Story, Tale, Legend, Folktale, Myth,
Fable, Learning, Teaching
When I was old enough to understand,
she told what Arthur, my own father, had done to me.
I am Mordred the traitor
am Mordred, son of King Arthur. My past is a dark and troubled
one. Perhaps that is why I am the way I am. My father, King
Arthur, had three half sisters: Morgawse, Elaine, and Morgan le
Fay, who are the daughters of Arthur¡¯s mother Igrayne¡¯s first
husband, Gorloise. Arthur¡¯s father, King Uther Pendragon, fell
in love with Igrayne even though she was the wife of Gorloise.
He battled Gorloise until he fell dead, and then married the
widow Igrayne. Together, they had Arthur. Now, over the years,
Arthur and his sister Morgawse lost touch, and when she came to
visit him many years later, he did not recognize her. That
night, they stayed together, and the next morning Morgawse left
without telling Arthur that she was pregnant. Funny, isn¡¯t it?
Arthur sinned against God.
One day, all of his sisters came to his kingdom and in Morgawse¡¯
hands was a little baby boy. That little boy was me. Horrified,
when she told him who she was, and that the little boy was their
son, Arthur took me, and all other children born on May 1st, put
them in a leaky barge, and sent us down a river, hoping that we
would all drown. However, although most of them did indeed die,
I survived, but just barely. At that time I was too young to
realize that a great wrong had been done to me. But Arthur¡¯s
sister Morgana found me and succored me, teaching me dark magic.
When I was old enough to understand, she told what Arthur, my
own father, had done to me. From that moment, deep inside, I
developed a searing hatred for Arthur, and I decided that Arthur
did not deserve to rule and I would take the realm of Logres
from him. I reproached him in my every thought.
After many years had passed, I grew tired of waiting and letting
my anger and hatred seethe in secrecy. So, I traveled to
Camelot, and found a place for me at the round table. That is
where I took the name of Mordred. I revealed to none my real
identity, especially not Arthur. Over time I gained the trust of
those around me, and none suspected my intentions were not pure
in nature. With the help of my cousin, Sir Agravain, I began to
exact my revenge, although, he didn¡¯t exactly know what he was
helping me do.
discovered that the great and holy Sir Launcelot was not as
great and holy as we all thought. He and the lovely Queen
Guinevere were having an illicit affair behind King Arthur¡¯s
back. So I told Arthur, pretending to be a concerned follower,
when I was really overjoyed at this opportunity. Sir Launcelot
was the greatest knight in King Arthur¡¯s court, and it would be
impossible for my plot to go through with him in the way. Arthur
didn¡¯t really believe me, but he was forced to allow me to take
some men and go to Guinevere¡¯s chambers. I knew that Launcelot
would be there, for I had heard Guinevere tell him to come to
her that night. There we found them, but Launcelot escaped,
killing Sir Agravain, Sir Gawain¡¯s brother. Arthur was of course
sad, but I reminded him that this sin was punishable by
execution. And so, Guinevere was almost burned to death, like
the traitor that she is, but that foolish man Launcelot came
back and rescued her, in the process, killing Sir Gawain¡¯s
brothers Gareth and Gaheris, who stood by her, mourning.
So, this plot was not completely successful, but it did turn
Arthur against Launcelot and got him outside of the kingdom, and
out of my way. Later, Arthur went away on his Roman campaign,
leaving Camelot vulnerable. Then, I knew it was my time of
glory. I took over the throne, telling everyone that Arthur had
died while he was away, and saying that he only brought war and
wasn¡¯t helping drive out the Saxons, I would bring peace. It was
so easy to convince those stupid courtiers to help me. The
entire realm of Logres simply went along with whoever was the
most powerful, so it was easy to make them join me. The fools
never knew what hit them. Now, I knew that Queen Guinevere was
the loveliest woman you could ever see, so I chased after her
and tried to make her mine. But, that idiotic wench took safety
in her tower, and I could not get her out. So, I left her there.
Eventually Arthur heard of my plot, and how I had turned Camelot
against him. He came riding back with all his forces. That naïve
man must not have understood that taking control of Camelot gave
me all of Camelot¡¯s military might. He probably thought he¡¯s so
powerful because he had Excalibur, but the only good part was
the scabbard, which protected the wearer. So, when he returned
with his full force, he had to face all of my mighty army.
Both of our armies faced off in the mighty Battle of Camlann, as
it is now called. All our men were slaughtered, except for me,
Arthur, and one Sir Bedivere from Arthur¡¯s side. I stood among
the dead bodies of my men, paying homage to their brave efforts.
Far across the field of battle, I saw Arthur, barely able to
stand, and leaning on Sir Bedivere for support. At that time, I
saw him not as an enemy, but as another human being, tired and
ravaged by war. I quickly forgot these thoughts as he fixed his
eyes on me, and charged. The only thoughts in my head were those
of survival so I lifted my sword, my fingers slipping on the
hilt. The battle lasted barely a minute. Arthur took his lance
and ducked, charging. His lance pierced my stomach, delivering
the deathblow. But I would not let him win completely. With my
last breath, I smote him in the helmet, slicing through the
metal. So, I died, and left this world to pay penance for my
sins in life. But I died knowing that my last blow would kill
him in the end, if not right away.
(or Modred) is a character in the
Arthurian legend, known as a notorious traitor who fought King
Arthur at the Battle of Camlann, where he was killed and Arthur
fatally wounded. He is best known today as Arthur's illegitimate
son by his half-sister Morgause.
1. What is the
relationship between Mordred and Arthur?
2. What did King Arthur's
had done to Mordred when he was very young?
3. What happened between
Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere?
4. How did Mordred seize
power from King Arthur?
5. How did Mordred die?
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