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Other Characters in Arthurian Legend
Queen Guinevere
Variously portrayed in literature, she is called the daughter of King Leodegrance (Lleudd-Ogrfan) of Cameliard by Malory, the daughter of King Ogrfan Gawr (the Giant) of Castell y Cnwclas (Knucklas Castle) by Welsh Tradition, the daughter of King Garlin
Queen Guinevere
Queen Guinevere
of Galore by Germanic tradition, the daughter of a Roman noble by Geoffrey of Monmouth and wife of King Arthur by everyone.

In all cases, she is surpassingly beautiful and desirable. She is either forced into or conceives and engineers an extra-marital relationship with Lancelot and is condemned, according to law. She either was a willing accomplice to Mordred's treachery against Arthur, as suggested in Wace and Layamon, or was forced into it against her will as stated in John Hardyng's "Chronicle" (1457). Early mentions of Guinevere, in the Triads of the Island of Britain, give tantalising glimpses of her original relationship with Mordred: he is shown forcing his way into Arthur's Court, dragging the Queen from her throne and striking her, but the reasons why are unknown. The incident may have been related to quarrels between Guinevere and her sister, Mordred's wife, Gwenhwyfach, which are said to have been the eventual cause of the Battle of Camlan.



Giraldus Cambrensis says the cross claimed Guinevere as Arthur's "second wife". This appears to echo the story of the False Guinevere of French Romance: an identical half-sister of the Queen fathered on the same night who persuaded Arthur that she was his true wife. For two and a half years, the King was separated from the real Guinevere until the deception was uncovered. There is also an ancient Triad of the Island of Britain which records Arthur's "Three Chief Queens": Gwenhwyfar daughter of Cywryd, Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gwythyr ap Greidiol and Gwenhwyfar daughter of Ogrfan Gawr. This may further indicate the confusion over the lady's parentage as already alluded to. Alternatively, the three Guineveres could show a common Triple-Goddess motif at the root of many later Celtic characters. Whatever Guinevere was or was not, she has been a useful tool in the hands of the romancers throughout the centuries and has greatly enhanced the legends of King Arthur.

1995, 1996, 1997 Britannia Internet Magazine, LLC



Other Characters
Merlin
The Lady of the Lake
Guinevere
King Mark
Constantine
Ector
Fisher King
The Green Knight
Gwion
Igraine
Iseult
Joseph of Arimathea
King Lot
Mordred
Morgan Le Fay
Morgause
Uther Pendragon
Vortigern

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