illustration of a green shield with an ornate design

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

by Pearl-Poet

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Part 2, Verses 22–34, Lines 491–810 Summary

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Last Updated January 25, 2023.

Soon, a year has gone by, and on All Saints’ Day, Sir Gawain celebrates at the court of Arthur, and on All Souls’ Day, he sets out on his horse, Gringolet, to find the Green Knight. 

He wears ornate and well-crafted armor, and his shield has a a pentangle painted in red gold adorned on the outside. The pentangle, the narrator says, is called “the endless knot,” because it can be drawn with just a single line. It also has five points, which is a mystic number. Inside the pentangle is a picture of the Virgin Mary. 

The journey proves perilous, the land is unforgiving, and Sir Gawain cannot find anyone who knows the way to the Green Chapel. He continues to seek it and battles many adversaries such as wild animals, dragons, and ogres along the way. 

Eventually, Gawain sees a magnificent castle in the distance beyond a grove of ancient trees. The castle is surrounded by a double moat and has many towers and turrets. Gawain leaves the forest and as he approaches the castle, a porter greets him.

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Part 1, Verses 11–21, Lines 232–490 Summary

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Part 2, Verses 35–45, Lines 811–1125 Summary