- This article is about the deceased knight, Lancelot, for the episode he is introduced in, see: Lancelot, and for the Shade version of the character, see Lancelot (Shade).
Sir Lancelot was a Knight of the Round Table. He was one of the first to discover Merlin's magic and was known to be in love with Guinevere. Many (including Arthur Pendragon) regarded him as the noblest of Camelot's Knights, especially after sacrificed himself on the Isle of the Blessed.
Little is known about Lancelot's early life. He once told Merlin that his family was killed when his village was attacked by bandits. Devastated, he vowed that he would never again be helpless in the face of tyranny. He dedicated his life to the study of swordsmanship and combat, likely living the life of a wanderer until he was ready to set forth for Camelot (Lancelot).
Lancelot first met Merlin when the warlock was attacked by a Griffin in the woods outside Camelot. He rushed to his aid and attacked the creature with his sword, driving it back long enough for them to escape.
Merlin and Lancelot took to one another right off and before Lancelot was telling the warlock all about himself and his life's dream to join the Knights of Camelot. Bashful, he admitted that he was probably expecting too much and that they had no reason to choose him when they had their pick of the best in the land, but Merlin supportively assured him that he was skilled enough to shame Arthur himself. He promised to speak with the prince and put in a good word for him, but in the process he learned about the First Code of Camelot, which decreed that only men of noble blood were allowed to serve as knights.
Seeing how the news upset Lancelot, Merlin used his magic to create a seal of nobility identifying him as the fifth son of Lord Eldred of Northumbria. He hoped that he could use it to pose as a nobleman long enough for Arthur to give him a chance. Lancelot refused to go along with it at first, as lying went against everything that the knights stood for, but Merlin managed to win him over by explaining that he only needed to pretend long enough to get his foot in the door. After that, he would be judged on his own merit, and if he succeeded and they made him a knight it would be because he'd earned it, noble or not.
Once Lancelot was on board, Merlin asked his friend Guinevere (a seamstress) to provide clothes and armour to help him look the part. Lancelot was quite taken with her and appeared to find her attractive. He instinctively addressed her as "my Lady" (despite her bashful protests) and was pleased to learn that she and Merlin were just friends.
The next day, Gwen and Merlin helped Lancelot into the knight costume she'd made and then watched from the sidelines as he approached Arthur about trying out for the knights. The prince seemed unimpressed with him at first, testing his reflexes and then dismissively telling him to come back when he was ready, but reconsidered when Lancelot insisted that he was ready now. He assigned Lancelot a number of menial chores, after which he gave him a second chance to prove himself by challenging him to a duel using brooms as staffs. The fight gave Arthur a more favorable impression of Lancelot's skills, and he agreed to let him start basic training.Meanwhile, the Griffin was still at large in Camelot and had taken to attacking villages. When the King realized that it was heading south towards the city, Arthur was ordered to prepare his knights to face it, and the prince decided to move Lancelot's knighthood test forward in order to have as many knights at his disposal as possible.
The test required Lancelot to last one minute in a duel against Arthur. They appeared to be evenly matched throughout most of the fight, but Lancelot ultimately emerged the victor after he feigned defeat to catch Arthur off guard. He was knighted before the court sometime afterwards.
Now a full fledged Knight of Camelot, Lancelot's deception appeared to have been a success, but unfortunately not everyone was convinced that he was really of noble blood. Noting that the last time he'd seen Lord Eldred he'd only had four sons, Uther ordered the court genealogist to make sure that Lancelot's seal of nobility was genuine. When it was discovered to be a forgery, he was stripped of his knighthood and thrown in jail.
Later that day, Arthur went to visit Lancelot and told him that his father had ordered him and the knights to hunt down the Griffin. He released Lancelot from prison and told him that there was a horse waiting for him outside, which led Lancelot to believe that Arthur wanted him to accompany him. Much to his surprise, however, the prince refused to let him fight alongside them and ordered him to leave Camelot before his father found out that he'd been released.
Though he understood what Arthur was trying to do for him, Lancelot refused to leave him to face the Griffin alone. He went to Gwen's house and asked to borrow any weapons and armour that she could spare. He explained that it was his duty to protect Arthur whether he was a knight or not, and though Gwen begged him not to go she understood why he must. She refused to let him ride into danger alone, however, and quickly ran to tell Merlin what he was up to, which led the warlock to accompany him.When Merlin and Lancelot finally found the Griffin, not a single knight was left standing and Arthur had been badly injured. Seeing that the creature was about to attack, Lancelot quickly mounted his horse and charged at it with his lance, which Merlin then enchanted so that it would have the power to kill the Griffin. The spell was successful and the creature was killed.
As Lancelot reined his horse around, the warlock noticed Arthur stirring and hastily returned to Camelot. Consequently, when the prince regained consciousness he saw Lancelot alone near the dead Griffin and assumed that he had singlehandedly killed it. Overjoyed, he dragged Lancelot back to Camelot and demanded that his father reinstate Lancelot's knighthood. The King refused and offered to pardon Lancelot for lying instead, but Arthur objected that that wasn't good enough and insisted that he be restored to his rightful place.
