The Sword in the Stone, 1938

(Great Characters in Literature)

Arthur

Arthur, the son of the warrior chieftain Uther Pendragon. He is known simply as Wart, the son of the warrior chieftain Uther Pendragon. He is known simply as Wart, the boy who will become King Arthur. A typical boy—mischievous, curious, kindly, brave, and innocent—he spends the story being trained by Merlyn to understand the lesson that justice and fairness are better than the warrior’s “might makes right” philosophy of the warring tribes.

Merlyn

Merlyn, the magician whose job it is to educate Wart. Merlyn initiates a plan to civilize the assortment of savage Celtic tribes by gradually unifying them under a common cause and a single king. He is a kindly, absentminded, and somewhat comic figure who plays no significant role in the remaining three novels. His influence on the plot of the story is so profound, however, that he is, after Arthur, the major figure in the story.

Sir Ector

Sir Ector, Arthur’s foster father, a comic figure.

Kay

Kay, Arthur’s foster brother, an inept but faithful friend.