegrance Leondegrance Guinevere's father, King of Cameliard
Lionel Lancelot-Grail, early 13th century Son of King Bors of Gaunnes (or Gaul), brother of Bors the Younger
Lucan Sir Lucan the Butler Le Morte d'Arthur Servant to King Arthur, Bedivere's brother, Griflet's cousin
Maleagant Malagant, Meleagant, perhaps Melwas Unclear, a similar character named "Melwas" appears in the 12th century Life of Gildas Lancelot-Grail, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur Abductor of Guinevere
Mordred Modred (Welsh: Medrawd, Latin: Medraut) Annales Cambriae, c. 970 Many In the Rond Table stories, Arthur illegitimate son through Morgause
Morholt Marhalt, Morold, Marhaus Tristan poems of Béroul and Thomas of Britain, 12th century Tristan poems of Eilhart von Oberge, Gottfried von Strassburg, Prose Tristan, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur Irish knight, rival of Tristan, uncle of Iseult
Morien Moriaen Dutch romance Morien, 13th century Half-Moorish son of Aglovale
Pelleas Pellias Post-Vulgate Cycle, 1230s Le Morte d'Arthur In love with Ettarre, later lover of Nimue
Pellinore Lancelot-Grail, Post-Vulgate Cycle King of Listenoise and friend to Arthur
Percival (Welsh: Peredur) Perceval, Parzifal As Percival, Erec and Enide, c. 1170 Perceval, the Story of the Grail, Lancelot-Grail, many Achiever of the Holy Grail; King Pellinore's son in some tales
Safir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Prose Tristan Son to King Esclabor, brother of Segwarides and Palamedes
Sagramore Sagramor Lancelot-Grail, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Prose Tristan, Le Morte d'Arthur Ubiquitous Knight of the Round Table; various stories and origins are given for him
Segwarides Le Morte d'Arthur, Prose Tristan Son of Esclabor, brother of Safir and Palamedes
Tor Le Morte d'Arthur Son of King Ars, adopted by Pellinore
Tristan (Latin/Brythonic: Drustanus; Welsh: Drystan; Portuguese: Tristão; Spanish: Tristán) Tristran, Tristram, etc. Beroul's Roman de Tristan The two Folies Tristans, Marie de France's Chevrefeuil, Eilhart von Oberge, Gottfried von Strassburg, Prose Tristan, Post-Vulgate Cycle, Le Morte d'Arthur King Mark's son or relative, Iseult's lover
Urien Uriens Historical figure Welsh Triads King of Rheged (or Gorre), father of Yvain (Owain mab Urien), husband of Morgan le fairy
Yvain (Welsh: Owain) Ywain, Ewain or Uwain Based on the historical figure Owain mab Urien Historia Brittonum, Yvain, the Knight of the Lion King Urien's son
Yvain the Bastard Ywain the Adventurous, Uwain le Avoutres Urien's illegitimate son

There have been also many others, generally more or less obscure. For instance, Malory's account in Le Morte d'Arthur lists the following in the episode "The Healing of Sir Urry":[1]

  • King Anguish of Ireland
  • Earl Aristance
  • Sir Azreal
  • Sir Arrok
  • Sir Ascamore
  • Sir Balan (brother of Sir Balin, whom he killed by accident in a duel in which both wore helmets and did not know who they were fighting)
  • Sir Barrant le Apres (King with a Hundred Knights)
  • Sir Bellenger le Beau
  • Sir Belliance le Orgulous
  • Sir Blamor de Ganis
  • Sir Bleoberis de Ganis
  • Sir Bohart le Cure Hardy (King Arthur's son)
  • Sir Brandiles
  • Sir Brian de Listinoise
  • King Carados of Scotland
  • Sir Cardok
  • Duke Chalance of Clarence
  • King Clariance of Northumberland
  • Sir Clarus of Cleremont
  • Sir Clegis
  • Sir Clodrus
  • Sir Colgrevance
  • Sir Crosslem
  • Sir Damas
  • Sir Degrave sans Villainy (fought with the giant of the Black Lowe)
  • Sir Degrevant
  • Sir Dinas le Seneschal de Cornwall
  • Sir Dinas
  • Sir Dodinas le Savage
  • Sir Dornar
  • Sir Drian
  • Sir Edward of Orkney
  • Sir Epinogris (son of King Clariance of Northumberland)
  • Sir Fergus
  • Sir Florence (son of Gawain by Sir Brandiles's sister)
  • Sir Gahalantine
  • Sir Galihodin
  • Sir Galleron of Galway
  • Sir Gauter
  • Sir Gillimer
  • Sir Grummor Grummorson
  • Sir Gumret le Petit
  • Sir Harry le Fils Lake
  • Sir Hebes (not Hebes le Renowne)
  • Sir Hebes le Renowne
  • Sir Hectimere
  • Sir Helian le Blanc
  • Sir Herminde
  • Sir Hervis de la Forest Savage
  • Sir Ironside (Knight of the Red Launds)
  • Sir Kay l'Estrange (not Kay, Arthur's seneschal)
  • Earl Lambaile
  • Sir Lambegus
  • Sir Lamiel
  • Sir Lavain
  • Sir Lovell (son of Gawain by Sir Brandiles's sister)
  • Sir Mador de la Porte
  • Sir Marrok (whose wife turned him into a werewolf)
  • Sir Melias de l'Isle
  • Sir Melion of the Mountain
  • Sir Meliot de Logris
  • Sir Menaduke
  • Sir Morganor
  • King Nentres of Garlot
  • Sir Neroveus
  • Sir Ozanna le Cœur Hardi
  • Sir Perimones (brother to Persant and Pertolepe; called the Red Knight)
  • Sir Persant
  • Sir Pertolepe
  • Sir Petipace of Winchelsea
  • Sir Plaine de Fors
  • Sir Plenorius
  • Sir Priamus
  • Sir Reynold
  • Sir Sadok
  • Sir Selises of the Dolorous Tower
  • Sir Sentrail
  • Sir Severause le Breuse (known for rejecting battles with men in favour of giants, dragons, and wild beasts)
  • Sir Suppinabiles
  • Earl Ulbawes
  • Sir Urry
  • Sir Villiars the Valiant

References

  1. Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, the Winchester Manuscript. Edited and abridged by Helen Cooper, this book was published by Oxford University Press in 1998.