- This article is about the knight, Gwaine, for the episode he is introduced in, see: Gwaine (episode)
|Also Known As:|| Strength (by Grettir)|
|Family:|| Gwaine's Father †|
|Affiliation:|| Arthur Pendragon †|
Knights of the Round Table
Knights of Camelot
Eira (formerly) †
|Enemies:|| Morgana Pendragon†|
Uther Pendragon †
Old Merlin (disguise)
The Cailleach (Goddess)
King Caerleon †
The Disir (Court)
|List of Appearances:||Appearances|
Gwaine was born to a knight and his wife. Early in his childhood his father died fighting in Caerleon's army, leaving his family penniless. When his mother went to the king for help, he turned her away. Gwaine's opinion of the nobility was forever altered by this experience; he believed that all nobles were blinded by power and greed, and that true nobility should be determined not by who you were, but by what you did (Gwaine).
Gwaine eventually left his home and family and began living a vagabond lifestyle, traveling the world with his sword.
Meeting Merlin and ArthurGwaine first met Arthur and Merlin when he joined them in a tavern brawl against Dagr and his thugs. Though they ultimately won, Gwaine was badly injured when he took a knife to the thigh in defense of Arthur, who took him back to Camelot so his wounds could be treated by Gaius. Arthur and his father were deeply grateful for what Gwaine had done - the king even wanted to thank him in person - but Gwaine was dismayed to learn that he'd saved the life of the Prince of Camelot. He preferred to avoid the nobility whenever possible; though he didn't hate all noblemen, he had yet to meet one he felt was worth dying for.
Gwaine caused quite a bit of trouble during his stay in Camelot, attempting to charm Guinevere in the marketplace (who politely turned him down) and buying drinks for all the other tavern patrons despite the fact that he had no money. Luckily, Merlin managed to arrive at a solution by charging the drinks to Arthur. The prince, however, was not amused, and made the two of them shine the entire army's boots to pay him back. Nevertheless, Merlin found Gwaine's enjoyment of life both amusing and refreshing, later remarking, "You livened the place up." Gwaine and Merlin got along well from the beginning, quickly establishing a rapport over the loss of their respective fathers and their desire to have known them better.
Later, Merlin (who had been assigned to attend to Sirs Oswald and Ethan during their stay) discovered that the two knights were planning to kill Arthur in the Mêlée that Camelot was hosting. Their swords were really Stulorne Blades, which appeared blunt to the naked eye but were actually dangerously sharp. After discussing the problem with Gwaine and Gaius and determining that they needed more proof, Merlin snuck into the knights' chambers that night intending to steal one of the blades as evidence. He was distracted, however, by the crystal that Oswald wore around his neck. A closer look revealed the image of the thug from the tavern in the crystal's depths, and Merlin realized that Oswald and Ethan were really Dagr and one of his goons, Ebor, in disguise. Unfortunately, Dagr woke up with the crystal still in Merlin's hand, and grabbed him before he had a chance to get away.Gwaine, who had originally wanted to go with Merlin before it was pointed out that he had no reason to be in the knights' chambers, soon grew worried when he didn't return and went to look for him. He arrived just in time to see Oswald taking a swing at Merlin with his sword, and quickly leapt to his friend's defense. He dispatched the two knights without much trouble, but was caught by Sir Leon and brought before the king for breaking the Knight's Code. Though Gwaine maintained that he'd only stepped in to protect Merlin, the two thugs claimed that he'd attacked them without cause, provoking a passionate response from Gwaine about the deeper meaning of nobility. Unsurprisingly, Uther sided with the supposed knights, though he did listen to Arthur's pleas for him not to execute Gwaine, deciding to banish him from Camelot instead.
Not particularly bothered by this sentence (as he never stayed in one place for too long anyway), Gwaine prepared to leave Camelot immediately. Merlin was less accepting, certain that the king would give him a pardon if he revealed that he was a nobleman, but Gwaine refused, explaining that he had no wish to serve a king such as Uther. He did, however, tell Merlin to look after Arthur before he left, idly remarking that, "Maybe that one's worth dying for." This sentiment was supported by Gwen when he ran into her on his way out of town, and her words, combined with Merlin's trust and Arthur's speaking up on his behalf, reinforced Gwaine's belief that Arthur was indeed a noble man. Because of this, Gwaine secretly returned to Camelot and entered the Mêlée, where he dueled alongside Arthur against his would-be assassins, ultimately killing both.Though Uther initially had Gwaine arrested for what he'd done, intending to execute him for what appeared to have been the murder of two knights, Gaius was able to prove that Oswald and Ethan were not all that they seemed. With the king as witness, he removed the blood crystals from around their corpses' necks, exposing them as Dagr and Ebor. But though Gwaine was no longer under threat of execution, Uther still refused to lift his banishment. Arthur disagreed with his father's decision, telling Gwaine that if it were up to him he would be welcomed as a friend. Though Merlin tried one last time to get Gwaine to reveal himself and receive a pardon, Gwaine stood by his conviction that he could never serve under a man like Uther, preferring to try his luck in Mercia instead (Gwaine).
StrengthEventually Gwaine's travels took him to a town called Angard, where he was reunited with Merlin while involved in yet another tavern brawl. With the warlock's help he was able to escape his pursuers, who were apparently of the opinion that Gwaine had been cheating at gambling. Upon questioning what the young servant was doing in Mercia, Merlin explained how Arthur had embarked on a quest to retrieve the Fisher King's trident from the Perilous Lands and that he needed their help. Eager to get away from his current predicament, Gwaine agreed to lend a hand and the two rode out of town as quickly as possible.
Merlin and Gwaine arrived at the Perilous Lands some time later. They were greeted by Grettir, the Keeper of the Bridge, who addressed Gwaine as "Strength" and Merlin as "Magic", and (with Arthur having already been named "Courage") announced that the trio was complete. Suspicious of the dwarf, Gwaine quickly drew his sword, only for Grettir to use magic to turn it into a flower. The dwarf assured the bemused vagabond that his sword would return to normal on the other side, and allowed both him and Merlin to cross the bridge without any further trouble.
