Lancelot was a sort of prince himself. He was the son of the King of Benwick, King Ban, who was killed by the Frankish king, Claudas.
While his father was dying and Lancelot’s mother, Elaine, tended to her dying husband, the Lady of the Lake stole Lancelot away to her realm. (Which is kind of not cool, Lady of the Lake? But do you, I guess?)
Here in the fairy realm, Lancelot was raised by the Lady of the Lake, which probably accounts for some of how awesome he was at basically everything.
But Lancelot later betrayed King Arthur. The story was first told in Chrétien de Troyes's Lancelot, Knight of the Cart. Lancelot rescues Queen Guinevere, Arthur’s wife, from the clutches of a malevolent king from a neighboring realm.
This affair would later be exploited by the traitorous Mordred, who in some versions of the legend is either King Arthur’s nephew or his bastard son by his half-sister. (Man… and we thought Game of Thrones was wild).
Mordred exposed the affair, and took advantage of the resulting war to take Arthur’s place.
Lancelot really messed up. And don’t get us started on Guinevere.
More on him later. 😉
So, what do you think? Is Lancelot a tragic, misunderstood figure, or is he a dastardly traitor? You decide.
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