Pellinore

   The first time that Malory presents Pellinore to us, Pellinore is following the Questing Beast. He meets Arthur after killing his horse during the pursuit and takes Arthur's horse. We next find him encamped beside a well or fountain where he faces challenges. Arthur learns of this when a squire appears at court asking justice for his slain master, Miles. Griflet craves the adventure and meets Pellinore, where he is almost slain. Arthur, himself, takes up the challenge even though Merlin tries to stop him. Arthur demands that Pellinore quit his custom of challenging all comers at the well and they battle. After three jousts, Arthur is unseated. They continue the battle on foot, where Pellinore's attack breaks Arthur's sword (Malory seems to indicate that this is the same sword that Arthur drew from the stone and anvil). Arthur will not yield and Merlin must throw a spell of enchantment causing Pellinore to sleep to save Arthur's life. Merlin tells Arthur that Pellinore will do Arthur great service and will have two sons, Percivale of Wales and Lamerake of Wales. In these first encounters, we are presented with an individual still bearing many of the mythological aspects of the original character - a questing knight that protects a sacred well. One of the probable transformations is back to Beli Mawr (Beli Mawr - Pelli More - Pellinore).
   In Arthur's war against Rience, Pellinore is one of the principal knight kings mentioned. In the final assault, he kills King Lot which demoralizes the enemy forces. In so doing, he draws the wrath of the Orkney clan.
   When Pellinore arrives for Arthur's wedding to Guenever, he is placed by Merlin in the seat next to the two sieges left vacant because of his prowess and his role as one of Arthur's main allies. He learns that he has a son named Tor and becomes one of the three knights sent on the quest of the White Hart along with Gawaine and Tor.

Pellinore's Adventure in the Quest for the White Hart
   Pellinore's quest for the lady that demanded the brachet will lead him on a path that gains the end but not without pain, for Pellinore shall also fail a lady in need and shall bring Merlin's end much closer. And his failure will lead to his eventual death. Because of his haste to fulfill his quest, Pellinore fails to aid a damosel taking care of a wounded knight. Because he would not tarry, the knight dies and the damosel takes her own life with his sword cursing Pellinore to suffer the same lack of assistance when he most needs it.
   Pellinore meets a poor labourer that informs him where two knights battle for the quest lady. Sir Meliot of Logurs who claims to be her cousin states that he fights because his kinswoman is being held against her will but the other knight, Hontzlake of Wentland, claims he has the right of her because he took her by prowess of arms at Arthur's court. Pellinore disputes them both and prepares to fight them but Hontzlake kills Pellinore's horse beneath him so that he would have no advantage over them.
   Pellinore is angered by the death of his horse and in one quick stroke clave Hontzlake from head to chin. The wounded Meliot prudently kneels down and requests that Pellinore should be a true knight. The next day, Pellinore sets out; but within a distance, Nimue's horse stumbles in a valley full of stones and throws her, bruising her arm. There they rest for the remainder of the day and at Nimue's request, they stay the night. Toward midnight, they hear a horse and from their concealment, they overhear two knights plotting against Arthur, for the one from the North brings a strong poison to kill Arthur for they have a friend close to Arthur that has received monies to poison Arthur. His companion warns him of Merlin and they depart.
   Pellinore and Nimue pass the well where Pellinore had failed to give aid and Pellinore is brought to great sorrow for they find the dead knight and the remains of the lady who had been left to the wild beasts. At Nimue's advice, Pellinore transports the knight's body to an hermitage for proper burial and takes the head of the lady with him back to Arthur. Much Pellinore looked on the visage of the yellow-haired lady and mourned. But in due time, he arrives at Camelot and relates his adventure. Merlin, in his usual format as foreteller of future books in the legend, tells Pellinore that the lady was his own daughter, Eleine, begotten on the lady of the Rule and the knight was her future husband, Miles of the Launds, who was struck and slew from behind by a false knight, Loraine le Savage. Because he failed in providing assistance, he would one day find his best friend fail him and leave him when in his darkest moment and that he would be slain. Pellinore accepts this but hopes that God will change the destiny.
   Shortly after Arthur's wedding, the realm is again in jeopardy, attacked by an invading force of Saxon and Irish raiders. At the tidings of this invasion, Pellinore is away in his own lands. But he responds to Arthur's summons and arrives on the field of action, although too late for the five kings have been vanguished by Arthur's forces. But the victory was not without loss for eight knights of the Round Table have been killed and two hundred warriors. Arthur and Pellinore return to Camelot where Pellinore counsels Arthur on replacements for the knights.

more to come...