Lancelot, however, had other ideas. He'd seen Merlin enchant the lance and knew that he was really the one responsible for killing the Griffin, and though the warlock was willing to let him claim the accomplishment he refused to take credit for something he hadn't done. As such, he apologized for how his lies had created conflict between Arthur and his father and told them that he wished to start over again elsewhere with the hope that maybe one day fate would grant him another chance to become a Knight of Camelot. They accepted his decision, and he left the following day (Lancelot).
Reunited with GuinevereLancelot fell upon hard times after he departed from Camelot. He discovered that there were few opportunities for men like himself, and eventually wound up earning a living by fighting for other peoples' entertainment. The work was a far cry from his previous ambition to become a Knight, and as time went on he began to feel that his life had little meaning.
At some point Lancelot began working for a man called Hengist, a ruthless bandit who lived near the Mercian border. His job was to entertain the bandit by fighting in cage matches, and during one such event he discovered Guinevere among the guests at Hengist's table. Though surprised to see her in such a place, Lancelot soon realized that something was amiss when the bandit introduced her as the Lady Morgana. When Gwen made no move to correct him, Lancelot smoothly played along and pretended not to know her, thus maintaining her deception.
Later that day, Lancelot snuck into the dungeons where Gwen was being held and asked her what was going on. She explained that Hengist thought that she was Morgana and was attempting to hold her for ransom. She had managed to maintain the deception well enough, but she feared that once it became clear Uther wasn't going to pay, Hengist would realize the truth and have her killed. Seeing her distress, Lancelot promised that he wouldn't let anything happen to her, and that whatever it took, he would find a way to help her escape.
Determined to keep his promise, Lancelot devised a plan to drug the guards outside her cell. Once he was sure that they were unconscious, he retrieved Gwen from her cell and they escaped into a tunnel together, but unfortunately Gwen's absence was discovered before they could get very far. After assessing the situation, Lancelot directed her to a tunnel that would lead her beyond the castle walls and promised to buy her as much time as he could. When Gwen refused to leave him to die, Lancelot told her that he would die for her one times over, and asked her to live for him, "or everything that I am has been for nothing." Gwen was deeply touched by his words, and they kissed.
When they finally pulled away, Gwen reluctantly ran on into the tunnels while Lancelot stayed behind to fight off Hengist's men. He was eventually captured and sentenced to death. The bandits tied him up and imprisoned him in the same cage that he'd once fought in, where they planned to execute him by feeding him to the Wildeorren.
Hengist tried to taunt him about his fate, gleefully promising him that he would feel the most unimaginable pain, but Lancelot confidently replied that he didn't care what the bandit did with him so long as no harm could come to Guinevere. Much to Lancelot's horror, however, Hengist chose that moment to reveal that Gwen had been captured as well, and would be devoured by the Wildeorren alongside him.
Fortunately, Arthur and Merlin (who had disobeyed the King and gone after Gwen) managed to rescue them before they could be eaten. Later, after the group made camp on their way back to Camelot, Lancelot began to question why Arthur had come after Gwen without the aid of his knights. Defensive, the prince replied that he'd only come because Morgana had begged him, but Lancelot wasn't fooled. He began to wonder if Arthur might also have feelings for Gwen, a hunch that was soon proven correct by a conversation with Merlin. Determined not to come between them, Lancelot asked Merlin to tell Gwen that she'd changed him forever, but that some things could not be, and quietly departed during the night (Lancelot and Guinevere).
A wanderer once more, Lancelot presumably picked up where he left off, finding work where he could and honing his skills as a warrior. At some point his travels brought him to a place called Haldor, where he received a message from Merlin requesting his aid after Camelot was conquered by Morgause and Morgana's immortal army.
Accompanied by his friend Percival, Lancelot caught up with Merlin, Arthur, and their allies in the woods outside Camelot. When they saw that the group was being pursued by soldiers, Percival and Lancelot dropped boulders to block the path behind them, halting the pursuit and ensuring their escape. They later accompanied the group to the Castle of the Ancient Kings, where Arthur revealed his intentions to infiltrate the citadel and free his father. Lancelot was the first to volunteer to join him, declaring that Arthur had taught him the value of being a knight and that he believed in the world that he would build, and was subsequently made a Knight of Camelot alongside Gwaine, Elyan, and Percival.
Later that night, Merlin congratulated Lancelot on his new status and told him about his plan to go after the Cup of Life. The warlock explained that the Cup was the source of the army's immortality, and that if he could find it and empty it of the blood that it contained, Morgana's army would be destroyed and she would be powerless. The only thing that Merlin hadn't figured out was how he was going to get to the Cup without Arthur knowing. Determined to accompany the warlock on his mission, Lancelot replied, "Leave that to me."
The next day, while Arthur and his new knights were devising a plan to rescue his father from Camelot's dungeons, Lancelot volunteered to disable the castle's warning bell. When he mentioned that he would need someone with him who knew the castle, Merlin volunteered to act as his guide, which gave them both an excuse to split off from the main group and search for the Cup of Life.
