Friday, July 29, 2011

Names of Famous Knights

Making of a Knight
Knights were more often than not of noble birth. Their journey to become a knight began right from stepping out of a cradle. At the age seven or less, noble born male children were sent to a Lord or knight for knight training. At the Lord or knight's castle, such a child got to learn all the skills and weapon training needed to become a knight. In this time period, these young boys were called squires. A squire not only learned the skills and know-how of weaponry, but was also taught the manners worthy of nobility. He was required to run errands in the castle of his mentor and thus, earned his keep. When squires reached the brink of manhood, they were asked to protect their mentor in battles. A formal ceremony for knighthood culminated this grueling process of a young child becoming a soldier.

Though most of the knights were wealthy and of aristocratic origins, they were basically soldiers on horses. During the middle ages, the amount of wealth requisite for the maintenance of a horse grew tremendously beyond the reach of common folks, and hence only noblemen could afford to go on a horse to the battle. A knight was supposed to follow a code of honor called Chivalry, which dictated him to respect women and children, shield the weak from danger, and above all remain brave even in hardest of hard times. There were many who did not follow these codes of conduct, and took advantage of their social position and did what they pleased. However, there were some famous knights too, who eternalized the concept of knighthood and chivalrous living by fighting bravely for their people.

Famous Knights of the Middle Ages
As most of the accurate evidences of existence of these knights have got lost in time, the myth and reality intertwined with each other and gave birth to many legendary stories, one of them is the story of the Sir Lancelot who was one of the Knights of the Round Table. He and his fellow knights trod on the path of finding the elusive Holy Grail. He was believed to be in love with Guinevere, wife of King Arthur. Their illicit romance was supposed to be culprit behind the end of Knights of Round Table. Though this legend is chronicled in Sir Thomas Malory's novel 'Le Morte d'Arthur', there are no proofs to back its credibility.

Another legend which has epitomized knighthood and valor is the story of the Templar Knights. During middle ages, when the holy land of Jerusalem was under siege by Turks, the Christian pilgrims found it utmost harrowing to reach to their place of worship. Therefore, some famous knights stood arm in arm to protect the pilgrims from the atrocities of the Turks and eventually seized the holy land by defeating their foes. The Order of Templar Knights became a religious fraternity sworn to protect the honor of place of Christian worship and its sanctity.

Names of Famous Knights
As I mentioned before, stories of the knights are shrouded in mystery, and over the years it has been passed to us in the form of fables and legends. Therefore, the list of famous knights given below, mostly consists of mythical characters whose existence are a topic of much debate amongst historians.

Sir Percivale Knight of Round Table, quested for Holy Grail
Sir Galahallt or Sir Galahad The illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot
Sir Lancelot du Lac Knight of Round Table, searched for Holy Grail
Sir Gawain One of the King Arthurs's knight who battled the Green Knight
Sir Lionel Brother of Sir Bors and cousin to Sir Lancelot
Sir Trystram Delyens The son of King Meliodas
Queen Isabella of Lyonesse Sister of King of Cornwell and second greatest Knight of the Round Table
Sir Gareth A young knight placed under Sir Kay's care
Sir Bedivere A giant knight
Sir Bleoberis Knight who became a hermit
Sir Brunor le Noir A knight in Camelot
Sir Lucan Loyal and trusted knight of King Arthur
Sir Plomyde Saracen knight
Sir Lamorak Third greatest Knight of the Round Table
Sir Bors De Ganis Brother of Sir Lionel and cousin to Sir Lancelot
Sir Safer Christian knight of Saracen descent
Sir Pelleas Was of low birth but one of the bravest knights
Sir Kay King Arthur's foster-brother
Sir Ector De Marys Believed to be a ladies man
Sir Dagonet King Arthur's jester
Sir Degore King Arthur's cup-bearer
Sir Lybyus Dysconyus Sir Guinglain was Sir Gawain's eldest son also known as Le Bel Desconneu
Sir Alynore Known for his loyalty to King Arthur

Names of Famous Knights and Dames in Modern Era
Even in this 21st century, there are some famous people who were honored for their contribution in their specific field, and knighted by United Kingdom. In modern knighthood ceremony, Queen Elizabeth bestows this honor to the receiver by tapping him on shoulder, and hence, they become eligible to carry the title "Sir" before their name (for women, the title is "Dame"). Some of the modern famous knights and dames are mentioned here.
  • Patrick Stewart
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Helen Mirren
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Bill Gates
  • Paul Getty
  • Bob Hope
  • Beatles
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Julie Andrews
  • Elton John
  • Ben Kingsley
  • Sean Connery
  • Michael Caine
  • Judi Dench
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Roger Moore
  • Ayub Khan
  • Count Cesare Gionotti
Many of us must have come across famous knights in literature who were gallant warriors, genteel young men, and led their cavalry to victory. That's how knights are depicted in countless stories, legends and romances. Even though not all the knights lived up to Chivalry, there were a famous few who were worth their salt.

Popular Posts