MORGAN LE FAY
Morgaine Le Fay
Sorceress, Would-Be World Conqueror, former priestess, former queen
Citizen of Fifth Century Britain
The general populace of Earth is unaware of Morganís existence except as a
figure of Arthurian Legend.
Morgana, Morgana Le Fay
Place of Birth:
Tintagil Castle, Gorre (Now part of modern Cornwall, England)
(father, deceased), Igraine (mother, deceased), Uther Pendragon (step-father,
deceased), Arthur Pendragon (half-brother), Anna (half-sister, deceased),
Morgause, Elaine (sisters, deceased), Uriens (husband, deceased), Ewain (son,
deceased), Mordred (nephew), Gawain, Agravaine, Gaheris, Gareth, Galeshin,
(nephews, deceased), Lot, Nentres (brothers-in-law, deceased), Genevieve
(sister-in-law, deceased), Ider (grandson, deceased), Amlawdd (maternal
grandfather, deceased), Gwendolyn (maternal grandmother, deceased), Llyr,
Llyr, Aphrodite (ancestors)
Leaders of a Sixth Century Cult of Dark-Holders, former ally of Doctor Doom,
Base of Operations:
(historical) The Vulgate Merlin, (modern) Spider Woman I #2
Morgan le Fay is
half-human and half-faerie (hence her name ďLe FayĒ). The faerie are an
ancient race of humanoid beings with supernatural powers that originated from an
other-dimensional world that borders upon Britain and Ireland on Earth. They are
closely related to the Dark Elves of Svartleheim, one of the Nine Worlds of
Asgardian Cosmology). Morgan Le Fay is said to be the daughter of Gorlois, Duke
of Tintagil and of his wife, Igraine. Igraine also bore King Uther Pendragon a
son who became the legendary King of Camelot. However, Morganís faerie nature
indicates at least one of her parents must have been at least part faerie.
Presuming Gorlois, who was apparently entirely human, to be her true father, it
would seem that Igraine must have least been partly of faerie descent. However,
Morganís half-brother Arthur was entirely human, and Morganís own faerie
talent for magic did not manifest until she was past puberty. Morganís unusual
hair color and her vast potential as a sorceress are both traits due to her
faerie descent. Since she was part faerie, she also ceased aging upon reaching
and her sisters were schooled in a nunnery after the death of her father, upon
which Igraine became wife of Uther Pendragon. She learned the arts of sorcery
from the greatest sorcerer of the Sixth Century, Merlin. But although Morgan had
persuaded Merlin to teach her magic by promising to be his lover in return, she
did not keep her pledge. Morgan mastered the sorcery from the ancient Celtic
became queen by marrying King Uriens of Gorre, a section of Ancient Britain
following the departure of the Romans. They
had a son, Sir Ewain, but she actually kept several lovers behind her
husbandís back. Uriens greatly supported Arthur, which just made her hate
Arthur even more. Among her lovers were Sir Accolon of Gaul, Sir Hemison and
Guenivereís cousin Guiomar.
hated King Arthur and frequently attacked him in his knights or at least made
problems within Camelot. Her motives were many. She wished to rule Britain
herself. She despised Arthur for promoting Christianity and rejecting their
ancient Celtic goddess-worship. She also loathed Arthur because of his father
Uther Pendragonís illicit relationship with her mother Igraine. Nevertheless,
Arthur trusted Morgan and gave her a castle of her own, Castle Le Fay.
Morganís first recorded plot against Arthur, she stole his enchanted sword
Excalibur and its magic scabbard while Arthur laid wounded in the nunnery after
battle against the Saxons in 415 AD. (The wearer of the scabbard would lose no
blood, thanks to its magic, no matter how seriously he was wounded.) She had the
sword and scabbard replaced with exact copies, which lacked enchantments. Morgan
presented her lover, Sir Accolon, with the true Excalibur and magic scabbard,
and told him that if he killed a particular night the next day, he would become
her husband and the next king of Britain. According to Morgan, this unnamed
knightís death would make it possible for her to kill King Arthur and her
husband, King Uriens. Accolon fought the knight the next day, unaware his
armored opponent was really King Arthur himself. Armed with Excalibur, Accolon
seriously wounded King Arthur, who nevertheless fought back with great skill and
courage. Yet, Arthur might have been doomed had not Merlinís lover, the
sorceress Nimue used her powers to force Accolon to drop Excalibur. Knowing that
Accolonís sword was the true Excalibur, Arthur seized it and quickly defeated
Accolon, who then realized Morganís plot. Horrified to learn his opponent was
King Arthur himself, Accolon repented before dying of his injuries. Until now,
Arthur had fully trusted his half-sister Morgan, but now he swore a vengeance
upon her. He regretted giving her a castle of her own, but he could not take it
back without laying a siege.
thereafter, Ewain thwarted Morganís attempt to murder her husband King Uriens.