The plan was carried out later that day. Armed with a sword forged in a dragon's breath, Merlin and Lancelot battled their way through the castle, the sword easily destroyed any immortals they came across. Eventually, Merlin's sense of the Cup's power led them to the throne room, where they found it being guarded by six immortal soldiers. They quickly dispatched the immortals (Lancelot becoming injured in the process), then Merlin went for the Cup. Before he could reach it, however, Morgause arrived and used her magic to throw him into a wall.
Fortunately, the sorceress was prevented from killing them by Gaius, who used a spell to knock her off her feet. When she turned to focus her attention on the physician, Merlin used his own magic to throw her into a pillar, seriously injuring her, before using the sword to knock the Cup from its stand. The spilling of the blood broke the enchantment, and the immortal army was destroyed.
It was at this point that Morgana arrived. Horrified by her army's destruction and the sight of her sister unconscious on the floor, she swore that her vengeance was only just beginning. She began to scream in grief and rage, her magic amplifying her cries and reducing the council chambers to rubble. Fortunately, Merlin, Lancelot, and Gaius managed to escape before the room could collapse completely.
Time as a Knight
Lancelot was still serving as a Knight of Camelot one year later. He was among the members of the court who attended the Feast of Samhain, and at one point helped Gaius carry Merlin back to the physician's chambers after the warlock fainted during Arthur's speech.
Lancelot later accompanied Arthur and the other Knights of the Round Table when they went to investigate reports of strange, faceless beings attacking Camelot's villages. They discovered that the attacks were the work of the Dorocha, ghostly voices of the undead unleashed by Morgana when she tore the veil between the worlds on Samhain's Eve. Ordinary weapons could not kill them and they appeared to be immune to Merlin's magic; he found it difficult (if not impossible) to use it in their presence. However, the Dorocha could be repelled by fire, which Lancelot discovered when he used a torch to chase one away from Merlin.
When it was discovered that the Dorocha could only be banished by repairing the veil, Lancelot and the other Knights accompanied Arthur on his quest to the Isle of the Blessed. As they prepared to leave, Guinevere approached him and asked him for a favor. She wanted him to look after Arthur and ensure that he returned home, and Lancelot promised that he would protect the prince with his life. He was also concerned about Merlin, who was at a severe disadvantage since he couldn't use his magic to protect himself, and later tried to convince the warlock to return to Camelot before he got hurt. Merlin, however, refused to go home. He explained that it was his duty to protect Arthur, just as it was Lancelot's duty to protect Camelot no matter the cost.
The next night they made camp at an old fortress called Daobeth. They quickly paired off to search for firewood, but were unable to gather enough to last the night before the Dorocha arrived. Eventually, Merlin and Arthur were forced to leave the safety of the fire to search for more. Lancelot became worried when they failed to return, and with the fire dying and only one torch to share between them, he decided to lead the other Knights in search of them. They soon found them hiding within the fortress and arrived just in time to keep Arthur from becoming the Dorocha's next victim. However, they were not in time to save Merlin.
Surprisingly, Merlin survived his encounter with the Dorocha, but was badly injured and appeared to be dying. Grief-stricken, Arthur was determined to get Merlin back to Camelot before his condition got any worse, but Sir Leon quickly pointed out that hundreds more would perish in the time it would take for them to start the quest over.
Lancelot eventually solved the dilemma by volunteering to escort Merlin home while the others continued the quest. Arthur was uncertain about this plan, arguing that it would take them at least two or three days to reach Camelot on their own, but ultimately gave in when Lancelot pointed out that they could save time by cutting through the Valley of the Fallen Kings. After leaving the group behind, they traveled for most of the day without incident, but Merlin's condition steadily deteriorated to the point where he was unconscious when they finally stopped for the night.
As Lancelot tried to make Merlin comfortable next to a stream, he found himself being greeted by the Vilia, spirits of the brooks and streams that had been freed along with the Dorocha when Morgana tore the veil. They explained that tearing the veil had upset the balance of the world and that both Merlin and Lancelot would be needed to repair it. Because of this, the Vilia were willing to use their magic to heal Merlin and promised to stay with them and protect them from the Dorocha throughout the night.
The next morning, Lancelot woke to find Merlin's health restored and the warlock in question anxious to catch up with the others. After a day of riding they took shelter in a lodge in the woods, where they discovered the hunter that owned it frosted over at his table, another victim of the Dorocha. To ward off the chill, Merlin and Lancelot sat up drinking and talking long into the night. They discussed a number of things, including Lancelot's vow to Gwen and whether or not he still had feelings for her.
Eventually they both fell asleep in their chairs and the fire began to die down, leaving them vulnerable to the Dorocha. Luckily, Merlin was able to sense one approaching. He quickly woke Lancelot and used the last of his drink to revive the fire, which gave them enough time to escape. However, the Dorocha quickly recovered and chased them through the woods, prompting Merlin to call upon the Great Dragon for help.
Startled by the Dragon's arrival, Lancelot quickly drew his sword to attack it but stopped when Merlin assured him that they were in no danger. The warlock then proceeded to talk with the Dragon. He thanked it for its help, introduced Lancelot, and explained their errand to the Isle of the Blessed. It was during this conversation that Lancelot learned that a sacrifice was required to heal the veil, that Arthur intended to be that sacrifice, and that Merlin planned to offer himself in the prince's place. Humbled by his friend's selflessness, he later wondered if he would have the courage to knowingly give up his life for something (The Darkest Hour).
