While staying at Carlisle, Arthur, Guinevere and his knights set out to hunt in Inglewood. While the king pursues the deer through the forest, Gawain remains with the richly dressed queen beside the Tarn Wathelene. At mid-morning the sky darkens and a storm rises. A hideous apparition approaches Gawain and Guinevere across the lake, emitting a terrible wail. Identifying herself as Guinevere’s mother, the ghost describes the torments she suffers for her former sins, particularly lust and pride. She warns her daughter that she must be virtuous, chaste and charitable or suffer the same fate. The prayers of the living can assuage her pains, however, and she asks for thirty Trentals to be said. Guinevere promises to arrange these masses, and Gawain asks about the broader fate of the Round Table. As she departs, the ghost replies that Arthur will fall from Fortune’s wheel and lose his lands: his crown will be usurped and his knights destroyed by one of their own number.
The sun returns and the knights reassemble. After Guinevere has related the events to Arthur, they all return to the court and dine lavishly. As they eat, a handsomely armed knight enters the hall, led by his lady. Introducing himself as Galeron of Galloway, he complains that Arthur has unjustly taken his lands and given them to Gawain. Refusing to surrender them without a fight, he asks to joust with a knight of the court. Gawain himself makes sure that Galeron is lodged in a lavish pavilion and accepts the challenge. The next day the lists are set up and the two knights fight fiercely for the whole day, wounding each other badly and shedding ornaments from their rich armour. Just as Gawain is about to win, Galeron’s lady pleads Guinevere to intervene. At her request, Arthur stops the fight and Galeron yields to Gawain, granting him the disputed lands. In return, Gawain returns some of the lands to his opponent, and invites him to stay. The court returns to Carlisle, where the two knights are healed and made dukes. Galeron marries his lady and is made a knight of the Round Table. Guinevere writes to all the clergy in Britain, asking them to perform masses for her mother.
From: Thomas Hahn, ed. Sir Gawain: Eleven Romances and Tales. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 2000. Manuscript: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 324.
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