Summary and Analysis Book 6: The Tale of the Holy Grail: Sir Galahad


After many adventures, Galahad comes to a castle where there is a great battle going on. He helps the weaker party, giving Gawain the worst wound of his life and thus fulfilling the curse of which Launcelot spoke when lie saw the sword in the floating stone.

Galahad then goes to a castle and there it lady asks him to follow her to the "highest adventure that ever any knight saw." She takes him to the ship of Percival and Bors. They travel until they come to another ship. When they board it they find it splendidly adorned but empty. It is the ship of faith, and none but steadfast believers are safe there. The lady who has led the knights here is Percival's sister; she warns Galahad not to enter unless he is sinless. He enters, saying he will be glad to die if he is found tainted, and finds a splendid sword and crown. Neither Bors nor Percival is proved fit to grip the sword, but Galahad achieves it. Percival's holy sister tells the three knights the history of the sword and scabbard and they leave with it.

They come to it castle where they miraculously slay many enemies of God. A holy man tells them the story of the castle, directs them to the Wasteland, and dies. On the way the three knights have further visions, then come with their guide to the castle of the sick lady and are forcefully urged to yield to the custom of the castle — a silver dish of blood from the maiden's arm. The three knights fight, but when Percival's sister understands the custom she yields to it. Knowing she is dying, she asks to be placed on a ship, saying, she will be found tinder a tower at the holy city of Sarras, where all of them will be buried. A voice then tells the three knights they are to be parted until they arrive at the hall of Pellam, the Maimed King. Sir Bors rides away to rescue a wounded knight.; Percival and Galahad ride on.