The two camped out in the Perilous Lands that night, trying to distract one another from the roars of unknown creatures in the distance with quiet conversation. At one point Merlin offered Gwaine the chance to go back if he wanted to, but Gwaine refused. He said that he was there for the same reason that Merlin was: to help a friend, further clarifying that it was Merlin he was there for more so than Arthur, as he considered the warlock the only real friend he had. They started out again at daybreak, eventually spotting a tower surrounded by Wyverns in the distance and a figure making its way toward it. Upon realizing that the figure was Arthur and that the Wyverns were hunting him, Merlin and Gwaine raced for the tower.They eventually found Arthur passed out in one of the tower rooms, where he'd barricaded himself to escape the Wyverns. The prince wasn't particularly happy to see them, (as he was supposed to complete his quest alone and unaided), but ultimately accepted the fact that he had their help whether he wanted it or not. The three proceeded to search the tower for the trident, with Merlin eventually spotting a doorway that appeared to lead to a throne room. Unfortunately, when he stepped inside he triggered some kind of trap, and Gwaine barely managed to push him the rest of the way through before a trap door dropped down, nearly squashing him. It took Gwaine and Arthur some time to figure out how to get the door open again, but they soon managed it and found Merlin unharmed on the other side, much to the vagabond's relief. Arthur happily retrieved the Fisher King's trident from where it was lying discarded on the floor, and with their quest complete, the three quickly left the Perilous Lands behind them.
Gwaine traveled with them as far as Camelot's border; with his banishment still in place, he could go no further. They briefly discussed where he might go next, with Gwaine musing that perhaps he would ride south (The Eye of the Phoenix).
Retrieving The Cup of Life
Gwaine next met Merlin and Arthur when they were captured by Jarl, a slave trader that operated out of the kingdom of Essetir. They were reunited in Jarl's dungeon, where Gwaine summed up his capture by saying: "Well, you know, wrong place, wrong time, wrong drink." Jarl returned soon after, looking to make two of his prisoners fight one another for his amusement. When the slaver chose Merlin as one of his combatants, Arthur volunteered to face his current champion, who turned out to be none other than Gwaine. The two faked a fight, hoping to buy some time until they could think of a better plan, but ran into trouble when they were ordered to fight to the death, or else they would both be killed. Fortunately, Merlin managed to save them by starting a fire with his magic, and the three were able to escape in the chaos that followed.
After Merlin (much to Arthur's annoyance) explained that they were looking for the Cup of Life, Gwaine decided to join them on their latest quest. The three managed to retrieve the Cup from the Druids without much trouble, but were ambushed by Cenred's men soon after. Arthur was wounded in the chase that followed, and the Cup was taken by Cenred. Things grew even more dire when it was discovered that the arrow Arthur had taken to the leg had been poisoned, forcing the three to spend the night in the woods while Merlin provided what treatment he could. When Arthur regained consciousness the next morning, horrified to learn that they'd lost the Cup, they quickly set out for Camelot.
They reached the city the following evening, after it had been seized by Cenred's army. Attempting to take refuge in Gwen's deserted house, the three soon encountered her brother, Elyan, who had managed to avoid capture. Elyan quickly explained what had happened, how Morgause had used the Cup to create an immortal army and that the citadel had fallen soon after the city. Determined to learn the fates of his father and Guinevere, Arthur led the group in infiltrating the castle. Gwaine and Elyan were sent to the dungeons, where they discovered Uther being dragged away by Cenred's soldiers. After meeting up with Arthur and Merlin (and now Gaius) in the physician's chambers and reporting what they'd seen, the two were then ordered to take Gaius and find refuge in the woods beyond the castle.
Knight of the Round TableGwaine, Elyan, and Gaius soon met up with Arthur and Merlin again, and the five spent the next week sheltering in a cave in the woods outside Camelot. They were eventually joined by Guinevere and Sir Leon, who had managed to escape from the city. Unbeknownst to Gwen and Leon, however, Morgana and Morgause had allowed their escape in order to track them to Arthur's hiding place. Though forced to go on the run, the group was soon saved by the arrival of Lancelot and Percival, who dropped boulders from above to block the narrow path and halt the soldiers'' pursuit.
With their former hideout compromised, Gwaine accompanied the rest of the group to the Castle of Ancient Kings. There Arthur revealed his intentions to infiltrate the citadel and free his father. Gwaine was among those who volunteered to accompany him, and was subsequently made a Knight of Camelot alongside Lancelot, Elyan, and Percival. Arthur and his new knights then devised a plan to break Uther out of Camelot's dungeons: Merlin and Lancelot were to split off and disable the warning bell (though they were really planning to go after the Cup of Life) while Arthur, Gwaine, and the other knights proceeded on to the cells. Gwen and Gaius, meanwhile, were to remain in the Castle and prepare for any wounded.
The plan was carried out the next day. Arthur and the knights infiltrated the dungeons, Gwaine and Percival trapping a few of the soldiers in a cell and later managing to hold their own against those that remained. Arthur had just managed to free his father when the warning bell went off, alerting everyone in the citadel to their presence. With their escape route cut off, Arthur resolutely led the knights in battle against the immortal army. They held their position for several minutes, long enough for Merlin take out Morgause and empty the blood from the Cup of Life, which instantly destroyed the immortal soldiers. At some point in the fight Gwaine became separated from the others, and though this wasn't discovered until after the army had been destroyed he soon revealed himself to be alive and relatively uninjured. Later, Gwaine accompanied the other Knights back to the Castle of Ancient Kings to escort Gwen home to Camelot (The Coming of Arthur).
The Darkest HourGwaine was still serving as a Knight of Camelot one year later. He proved to be as mischievous as ever, attempting to steal a roast chicken from the castle kitchens with Percival shortly before the Feast of Samhain (much to Merlin's amusement). Later, Gwaine was among the knights who rode out with Arthur to investigate reports of strange, faceless beings who had attacked one of Camelot's villages. They discovered that the attacks were the work of the Dorocha, ghostly voices of the dead unleashed when Morgana tore the veil between the worlds on Samhain's Eve.
Gwaine later accompanied Arthur on his quest to repair the veil on the Isle of the Blessed along with Merlin and the other Knights of the Round Table. They made camp the first night at an old fortress called Daobeth, where Merlin was badly injured by the Dorocha. Lancelot volunteered to take the servant back to Camelot, and Arthur, Gwaine, and the other knights continued on with the quest. On Arthur's recommendation they took a shortcut through the Tunnels of Andor. Gwaine was not in favor of this plan, as the tunnels were crawling with Wildeorren, but ultimately went along with it. Using Gaia berries to mask their scents, the knights' trek through the tunnels went fairly well up until they came across a group of Wildeorren. They hid behind a shelf of rock, but one of the Wildeorren followed them and took a definite interest in Gwaine's scent, prompting the knight to kill it. This proved to be a mistake, as the creatures hunted in packs, and the knights were forced to exit the tunnels at a run.
After another day of traveling, the knights were eventually reunited with Merlin and Lancelot after making camp at another fortress. Relieved that they were safe and well, the knights joyfully welcomed the two back, Gwaine greeting the previously injured warlock with a hug. The group reached the Isle of the Blessed the following morning. They soon discovered that the Isle was guarded by Wyverns, prompting Leon, Elyan, and Percival to stay behind and fend them off while Arthur, Gwaine, Merlin, and Lancelot continued on to the stone alter. There they encountered the Cailleach, the Gatekeeper of the Spirit World, who refused to heal the veil unless given the sacrifice she desired. Gwaine attempted to make her do so by force, but was quickly knocked unconscious by her magic. When he eventually came to, the veil had been healed and Lancelot was dead, having sacrificed himself in Arthur's place.