Later that day, Merlin and Lancelot finally caught up with Arthur and the Knights while they were setting up camp in yet another old fortress. Thrilled that they were safe and by Merlin's rapid recovery, the Knights joyfully welcomed them back into the fold.
The group reached the Isle of the Blessed the next day. When they discovered that the Isle was guarded by Wyverns, Leon, Elyan, and Percival stayed behind to hold them off while Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine, and Lancelot continued on to the stone alter. There they found the Cailleach, the Gatekeeper to the Spirit World, and demanded that she repair the veil between the worlds. When she refused, Gwaine attempted to force her to heal it by attacking her, but she easily knocked him out with her magic.
Accepting that there was no other way, Arthur stepped forward to offer himself as a sacrifice, but was quickly knocked out as well, this time by Merlin. Screwing up his courage, the warlock in question then stepped forward and met the Cailleach at the stone alter, where he offered his life in place of Arthur's. Much to his surprise, however, the Cailleach replied, "Your time among men is not yet over, Emrys. Even if you want it to be."
Confused, Merlin slowly followed her gaze to the veil and saw Lancelot standing at the edge. The knight looked back at him, smiled, and then walked into the veil with open arms, immediately vanishing from sight. Horrified, Merlin could only stand and watch as the veil closed behind him, the Cailleach and the Dorocha disappearing with it.
Lancelot's death shocked and devastated the people of Camelot, particularly his fellow Knights, Merlin, Arthur, Gaius, and Gwen. Guinevere took his loss especially hard and blamed herself for making him promise to ensure that Arthur returned home safe.
A memorial was held in his honor, during which Arthur made the following speech: "I want to pay tribute to Sir Lancelot. We owe him a great debt. It's not just his deed that we'll never forget. It's his courage. His compassion. His unselfish heart. He was the most noble knight I'll ever know. He gave his life for all of us." At the memorial's conclusion, Lancelot's cloak and sword were burned on a funeral pyre in the courtyard (The Darkest Hour).
As a Shade
Several months later, Morgana learned from Lord Agravaine that Arthur intended to make Guinevere his queen. Determined that Gwen would never sit upon her throne, Morgana set out to end their relationship once and for all.
She traveled to the Pool of Nemhain and used a magical coin to resurrect Lancelot as a Shade, then spent the next few days carefully molding his mind. She told him all about Gwen and their former feelings for one another, how she had loved him before she'd loved Arthur and how she would soon be his again. When the Shade Lancelot was finally ready to play his part, Morgana sent him to Camelot, where he revealed his identity during the jousting tournament that Arthur was holding as Gwen's engagement present.
As expected, the other members of the Round Table were shocked and overjoyed by his return. He told them that he remembered little of what happened after he stepped through the veil. The Madhavi people found him near death on one of the Silk Road passes, high in the Feorre Mountains. They nursed him back to health, providing him with food and shelter until his strength returned, and when he was well again he worked his way back to Camelot, arriving just in time to enter the tournament.
Most of his friends accepted his story and welcomed him back with open arms. Merlin, however, was more suspicious, especially after he discovered that Lancelot had no memory of his magic. Following his instincts, the warlock used necromancy to determine that the man who had returned was not the real Lancelot but a Shade, presumably sent by Morgana to harm Arthur.
Unbeknownst to Merlin, however, Lancelot's target was not Arthur, but Gwen. He went to visit her the morning before the tournament to wish her well in her marriage and give her a bracelet, which he claimed he'd received from the Madhavi people. In reality, however, he'd gotten the bracelet from Morgana, who had enchanted it with a powerful love spell to reawaken Gwen's feelings for him.
Gwen initially struggled against its control, appearing confused and quickly withdrawing when she found herself in Lancelot's tent, but after he forfeited the final round of the tournament to Arthur, who was had been badly injured, she was unable to stop herself from seeking him out. Lancelot's actions greatly confused Merlin, who had no idea what Morgana could have sent him for if not to kill Arthur, but the warlock's suspicious were soon renewed when he spotted Gwen sneaking into Lancelot's tent.
Later that day, Lancelot met with Agravaine in one of the castle corridors. He told the nobleman that he'd arranged to meet with Gwen later and that she was already on her way. Agravaine replied that Morgana would pleased, then they went their separate ways, unaware that Merlin had been spying on them. Determined to stop Lancelot, the warlock attacked him and tried to knock him out with his magic, but the Shade caught him off guard and knocked him out instead. Lancelot then proceeded to the council chambers without any further interference.
Gwen arrived soon after he did and found him waiting for her behind a column. She seemed somewhat uneasy about their escapade, asking if he was sure that it was safe for them to meet there, but relaxed when Lancelot assured her that no one visited the council chambers at that time of night. Meanwhile, Agravaine woke Arthur and told him that there was something he needed to see. He then led the king to the council chambers, where they arrived just in time to see Gwen and Lancelot kiss.
