Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Morgaine, the principal narrator, a priestess of the ancient Mother Goddess and half sister of King Arthur. Later Christian myth called her Morgan le Fay, which equates her mythologically with the death aspect (Fate) of the Triple Goddess. This story, however, follows the Arthurian tradition that she was a human being, trained in the ancient wisdom (considered witchcraft by Christians). She is known in her maturity as Morgaine of the Fairies. In the context of this tale, the fairies are the original Celtic peoples, a small-statured, dark race overwhelmed by the Roman legions and driven into remote wild places. Though often despised and feared by Christians, they were valuable allies in the attempt to defend Britain from marauding Norsemen and Saxons. The Romans already had abandoned Britain to its several regional kings. Morgaine is an instrument of the Goddess in both the protective unification of Britain’s forces under one king and the destruction of that king when he ceases to defend the religion of the Goddess from narrow-minded Christian priests.
Viviane, known as the Lady of the Lake, or the Lady of the Holy Isle of Avalon, a high priestess of the Old Religion. Early in this saga, Viviane arranges a marriage between her young half sister Igraine and Gorlois, the Romanized duke of Cornwall. Viviane’s secret purpose is to promote a savior king capable of commanding allegiance from all of Britain, both pagan and Christian. Viviane chooses Igraine’s firstborn child, Morgaine, as her successor and trains her on Avalon to be a priestess.
(The entire section is 673 words.)
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