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Sir Pelleas
Arthurian Literary Character

Sir Pelleas was apparently a knight of extraordinary skill and bravery, but of lowly birth. His life plagued by his unrequited love for the arrogant Lady Ettard of Arroy. He defeated sixty knights in a great tournament in order to present her the jousting crown, but Ettard ridiculed him and forbad him from pursuing her. Pelleas ignored these protests and followed her to Arroy. Every day, the lady would send out ten knights to expel him from her lands. He would beat them off, but allow himself to be captured in order that he might catch a glimpse of his love from his prison cell. The next day, he would be released and the process would start again.

Learning of Sir Pelleas' predicament, Sir Gawain offered to help him. They arranged a scam whereby Gawain would get into the lady’s castle on the pretext that he had killed her stalker - carrying Pelleas’ armour as proof. However the plan who supposed to evolve, Sir Gawain immediately fell for the beautiful Ettard, betrayed Pelleas and seduced her. The deceived knight discovered them asleep together in the summerhouse. He put his sword to their throats but decided against killing them and departed. When Ettard awoke, she realised that Pelleas had been there and must be still alive.

Grief-stricken, Sir Pelleas completely let himself go. Gawain repented, brought Ettard to him and the two married and had a son named Guivret the Younger. Perhaps the marriage was something of a sham however, for an alternative version of the story, says the Lady of the Lake bewitched Ettard so that she pined away for Pelleas while he fell in love with the Lake Goddess instead. Sir Pelleas eventually married the Lady of the Lake and King Arthur made him a Knight of the Round Table.


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