Book Notes

Book 4, Chapter 8 Notes from The Once and Future King

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The Once and Future King Book 4, Chapter 8

The Orkney brothers wait in the Justice Room, where Arthur will have to watch his wife being burned. Mordred is excited, but everyone else is desperately hoping that Lancelot will rescue her. They remind Mordred that, although Agravaine was their brother, he and thirteen other knights tried to attack Lancelot when he was unarmed, and was killed in a fair fight. They remind him that all the other knights were killed, but Mordred survived because Arthur made Lancelot promise not to kill him. Arthur enters and is kind to Mordred, comforting him as he screams at his brothers for implying that he is a coward. Mordred argues that, since Lancelot will surely try to rescue Guenever from being burned, Arthur should send Gawaine, Gaheris and Gareth to fight him when he comes. Gawaine refuses to go, so the other three leave and he and Arthur wait hopefully for Lancelot, looking down at the field where the Queen will be burned. Arthur wonders whether he should have just ignored Mordred's accusations, but then decides that justice must be done. At the last moment, Lancelot appears, and Arthur is happy, though he is disturbed at how many men have to die in order for Lancelot to save Guenever. He begins to think that maybe after this, everyone can just forget about what has happened. Gawaine doubts that Mordred would ever let that happen. Mordred comes in just at that moment, and tells them that Lancelot has murdered Gareth and Gaheris, even though they were unarmed. At first they don't believe it, but then they learn it is true, and Gawaine falls apart in grief.

Topic Tracking: Duty 9
Topic Tracking: Duty 10

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