Back in Camelot, Gwaine attended Lancelot's memorial alongside his fellow knights and the rest of the court, and was present when a funeral pyre containing Lancelot's cloak and sword was burned in the courtyard (The Darkest Hour).
Further AdventuresGwaine attended Arthur's birthday celebration along with the rest of the court. Later, after the death of King Uther, he also attended Arthur's coronation alongside the rest of the knights (The Wicked Day).
When it was discovered that Julius Borden was searching for the last live dragon egg in existence, Gwaine was among the knights that Arthur took to find and destroy it. Gwaine joined the others in playing a trick on Merlin during their journey, pretending to eat all the food and then producing the bowl they'd saved for him when he'd just about given up hope. As a result, he and the other knights were stricken ill when Julius poisoned their food, and had to be saved by Merlin's magic (Aithusa).
Gwaine was also present during the knights' ambush on King Caerleon's raiding party. When the king's wife, Queen Annis, subsequently declared war on Camelot, Gwaine accompanied his fellow knights and the rest of Camelot's army to the battle sight. He later joined the other Knights of the Round Table in trying to encourage Arthur by informing the prince of their readiness to die for him. When Arthur bargained with Annis for the war to be decided with a duel between two champions rather than a battle between armies, Gwaine was among those who volunteered to serve as Camelot's champion, and later watched Arthur fight from the ridge alongside Merlin and the rest of Camelot's army (His Father's Son).
Searching for Merlin
Gwaine was one of the knights who accompanied Arthur through the Valley of the Fallen Kings. The group was ambushed by Morgana's mercenaries during the ride, and Gwaine, Percival, and Leon were separated from Arthur and Merlin during the battle. They eventually found Arthur unharmed the next day, but Merlin, who had been injured during the battle, had been captured by the bandits.
After Sir Leon's search party failed to find any trace of Merlin (besides a bloody scrap of his jacket), Arthur decided to search for Merlin himself, and Gwaine accompanied him. The two spoke of Merlin during the ride back to the Valley, with Gwaine remarking, "You know what I like about Merlin? He never expects any praise. All these things he does just for the good of doing them." They located the servant soon after, covered in mud but otherwise unharmed. The three then returned to Camelot, unaware that Merlin had been implanted with a Fomorroh and was now under Morgana's control. Having been instructed by the witch to kill Arthur, Merlin laced the king's lunch with poison the next day. He ran into Gwaine on his way to Arthur's chambers. When the knight attempted to steal some of the king's food, he was perplexed by the servant's uncharacteristically rude response.
Later, Gwaine and the other Knights of the Round Table encountered Merlin (disguised as Dragoon the Great) while on patrol. The servant was attempting to mount his horse so he could ride to Morgana's hovel and free himself from the Fomorroh's control, but due to the effects of his ageing spell did not have the strength to manage it. Recognizing his disguise as the sorcerer supposedly responsible for Uther's death, the four knights tried to apprehend him but were quickly defeated by Merlin's magic, much to his glee. The servant then mounted his horse using the fallen knights as a staircase and went on his way (A Servant of Two Masters).
When it appeared that Gaius had turned traitor and subsequently fled Camelot, Gwaine was one of the few people who visited Merlin to see how he was coping. The servant was somewhat suspicious at first, saying that he was busy, but the knight was unbothered by Merlin's snappishness and offered to help. After a moment's hesitation, Merlin accepted. He showed Gwaine the dirt he'd found on Agravaine's boot, which the knight identified as iron ore. He told Merlin that he'd only seen iron ore once before in Camelot, while on patrol near the mines at the ridge of Kemeray.
Gwaine and Merlin quickly rode out to the mining caves. They were ambushed by Alator's bodyguard soon after they entered the tunnels, but Gwaine (aided by Merlin's magic) managed to fight him off. Reaching a fork in the tunnel, the two then split up. Gwaine's tunnel led him to the room where Gaius was being kept, where he caught Agravaine hovering over the physician with a knife. Gwaine was immediately suspicious of the nobleman, accusing him of being Gaius's kidnapper, but Agravaine managed to persuade Gwaine otherwise. He claimed that the guards at Camelot's gates had seen Gwaine and Merlin leave and, knowing how concerned Merlin was about Gaius, he decided to follow them. As for the knife, he claimed that he was just using the blade to check if the physician was still breathing.
Gwaine, though still somewhat uneasy of the nobleman, nevertheless accepted his explanations. The knight then suggested that they find Merlin, but Agravaine quickly objected, saying that Gaius needed immediate attention and Merlin could find his own way back. Though obviously unhappy about it, Gwaine nevertheless escorted the two back to Camelot, leaving Merlin behind. When they arrived at the citadel, Gwaine carried Gaius up to his chambers and informed Arthur that the physician had indeed been kidnapped, just as Merlin had suspected (The Secret Sharer).
LamiaWhen the village of Longstead was stricken with severe illness, Gwaine and the other Knights of the Round Table were tasked with escorting Gwen and Merlin there to provide treatment. Though Merlin did what he could, his prescriptions proved ineffective and it started to appear as though sorcery might be involved. The group started back to Camelot the next morning, intending to inform Arthur of their suspicions and return later with Gaius, who had remained in Camelot to treat a sudden outbreak of sweating sickness.
At some point in their journey they came across a group of bandits camped out in the forest. They initially planned to go around the group, hopefully remaining unnoticed in the process, but Gwaine observed that the bandits had apparently captured a young girl. The knights hurried down to the encampment, killing the bandits and rescuing the girl without much trouble. Identifying herself as Lamia, the girl appeared to be both terrified and distrustful, particularly of Merlin. She soon began to exert a strange control over the knights; they became increasingly possessive of her and aggressive towards each other, which eventually culminated in a fight between Gwaine and Leon. They also forgot the original purpose of their journey - to save the village - concerned only with doing what Lamia suggested they do.
The morning after the fight, the knights awoke to find that Elyan, who was supposed to be on guard, was missing. They found him unconscious in the woods, apparently suffering from the same sickness as the people of Longstead. Though Merlin tried to convince the knights to get Elyan back to Camelot for treatment, they - under Lamia's influence - insisted on taking shelter in a deserted castle instead. When Lamia disappeared almost immediately after they arrived at the castle, Percival and Leon quickly left to search for her while Gwen and Merlin set up camp in a nearby room. Gwaine originally stayed with them, but soon left to gather firewood and quickly became Lamia's next victim.
