In Malory's le Morte, prior to Arthur's birth, Merlin arranged with Uther that the child would be placed in another house for upbringing, a common practice. Merlin had Uther send for Sir Ector, who is described as a true and faithful man and that he had wide holdings both in England and Wales (the statement about holdings in both regions has the ring of the Norman period in which Norman lords were given holdings in Wales in order to subdue the country). The deal was arranged and Sir Ector was given additional rewards. Ector's own son, Kay, must have been newborn as the arrangement calls for Ector to place his own son in the care of another woman so that Ector's wife might nourish Arthur herself.
   Sir Ector appears for the first time, as Antor, in the "Merlin" section of the trilogy associated with Robert de Boron, where he is Keu's father and Arthur's foster-father. The source for this original reference is unknown, but Linda Gowans from Arthurnet finds 'the Arab hero Antar is significant. He is associated with a story of a sword forged from a stone, in which the younger brother is the one destined to inherit, and I wonder if Crusaders might have heard it and brought it back to France.'