Mordred

British - A Knight of the Round Table. Brother of Agravain, Gaheris, Gareth and Gawain. Cousin, nephew or son of King Arthur. Father of Melehan. In some accounts he was the incestuous son of Arthur by Morgan le Fay; others say he was fathered by Arthur on his sister Anna or Morgause, wife of King Lot. Some say his wife was Gwenhwyach, sister of Guinevere, but in the Welsh version his wife was Cywyllog. Merlin prophesied that this boy would grow up to kill King Arthur so the king ordered that all babies of royal families born on May Day should be cast adrift in a boat. Only Mordred, saved by Nabur, an Orkney fisherman, survived the subsequent shipwreck. At the age of fourteen he was taken by Nabur to King Arthur's court. He was jealous of Lancelot and he and his brother Agravain told Arthur of the queen's affair with Lancelot. Told to provide proof, he and Agravain, supported by twelve other knights, broke into Guinevere's room when the unarmed Lancelot was with her. Only Mordred survived when Lancelot killed one man with a footstool and then took his sword with which to kill the others. Given proof of her adultery, the king condemned Guinevere to the stake but she was saved by Lancelot who took her to his castle, Garde Joyeux. After a battle ended by the intervention of the Pope, Lancelot returned the queen to Arthur and sailed for his home in France. Arthur followed with a huge army, leaving Mordred in charge of the country. He looted Arthur's home in Cornwall and assaulted Guinevere who shut herself away in the Tower. He manufactured evidence to show that the king was dead and proclaimed himself king. When the Bishop of Canterbury protested, Mordred threatened to kill him and the bishop fled to Glastonbury where he became a hermit. Some say that Mordred and Guinevere went through a form of bigamous marriage. When Arthur hurried back from France to reclaim his throne, Mordred met him in several battles in which thousands of men were killed. He finally met Arthur in single combat at Camlan. He inflicted a mortal wound on the king but was himself killed by Arthur's spear. In some accounts, Mordred survived the final battle and drove the remnants of King Arthur's army to Lyonesse. Here, the ghost of Merlin caused the land to sink, taking Mordred's men with it, while Arthur's men escaped. Another story says that Lancelot killed Guinevere believing that she had been a willing accomplice of Mordred and shut Mordred in a room with the queen's dead body which Mordred, driven by hunger, ate. In the Welsh version he is Dylan or Medraut, son of Lot and Gwyar. Also known as Mordred, Mardoc, Mardoc, Medraut, Medraut, Dylan, Medrawd, Medrawt, Dylan, Modred, Modred, Welsh Medraut or Welsh Medraut.

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