For today’s post, I have decided to share a post all about Morgan le Fay as the greatest baddie of the Arthuriad! These are the top seven things she plotted against Camelot. They are not ranked, as I could not choose favorites other than narrowing down to these seven stories!
THE PLOT TO PLACE MORDRED ON THE THRONE
~One of the original plots to displace Arthur on the throne is also one of Morgana’s greatest attempts to steal Camelot from Arthur. She plotted to have her nephew displace her brother. As the son of Arthur’s sister, he had a valid claim to the throne. In modern versions, she is often the mother of Mordred, with Arthur as father. In most tellings, he also tried to steal Guinevere from Arthur, as taking a Queen to Bride from another King could possibly secure rulership. This is especially true when we look at Celtic Kings marrying Faery Brides as Sovereign Goddess figures!
THE PLOT WITH MORGAUSE TO CONCEIVE MORDRED BY ARTHUR
~With her sister Morgause, Morgana decided to plot to conceive an heir between Arthur and his sister. In the oldest tellings, Morgause is the mother of Mordred, not Morgan herself. However, she is often the one who plotted to have the two conceive an heir to the throne, in order to put Camelot at risk!
THE GREEN KNIGHT
~The tale of the Green Knight is the one of the testing of Gawain by Morgan. The Green Knight was the nobleman, Sir Bertilak in disguise, glamoured by “Morgan the Goddess” in his words in order to scare Guinevere to death. When this failed, Morgana ended up realizing that Gawain’s willingness to battle the Knight, as well as the fact that he was her nephew (another of Morgause’s sons) he had a claim to Arthur’s throne, made Morgana want to test his ability as a Knight!
~The plot to steal the great sword Excalibur was one that Morgan hatched with her lover Accolon. She was in possession of Excalibur, entrusted by her brother with his sword. She made a copy to return to him and had his real sword and scabbard given to her lover as they battled. When Arthur figured out the truth, he got his sword back and slew his sisters lover, having his body brought before her in order to shock her!
THE CURSED CUP
~Morgan once made a cursed cup meant to be sent to Camelot. This cup was one that could test the fidelity of a lady who tried to drink from it. Only those faithful to their husbands could drink without the cup spilling. The cup accidentally ended up in the Court of King Marc of Cornwall. There it exposed all the ladies of infidelity, including Queen Isolde! Although intended to expose Guinevere and Lancelot’s love affair, it exposed the other great Arthurian love triangle of Tristan, Isolde, and Marc!
VAL SANS RETOUR
~The Val Sans Retour is the Valley of No Return where Morgana trapped the Knights that proved to be unfaithful in love! It was a valley in the woods, usually said to reside in the Broceliande forest in Brittany France, it is where she held much sway. The Knights were well taken care of, but they were trapped due to their inconstant hearts!
TRAPPING LANCELOT IN HER CASTLE
~Finally, I have to mention her trapping of Lancelot. After having two of her affairs spoiled by Guinevere and Arthur, first Guinevere spoiled her relationship with Guiomar and later Arthur killed Accolon, she ended up trapping Lancelot in her castle in the woods. This happened because he was wandering the woodland mad with love for Guinevere. Morgana took him in and trapped him in a room. While there he painted many murals on the wall of his bedchamber depicting his passionate affair with Guinevere. These murals were eventually found by Arthur, exposing their treachery, as infidelity of a Queen can be considered treason! This would prove to be the downfall of Camelot in that telling.
SPECIAL MENTION: NIMUE TRAPPING MERLIN
~This one is only a special mention because it was the Lady of the Lake that trapped Merlin. Morgana is often believed to have been each Lady of the Lake in turn, meaning she was once the Nimue who loved and betrayed Merlin! That is why I had to add trapping Merlin in this list.
~I hope you have enjoyed this list of Morgana’s Bad Girl antics at Arthur’s court. What is your favorite Morgana plot? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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- The Arthurian Romances by Chretien de Troyes
- The Vulgate Cycle
- The Post Vulgate Cycle
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
- La Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley