Not to be confused with Tristan de Bois, the brother of Ygraine and Agravaine.
Also Known As:
Biographical Information
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Affiliation: Isolde
Arthur Pendragon
Guinevere Pendragon
Enemies: Morgana
Agravaine de Bois
Behind the Scenes
Portrayer: Ben Daniels
List of Appearances: The Sword in the Stone
Caught? Tristan and Isolde? I don't think so. We're too quick and too smart for the halfwit king of Camelot.
Tristan to Merlin[src]

Tristan was a smuggler who met up with Arthur and Merlin when they were fleeing from Morgana's men. He was the beloved of Isolde.


At some point in his past his people were massacred, an event which left Tristan distrustful of nobles.

By the time he met Arthur, he was a head smuggler who, along with Isolde, led several men smuggling cargo across the border. When Isolde caught Arthur and Merlin, Tristan was convinced not to kill them, and when offered gold, he agreed to let them come with him.

After Agravaine's men caught up with them he fled along with Isolde, but Isolde was injured during a skirmish, so he agreed, after some persuasion, to accompany Arthur and Merlin to Ealdor.

While there, he thanked Merlin for helping Isolde, and started to realise he was wrong about nobles. He along with the others fled when Agravaine's men surrounded Ealdor.

With the others he managed to escape through the tunnels. He was surprised when Arthur went back for Merlin. Still weary, he made his opinion of nobles clear, mocking Arthur's authority, and then informing him he had none, even though Arthur was only helping him gather wood.

However, when he saw how much his men were loyal to Arthur, and what he was fighting for, he realised he was wrong about him. He along with Isolde joined Arthur on his attack. With Percival and Isolde he led one of the assaults, where he killed many of the Southron warriors.

Tristan isolde love

Tristan kisses Isolde

Tristan later met up with Arthur, Merlin and Gwen, and was with them when they broke into the throne room. Once Morgana was revealed to be powerless, he joined in the fight against the men of Helios. Although he killed all of his opponents, Isolde was mortally wounded.

Isolde died in his arms, telling him she was sorry. Her last words were "Hold me".

What happened to him after this is unknown. He wasn't at Arthur and Gwen's wedding, which suggests he had left Camelot as he doesn't appear in Series 5, nor he is mentioned anymore.



Tristan, former smuggler and enemy of Camelot

Following a massacre of his people, Tristan had an intense hatred of nobles, believing them to be corrupt. He also had a ruthless streak, and considered killing Arthur and Merlin when they caught him and his men. Tristan was willing to break the law, and showed greed by being a smuggler. However, he claimed that he wouldn't need to be a smuggler if the taxes weren't so high. He also disliked being given orders, and was unwilling to follow Arthur's to run from the attackers till Arthur asked him if he wanted to live.

Although Tristan could be greedy and ruthless, he was deeply in love with Isolde and was very concerned for her when she was injured in a fight with Agravaine's men. When Isolde died at the hands of Helios, Tristan was heartbroken. He appeared to love her more than life itself, telling her that they had promised to be "partners for life".

After seeing Arthur's true personality, and how loyal his citizens were to him, Tristan realised he was wrong about nobles and was happy to fight alongside Arthur. In fact, Arthur trusted and respected him enough to choose him and Isolde to be part of the team who broke into Morgana's chambers to confront her and Helios, while the rest of Arthur's forces battled Morgana's army. Tristan's loyalty to Arthur showed that deep down he was a good man.


Tristan was a talented leader and a skilled warrior. He wielded a sword with such skill that Arthur chose him and Isolde to be part of his team that confronted Morgana and Helios, who were both lethal warriors. He was also shown to be a skilled knife thrower.

Tristan also has knowledge of swords and the blacksmith's arts, able to recognise Arthur's sword was made by Camelot's royal swordsmiths from just a brief look and feel.

In the LegendEdit

Although possibly being part of a legend seperate from King Arthur stories, Tristan is best known as a knight of the Round Table who was the most skilled of all the knights save Lancelot.

He fell hopelessly in love with his uncle's wife, Isolde of Ireland. Some sources hold that this was by the work of a love potion, others say his love for her was real or else simply made larger by the potion. At any rate, he loved her faithfully, and carried on an affair with her for many years, loving no other.

Later, most sources hold that he was married to, not his lover, Isolde wife of King Mark, upon whom the series' Isolde the smuggler is apparently based on, but another woman entirely who happened to share the namesake. Known as Isolde of the White Hands, his wife was painfully jealous of his love for Queen Isolde of Cornwall/Ireland and, upon learning she was coming to heal him of a poison-related injury, lied to Tristan saying she was not coming. In some older legends, though, she is kinder, only making an innocent yet bitter remark which Tristan takes to mean his beloved Isolde has forgotten him.

He dies from his wounds, losing the will to keep fighting, just as his lover arrives. She cries upon him and, in most legends, dies upon his corpse. They are buried together and the plants on their graves link together no matter how many times they are cut down, symbolic of their always being together in death as well as in life.

His reasons for supporting Mark and not outright stealing his wife are muddled. In the 2006 film, Mark saved his life even losing a hand for his sake and he felt loyal to him because of this. However, in most of the stories, Mark is unkind, not much at all like Arthur who is gentle with Guinevere and Lancelot and dismayed when called upon to put them to trial.

External linksEdit

Tristan at wikipedia


Series 4
The Sword in the Stone: Part One
The Sword in the Stone: Part Two