king lancelot

So I don’t normally post but I came across this painting called ‘The Accolade’ by Edmund Blair-Leighton while researching for my essay on gender identity and Malory and I found it really beautiful and fascinating. It’s of Queen Guinevere knighting Lancelot. Knights were usually knighted by their King, but Lancelot deliberately avoids receiving the sword from Arthur because he intends for Guinevere to give him the honour instead. Not only does this highlight his overwhelming love (he says himself that he loved her ‘oute of measure’) and respect for her, but it also acts as a pledge of his loyalty and service to her, and thus he would serve as the Queen’s knight as opposed to the King’s. The Queen becomes Lancelot’s lord and master, subverting all our expectations about gender and power in the medieval court.

Everytime godsdamned time...
  • Me: *reading a new Arthurian book*
  • Me: *isn't focused for one page or two but doesn't need to read back because I've read so many I know exactly what has probably happened*
  • Also me: Okay good, Igraine has managed to escape Uther. Now I hope she and her husband can make it safely. I'm sure they can resist Uther's attack on the castle!
  • Me later: Oh my god I can't believe the lords and Kings don't want to recognize Arthur as their king! How come?
  • Me even later: Lancelot is trying to seduce Guinevere! Come on, Guinevere, be loyal...! Yes, she has refused him! Keep going like that and everything will be fine! Now there's no risk she'll enventually say yes!
  • Still me: Mmmm... I hope this Mordred fellow is nto going to cause too much trouble. Oh, well, what's the worst he could do anyway?
  • Me at the end, as Arthur is dying: He's not actually going to die - the author just wants to create some suspense! He's the main character, he can't die.
  • Me, closing the book: ...
  • Me: *close my eyes*
  • Me: Gods i'm a fcking idiot...

Season 5 Marketing Image

His peers dub him the Bloody Knight.
Not for the heads he takes,
as he takes none.
Nor for the battles he fights,
as he shows only mercy.
Instead, it is for
the holes
in his palms.

Priests call the wounds “Christ-marks.”
Perfect circles, perfectly centered,
showing no bone or gristle
when sunlight shines through.
His aged father claims
they were there all his life.
Whenever he prays,
they bleed.

On feast days, he eats alone.
The other knights stay far away,
and whisper rumors to their wives.
He is too righteous, for some men,
the others sore because
he bested them,
and spared their lives
in hateful clemency.

His king pays it no mind.
Where others fear to touch,
he freely gives affection,
laying clean, smooth hands
on stained gloves.
“Jealous bastards,” he says,
leaning close,
“forget them.”

Each night, they lay together.
Faces close, and sharing breath.
One of the king’s hands
held firmly in his,
he thanks God for this man:
the love of his life.
As he communes with his Lord,
the knight’s palms trickle blood,
staining their sleeves.

—  Stigmata; kristyn n.k. [x]