Siege Perilous


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Related to Siege Perilous: Holy Grail

Siege Perilous

a seat at King Arthur’s Round Table for the knight destined to find the Holy Grail; it was fatal to any other occupant. [Br. Lit.: Morte d’Arthur; Benét, 929]
See: Quest
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to these many textual notations, volume two of the Morte also contains a page of handwritten notes inserted between pages 402 and 403, and Barfield has devoted one full side of this page, written in bright blue ink, to "References to Galahad." On the verso, Barfield has compiled notes, written in pencil, on "References to the Siege Perilous," the seat at the Round Table in which only Galahad may sit.
In volume two, Barfield places a vertical line in the margin of a passage in which a hermit prophesies to King Arthur and his knights about the upcoming birth of Galahad, the one and only knight who will be able to sit in the Siege Perilous and "win" the Grail (2:124).
Barfield marks a passage that specifically compares Galahad to Lancelot, in which a maiden at Pelles's castle states, "this child is Galahad, that shall sit in the siege perilous, and achieve the Sangreal, and he shall be much better than ever was Sir Launcelot du Lake, this is his own father" (2:130).
And then he made the Siege Perilous, in the which Galahad sat in at his meat on Whitsunday last past."
And when the hermit saw the siege perilous, he asked the king and all the knights why that siege was void.
And anon he led him unto the Siege Perilous, where beside sat Sir Launcelot; and the good man lift up the cloth, and found there letters that said thus: This is the siege of Galahad, the haut prince.
168: "Then all the knights of the Table Round marvelled greatly of Sir Galahad, that he durst sit there in that Siege Perilous, and was so tender of age; and wist not from whence he came but all only by God; and said: This is he by whom the Sangreal shall be achieved, for there sat never none but he, but he were mischieved.
He is depicted as seated in the Siege Perilous, the chair filled with leaping flames that could only be safely occupied by the knight who accomplished the Quest for the Holy Grail: Galahad.
Stuart Williams has made a bright start and Siege Perilous caught a tartar in Sweetness Herself at Nottingham in October.
He alone is qualified to fill the Siege Perilous at the Round Table, and he alone achieves the quest for the Holy Grail, heals the Fisher King, and brings back fertility to his land.