It wasn't long before the Leon and Percival met the same fate, leaving Merlin and Gwen to face the Lamia themselves. Merlin managed to stab her with a sword during their initial confrontation, but Lamia responded by transforming into a snake-like monster. The monster then chased him through the castle until they reached Gwen, who attacked the monster with a sword when it managed to snatch Merlin. The monster seemed unaffected, however, and likely would have killed them both had Arthur not arrived and killed it. The unconscious knights were then taken back to Longstead, where Gaius treated them for their illness (Lamia).
Later AdventuresGwaine likely participated in the jousting tournament that Arthur held as an engagement present for Guinevere. He was later present in the dining hall when Lancelot recounted the story of how he survived the veil, and joined the other knights in welcoming him back (Lancelot du Lac).
Gwaine was with Arthur, Merlin, and the other Knights when the group came across the remains of a Druid camp. At some point in the day he drank all of Elyan's water, which resulted in the younger knight drinking from the Druids' abandoned well. Back at Camelot, Gwaine teased Merlin about his superstitiousness, and later went to check on Elyan when he heard him cry out in the night.
The next day, Gwaine attended training with Arthur and the other Knights, and was present in the armoury when Elyan suddenly seemed to go mad. He ultimately had to knock the younger knight out, and asked Gaius not to tell Arthur what had happened, lest the king think that Elyan's loyalties were divided following Gwen's banishment. Later, when Elyan attempted to kill Arthur, Gwaine searched the castle for him together with Percival and Leon, eventually apprehending him in a castle corridor (A Herald of the New Age).
Some time later, Gwaine attended Arthur's announcement detailing Camelot's new agreement with Nemeth and his imminent marriage to Princess Mithian. He was present at the Princess's arrival alongside the rest of the court, and likely took part in the hunting party Arthur organized for her (The Hunter's Heart).
Imprisonment by MorganaWhen Morgana and her ally Helios launched a surprise attack on Camelot during the Feast of Beltane, Gwaine was the one who informed Arthur. Gwaine was ordered to secure the armoury, but was eventually forced to retreat to an inner chamber. He and Percival barricaded the doors while Gaius and Merlin saw to Arthur's wounds. Later, he stayed behind with Gaius while Merlin and Percival escorted Arthur out of Camelot.
Gwaine and Gaius were soon captured by Morgana and imprisoned in Camelot's dungeons. They were soon joined by Elyan after Morgana finished torturing him for information on Arthur's whereabouts. When the trio were eventually paid a visit by Morgana some days later, Gwaine demanded that they be given food, pleading particularly on behalf of Gaius. Morgana responded to his request by forcing Gwaine to fight for her army's entertainment. When he managed to defeat his first opponent he was given a small piece of bread, and informed that he would have to fight better if he wanted more. Two more men were then selected to fight Gwaine.
This arrangement continued throughout the week that Gwaine, Elyan, and Gaius were Morgana's prisoners. All three were starving and Gwaine worn from fighting, but he remained optimistic throughout his ordeal; when the guards came to take him to fight again, he blithely remarked, "Don't worry, at least we'll get to eat." He was released in the throne room and given only a wooden dagger to fight with. Nevertheless, he was able to defeat his two opponents, earning a small loaf of bread as a reward. When Morgana threw it into the cell with him afterward she told him to enjoy his meal, as she feared it would be his last, implying that the next time he fought the match would be so unfair he would have no hope of winning.
However, unbeknownst to Morgana, Arthur and his allies were preparing to retake Camelot. Gwaine, Elyan, and Gaius were soon freed from the dungeons by Percival and Leon, who were greatly relieved to see them. Though weakened by their ordeal, the three ultimately recovered enough to be able to attend the wedding of Arthur and Guinevere, as well as Gwen's coronation (The Sword in the Stone).
Journey to IsmereThree years later, Gwaine was in charge of leading a patrol of sixty knights (one of whom was Percival) to the northern kingdom of Ismere. The patrol was attacked by magical wolves that appeared to be controlled by Morgana. He and the other knights were then taken to the fortress she was occupying with her Saxon allies, where they were added to the ranks of slaves forced to dig for some sort of Key.
Though the knights were scattered throughout the caves, Gwaine and Percival managed to stay together. Eventually they located the rest of their men, who had been keeping an ear out for any useful information and steadily passing it on to Gwaine and Percival. One night, Gwaine noticed an odd blue light flickering in the caverns that disappeared before he could wake Percival to show him. The light reappeared a little while later, prompting Gwaine to follow it. However, he was knocked unconscious by two guards before he could get close enough to tell what it was. After the guards left, Gwaine was approached by a strange glowing creature that used magic to heal his wounds.
Gwaine woke some time later to find the creature watching over him. The creature treated him kindly, assuring him that he had nothing to fear from it and waving away his thanks with the statement, "I know that you are worthy of my help." When Gwaine mused that he'd never seen a creature like it before, it explained to him how it was the last of its kind and encouraged him to rest, as his wounds were not yet fully healed. It woke him some time later when the warning bell went off. Gwaine struggled to stand and picked up a torch, telling his new friend not to worry, as he would make sure that no one harmed it. Preparing himself to attack, he was relieved when the intruders turned out to be Arthur and Merlin, who had set out with the other knights to look for him after they discovered that his patrol had disappeared. Though Gwaine intended to introduce the two to the creature as friends, he turned just in time to see it disappearing around a corner, telling a bemused Arthur that he didn't know what the creature was, but that he owed it his life.The three continued on through the tunnels, Arthur and Merlin supporting Gwaine, who was still wounded. When they spotted a dragon in the caverns, Merlin ran out to distract it and Arthur went after him, leaving Gwaine on his own. He was eventually rescued by Percival and the other knights, who had freed themselves and dispatched the guards soon after Arthur and Merlin had arrived. Later, back at Camelot, he attended Mordred's knighting ceremony alongside the rest of the court (Arthur's Bane).
Rescuing King Rodor
Some time later, Morgana formed an alliance with King Odin to conquer the kingdom of Nemeth, capturing its King, Rodor, and Princess Mithian in the process. Mithian later fled to Camelot accompanied by her maidservant, Hilda. There she enlisted Arthur's help to rescue her father, who had escaped with her but been too injured to make the full trip. Gwaine was among the knights that Arthur took with him on the journey, along with Merlin, Gaius, the princess, and her maidservant.
At some point in their journey Mithian attempted to warn Merlin that "Hilda" was really Morgana in disguise, and that she was forcing the princess to lead Arthur into a trap. However, Morgana caught him before he could inform Arthur, using her magic to throw him into a tree and choke him into unconsciousness. She then alerted the others to Merlin's location, telling Gaius that he must have fallen and hit his head. Anxious to reach Mithian's father before Odin's men caught him, Arthur ultimately decided to continue on to Nemeth, ordering Gwaine to remain behind with Merlin and Gaius.
