Sir Lancelot de Lac was the son of King Ban of Banoic and Queen Elaine. Following his father’s death Lancelot was carried off by the Lady of the Lake, he then became known as ‘Lancelot of the Lake’.
The Lady in the Lake raised and educated him and presented him to King Arthur’s court. He was to become Arthur’s most loyal and trusted knight and his close confidant, but he was ultimately to betray Arthur and become his enemy.
When Lancelot was knighted, he became Queen Guinevere’s champion. Over time a closeness developed between them and they became lovers. Lancelot rescued Guinevere from the clutches of Meliagrance, who himself would later accuse Lancelot and Guinevere of having an adulterous affair, which ultimately lost him his life.
Lancelot was Arthur’s bravest knight and he undertook many campaigns, including the quest for the Holy Grail, but he was always eager to return to Guinevere’s side as his love for her knew no bounds.
When Arthur discovered the affair, he was distraught. Even though he loved Guinevere he condemned her to be burned at the stake, however Lancelot would rescue her from this, and travel with Guinevere to his castle.
Arthur pursued them both to the castle and laid siege demanding that Lancelot return Guinevere which he eventually agreed to. Lancelot was then exiled to France.
Arthur pursued Lancelot yet again, to France, leaving his nephew Mordred in charge of his kingdom, but he had to return when Mordred tried to take the kingdom from him and fighting Mordred he was mortally wounded.
On the death of Arthur, Guinevere believed that her and Lancelot’s love affair was the cause of Arthur’s death and the destruction of the Round Table. When Lancelot returned to her side, she refused to kiss him and vowed never to see him again.
Guinevere was to take a vow of penitence and become a nun.
Lancelot declared that if Guinevere was to take a life of penitence, then so shall he. He would live out the rest of his life as a hermit.