The Once and Future King Part 3, Chapters 3-5 Summary

T. H. White

Part 3, Chapters 3-5 Summary

Uncle Dap’s name is Gwenbors, and he is the brother of Lancelot’s father. He serves as Lancelot’s mentor, as Merlyn is Arthur’s and St. Toirdealbhach is Gawaine’s. As Lancelot is working with Uncle Dap in the Armoury, a page arrives with the message the Queen Elaine, Lancelot’s mother, wishes to see him. Present with the queen are Merlyn and Nimue, whom the wizard has fallen in love with at last. Elaine tells Merlyn that Lancelot’s first name was Galahad, but this was changed at his confirmation. Merlyn tells Lancelot that he will become the greatest knight in the world, and he will get the hope of his heart thirty years in the future, when he is forty-eight. King Arthur is now married to Guenever, whose father, King Leodegrance, gave Arthur the Round Table, as well as a hundred knights to sit around it. Gawaine is now one of them, and Lancelot is invited to join. Meanwhile, Merlyn and Nimue leave for Cornwall, where Merlyn is doomed to be imprisoned in a magic cave. Lancelot tells Uncle Dap that he is leaving for England that night, and Uncle Dap goes with him.

As Lancelot approaches Camelot, he becomes more jealous of Guenever for coming between himself and his hero, King Arthur. A black knight stands in the path of Lancelot and Uncle Dap. Lancelot jousts with him and wins only to find that it is Arthur himself in the black suit of armor. Arthur is not angry at being bested by his newest knight. He introduces Lancelot to Guenever and asks her to be kind to him. Lancelot reacts coldly to her, but Guenever is helpful as requested by the king. When Lancelot sees that he has genuinely hurt Guenever’s feelings, his thoughts about her change. The two of them will soon fall in love with each other.

Uncle Dap is furious with his nephew for having an affair with a married woman. Lancelot threatens to send him back to Benwick. Arthur decides that he will take Lancelot with him when he goes to the Roman war, in order to separate them. Lucius, the Dictator of Rome, has demanded a tribute from Arthur, who refuses to give one. He and other kings march on Rome. Lucius, along with many other kings, is killed. Arthur sends the bodies of the kings, along with those of many senators, to Rome in place of a tribute. On the way back to England, Arthur becomes such good friends with Lancelot that he forgets about Merlyn’s prophecy that his greatest friend would take away his wife.