For day five of Love Week this year, I have decided to go over the story of Morgan le Fay and her lover Accolon. Morgan le Fay was the sister of King Arthur, and Accolon was one of the Knights of the Round Table.
Their love story was one that began after Morgan’s marriage to Uriens. Accolon was at least the second lover that she took after her forced marriage. Her earlier lover was Guiomar, the cousin, or nephew, of Guinevere (depending on the telling). That relationship was broken up by Guinevere, who thought that Morgan’s adultery was so scandalous that it could not be let continue! Yes, that is one of the great moments of irony in the Arthurian canon.
Accolon was someone that was known to be incredibly loyal and supportive of Morgan and her goals. This is different from many other males of the Arthurian world. He had true respect for Morgan and saw her as an equal, and a worthy Queen in her own right. This is something that Morgan and Accolon plotted during their time together. Morgan had originally planned to take the throne of Camelot from her brother and take Accolon as her husband (after ending her marriage to Uriens, either by divorce or murder).
In most tellings of this tale, Morgan beguiled and tricked Accolon into fighting Arthur in single combat. She gave Accolon the true Excalibur and its scabbard to make sure that he could win, and kill Arthur. This trick was that Accolon and Arthur did not know whom they were fighting, and Arthur only found out he had gotten his sword back (and killed) Accolon after his helm was removed! Arthur then had his other Knights take Accolon’s body to Morgan. At this point, Morgan had just had her son stop her from killing his father, and then she found out the man she loved was dead! It is a truly sad tale, and Morgan would go on to fake her demise using spellcraft after stealing the scabbard of Excalibur from an injured Arthur in a monastery! She threw the sword into a lake, and then put a spell on herself and her servants to make it appear as if they had turned to stone. She would escape and run into a hiding place after Arthur believed her dead!
In some versions of the legends, it is after the death of Accolon that she retired to Val Sans Retour to punish knights that betrayed lovers. In others, she went to Avalon or a hidden castle! I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about Morgan le Fay’s greatest love story and its tragic end. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Morgan and Accolon. I found the image on https://www.deviantart.com/any-s-kill/art/Morgana-le-Fay-and-sir-Accolon-171768890.
- Le Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
- The Alliterative Morte Arthur (anonymous)
- The Prose Morte Arthur (anonymous)
- The Vulgate Cycle (anonymous)
- The Post Vulgate Cycle (anonymous)