Red Knight

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For other uses, see Red Knight (disambiguation).

Red Knight is a title borne by several characters in Arthurian legend.

History[edit]

The first is likely the Red Knight of the Forest of Quinqeroi in Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, the Story of the Grail; he steals a cup from King Arthur and is killed by the protagonist Perceval, who wears his armor and comes to be known as the Red Knight himself. In Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, a retelling of Chrétien, the Red Knight is identified as Sir Ither, the Red Knight of Kukumerlant, a cousin to both Arthur and Parzival. He is killed by Parzival.

Two other Red Knights appear in the tale of Gareth in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. The first is named Sir Perimones and is also known as "The Puce Knight", who, like his three brothers the Black Knight, the "Green Knight" (distinct from the character in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), and Sir Persant of Inde "The Blue Knight, is bested by the young Gareth. After these initial trials Gareth must face the Red Knight of the Red Launds, whose real name is Sir Ironside. Ironside has the strength of seven men and has trapped the princess of Lyonesse in a tower from which Gareth must save her. Though he had demonstrated a cruel and sadistic nature, Ironside is brought around and even made a Knight of the Round Table.

Furthermore, Gawain is also known as the Red Knight for a brief time in Perlesvaus, and Galahad is called by this name in the Lancelot-Grail cycle. In Chrétien de Troyes' story Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, the red knight Esclados guards a mystical fountain, and is defeated by Ywain.

Popular culture[edit]

In the 1998 animated film Quest for Camelot, The Red Knight is given the name Sir Ruber (voiced by Gary Oldman), and is portrayed as a power-hungry kleptomaniac attempting to claim Excalibur for himself.

Red Knight is also a character in the film "Cable Guy", as quoted by Jim Carrey "Red knight's going down, down, down, down". The Red Knight was played by John Ferdinand in the movie.

In the 1991 film The Fisher King, the Red Knight is a central character. He symbolizes the fear, loss, and grief experienced by Perry, a mentally ill homeless man portrayed by Robin Williams.

See also[edit]