Gwaine was deeply concerned about Merlin's injuries, growing worried when the servant failed to regain consciousness. Eventually Gaius sent the anxious knight to gather firewood. When he returned, Merlin was awake and determined to go after Arthur, who he said was walking into a trap. The two hurried to the Tomb of Ashkanar, where Mithian's father was supposed to be hiding out, but arrived to find that Arthur and his men had already been captured. The two split up at this point, Merlin sneaking into the tomb to find Arthur while Gwaine searched for the rest of the knights. He soon came across a guard relieving himself next to a tree. Taking advantage of the guard's preoccupation, Gwaine quickly knocked the man out and stole his crossbow, which he used to shoot the guards surrounding the knights (Another's Sorrow).
The DisirGwaine was one of the knights who accompanied Arthur on the search for the sorcerer Osgar. He joined the other knights in teasing Mordred along the way, and when the group decided to split up to search the forest, Gwaine went with Elyan. They were the first to find the sorcerer, surrounding him and attempting to apprehend him on their own. Osgar fought back, using his magic to throw the knights into a tree, though not before Gwaine pierced him with his sword. The wound proved to be a fatal one, the sorcerer dying moments later, and Gwaine's injuries were treated by Merlin back at camp.
Later, Gwaine went with Arthur and the other Knights to the White Mountains to answer the judgement of the Disir. He quickly grew angry at the way that the council spoke to Arthur, which resulted in the Disir using their magic to throw him against a cave wall (The Disir).
The Dark Tower
Gwaine was one of the knights who escorted Gwen and Elyan when they went to visit their father's grave. The group was attacked by snakes sent by Morgana on the way back, with Percival and Leon quickly falling victim to their bites. Gwaine and Elyan urged Guinevere to ride on without them, but to no avail; she was soon kidnapped. Later, after Percival and Leon had recovered, Arthur and the Knights (and Merlin) set out to search for her. They discovered her horse abandoned in the woods, as well as a trail leading east.
The knights followed the trail until it was too dark to continue, and Arthur reluctantly allowed them to stop for the night. Though there was some concern that they may have already lost the trail, Percival and Leon woke in the night having had the same nightmare of a tower beyond a forest and a plain. This led Arthur to believe that Gwen was being taken to the Dark Tower. He was resolved to journey there alone, but the other knights and Merlin insisted on going with him. They rode on until they reached a cliff that gave them a clear view of the Tower, as well as the first obstacle that stood between them and it: the Impenetrable Forest.
The knights spent most of the day hacking their way through the forest, Percival breaking a sword on the dense foliage and Gwaine tearing his cloak. Eventually they came to the realization that they'd been going in circles. Discouraged, they made camp for the night and set out again in the morning, intending to find their way back to the clearing they'd first seen the Tower from. However, Merlin managed to convince them that he could find the way out, and (using his magic) successfully did so. Free of the forest, the knights then arrived at their second obstacle: the Dollares Plains.
The knights journeyed across the plains to the Tower, dealing with both a blistering sun and blistering feet along the way. Eventually they arrived at their destination, where they made their way up a staircase that led them to room filled with booby-traps, including one that set off darts. Elyan was the first to make it passed the traps, and immediately pressed on without waiting for the others, determined to rescue his sister. When the knights finally caught up to him, they found Gwen unharmed and Elyan lying dead in her arms.
Some time later, Arthur was ambushed by bandits while out riding with Guinevere on their anniversary. When it was discovered that his saddle had been tampered with, Gwaine was one of the knights sent to arrest the king's stablehand, Tyr Seward. As such, he was present in the council chambers when Tyr was questioned and sentenced to death.
Later, he was a member of the patrol that nearly discovered Gwen and Morgana conspiring in the woods. Gwaine very nearly caught her, but Morgana used magic to pull him off his horse, allowing Gwen to escape. He was taken back to Camelot and examined by Gaius, who determined that he had no broken bones, but ordered him to rest anyway.
When it was discovered that Arthur had been poisoned, Gwaine was present with the other knights when Gaius made his diagnosis and Gwen accused Merlin of the crime. Later, when Merlin escaped the dungeons disguised as Dragoon, Gwaine was one of the knights who pursued him through the castle corridors and out into the courtyard. He was also among the knights who went to inform Gwen that there was an intruder in the castle. He escorted her to the guest chambers, where she would be safe.
Gwaine was among the knights present in the courtyard when Sarrum of Amata arrived to discuss an alliance with Arthur. Later, he and rest of the court assembled in the council chambers to witness the two kings sign a treaty that would establish an alliance between their kingdoms (The Hollow Queen).
When Arthur learned that Gwen was being controlled by Morgana, he, Merlin, and Gaius conspired to drug her and take her to the Cauldron of Arianrohd, where she could be restored to her true self. Merlin and Gaius attempted to smuggle her out of the castle in a wheelbarrow, but were intercepted by Mordred and Gwaine. Though the physician managed to maintain their cover by telling the knights that they were transporting a victim of Red Thrush Fever, Gwaine was somewhat skeptical, as he'd never heard of the illness before. Nevertheless, he allowed them to continue on their way. He also expressed some concern for the supposed victim, asking for their name so that he might send something to their family (With All My Heart).
Some time later, Gwaine, Mordred, and the other Knights were sent on a patrol to locate a renegade sorceress and her accomplice. They ran into Merlin in the woods, who claimed to be gathering herbs for Gaius. Though Merlin wanted to return to Camelot in light of their errand, the knights placed him under protective custody instead, as they didn't want him traveling alone with both a dangerous sorceress and Saxons on the loose. However, Mordred allowed Merlin to leave during the night, and the knights continued their patrol.
The next day they came across the body of a knight whose face had been covered with excess skin. They rushed the knight back to Camelot, where Gaius identified the disfigurement as a ragaid, a magical declaration of war (The Kindness of Strangers).
Gwaine later accompanied Arthur, Merlin, and the other Knights on a hunting trip, during which they came across a dead Camelot patrol. Determining the scene to be the result of a Saxon raid, the group searched for survivors and then returned to Camelot. One of the raiders (Kara) was eventually caught, shortly after which Gwaine and Leon interrupted a disagreement between Merlin and Mordred, both of whom refused to discuss their problem.
Later, Gwaine attended Kara's trial in the council chambers, during which she was sentenced to death. When Mordred responded to this by breaking her out of prison and running off with her - Kara killing a guard in the escape - Gwaine was one of the knights that Arthur took with him to apprehend them. They caught up to the two in the woods, where Mordred begged the king to allow them to leave, promising that they would never return. He appealed to several of the Knights for help, including Gwaine, but all remained loyal to Arthur.