Hurt and betrayed, Arthur flew into a rage and attacked Lancelot with his sword. The two fought furiously for several minutes as Gwen tearfully pleaded for them to stop. Eventually Merlin arrived and disarmed Lancelot with his magic. Beyond reason, Arthur charged toward to run the Shade through and likely would have killed him had Gwen not thrown herself between them, forcing Arthur to stop. She and Lancelot were then arrested and taken to the dungeons, where they were imprisoned in separate cells.
Later that night, Agravaine snuck into the dungeons and gave Lancelot a letter from Morgana ordering him to commit suicide. He promptly followed her command, and his body was discovered by the guards the next day. Melancholic on hearing the news, Arthur immediately concluded that Lancelot had killed himself out of guilt, noting that, "In all ways but one, Lancelot was a man of honour." He then gave orders that the knight was to receive a proper burial.Merlin took up the task himself and brought Lancelot's body to the Lake of Avalon, where he placed it in a boat made of twigs and covered in flowers. The warlock stood over him for a moment, then placed a hand to Lancelot's forehead and incanted a spell to free his soul from Morgana's control.
Much to Merlin's surprise, however, the spell also brought Lancelot back to life for a brief moment. Restored to his true self, the knight turned to Merlin and spoke three final words: "Merlin. Thank you." Then, as the warlock struggled to process what was happening, Lancelot smiled and closed his eyes, breathing his last. With his friend's spirit finally at peace, Merlin tearfully pushed the boat out onto the lake and ignited it with his magic (Lancelot du Lac).
Lancelot was a selfless and honourable man with a very strong sense of morality. He disliked lying, stating on one occasion that it was against everything that a knight stood for, and insisted on taking responsibility for his actions when he caught lying about his social class in order to qualify for knighthood. He also disliked taking credit for things that he hadn't done, as evidenced by his refusal to accept any commendation for killing the Griffin when he knew that Merlin was truly responsible.
Lancelot was also known to be very humble. When the Great Dragon referred to him as the bravest and most noble knight of all (a sentiment later echoed by Arthur at Lancelot's funeral), Lancelot doubtfully replied, "I'm not sure that's true." He later told Merlin that he sometimes wondered if he could ever bring himself to knowingly give up his life for something, perhaps hinting at some insecurities regarding his courage.
In the end, though, Lancelot proved himself to be very courageous and was more than willing to risk his life for those that he cared about. Some examples include: when he insisted on helping to fight the Griffin even though he'd been banished from Camelot and was no longer a knight; when he helped Guinevere escape from the bandits that were holding her hostage and stayed behind to ensure that she got away; when he volunteered to help Arthur rescue his father after the kingdom was conquered by an immortal army; and when he sacrificed himself to banish the Dorocha.
Merlin was a close friend of Lancelot's, and quite possibly his best friend. They first met when Lancelot saved the warlock from a Griffin that attacked him while he was out gathering mushrooms (Lancelot). They took to one another right off and trusted each other enough to share a number of personal secrets, including Merlin's having magic and Lancelot's feelings for Guinevere.
Merlin was very supportive of Lancelot's ambition to become a Knight and was willing to help him in any way that he could, including using his magic to create a fake seal of nobility and allowing Lancelot to take credit for killing the Griffin (Lancelot). In return, Lancelot was very fond of Merlin and was often shown to look after him. For example, Lancelot risked his life to escort Merlin back to Camelot when the warlock was injured by the Dorocha, and decided to sacrifice himself in Arthur's place on the Isle of the Blessed in part so that Merlin wouldn't have to (The Darkest Hour).
Merlin and Lancelot apparently kept in contact after the latter left Camelot, as Merlin knew where to send word to him when the kingdom was conquered by Morgana's immortal army. Later, Merlin was delighted when Lancelot was finally made a Knight of Camelot, and Lancelot was the only person to accompany him on his mission to find and empty the Cup of Life (The Coming of Arthur).
One year later, Merlin was horrified when Lancelot sacrificed himself to banish the Dorocha, and was among those who mourned the most intensely (The Darkest Hour).
When Morgana raised Lancelot from the dead and used him to prevent Arthur's marriage to Gwen, it didn't take long for Merlin to realize that something wasn't right with his friend. He became especially suspicious when he discovered that Lancelot had no memory of his magic, and later used necromancy to determine that the knight was a Shade, a revelation which left Merlin crestfallen.
Later, after the Shade Lancelot had carried out his objective and killed himself at Morgana's command, Merlin took his body to the Lake of Avalon. There, the warlock incanted a spell to free his friend's soul from Morgana's control and restore him to his true self. It also brought Lancelot back to life for a moment, which the knight used to speak three final words: "Merlin. Thank you." He then smiled and closed his eyes, his soul at peace once more, leaving Merlin to mourn for a second time (Lancelot du Lac).
Guinevere was a close friend of Lancelot's, and also the love of his life. He was attracted to her from the moment they met, instinctively addressing her as "my Lady" and later describing her as "lovely". Gwen appeared to be similarly attracted and admired his courage and nobility. She was noticeably sad when Lancelot decided to leave Camelot, and at some point shared her feelings with the Lady Morgana (Lancelot).
