Peredur

   In the Mabinogion tales, Peredur was brought up in the Welsh highlands by a mother who loathed the chivalric world for killing her husband, the Earl Ebrauc (Eboracum or York), and her other sons and tried to keep him in ignorance. At last, however, excited at seeing some actual knights, Peredur sets off to Arthur's court to seek knighthood himself. Naive and foolish at first, he gradually matured, though not all the advice which he took to heart was for his good. A warning not to be too forward in asking questions had unfortunate results when he failed to ask the right question at the Grail Castle. Nevertheless, his concern with the Grail continued, and depending on the variation of the story, he achieved the Grail kingship or was one of the knights that accompanied the perfect knight, aka Galahad, in its achieving.
   The early variations of our hero depict a typical story of a son revenging the death of his father. Both the Mabinogion and even in Chrétien's Perceval, the main plot of the story is the struggle of Peredur's kin to push him along the path to maturity where he can assume his rightful kingship and destroy his father's killer (and the witches of Gloucester who aided his family's enemies). The grail is not the Cup of the Last Supper but a dyscyl or deep platter holding the head of a slain kinsman. In the later continuations, the Grail develops into the Christian Grail, the cors benoic.
   The story of Peredur will become an important part in our search for the Grail. As we progress, we will study the changes in the characters and plot of the Grail legend.