Gwaine was later present in the council chamber when Arthur attempted to offer Kara a deal, promising to spare her from the death penalty if she repented of her crimes. Kara refused, and was executed the following morning, shortly after which Mordred escaped from the cells (The Drawing of the Dark).
The Battle of Camlann
Gwaine was one of the knights present during Morgana and Mordred's attack on Fort Stowell. He intervened in the capture of the a young blonde woman, Eira, who ultimately saved his life when the Saxon he was fighting elbowed him to the ground. She hit the Saxon over the head with a piece of wood, which gave Gwaine the opening he needed to end the fight. Gwaine later took Eira back to Camelot with him, where her wounds were treated by Merlin. When she asked about her family, Gwaine was forced to deliver the devastating news that she was the only survivor of the attack on her village, and tried to comfort her by promising that she would be safe in Camelot.
Gwaine attended the meeting of the Round Table alongside his fellow knights and the rest of the court. They discussed Morgana's attack on the garrison and her obvious plans for war, and Arthur made the decision to make their stand at Camlann rather than the Citadel in order to minimize civilian casualties. Later, Merlin enlisted Gwaine to escort him to the Valley of the Fallen Kings, an errand that the knight later shared with Eira. The Valley was crawling with bandits, some of whom attacked the two during their journey, but Gwaine managed to fight them off. When they eventually reached Merlin's destination, a cave, the servant sent Gwaine back to Camelot, saying that he could make his own way from there. Confused and somewhat concerned by Merlin's odd behavior, Gwaine nevertheless did as he asked and left to catch up to Camelot's army, though he insisted that Merlin take his sword.
Gwaine presumably rejoined Camelot's forces after they'd set up camp at Camlann. When Arthur realized that Morgana intended to use a hidden path through the mountains to ambush them, Gwaine and Percival were ordered to take a patrol of men and find it. Arthur and the rest of Camelot's forces joined them after they'd located the path, and together they waited for Morgana's army to arrive.
Gwaine survived the Battle of Camlann, and likely took part in the search for Arthur afterward. He eventually returned to Camelot with the rest of Camelot's army when no trace of the king could be found (The Diamond of the Day).
Gaius eventually returned to Camelot with the news that Arthur had been badly wounded and Merlin was taking him somewhere to be healed, as well as with suspicions that Eira was a traitor. Gwaine was asked to help him and Gwen set a trap for her, which he did by sharing false information with her on where he believed Arthur and Merlin to be heading. Gwaine was heartbroken when he caught her sending the information to Morgana, and watched her execution from a castle window the following day. Furious with Morgana and hungry for revenge, Gwaine recruited Percival to his plans and the two knights rode out to find and kill her.
Knowing that Eira's message would lead Morgana to the forest near Brineved, the two knights lay in wait for her and set up an ambush. But though they succeeded in vanquishing what remained of her army, Percival even managing to land a blow on Morgana herself, their attack ultimately failed when Morgana easily knocked them out with her magic. When he regained consciousness some time later, Gwaine found himself tied between two trees some distance away from Percival. He was then tortured to the brink of death for information on Arthur's real whereabouts, and though Gwaine tried to resist, the pain of the Nathair's was too much for him, and he told Morgana what he knew.
Gwaine's tortured screams gave Percival the incentive to break free of his own bonds. He rushed to his friend's side, but it was too late; Morgana was gone, and Gwaine died in his arms moments later (The Diamond of the Day).
PersonalityGwaine was portrayed as a fun-loving, laidback, and highly loyal character, adamant in his belief that nobility should be defined by what a person did rather than who they were. As such, he was wholly dedicated to doing what he believed to be right, and though his introduction showed him to be a rather reckless and carefree man who thought about little more than ale and women, Arthur and Merlin soon discovered that he respected honour and loyalty above all else.
Gwaine displayed his selflessness and courage the two times he saved Arthur's life, the second time after having been banished by Uther under pain of death. Gwaine was also quite humble, refusing to reveal his noble heritage even when doing so would get him out of unwanted punishments, and was shown to highly value respect earned through action over prestige inherited through a title. He once told Merlin that if there was anything he'd learned from his father's life, it was that titles didn't mean anything compared to who a person was on the inside.
Gwaine initially tended to dislike people of noble blood, viewing them as corrupt, selfish, and power-hungry. However, he proved to be an astute judge of character, able to see the fairness and honesty of Arthur's actions and even referring to him as a friend at one point. He had a bit of a defiant streak and little respect for authority, on one occasion criticizing Uther in front of Arthur by saying that he might return one day, "When Camelot gets itself a half-decent king."
Gwaine had a very trusting nature, preferring to see the best in people and forming a fast friendship with Merlin. He also had a good sense of humour; he was frequently shown orchestrating jokes among the knights, was infamous for his endless (and often mindless) chatter, and was generally known to be a very cheerful and optimistic individual.
Interestingly, though Gwaine himself could not use magic he seemed to have fairly extensive knowledge of it. This was evident in his knowledge of Stulorne Blades, as well as his ability is recognize Wyverns from a great distance. Unlike most of Camelot's knights, Gwaine was generally quite accepting of magic and magical creatures. When he befriended the Euchdag, he thanked it for healing him and later told Arthur that he owed it his life, and though he threatened the sorcerer Dragoon on one occasion it was only because he recognized him as the man who had supposedly killed Uther.
Arthur PendragonGwaine and Arthur first met in a tavern brawl, during which Gwaine saved Arthur's life. Unaware that he was the Prince of Camelot, Gwaine's opinion of Arthur was immediately lowered when he found out, mostly due to his previous experiences with the nobility. He even told Merlin that if he had known who Arthur was, he probably wouldn't have saved him. However, Gwaine's opinion changed for the better when Arthur spoke up to his father on his behalf, proving that not all nobles were blinded by power, and he willingly returned to Camelot despite his banishment to save Arthur in the Mêlée (Gwaine). He was also willing to journey through the Perilous Lands to help Arthur with his quest (The Eye of the Phoenix), and though did agree to fight Arthur when Jarl told him to, this was only because the slaver would have had them both killed if one refused (The Coming of Arthur).
When Camelot was invaded by Cenred's immortal army, Gwaine was one of four commoners knighted by Arthur to fight alongside him in his mission to rescue Uther from Camelot's dungeons (The Coming of Arthur). Within a year he and the other Knights of the Round Table had become Arthur's most trusted knights, and regularly accompanied him on quests. Though Arthur could occasionally become annoyed with Gwaine's "mindless chatter", he generally enjoyed the knight's company and was frequently amused by his pranks and tendency to tease Merlin, though Gwaine was usually much kinder to the servant than Arthur was.