Gwen and Lancelot were eventually reunited while she was being held hostage by a bandit called Hengist, who had employed Lancelot to fight for his entertainment. Ashamed of where he'd ended up, Lancelot was comforted by Gwen's belief that his life was destined for more than fighting for bandits' entertainment and promised her that he wouldn't let anything happen to her. Later, when they attempted to escape, Lancelot decided to stay behind and fight off their pursuers to ensure that she got away. Gwen was touched by his sacrifice, and they shared a kiss before they parted ways.
Despite Lancelot's best efforts, however, they were both recaptured and condemned to death. Fortunately, they were soon rescued by Arthur and Merlin, the former of whom also had feelings for Gwen. Upon discovering this, Lancelot was determined that his own feelings would not come between theirs and quietly departed during the night, leaving Gwen heartbroken (Lancelot and Guinevere).
Lancelot had little interaction with Gwen after he became a Knight of Camelot. They were happy to see each other when he first arrived, and Lancelot was later among the Knights who escorted her back to Camelot after the immortal army was destroyed (The Coming of Arthur).
One year later, when Morgana tore the veil between the worlds to unleash the Dorocha upon Camelot, Lancelot was one of the knights who accompanied Arthur on his quest to repair it. Shortly before they left, Guinevere approached him and asked him to make sure that the prince made it home safely. Lancelot promised her that he would protect him with his life, a vow which he ultimately kept by sacrificing himself in Arthur's place.
Guinevere was devastated by Lancelot's death and blamed herself and the promise she'd asked him to make. She was among those who mourned the most intensely, standing vigil at his funeral pyre long after everyone else had left (The Darkest Hour).
How Gwen felt about Lancelot after the events of Lancelot du Lac is unknown.
Arthur was a close friend of Lancelot's, despite the fact that they were both in love with Guinevere. They first met when Merlin talked Arthur into letting Lancelot try out for the knights. Though initially unimpressed, Arthur ultimately decided to give him a chance and later became one of his biggest supporters.
When it was discovered that Lancelot had lied about his social class, Arthur was far less angry about it than Uther. After his attempt to reason with his father failed, he took it upon himself to release Lancelot from prison and instructed him to leave Camelot before the King found out what he'd done. Determined to repay the prince, Lancelot instead borrowed armour from Guinevere and went out to help kill the Griffin. Arthur was greatly impressed when it appeared that Lancelot had succeeded and demanded that his father restore his knighthood, but much to his disappointment Lancelot decided to leave Camelot and start over elsewhere (Lancelot).
Arthur and Lancelot were eventually reunited when the prince rescued him and Gwen from bandits. Arthur was surprised to see him, but immediately moved to free him from his bonds so that he could help fight. He later noticed Gwen and Lancelot holding hands during their escape, and was heartbroken to discover that Gwen had fallen in love with him. However, when Lancelot realized that Arthur also had feelings for Gwen, he selflessly chose to leave rather than come between the prince and someone he loved (Lancelot and Guinevere).
Lancelot later returned to Camelot after the kingdom was conquered by Morgana's immortal army, arriving just in time to help Arthur and his allies escape. The prince was surprised to see him but grateful for his help, and later made him a Knight of Camelot after he volunteered to help rescue his father (The Coming of Arthur).
One year later, Lancelot sacrificed himself in Arthur's place to banish the Dorocha from Camelot. Arthur was deeply saddened by his death and held a memorial for him, during which he made a speech naming Lancelot as the noblest knight he'd ever known (The Darkest Hour).
Arthur was shocked and overjoyed when it appeared that Lancelot had returned from the dead, but his happiness soon turned bitter when he discovered the knight kissing Guinevere in the council chambers. Enraged, he attacked Lancelot with his sword and continued to go after him even after the knight had been disarmed. Gwen was eventually forced to intervene, after which both she and Lancelot were imprisoned in the castle dungeons.
Despite his earlier rage, however, Arthur was deeply saddened when it was discovered that Lancelot had committed suicide and ordered that the knight be given a proper burial, at one point remarking, "In all ways but one, Lancelot was a man of honour."
Gaius first met Lancelot when he treated him for injuries incurred by his fight with the Griffin. Grateful to him for saving Merlin, he supported Lancelot's ambition to become a Knight and allowed him to stay with them while he was in training.
Gaius appeared to be very fond of Lancelot and looked after him in much the same way that he looked after Merlin. He was sad when Lancelot eventually decided to leave Camelot, but accepted his desire for a fresh start elsewhere (Lancelot).
Gaius and Lancelot were eventually reunited when Camelot was conquered by Morgana's immortal army. Gaius was present when Lancelot was made a Knight of Camelot, and later used magic to save him and Merlin from Morgause when she intercepted their mission to find the Cup of Life (The Coming of Arthur).
When it appeared that Lancelot had returned from the dead, Gaius was among the happiest to see him and once again allowed the knight to stay with him and Merlin. Later, he was crestfallen when Merlin discovered that it wasn't the real Lancelot who had returned, but rather a Shade conjured by Morgana (Lancelot du Lac).
Percival and Lancelot were good friends and fellow Knights of the Round Table. When Lancelot received word that Camelot had been conquered by an immortal army, Percival decided to accompany him on his quest to locate Prince Arthur and his allies.
