Lugodoc’s summary of Book 8 – Sir Tristram
King Mark of Cornwall’s sister Elizabeth married King Melodias of Liones (just two of the many kings all over Britain and Europe who ruled under Arthur) but she died in a forest, giving birth to Tristram while searching for her kidnapped husband (later rescued by Merlin).
Surviving his stepmothers’s failure to poison him, he grew up into a young man without too much fighting. When he was eighteen years old, he was knighted by King Mark so he could defend his right not to pay truage to King Anguish of Ireland by defeating the Irish champion, Sir Marhaus (Anguish’s queen’s brother and a Round Table knight) on a small island near Tintagil.
Sir Marhaus eventually died in Ireland, where his sister (the queen) pulled a fragment of Sir Tristram’s sword out of his brain, and Tristram followed using the pseudonym Tramtrist, after a wise-woman predicted his lingering wounds could only be healed in the country of his enemy. King Anguish’s daughter, La Beale Isoud, healed him, and he met Sir Palomides, a pagan Saracen about to get Christened out of love for her. Their sexual rivalry would last for 4 whole books, especially after Tristram humiliated Palomides at an Irish joust.
But the queen matched the shard from her brother’s brain to a nick in Tristram’s blade and tried to kill him in the bath, but Sir Hebes stopped her and Tristram returned to the court of King Mark in Cornwall.
There, he, and King Mark, and also the Round Table knight, Sir Boeberis de Ganis, all fell in love with the wife of the earl Sir Segwarides.
Next, Tristram and his friend Gouvernail were sent back to Ireland to fetch La Beale Isoud (and Dame Bragwaine) back to Cornwall to marry King Mark, but on the boat back, Tristram and Isoud accidentally drank a love potion and fell permanently in love, before being captured by Sir Breunor of the Castle Pluere (the weeping castle).
He soon escaped, met Sir Galahad (not Galahad, son of Launcelot, but Galahad, son of Sir Breunor) and delivered Isoud to King Mark, whom she married. Then Sir Palomides rode off with her, Sir Tristram followed, they fought, Isoud stopped it, and Palomides went off to see Arthur.
One day, Tristram’s cousin, Sir Andred, tipped off King Mark and he caught Tristram and Isoud chatting and he made a scene, whereupon Tristram humiliated him and went off into the forest to kill several of his uncle’s knights. But they made up, and at the next joust, Tristram annoyed Sir Lamorak de Galis to please his uncle.
On his way home Sir Lamorak met a knight carrying a magic horn from Morgan le Fay to King Arthur, which could only be drunk from by a woman who was true to her husband (another of Morgan’s plans to cause trouble), so he made the knight take it to King Mark instead, to spite Tristram. Isoud and ninety percent of the ladies at court failed the horn test, but the barons stopped Mark from burning them all.
Sir Andred and twelve knights captured Tristram one midnight whilst sleeping with Isoud, and dragged them both off, but Tristram escaped naked and rescued Isoud too, until he was shot with a poison arrow and Mark retrieved Isoud and locked her up.
Tristram went to Brittany to be healed by the daughter of King Howel – coincidentally called Isoud la Blanche Mains – won his host’s war and married his daughter (upsetting the other Isoud and Launcelot when they found out, although Tristram swore the marriage was never consumated).
One day Tristram, Isoud la Blanche Mains, and her brother Sir Kehydius, accidentally sailed to the Isle of Servage off the coast of North Wales (where Sir Lamorak was recovering from a shipwreck) and met Sir Segwarides and his new woman, who had completely forgiven Tristram for destroying his marriage. They all got together at a joust organised by the evil lord of the island, Sir Nabon le Noire, and Tristram slew him and his son and left Segwarides in charge.
Tristram and Isoud la Blanche Mains returned to Britanny and Sir Lamorak returned to Britain, where he saved a damosel from Sir Gawaine, saved then slew Sir Frol, and then fought then made friends with Frol’s father, Sir Belliance le Orgulus.
At A Glance:
Book 8 chapter overview:
1. How Sir Tristram de Liones was born, and how his mother died at his birth, wherefore she named him Tristram.
2. How the stepmother of Sir Tristram had ordained poison for to have poisoned Sir Tristram.
3. How Sir Tristram was sent into France, and had one to govern him named Gouvernail, and how he learned to harp, hawk, and hunt.
