Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 545
Axl, Beatrice, and Gawain arrive at the giant's cairn. Axl ties the goat to a stake. Gawain announces the coming arrival of Wistan and Edwin, and he tells Axl and Beatrice that they are not meeting as comrades. Gawain speaks to Axl in an attempt to remind him of their shared past, and Axl has fragments of recollection. Eventually, Gawain recounts in full the moment in Arthur's court when Axl confronted the king and condemned Merlin's plan to use Querig to produce the amnesia-inducing mist. Gawain expresses some agreement with Axl's position, but he declares his duty to Arthur steadfast.
Wistan arrives and ties Edwin to the stake to keep him from running to the distant stones, where Querig waits. Wistan and Gawain speak uneasily. Axl suddenly realizes and states the truth: Gawain is Querig's protector, not her slayer. Gawain confirms that this has been his task.
Gawain agrees to lead them to Querig and tells them how he was given this task. Gawain tells Wistan as they arrive that he had hoped the mist would rob Wistan of his memory so that they could avoid confrontation. They arrive at the pit and look down at the old, emaciated, sleeping dragon.
Gawain asks them to allow her to die of old age, but Wistan is resolved in his quest to kill her. Gawain and Wistan walk away from the pit, speaking amiably and choosing a battleground. Gawain asks Axl to end the conflict, but Axl declares that he and Beatrice side with Wistan, preferring the death of the dragon and the return of their memories.
Gawain and Wistan fight, and Wistan prevails. He descends into the pit and decapitates Querig. Axl and Beatrice ask Wistan to bury Gawain. He goes about digging a hole, and Axl and Beatrice go to untie Edwin. After they do so, Beatrice asks Edwin to remember the kindness they shared.
Axl and Beatrice use Gawain's horse to leave the mountain. Beatrice grows tired and unwell. In the rain, a boatman offers them some refuge near his fire. Beatrice says she finally remembers that...
(The entire section contains 545 words.)
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