The father of the Wart and Kay, Sir Ector is a gruff but lovable father who (like many fathers) wants to raise his boys according to strict rules of conduct and the highest ideas that an "eddication" can offer. However, Sir Ector's idea of education consists of learning "Latin and stuff," which is a fine pursuit but not the most pressing one for a future king.
White often uses Sir Ector as a symbol of "merrrie Englande," an era long past where knights and squires drank port, sang songs of heroic deeds, and attended tournaments. The novel opens with Sir Ector and Sir Grummore sharing a bottle of port and discussing the boys' need of a tutor. The episode in Chapter 15, in which Sir Ector and his friends listen to a songs on Christmas night, further portrays him as a kindhearted remnant of a bygone age — an age that, by the end of The Candle in the Wind (the fourth volume of The Once and Future King), has given way to the forces of war and destruction.