4. How Sir Marhaus came out of Ireland for to ask truage of Cornwall, or else he would fight therefore.
5. How Tristram enterprized the battle to fight for the truage of Cornwall, and how he was made knight.
6. How Sir Tristram arrived into the Island for to furnish the battle with Sir Marhaus.
7. How Sir Tristram fought against Sir Marhaus and achieved his battle, and how Sir Marhaus fled to his ship.
8. How Sir Marhaus after that he was arrived in Ireland died of the stroke that Sir Tristram had given him, and how Tristram was hurt.
9. How Sir Tristram was put to the keeping of La Beale Isoud first for to be healed of his wound.
10. How Sir Tristram won the degree at a tournament in Ireland, and there made Palamides to bear no more harness in a year.
11. How the queen espied that Sir Tristram had slain her brother Sir Marhaus by his sword, and in what jeopardy he was.
12. How Sir Tristram departed from the king and La Beale Isoud out of Ireland for to come into Cornwall.
13. How Sir Tristram and King Mark hurted each other for the love of a knight’s wife.
14. How Sir Tristram lay with the lady, and how her husband fought with Sir Tristram.
15. How Sir Bleoberis demanded the fairest lady in King Mark’s court, whom he took away, and how he was fought with.
16. How Sir Tristram fought with two knights of the Round Table.
17. How Sir Tristram fought with Sir Bleoberis for a lady, and how the lady was put to choice to whom she would go.
18. How the lady forsook Sir Tristram and abode with Sir Bleoberis, and how she desired to go to her husband.
19. How King Mark sent Sir Tristram for La Beale Isoud toward Ireland, and how by fortune he arrived into England.
20. How King Anguish of Ireland was summoned to come to King Arthur’s court for treason.
21. How Sir Tristram rescued a child from a knight, and how Gouvernail told him of King Anguish.
22. How Sir Tristram fought for Sir Anguish and overcame his adversary, and how his adversary would never yield him.
23. How Sir Blamore desired Tristram to slay him, and how Sir Tristram spared him, and how they took appointment.
24. How Sir Tristram demanded La Beale Isoud for King Mark, and how Sir Tristram and Isoud drank the love drink.
25. How Sir Tristram and Isoud were in prison, and how he fought for her beauty, and smote of another lady’s head.
26. How Sir Tristram fought with Sir Breunor, and at the last smote off his head.
27. How Sir Galahad fought with Sir Tristram, and how Sir Tristram yielded him and promised to fellowship with Launcelot.
28. How Sir Launcelot met with Sir Carados bearing away Sir Gawaine, and of the rescue of Sir Gawaine.
29. Of the wedding of King Mark to La Beale Isoud, and of Bragwaine her maid, and of Palamides.
30. How Palamides demanded Queen Isoud, and how Lambegus rode after to rescue her, and of the escape of Isoud.
31. How Sir Tristram rode after Palamides, and how he found him and fought with him, and by the means of Isoud the battle ceased.
32. How Sir Tristram brought Queen Isoud home, and of the debate of King Mark and Sir Tristram.
33. How Sir Lamorak jousted with thirty knights, and Sir Tristram at the request of King Mark smote his horse down.
34. How Sir Lamorak sent an horn to King Mark in despite of Sir Tristram, and how Sir Tristram was driven into a chapel.
35. How Sir Tristram was holpen by his men, and of Queen Isoud which was put in a lazar-cote, and how Tristram was hurt.
36. How Sir Tristram served in war King Howel of Brittany, and slew his adversary in the field.
37. How Sir Suppinabiles told Sir Tristram how he was defamed in the court of King Arthur, and of Sir Lamorak.
38. How Sir Tristram and his wife arrived in Wales, and how he met there with Sir Lamorak.
39. How Sir Tristram fought with Sir Nabon, and overcame him, and made Sir Segwarides lord of the isle.
40. How Sir Lamorak departed from Sir Tristram, and how he met with Sir Frol, and after with Sir Launcelot.
41. How Sir Lamorak slew Sir Frol, and of the courteous fighting with Sir Belliance his brother.