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Was Morgause to blame for all of Arthur's troubles?


Explorations in Arthurian History>>
Morgause does not appear in the historical texts. Geoffrey of Monmouth says Lot was married to Anna, Arthur's half-sister.

Explorations in Arthurian Legend>>
Morgause is Arthur's half-sister, usually the wife of Lot of Lothian and/or Orkney. As such, she is perfectly situated to cause Arthur trouble. Lot is early portrayed as a supporter of Arthur and later seen as an enemy. Morgause, being a pursuer of power, surely was behind her husband in his ambition to take over the high kingship.



This couple also had sons that gave Arthur trouble: Gawain, Gaheris, Gareth, Agravaine, and Mordred. Now this last character was secretly the son of Arthur and Morgause, so begotten when the latter enchanted the former. Whether Lot knew is an open question. (Note: Marion Zimmer Bradley says Mordred was the son of Arthur and Morgaine and that the latter gave the baby to Morgause to rear.) As seen earlier, Gawain went from being a great knight and one of Arthur's favorites to a frustrated knight and one of Arthur's problems. Gaheris and Agravaine were prime movers in the plot to prove the adultery of Lancelot and Guinevere.

Morgause herself is said to have been a constant thorn in Arthur's side, doing magic and making mischief. Bradley says she poisoned the queen so she couldn't have children. It could be argued that Morgause was indeed the cause of all Arthur's troubles: She was the power behind Lot, she sent her sons to make trouble for Arthur and expose the adultery of his two best-loved people, she tried herself to undo all that Arthur had done, and she was the cause and the educator of Mordred, who ultimately caused the wound that took Arthur away. (Whether he delivered it himself is open to interpretation.)


DW, King Arthur: A Man for the Ages




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