THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE
The brother of Agravaine, Gawain, and Gareth, Sir Gaheris was the son of King Lot of Orkney and his wife Morgause, sister of King Arthur. Before being knighted he was squire to his elder brother Gawain. Sir Gaheris married Lady Lynette on the same day his youngest brother Gareth married her sister, Dame Lionesse of the Castle Perilous.
Both Sir Gaheris and Sir Gareth were killed in the fight that broke out when Sir Lancelot rescued Queen Guinevere from burning at the stake, though both were killed by accident as Sir Lancelot did not recognize either of them in the crowd of knights and people. Because of the deaths of Sir Gaheris and Gareth, their elder brother Sir Gawain was deeply bitter at Lancelot for the rest of his life.
Sir Gaheris of Legend
Like his other brothers, Sir Gaheris first visited King Arthur’s Court when his mother, Morgause, his mother, first arrived after the Battle of Bedegraine. Gaheris served as his older brother, Gawain’s page for a time, and traveled by his side to the court for the knighting of Gawain and the marriage of King Arthur and Lady Guinevere. Sir Gaheris would often act as Sir Gawain’s conscience, and he helped cool his temper when Gawain was tempted to challenge Pellinore. Praising him for his skills in his combat with Allardin of the Isles, Gaheris also admonished Gawain when he failed to show mercy and caused the death of the Lady of Ablamar of the Marsh.
Sir Gaheris would often act as Sir Gawain’s conscience, and he helped cool his temper when Gawain was tempted to challenge Pellinore to a duel.
Throughout Gawain’s early adventures, Sir Gaheris was his steadfast companion and friend. There were two knights named Gaheris and both were Knights of the Round Table. This Sir Gaheris is most well-known for being the brother of Gawain, Gareth, and Agravain.
According to History
Chrétien de Troyes is the first to write about Sir Gaheris in his work Perceval, the Story of the Grail. Several of Sir Gaheris’s adventures are also written about and highlighted in the Lancelot-Grail (Vulgate Cycle) as well.
It is possible that Sir Gaheris and Sir Gareth were the same character in origin, and both are written about by Mallory and then T.H. White in The Once and Future King. White refers to Sir Gaheris as being a bit dumb or dim-witted. In addition to that, only one brother is ever named for Gwalchmai ap Gwyar, the character from Welsh mythology traditionally identified with Gawain. This character (Gwalchafed) is a likely source for Gaheris and Gareth, if Gawain was indeed derived from Gwalchmai.