MerlinGwaine met Merlin during the same tavern brawl that he first met Arthur. He took an almost immediate liking to the warlock, and in time grew to trust him enough to share the truth about his noble birth, making Merlin the only other person in Camelot with knowledge of Gwaine's heritage. Gwaine immediately agreed to accompany Merlin to the Perilous Lands in order to help Arthur with his quest (The Eye of the Phoenix). When he later reunited with the two while being held prisoner by Jarl, he and Merlin were delighted to see each other, despite their predicament (The Coming of Arthur).
Though some distance grew between the two following Gwaine's knighthood, he and Merlin managed to remain close friends. The strength of their bond was shown when Gwaine was one of the few people who went to visit Merlin to see how he was coping when it looked as though Gaius had turned traitor. When Merlin confided his theory that Gaius had been abducted, Gwaine did not hesitate to help him rescue the physician (The Secret Sharer). Gwaine was also the only knight who was not openly hostile to Merlin when the knights were being controlled by Lamia, which implies that Merlin's friendship with Gwaine was stronger than his friendships with Leon, Elyan, and Percival (Lamia).
Guinevere PendragonGwaine was attracted to Guinevere from the moment he met her, and though she was not interested, she liked that he tried and that he knew when to give up. She gently rebuffed his attempts at cheerful flirtation, and was the last person Gwaine spoke to when he was banished from Camelot. Arthur, who - along with Merlin - was watching Gwaine's exit from the castle terrace, noted that they seemed "very friendly" and insisted that Gwen "could do better than that", though he denied having any interesting himself, much to Merlin's amusement (Gwaine).
Gwaine and Gwen were eventually reunited when Camelot was invaded by Cenred's immortal army. He was pleased to see her after her escape, and was later one of the knights who escorted her home to Camelot (The Coming of Arthur). Shortly after Morgana's second attack on Camelot, he looked on with his fellow knights, Merlin, Gaius, and the rest of the court as she was crowned Queen (The Sword in the Stone).
Though Gwaine no longer showed any romantic interest in Gwen after he was made a Knight of Camelot, this could be because he knew her to be in love with Arthur and didn't want to get in the way of their relationship.
Morgana PendragonDuring Gwaine's first visit to Camelot, Morgana was surprised at how skillful he was with a sword, managing to save Arthur from the two thugs who attempted to kill him (Gwaine). Morgana appeared to find Gwaine physically attractive, but was brutally antagonistic towards him. She appeared to derive a sadistic pleasure from watching him fight increasingly unfair battles with Helios's men, rewarding him with scraps of food each time he won. He, in turn, appeared unafraid of Morgana, reacting to each of her challenges with characteristic flippancy (The Sword in the Stone). Gwaine still appeared unafraid of her three years later, cheerfully remarking that they "should stop meeting like this" when he was captured and dragged before her throne (Arthur's Bane).
Morgana ultimately killed Gwaine following the Battle of Camlann, using a Nathair to torture him for information on Arthur's whereabouts and leaving him to die in Percival's embrace (The Diamond of the Day).
Fellow Knights of the Round Table, Gwaine and Leon grew to be good friends over time and usually worked well together. Gwaine seemed to add a little humour to Leon's personality; the two often joked around together and with others. When the knights were on a quest to find the last dragon egg, for example, the knights all joined in to play a joke on Merlin by appearing to eat all his dinner, only to reveal that they'd saved a bowl for him after all (Aithusa).
Leon was very patient with Gwaine; the only time the two ever fought was when they were both being controlled by the Lamia. Though Percival and Elyan managed to break it up before anyone was seriously injured, Gwaine slashed Leon's arm during the fight, the wound deep enough to require stitches (Lamia).
Elyan was another of Gwaine's fellow knights, as well as his good friend, though Elyan could occasionally find Gwaine's sense of humour annoying. When Gwaine drank all of his water during a patrol, for example, Elyan was not amused, though Gwaine merely laughed when he voiced his annoyance. However, Gwaine demonstrated how much he cared for Elyan later in the episode, when he was the first to rush in to help him when he was being haunted by the spirit from the shrine. He was also the first to note that Elyan hadn't been himself since his sister's banishment, and asked Gaius to keep Elyan's recent problems to himself, as he (and the other knights) didn't want Arthur to think that his loyalties were divided (A Herald of the New Age).
Elyan and Gwaine, along with Gaius, were among those imprisoned in Camelot's dungeons during Morgana's second attack on the kingdom. Gwaine was very concerned for his friend after Elyan was tortured for information, and Elyan displayed similar concern for Gwaine when Morgana repeatedly forced him to fight for her army's entertainment in exchange for food. When Leon and Percival eventually broke the three out of the dungeons and asked if they were all right, Elyan replied with good-natured bitterness, "I've been locked up with Gwaine for a week." (The Sword in the Stone).
Gwaine was later present at Elyan's funeral (The Dark Tower).
PercivalPerhaps the most mischievous of the Knights, Percival and Gwaine were close friends who loved to joke around together. While the castle was preparing for the Feast of Samhain, for example, the two (with Merlin's aid) stole a roast chicken from the castle kitchens, grinning like little boys (The Darkest Hour). The only time Gwaine and Percival were ever shown arguing was when they were enchanted by the Lamia.
Percival was the only person that Gwaine took with him on his quest for revenge against Morgana. The two worked well together, easily taking out what remained of her army, but were ultimately captured and defeated by the sorceress herself. Eventually, Gwaine's tortured screams gave Percival the strength to break the bonds that held him. But he arrived too late, and Gwaine died in his arms, having told Morgana where Arthur and Merlin were heading. Percival tried to reassure Gwaine during his last moments, insisting that Morgana had forced the information out of him. As he passed, Percival placed a kiss upon his forehead, a symbol of love and unity in Camelot. After Gwaine passed, Percival was deeply saddened, bowing his head in respect and shaking with anger and sorrow over the loss of his dear friends and fellow knight.
Both being Knights of Camelot, Gwaine and Mordred were close friends until Mordred betrayed them. Gwaine and the other Knights would often tease Mordred, treating him like a little brother (similar to the way they treated Merlin).
When Mordred was trapped in the forest, pleading with Arthur to allow him and Kara to go free, Gwaine was the first he turned to to ask for help. Gwaine hesitated for a moment, unsure, but ultimately set his feelings aside and remained loyal to Arthur (The Drawing of the Dark).
