This scene from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King I read years ago stays in my memory. Today I’m retelling it in my own words.
Detail – The Unicorn is Attacked, ca. 1495–1505
Mordred and Gawain had messed up childhoods
I’ve always loved this scene from T.H. White’s Arthurian series. I haven’t read it in several years and am not going to bother rereading it now, since it’s more fun to just tell it from memory.
Want to skip straight to reading the scene? Scroll down to the next header!
To give you a quick background on what you’re about to see, this scene takes place at the beginning of the second book in the series. Elsewhere, Arthur has already drawn the sword from the stone, and is learning how to be king.
His nephews, on the other hand, are still children. They live on the island of Orkney with their mother, who is a witch–the bad sort of witch.
The children by name are Gawain, Gahareth, Agravain, and Mordred.
Gawain is the big, tall, brawny and brave one. He’s a bit dumb, has red curly hair, and enjoys pushing the others around.
Gahareth and Agravain are complete opposites, but we won’t go into too many details for the sake of brevity.
Now Mordred is the odd one. You see, Mordred is supposedly King Arthur’s “nephew”–at least, that’s what everyone thinks. In truth, he’s more than that: he’s also King Arthur’s bastard incestuous son. Continue reading