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Free Study Guide-The Once and Future King-T.H. White-Free Book Summary
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Chapter 9

Summary and Notes

Months later, the setting moves to the Joyous Isle, Lancelotís castle, where he is under siege from King Arthurís army. It is winter, and the day is too icy for battle, so there is no fighting.

Lancelot and Guenever are inside the great hall talking. Lancelot expresses extreme remorse over the way the Orkney brothers died, and Guenever attempts futilely to console him. He is miserable over many things: Gareth and Gaherisís deaths, the siege be his best friend, that the knights of the Round Table are now his enemies, that he will not leave the castle to fight this ignoble battle, and is thus branded a coward.


Guenever offers to give herself up to Arthur and place herself at his courtís mercy, but Lancelot refuses. Suddenly she has a brainstorm: instead the will offer themselves up to the Pope, who will draw up the terms of peace; Arthur (and Mordred) must obey the Churchís law and will abide by their demands. The couple is relieved and they embrace even as the knights outside the castle taunt Lancelot for his cowardice.

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