Gwaine first encountered the Euchdag in the caves beneath the Fortress of Ismere. The creature was kind to him, healing the injuries inflicted on him by Morgana's guards, for which Gwaine was very grateful. The two quickly became friends, and though Gwaine must have guessed that the Euchdag was a creature of magic, he never displayed any distrust or hostility toward it. Instead he was quite protective of his new friend, warning it to hide when the warning bell sounded and preparing to fight to defend it despite the fact that he was not yet completely healed. When Arthur later caught a glimpse of the creature and asked what it was, Gwaine admitted that he wasn't sure, but was certain that he owed it his life (Arthur's Bane).
Interestingly, Gwaine is the only non-magical main character to befriend a creature of magic, (not including those who have befriended Merlin or other human magic users).
EiraGwaine first met Eira when she was being attacked by a Saxon in one of Camelot's villages. He rescued her and took her back to the citadel, where Merlin treated her leg wound. Gwaine was the one to inform her that she was the only survivor from her village, and promised that she would be safe in Camelot.
Gwaine quickly fell in love with her, only to discover that she had been using him to get information for Morgana. Hurt and betrayed, Gwaine watched as she sent a message to Morgana telling her where Gwaine had told her Arthur and Merlin were headed. Gwen then came in and explained to Eira that the location had been false, a trap set for her. The next day Gwaine watched Eira's execution from a castle window, with only Percival to comfort him (The Diamond of the Day).
AbilitiesGwaine was an exceptionally skilled swordsman with a very unique fighting style; Merlin was able to recognize him by it even when he was in armour, and when Gwaine unmasked himself following the Mêlée Arthur ruefully commented, "I should have known... Nobody fights like you do." (Gwaine) Gwaine's skill with a sword was such that he became the champion of the slave trader Jarl, and was able to hold his own in a fight against Arthur when the two were forced to duel one another (though it should be noted that neither he nor Arthur were truly trying to hurt each other) (The Coming of Arthur). Gwaine was only defeated in combat once, when Alator's bodyguard Orn ambushed him and likely would have killed him had Merlin not used his magic to intervene (The Secret Sharer).
Gwaine was also skilled in hand to hand combat. He managed to hold his own against Arthur after their duel devolved into a wrestling match (The Coming of Arthur), and frequently participated in tavern brawls (Gwaine, The Eye of the Phoenix). His most notable feat in unarmed combat likely occurred during his imprisonment by Morgana following her second attack on Camelot. The sorceress took to entertaining her army by forcing Gwaine to duel Helios's warriors in exchange for scraps of food. Though Gwaine was allowed a weapon at the beginning, Morgana made the matches increasingly unfair until he was expected to fight off multiple armed opponents with only a wooden dagger and his bare hands. Impressively, he succeeded (The Sword in the Stone).
Gwaine also displayed a surprising knowledge of magic. He knew that Stulorne Blades were forged using sorcery, even claiming to have seen them in action (Gwaine), and was able to recognize Wyverns from a great distance (The Eye of the Phoenix). However, he was unable to use magic himself.
- Gwaine is a masculine name of Welsh origin. The name is a variant of the name Gavin, which means "white hawk".
- It may also be a derivative of the Welsh name Gwyar, which means "bloodshed".
- Other spellings of Gwaine include Gawain, Gawaine, Gauvain, Gawayn, Gawayne, Gawen, and Gwayne.
- The Darkest Hour: Part One
- The Darkest Hour: Part Two
- The Wicked Day (cameo)
- His Father's Son
- A Servant of Two Masters
- The Secret Sharer
- Lancelot Du Lac (cameo)
- A Herald of the New Age
- The Hunter's Heart (cameo)
- The Sword in the Stone: Part One
- The Sword in the Stone: Part Two
- Arthur's Bane: Part One
- Arthur's Bane: Part Two
- The Death Song of Uther Pendragon
- Another's Sorrow
- The Disir
- The Dark Tower
- A Lesson in Vengeance
- The Hollow Queen (cameo)
- With All My Heart
- The Kindness of Strangers
- The Drawing of the Dark
- The Diamond of the Day: Part One
- The Diamond of the Day: Part Two (Death)
- Gwaine is the third knight to have an episode named after him, after Valiant and Lancelot.
- Other than Arthur, Gwaine is the knight most likely to get himself into trouble (i.e. tavern brawls), and almost always drags Arthur and Merlin into it.
- The ring seen on Gwaine's necklace is actually his portrayer, Eoin Macken's, father's wedding ring.
In the LegendsSir Gawain was a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian Legend. He appeared in more tales than any other knight, though he was rarely the chief hero. His character is believed to be based on Arthur's nephew Gwalchmai from The Mabinogion. Calm, considerate, and polite, Gwalchmai was said to achieve more with kindness and understanding than most knights did with a sword. Similarly, Gawain was known to be a formidable warrior, courteous and compassionate, a friend to young knights and a defender of the poor. He was also an ardent defender of women, a trait which led to him being known as "The Maidens' Knight".
In earlier tales, Gawain was portrayed as an ideal or perfect knight, one against whom other knights were measured. French writers, however, took to portraying him as an antihero and a womanizer - Prose Tristan and other novels sometimes even characterized him as a villain and a murderer - and in French romances he was often supplemented by other heroes (such as Percival and Lancelot) who would prove morally superior to Gawain, mostly due to his tendency to follow the rules of courtliness to the letter rather than the spirit. This version of the character was largely unpopular, and was not prevalent in most later works. However, some traces of it survived in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. There he was portrayed as being intensely loyal to Arthur, and often exhibited such traits as honesty, loyalty, and bravery, though he could also at times be ruthless, vengeful, and cunning. Scholars are split about this Gawain; some think that he was inconsistently written, while others find him to be a complex, realistic (e.g. flawed) character. These flaws are also explored in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, during which he experiences a brief fall from grace as he struggles with his inner demons.
Gawain is generally portrayed as the son of King Lot and Morgause (or Anna) of Orkney and Lothian, and his brothers (or half-brothers) are Agravain, Gaheris, Gareth, and Mordred. According to some legends, he would have been the true and rightful heir of the throne of Camelot following Arthur's reign. He is credited with at least three children: Florence, Lovell, and Gingalain, the latter of whom is also called Libeaus Desconus or Le Bel Inconnu, the Fair Unknown.
|Kingdom of Camelot|
| Queen: Guinevere Pendragon|
Court Physician: Gaius
Keeper of the Royal Library: Geoffrey of Monmouth
Knights: Sir Leon • Sir Percival • Sir Brennis • Sir Cador • Sir Geraint
Other Allies: Merlin • Annis • Odin • Rodor • Mithian • Godwyn • Bayard • Elena • Alined • The Euchdag • Vivian • Olaf
Former Allies: Morgana Pendragon † • Nimueh † • Cedric †? • Cornelius Sigan † • Tristan de Bois † • Lady Catrina † • Edwin Muirden † • Uther Pendragon † • Agravaine de Bois †• Sefa• Mordred †