She assuaged the youthís fears and made him keep it a secret on promises to
restrain her treachery. Learning of Accolonís death and the failure of her
plot against Arthur, Morgan became enraged and herself stole the magic scabbard
herself and hurled it into a lake. She then returned to Gorre intent on further
harm on Arthur.
attempted to make Alisander le Orphelin, the nephew of King Mark, her paramour
and even tried vamping Lancelot, preferring to keep only one lover at a time.
After the death of Sir Hemison, she kept Lancelot imprisoned in her castle and
tried to get him to share a bed with her. The tryst might have been to tarnish
his sterling image, turn him against Arthur or just because he loved Genevieve.
existed at the center of a network of enchantresses and female villains. King
Mark appealed to her and the Queen of Norgales to set the country afire against
wicked knights such as Sir Malgrin and Breuse Sans Pitie. Morganís nephew,
Mordred, began working with her for the first time in sharing their treachery
against King Arthur.
point, Morgan sought and took possession of the Darkhold, the book containing
the greatest number of evil magical spells on Earth, many of which had been
inscribed in it by the primeval demon Chthon. Morgan gathered together a number
of students of occultism whom she called the Cult of Darkholders and together
they traveled into Europe to use the Darkhold to raise Chthon himself, hoping to
force him to do their bidding. But Chthon proved to be too powerful for even
Morgan to control and she and the cult only narrowly succeeded in imprisoning
him again beneath Wundagore Mountain.
lover and student, Magnus, had realized and been appalled by the extent of her
evil when she took possession of the Darkhold. A little more than a year late,
after the attempt to raise Chthon, Magnus stole the Darkhold from her and hid it
in a high tower upon the Isle of Wight. The tower was protected by elaborate
spells, which prevented those of evil intent from entering. Morgan eventually
found Magnus and slew his physical form while he was engaged in astral
some years without keeping contact with King Arthur, Morgan was believed by
Arthur to be deceased, but she had actually retired in secret to her castle near
Tauroc, Wales after her ordeal with Chthon. Arthur chanced upon her during a
hunting trip and spent a week as her guest as she showed him the murals of
Lancelot which he had painted in his room as her guest, possibly to get in good
favor with him.
many attempts to bring ruin upon Camelot were continually thwarted by Arthur,
Merlin, Sir Percia of Scandia who was the original Black Knight and the Knights
of the Round Table. After a climactic battle against her foes, the defeated
Morgan was imprisoned by Merlin in her castle in her castle. Although she still
used her spells and minions to cause trouble for Arthur and his knights and
could travel to other dimensions. Merlinís spells would cause her death if she
ventured outside her castle.
believed that if she regained the Darkhold, she could use its powerful magic to
break Merlinís spells binding her. Numerous times she projected her astral
form from her unaging body in the Sixth Century AD into various future periods
in attempts to recover the Darkhold. She always failed, usually due to the
efforts of Magnus, whose magic enabled him to survive on the astral plane in
spirit form, and often take possession of the bodies of living people on Earth.
in the Twentieth Century, Morgan attempted to gain control of Jessica Drew, the
original Spiderwoman, who had spent much of her life in suspended animation on
Wundagore where Chthon had been imprisoned. Morgan believed that Jessica had
absorbed enough of the elder godís magic to be able to give Morgan the power
she sought from the Darkhold. At one point, Morgan cast an illusion that
deceived Jessica as Spiderwoman into thinking she had disintegrated when
Spiderwoman fired a bioelectric blast at her through a time warp.
the spirit of Magnus enabled Spiderwomanís spirit to return to Morganís own
time. In battling her, Spiderwoman knocked Morgan though a window of her castle.
Morganís body was apparently destroyed in accordance with Merlinís spell.
However, Morgan cast a spell that prevented Spiderwomanís astral form from
returning to her physical body.
unclear whether Morganís body was destroyed before or after the fall of
Camelot, or what role, if any, Morgan played in the end of Arthurís reign.