They caught up with the group just in time to help them escape from the soldiers that were chasing them. Later, they both volunteered to help Arthur rescue his father from the castle dungeons, and were subsequently made Knights of Camelot (The Coming of Arthur).
Percival was overjoyed when it appeared that Lancelot had returned from the dead and was looking forward to seeing his friend face Arthur in the tournament finals. It is unknown how Percival reacted to Lancelot's affair with Guinevere, or to his subsequent suicide (Lancelot du Lac).
Morgana had very little interaction with Lancelot before she became an enemy of Camelot. She initially appeared to be intrigued by his mysterious arrival at court, and was later among those who attended his knighthood celebration (Lancelot).
The next time they met, Morgana had conquered Camelot with her immortal army and Lancelot was helping Merlin search for the Cup of Life. He was present when Morgause was defeated by the combined efforts of Merlin and Gaius, and later witnessed Morgana's grief at both the injuries dealt her sister and the destruction of her army (The Coming of Arthur).
When Morgana unleashed the Dorocha upon Camelot by tearing the veil between the worlds, Lancelot was one of the Knights who accompanied Arthur on his quest to repair it. He ultimately sacrificed himself to heal the veil, banishing the Dorocha and thwarting Morgana's plans (The Darkest Hour).
When Morgana learned that Arthur intended to marry Guinevere, she became determined to end their relationship. She used a magical coin to raise Lancelot from the dead as a Shade, then spent the next few days carefully molding his mind. Much to her surprise, Morgana did not enjoy doing so, and later admitted that she felt "curiously sad" to have stripped the knight of his former might and glory.
However, she didn't let these feelings stop her from continuing with her plan. She ordered Lancelot to seduce Gwen into having an affair with him, irreparably damaging both his reputation and memory, then ordered him to commit suicide (Lancelot du Lac).
The Great Dragon
Kilgharrah had very little interaction with Lancelot. They met only once, when the Dragon saved him and Merlin from the Dorocha that were pursuing them through the woods. Lancelot was initially startled by his arrival and drew his sword to attack to him, but reluctantly stood down when Merlin assured him that it was all right.
The Dragon appeared to have a very high opinion of Lancelot, at one point describing him as, "the bravest and most noble of them all." His praise seemed to surprise and somewhat embarrass Lancelot, who wasn't sure that what he said was true. The Dragon did not appear to be offended by his uncertainty, and merely replied, "We shall see."
Lancelot encountered the Vilia only once, when he was escorting a badly injured Merlin home to Camelot. When Merlin's condition deteriorated to the point where he could no longer go on, Lancelot decided to set up camp next to a nearby stream. There he met the Vilia, benevolent spirits of the brooks and streams who had been freed to roam the earth when Morgana tore the veil between the worlds.
The Vilia were very kind and helpful to Lancelot, healing Merlin of his injuries and promising to stay with them and protect them throughout the night. Lancelot was grateful for their aid and awestruck by their abilities (The Darkest Hour).
Having dedicated his life to the study of combat, even while solely self-taught, Lancelot was already an excellent swordsman for the entire time, having been able to fight off a Griffin long enough for him and Merlin to escape. His fighting skills even impressed Prince Arthur himself when they fought using brooms as makeshift swords enough that he stated his fighting level is equivalent to that of a Knight of Camelot. He would held his own long enough against Arthur to trick him to defeat and pass his knighthood test (Lancelot).
Although deprived of his chance to become a Knight, Lancelot would continue to hone his skills in combat by fighting other warriors. While working as a cage fighter in Hengist's stronghold, he impressed Hengist with his skills, with Hengist calling him a skillful warrior, and when escorting Gwen out, he fought off multiple men at once and even defeated some of them, holding long enough for Gwen to escape (Lancelot and Guinevere). When he and Merlin went after the Cup of Life, Lancelot fought off dozens of immortal soldiers and successfully maneuvered them into the path of Excalibur, suffering only minor injuries in return (The Coming of Arthur).
After being trained formally upon finally becoming a Knight of Camelot, Lancelot's swordsmanship had clearly greatly improved and the greatest display of his skills would be shown when he dueled Arthur as a Shade. Unlike the last time when he was struggling against Arthur in battle when Arthur was clearly holding back, Lancelot was able to fight the enraged king on equal footing, matching him sword-to-sword when Arthur was likely fighting to kill, and was only disarmed through sudden use of brawling moves, rather than being outplayed in swordsmanship, showing how far he has come from when he was just a self-trained man, being able to compete with Arthur in a direct all-out duel of swordsmanship without being defeated (Lancelot du Lac).
In addition to his formidable swordsmanship, Lancelot was also shown to be highly skilled with a lance. He was first seen using one when he slew the Griffin that was attacking Camelot, though the lance itself had to be enchanted by Merlin before it was strong enough to do any damage to the creature (Lancelot). Some years later, the Shade Lancelot participated in a jousting tournament and advanced all the way to the finals, even defeating and badly wounding Arthur and would have won had he not forfeited the victory to Arthur (Lancelot du Lac).
Lancelot was also proficient at hand-to-hand combat. In his duel with Arthur, for example, he demonstrated both great agility and speed. After he was disarmed of his sword, he successfully dodged the prince's enraged but still very swift attacks and even disarmed him unarmed, able to get a grapple hold on him and pin him to the wall with enough force to knock Arthur's sword of his grip. (Lancelot du Lac).
