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Sir Galahad - © Nash Ford PublishingSir Galahad
Arthurian Literary Character

Sir Galahad was the illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot by Lady Elaine of Corbenic. He was placed under the care his paternal great aunt and grew up at the nunnery where she was abbess. Upon reaching adulthood, his father knighted him and took him to Camelot.

At the Royal Court, Galahad sat in the “Siege Perilous” - the seat reserved by God for the purest of knights - yet no calamity befell him. Like Arthur had done so many years before, he then drew a sword from a stone which bore a message declaring him to be the World’s best knight! He was immediately welcomed to the Order of the Round Table and was present at the vision of the Grail, when he was chosen as one of those to seek this holiest of relics.

Galahad left on his quest with a shield made by King Evelake and painted with a red cross of blood by St. Joseph of Arimathea. This was joined by King David’s sword when he met up with Sirs Bors, Percivale and the latter’s sister. Upon the lady’s death, the trio split up and, for a while, Galahad traveled with his father, visiting King Evelake together. Back with Bors and Percivale, the three arrived at Castle Corbenic and together they found the Holy Grail. Galahad cured the Maimed King there of his ailment by anointing him with blood from the Dolorous Spear and the spirit of St. Joseph of Arimathea appeared and celebrated mass with the three. A vision of Christ then told Galahad how he would have more time with the Grail in the country of Sarras. So the knights left Corbenic and sailed for Sarras; and the Grail appeared to them once more onboard ship. Upon arrival, the pagan King Estorause threw them in prison; but the Grail sustained them and, when the King died, Galahad was able to take control of the country. A year later St. Joseph of Arimathea appeared to him with the Grail once more. Galahad celebrated mass and, having reached his lifelong goal, asked that he should be allowed to die. This he did in peace.

The origins of Galahad’s character are uncertain. The name may be taken from the Palestinian location, Gilead, or he may be connected with Welsh characters, such as Gwalhafed or St. Illtud.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.