Arthurian Quiz No. 2

I’ve been critically reading my latest manuscript, which is the first thing I’ve ever written not set in the 21st century (well, more or less. Most of the action in Bradley Schuster and the Holy Grail takes place in the 1970’s. But close enough). But the ** Adventures of Sir Kay ** (working title) is set in the 6th Century, and follows Rusty’s version of the Arthurian Legend.

However, as is true of all Arthurian stories: you can’t appreciate the delicious changes to the legend unless you know something about the legend itself. Otherwise, how will you know how deliciously different it is?

So, another Arthurian Literature Quiz today. Much of it focuses on Arthur’s early years. These answers all come from Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur unless otherwise indicated.

1. Who was Arthur’s father?

  • a. Vortigern
  • b. Merlin, the sly dog
  • c. Uther Pendragon
  • d. Ambrosius Aurelianus

2. What favor did Merlin do Arthur father for which he promised to give him his first born child?

  • a. Saved him from poison that Morgan le Fay gave him.
  • b. Disguised him so that Arthur’s mother would sleep with him.
  • c. Killed Arthur’s mother’s husband, the Duke Gorlois.
  • d. Foretold that his son would kill him unless he did.

3. Where was Arthur conceived?

  • a. Tintagel
  • b. Camelot
  • c. Glastonbury
  • d. London

4. Arthur had three half-sisters. Who were they?

  • a. Morgan, Morgause, and Anna
  • b. Morgause, Anna, and Elaine
  • c. Elaine, Morgause, and Morgan
  • d. Igraine, Morgan, and Morgause

5. Arthur’s mother’s husband, Duke Gorlois, was killed on the night of his conception. How much time passed before his father married his mother?

  • a. 24 hours
  • b. 13 days
  • c. 1 year and 1 day
  • d. They were never officially married

6. Where was the famous sword in the stone located?

  • a. Tintagel
  • b. Glastonbury
  • c. Canterbury
  • d. London

7. What was the sword actually stuck into?

  • a. a block of stone in the church courtyard
  • b. a tombstone in the church cemetary
  • c. an anvil
  • d. a barrel

8. Why did Arthur draw it?

  • a. Sir Kay left his sword behind at the inn and needed one.
  • b. Arthur wanted to be king.
  • c. He wanted to test his growing strength.
  • d. Merlin told him to.

9. What happened to the sword that Arthur drew from the stone?

  • a. Sir Bedevere threw it in the lake when Arthur lay dying.
  • b. It broke.
  • c. Morgan le Fay stole it.
  • d. Arthur gave it to Mordred for safe keeping.

10. How many children did Guinevere’s lovers father (total)?

  • a. None
  • b. One
  • c. Two
  • d. Three

11.  And a bonus question: a brachet frequently appears in the Arthurian tales. What is a brachet?

  • a. a dog.
  • b. a thick medicinal plant that grows wild in Wales.
  • c. a hunting bird akin to a falcon.
  • d. a thick band that goes around the wrist.

Many of these questions are relevant to ** The Adventures of Sir Kay. And the answers are:

1. Who was Arthur’s father? c. Uther Pendragon. This question is a gimme; if you missed it, you need to be boning up on your Arthurian reading. Vortigern was the high king before Uther who invited the Saxons to England if they would fight for him.  Ambrosius Aurelianus was Uther’s brother.

2. What favor did Merlin do Arthur father for which he promised to give him his first born child? b.Disguised him so that Arthur’s mother would sleep with him. Uther fell hopelessly for the lovely Igraine, and could not wait to have her. So Merlin disguised him as her husband, thus allowing him access to the castle and her bed.

Tintagel3. Where was Arthur conceived? a. Tintagel was the Duke Gorloius’ castle, where Igraine lived. The ruined castle as it exists today is shown to the right.

4. Arthur had three half-sisters. Who were they? c. Elaine, Morgause, and Morgan. Morgan le Fay is the villainess of many of the Arthur stories. Morgause was the mother of 5 knights of the round table including Sir Gawain. Elaine is never mentioned in more than passing in any of the stories.

5. Arthur’s mother’s husband, Duke Gorlois, was killed on the night of his conception. How much time passed before his father married his mother? b.13 days. Uther was mad for Igraine, and married her as quickly as possible. However, Arthur was conceived before and thus officially a bastard.

6. Where was the famous sword in the stone located? d. London. The Archbishop of Canterbury summoned the kings and nobles to London. There, the found the sword outside “the greatest church of London, whether it were Paul’s or not the French book maketh no mention.”

the-sword-in-the-stone7. What was the sword actually stuck into? c. an anvil.  So why isn’t it called the sword in the anvil? Poetic license, I suppose.

8. Why did Arthur draw it?  a.Sir Kay left his sword behind at the inn and needed one. He sent his squire Arthur back for it, but the inn was locked. Arthur saw the sword in the church courtyard and drew it out for his foster brother to use in the upcoming tournament.

9. What happened to the sword that Arthur drew from the stone? b. It broke, and was replaced with Excalibur, given to the young king by the Lady of the Lake.

10. How many children did Guinevere’s lovers father (total)? c. Two. Arthur fathered Mordred with his half sister Morgause (they did not know that they were kin at the time). Lancelot fathered Galahad with a different Elaine (there are a lot of them in the legend).

11.  And a bonus question: a brachet frequently appears in the Arthurian tales. What is a brachet? a. a brachet is a dog. According to Wikipedia, it is (obsolete) A female hunting hound that hunts by scent. In the Adventures of Sir Kay, I am more liberal with the definition (as was Malory, I’m sure); the brachet Miffy is NOT a hunting dog. Or as Elvis would say, “Ain’t nothing but a hound dog.”

brachet

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8 thoughts on “Arthurian Quiz No. 2

      • I got the anvil–really a guess, but I remembered a picture–and then you posted exactly the picture I was remembering.

        I missed 5. Should have known that one.
        And 6 . . . chose Canterbury.
        And 8 . . . definitely should have known that one. After reading the answer, I remembered your telling me that story.

        But to show how much I’ve learned, as I look back at the questions, the anvil is the *only* one I would have gotten right pre-Sir Kay. A credit to your writing/teaching skills.

  1. I enjoyed this quiz. The answers and explanations did it for me! There is so much I don’t know about Arthurian history.
    Question: Have you been to that castle? If not, do you plan to go? How much/many of the things you weave into your story (on the historical side, not the contemporary) have you visited/seen? Wow, so if you can tell what the question is, you are better than I am because it’s so convoluted!

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