- Lancelot is a masculine name of French origin meaning "attendant".
- Other spellings include: Lancelott, Lancilot, Lancilott, Lancilotte, Lancilotto, Lancylot, Lancylott, Lancylotte, Launcelet, Launcelot, Launcelott, Launcelotte, Lance, Lancey, Lancy, Lanse, Lantz, Lanz, and Launce.
- Lancelot was the third character in the series to discover Merlin's magic.
- Valiant, Lancelot, and Gwaine were the only knights to have an episode named after them.
- Lancelot is also the only character to have three episodes named after him: Lancelot, Lancelot and Guinevere, and Lancelot du Lac.
- Lancelot is the only character other than Merlin and Gaius to speak with the Great Dragon.
In the Legend
Sir Lancelot (or Lancelot du Lac) was a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian Legend. He was the son of King Ban of Benwick and Elaine, who were driven from their kingdom by their enemy Claudus when Lancelot was still an infant. One day, while Elaine tended to her husband's wounds, Lancelot was carried off by the Lady of the Lake and raised in her underwater kingdom. It was from this upbringing that Lancelot earned the surname du Lac ("of the lake").
When he was of age, the Lady of the Lake sent Lancelot to King Arthur's court, where he became a knight at the behest of Sir Gawain. At some point he fell in love with Queen Guinevere, who returned his affections. The discovery of their affair caused a civil war which was exploited by Mordred and ultimately brought about the end of Arthur's kingdom.
In the years before this, however, Lancelot was regarded as Arthur's greatest companion, the Lord of Joyous Gard and the greatest swordsman and jouster of the age. He was an object of desire for many women, including Arthur's enchantress sister Morgan le Fay, who loved him and hated him in equal measure and constantly tried to seduce him; the sorceress Hellawes, who wanted him for herself so obsessively that, failing to have him either alive or dead, she soon died from her sorrow; and Elaine of Astolat, whose unrequited love for him also resulted in her death. Lancelot was also pursued by Elaine of Corbenic, who used magic to trick him into believing that she was his beloved Guinevere so that he would sleep with her. The ensuing pregnancy resulted in the birth of their son, Galahad.
Lancelot's character was first mentioned in Chrétien de Troyes's 12th century work Erec and Enide, where his name appeared third on a list of knights at King Arthur's court. However, it wasn't until Chrétien's poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart that he became a protagonist. He was also featured in Thomas Malory's 15th century work Le Morte d'Arthur, where some of his most famous adventures include rescuing Guinevere from Arthur's enemy Maleagant and peacefully ending the war between Arthur and Galehaut. Lancelot is also associated with the quest for the Holy Grail.
- "Ever since I was a child I've dreamed of coming here. It's my life's ambition to join the knights of Camelot." - to Merlin (Lancelot).
- "I would die for you one hundred times over. Live for me, or everything that I am has been for nothing." - to Gwen (Lancelot and Guinevere).
- "I heard you. I saw you. Don't worry, your secret's safe with me. But I cannot take the credit for what I did not do. There'll be no more lies, no more deceit." - to Merlin (Lancelot).
- "You have nothing to be sorry for. You reminded me of who I am. I will die with faith in my heart. That is worth more than anything." - to Gwen (Lancelot and Guinevere).
- "I lied to you both, and now there is conflict between you. I cannot bear that burden, as you should not bear mine. I must start again, far from here. Then maybe one day fate shall grant me another chance to prove myself a worthy Knight of Camelot." - to Arthur and Uther (Lancelot).
- "Then you have given me a reason to live." - to Gwen (Lancelot and Guinevere).
- "My feelings do not matter. I will not come between them." - to Merlin, about Arthur and Gwen (Lancelot and Guinevere).
- "You taught me the values of being a knight, the code by which a man should live his life. To fight with honour for justice, freedom, and all that's good. I believe in the world that you will build." - to Arthur (The Coming of Arthur).
- "You know, Merlin, you're the one Arthur should knight. You're the bravest of us all, and he doesn't even know it." - to Merlin (The Coming of Arthur).
- "My name is Lancelot, my Lady. I am yours to command." - to Morgana (Lancelot du Lac).
- "Merlin. Thank you." - to Merlin (Lancelot du Lac).
- Series 1
- Series 2
- Lancelot and Guinevere
- The Last Dragonlord (Mentioned only)
- Series 3
- The Coming of Arthur, Part Two
- Series 4
- The Darkest Hour, Part One
- The Darkest Hour, Part Two
- Lancelot du Lac (cameo)
- A Herald of the New Age (Mentioned indirectly)
- The Hunter's Heart (Mentioned indirectly)
- The Sword in the Stone, Part Two (Mentioned indirectly)
- Series 5
- The Dark Tower (Mentioned indirectly)
|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 Diamair • Vivian • Olaf
Former Allies: Morgana Pendragon † • Nimueh † • Cedric † ? • Cornelius Sigan † • Tristan de Bois † • Lady Catrina † • Edwin Muirden † • Uther Pendragon † • Agravaine de Bois †• Sefa• Mordred †