View Full Version : Knights of the Round Table

04-23-2005, 03:52 AM
Hi all,
I am new here, and I write scifi/fantasy and romance. The latest project I am working on is dealing with the Knights of the Round Table. I know there are around 20 knights, but for whatever reason, I can't seem to get a complete list. I have books about Arthurian Legend, but they are on loan, and no one seems to be willing to give them up right now. Could someone from this site help me out?
Thanks Paige

04-23-2005, 06:11 AM
Depends upon how you intend to use them. If you're writing a story, there's no need to give the name for each and every one of them. If you do, then the reader will expect each one to do or say something. Sometimes, it's easier to name only the ones you need for the important scenes or who have dialogue or some important action.

04-23-2005, 06:58 AM
There is no complete list. You have to realize that the Arthurian material which (probably) began in Britain, quickly crossed over to Brittany, was translanted into French and various French dialects, and then spread widely, to the rest of France, back to England in the form of French Anglo-Norman romance, then Middle English, while it was also spreading to Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Hungary, . ..

Each language (sometime each scribe/story teller) adapted the tales, modifying, adding, changing . . . and introducing new knights. And sometimes a knight has multiple versions of his name, especially Gawain/Walwain/Gauin/ . . . and Kay/Cei/Caius; you get the idea. Plus there's a long tradition of catalogs of knights, lengthy lists of names, with possibly an epithet, and not much else, in Arthurian works, perhaps because of the popularity of such lists in Celtic tales. So there are lots and lots of names.

The best single book about the Arthurian legends is Norris J. Lacy The New Arthurian Encyclopedia.

If you're curious about the evolution of the legends, particularly the Celtic background of Arthurian literature, this page (http://www.digitalmedievalist.com/bibs/arthbib.html) on my site may be of use.

04-23-2005, 10:51 PM
yep, lots and lots of name variations. tristram/tristan is yet another. my american eyes used to get a bit blurred over some of the 'isolde' variations. it just all depends on which version and who translated it, i guess. some versions vary on some pretty minour but important side-bits, like who actually threw the sword into the battle on arthur's request. arthur's own sexual shenanigans vary often, too. a lot of time, gen. and lance's affair is the worst secret of the realm that even arthur knew about pretty early on. indeed, mallory's version has very little to do with arthur and it does lancelot (which would, i think, be the french influence) and tristram (which, afair, takes up about half the text).

assuming you find a comprehensive list of round table knights and you're writing in a dry, detailed way, offering that list may be appropriate. to be honest, i wouldn't think piecing together such a list would be terribly difficult, but that all depends on your version, too. is he a romanticized knights-in-shining-armour type of guy living in a silver castle or arturo, ex-roman centurian sitting on a rough-hewn throne with a set of antlers over his seat of power? is mordred a part of arthur's court or a shunned child living with mum in the forest, biding his time? is it trying to acknowledge all the various cultural filters that change the names and nationalities? i think your list of names will depend on the kind of story you're wanting to write.

(as an aside, i just saw a commercial on the tv in the background for a movie called 'kingdom of heaven' which looks pretty interesting, about the crusades. might want to check that out. :))

04-24-2005, 12:35 AM
Original Arthurian myths are recorded from Scotland too - but in at least some of the Scottish tales Mordred was the hero and rightful heir, and Arthur the usurper.

04-25-2005, 01:40 AM
safe to say the popular modern version of arthur is pretty bastardized to fit modern storytelling, which is fine up until the universal themes of the original are sacrificed. there are several ways to interpret the meaning of excalibur, camelot, and the grail which a lot of writers don't give any consideration to, using them merely as objects for their plot. you could spend a lifetime studying the arthur legend in all its guises and the history, but to have no concept of these things even on a personal level is just capitalizing on a name to cover the fact the author isn't worth their salt, imo. in other words, once you debase the ideals and morals of the story (which is why it's so important to begin with), you're not writing arthur, just stealing his name to cover a lack of imagination (which, ironically, is built into the story to begin with).

RK, if you want twenty or so knights to fill your table with, i'll see what i can come up with. :)

04-25-2005, 01:45 AM
Kyng Arthur King Arthur
Sir Galahallt Sir Galahad
Sir Launcelot Deulake Sir Lancelot du Lac
Sir Gauen Sir Gawain
Sir Percyvale Sir Percivale
Sir Lyonell Sir Lionell
Sir Trystram Delyens Sir Tristram de Lyones
Sir Garethe Sir Gareth
Sir Bedwere Sir Bedivere
Sir Blubrys Sir Bleoberis
Sir Lacotemale Tayle La Cote Male Taile
Sir Lucane Sir Lucan
Sir Plomyde Sir Palomedes
Sir Lamorak Sir Lamorak
Sir Bors De Ganys Sir Bors de Ganis
Sir Safer Sir Safer
Sir Pelleus Sir Pelleas
Sir Kay Sir Kay
Sir Ectorde Marys Sir Ector de Maris
Sir Dagonet Sir Dagonet
Sir Degore Sir Degore
Sir Brumear Sir Brunor le Noir
Sir Lybyus Dysconyus Le Bel Desconneu
Sir Alynore Sir Alymere
Sir Mordrede Sir Mordred

hm, okay, that wasn't too difficult. :) i got them here:


there's an interesting passage there that reads:

'Lesser Orders of Chivalry established by King Arthur apparently included the Queen's Knights, the Knights of the Watch, the Table of Errant Companions and the, unfortunately named, Table of Less-Valued Knights. Perhaps these additional orders led to the confusion which exists over the the number of knights admitted to the Round Table. This varies dramatically, depending one which literary source one examines:

'13 in the "Didot-Perceval" (c.1225)
'50 in Robert De Boron's "Merlin" (c.1195)
'60 in Jean D'Ouremeuse's "Ly Myreur des Histors" (c.1350)
'130 in the English ballad, "The Legend of King Arthur" (16th century)
'140 in Hartmann Von Aue's "Erec" and "Iwein" (late 12th century)
'150 in the Vulgate "Lancelot" (c.1220)
'250 in the Vulgate "Merlin" (c.1225)
'1,600 in Layamon's "Brut" (late 12th century)'

just don't ask for names of those 1,600 knights, k? lol.

04-25-2005, 01:52 AM
btw, those names are derived from the winchester round table, ca. 1270. personally, i think that's a pretty damn good source for the names, eh? :)

04-27-2005, 09:27 PM
I didn't see Agravain on that list tho.

They are right. It's impossible to get an accurate list. Too many legends in too many different cultures.

The popular ones:


Son's of Lot and Morgause:

I'd either pick a handful of important characters or focus on a couple of lesser known ones (which would require a bit more research).

Good luck! Arthurian is one of my favorites.

04-29-2005, 11:08 PM
Thanks everyone for the info on the "knights". I hope my idea is believable. I think some people will find it interesting.