MORGAN LE FAY ALPHABET - Kinship
If you’ve ever read some books or watched movies and tv shows about Arthurian myth, you already know that there are many versions of the story: same characters, different dynamics. Well, Morgan le Fay is a character that has many relationships. In this post I will try to show the versions that are easily found in books, tv shows and movies about Morgan’s kinships.
In Thomas Malory’s classic Arthurian book, Morgan is daughter of Igraine and Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. Igraine is also Arthur’s mother, which makes him Morgan’s half brother. These dynamics are constant in the most of stories that I know, but many of them have some particularities. Sometimes, Morgause is also sister of Morgan and Arthur. Although, in Mists of Avalon and in other stories, she’s Igraine’s sister – Morgan’s (Morgaine’s) aunt. Besides, in many stories Morgause is also Mordred’s mother. Mordred is often product of an incestuous relationship of Arthur and his sister, which means, Morgause or Morgan. Although, in modern novels, Morgan has been occupying this role in the story’s plot.
I have never read a book in which Morgan was Uther’s daughter. However, in movies and specially tv shows, such as Merlin (BBC) and Camelot (Starz), Morgan (or Morgana) shares the same father – and not mother- with Arthur. This fact makes the fight between the siblings even more violent, once they both have the right to get and and to want the throne left by their father and king. Morgan is the most dangerous of Arthur’s enemies: even if she is not Uther’s daughter, she keeps fighting for the throne through her son/nephew Mordred or through her lover Sir Accolon.
Sir Accolon is normally the son or a sworn knight of King Urien. “King Urien of Gorre” is the only legitimate husband Morgan le Fay happens to have - at least in the novels I have read. I already read articles that said that Morgan had a son with him – Ywain or Owain. But in other versions, Morgan is only step-mother of his sons. As you read and research and keep watching movies of Arthurian Mythology , you can go deeper on Morgan’s kinship. In other versions, there are several characters she’s related to, such as Elaine, Viviane, Cai, Lancelot and even Merlin. If you guys have more info you can certainly share with me and I will complement the post with it.
“I was the youngest of my sisters, but always the smartest. Elaine from the start only cared about civilization and pretty dresses and suitors, and we could always do without each other. (…) But Morgause was just a year older than me and always in my way.” - Tintagel
“She also bought some
colored ribbons; they would be handsome on Morgaine’s holiday
gown, and they could be taken off each dress as the child outgrew it,
and sewed at neck and sleeves of the new gown.It was only fitting,
now that she was big enough not to soil herclothing, that she
should be dressed suitably for the daughter of the Duke of Cornwall.” - The Mists of Avalon
“My life did not end
with the deaths of Mordred, my son, and Arthur, his father, my brother. My
sorrows for those two fated men are stones I shall carry in my heart into the
Otherworld.” - I, Morgain
“And should Gwenhwyfar never bear a son, then should not their son be acknowledged as his father’s heir? He was doubly of royal blood, the blood of the Pendragon and of Avalon … Igraine was dead and the scandal could not harm her” - The Mists of Avalon
“In all haste, the queen was sent for, and she came and brought with her Morgan le Fay, her daughter, that was as fair a lady as any might be, and the king welcomed Igraine in the best manner” – Le Morte d’Arthur
“Arthur cannot acknowledge a son begotten on his sister’s body, it is true. But he is not the first king to have a bastard son whose very existence he cannot admit” - The Mists of Avalon
“God knows I have honoured her and worshiped her more than all my kin, and more have I trusted her than my own wife and all my kin after.” – Le Mort D’Arthur
“I have not seen Morgause in many years, God knows, but she is my kinswoman too. And King Uriens and Morgaine with their sons … ” - The Mists of Avalon