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Free Study Guide-The Once and Future King-T.H. White-Free Book Summary
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Chapter 7

Summary and Notes

Lancelot arrives at Gueneverís chamber, and they have several pages of romantic banter. They are old now, and their meeting is bittersweet and nostalgic. White is emphasizing their true love here, as he had in previous chapters: it is important to understand that this is no fling for the Queen and her knight.

Lancelot tells Guenever of the warning he received, and they decide that Arthur could and would never do something like this. This is a serious miscalculation on the coupleís part; they fail to understand how dear Arthurís principles are to him - that he is a king first and a man second. They also neglect to understand how important it is for Arthur not to repeat the mistake he made with Mordred: he will not, ever, abuse his power in nay way, and this extends most necessarily to the lovers.


During their discussion, however, the Queen begins to analyze Agravaine and Mordredís characters in tandem with Arthurís ďsense of justiceĒ and both she and Lancelot have the horrific dawning realization that they could be set up tonight. Just as Lancelot goes to leave Gueneverís chamber in a panic, the handle on the door jiggles, and they realize it is too late.

The band of men outside begin to pound on the door in an effort to break it down, and Lancelot and Guenever have one last loving moment, where they promise their love to one another. The door bursts open, and Lancelot, unarmed, pleads for a chance to put on his armor for a fair and chivalrous fight. He is denied, which demonstrates the mercilessness of the new law. Lancelot strikes and kills the first man through the door, and on pulling off the manís helmet realizes he has killed Agravaine. He bars the door for a moment, slips on Agravaine'í armor, exchanges rings with Guenever, and leaves the chamber to fight Mordredís men.

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