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~ Camelot ~

~ Galahad ~


The natural son of Lancelot. His name may be of Welsh origin or come from the place name Gilead in Palestine.

His mother is variously Elaine, Amite and Previda. He was placed as a child in a nunnery, the abbess there being his paternal great aunt, and he was later knighted there by Lancelot.

One day a sword in the stone was seen in a river by Arthur's knights. It was said in an inscription that only the world's best knight could pull out the sword. Galahad was led to Arthur's court where he sat in the Siege Perilous and then drew the sword out.

When the Grail appeared in a vision at Arthur's Court, Galahad was one of the knights sent on the Grail Quest. He was given a white shield, made by evelake, with a red cross whcih Joseph of Arimathea had drawn in blood. In the course of the quest he joined up with Perceval, Bors, and Perceval's sister. On board Soloman's ship, Galahad obtained the sword of David. After the death of Perceval's sister, the remaining trio split up and, for awhile, Galahad travellled with his father Lancelot. He visited evelake whom them died. When he rejoined Bors and Perceval, they came to Carbonek and achieved the Grail.

Galahad mended the broken sword, which the other two had failed to do, and Joseph of Arimenthea appeared and celebrated mass. Jesus appeared to the questers and told Galahad he would see the Grail more openly in Sarras. Galahad used the blood from the Grail spear to anoint the Maimed King, so he was cured. With his companions he left and came to a ship with the Grail on board. On this they sailed on to Sarras where the pagan king, Estorause, had them cast into prison where they were fed by the Grail. They forgave Estorause before they died, and Galahad became the next King of Sarras. A year later he came upon Joseph of Arimenthea saying Mass. He then beheld the Grail and requested that he should now die and this he was allowed to do.

Galahad may quite possibly have been the creation of the author of the Queste, as it is there he first appears, but he may be taken from the Welsh character, Gwalhafed, mentioned in Culhwch. The historical saint Illtyd has also been suggested as his prototype.