However, it is said that Morgan Le Fay was one of those who conveyed Arthur,
after he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann by his nephew, Mordred,
to the extra-dimensional world of Avalon, home of the Celtic Gods, where he
still lives today. (This was actually Morgen, daughter of Arawn, the Celtic god
of the dead, who with her eight sisters escorted the honored dead to Avalon.)
Morganís astral spirit spent centuries in the same astral plane to which
Magnus existed in spirit form. While Jessicaís spirit was still separated from
her body, Morgan used her sorcery to make it impossible for Jessicaís spirit
to continue to exist on the astral plane. Morgan would then be able to take
Jessicaís physical body for herself. Earthís sorcerer supreme Doctor
Strange, the Avengers and the Shroud then all journeyed into the astral plane to
battle Morgan. Morgan created a gigantic body of stone out of the matter of the
astral plane to fight her opponents. Magnusís spirit sacrificed his existence
on the astral plane in order to allow Jessicaís astral form to reunite with
her physical body. The Avengers smashed apart Morganís stone form and Morgan
realizing she had lost contact with Jessica by becoming distracted by the
Avengers decided to take the body of the She Hulk instead. Doctor Strange
blocked that attempt and used his magic to prevent her from departing the astral
form. Morgan then declared herself Dr. Strangeís worst foe.
remained a powerful force in the astral realm, staging many attacks on her
enemies from there, including Iron Man and Doctor Doom. She eventually freed
herself, however, and tried to take possession of Lissa Russell, the sister of
the Werewolf Jack Russell, who had once been cursed by the Darkhold. Morgan
proceeded to continue her acts of villainy, often coming into conflict with the
association known as the Darkhold Redeemers. She also attacked Wonder Woman
of the Justice League of America and tried to make her powerful, immortal body
her own before briefly transforming it into clay.
She also attacked Wonder Woman of the Justice League of America and tried to make her powerful, immortal body her own before briefly transforming it into clay.
recently, Morgan, had visions that made her believe that the sunken continent of Atlantis was her homeland
kingdom of Avalon and used her mystical powers to raise Atlantis from the waves. In
so doing, she battled the lands' defenders, the Sub-Mariner and his ally, Thor.
Morgan's acts also drew the attention of the leadership of the alien-like
Inhumans, who also regarded Atlantis as their hereditary homeland, where they
built their first great civilization. At the same time, an accident threatened
to destroy their lunar city of Attilan. The Inhumans began to evacuate the city,
and several Inhumans wanted to reclaim Atlantis as their own. The Inhumans
requested help from the Fantastic Four to help evacuate, and in order to do so,
the heroes shrunk Attilan and its inhabitants to miniscule size and placed the
city in a bottle. Morgan le Fey, in the meantime, managed to capture the
shrunken city of Attilan and had taken some Inhumans prisoner. Arcadius, leader
of the Inhuman Genetic Council, appeared before the exiled Royal Family to form
an alliance with Morgan. The Inhumans, the Fantastic Four, and Atlantis'
rightful ruler, the Sub-Mariner, found themselves in conflict. Ultimately, the
Inhumans remained in control of Atlantis, ousting Morgan le Fey, and the
Sub-Mariner left to rebuild his kingdom in a slightly different location.
time when the Asgardian gods disappeared, Morgan stole their mystic artifacts,
the Norn Stones and the Twilight Sword. Morgan proceeded to reconstruct reality
in her own image by channeling the reality-warping powers of the Avenger known
as Scarlet Witch through the Twilight Sword, reshaping the entire planet into
her idealized Sixth Century version. The dozens of Avengers who had opposed
Morgan's attempt were transformed into her "Queen's Vengeance" palace
guard in this alternate quantum reality she had created. However, Thor and
Captain America were the first to sense something amiss, and Captain America
rounded up various Avengers to stage a revolution. At the same time, the Scarlet
Witch broke free with the help of a resurrected Wonder Man, and altogether the
Avengers managed to thwart Morgan's plans and return reality to its normal
state, whereupon Morgan le Fey disappeared.
alternate future of the Thirty-First Century, the Earth was attacked by an
extra-terrestrial race based on a hitherto undiscovered tenth planet in the
solar system. An Arthurian student named Tom Prentice discovered Arthurís
final resting place and woke him realizing this was the time of Englandís
greatest need. Arthur rounded all the modern day reincarnations of his men and
discovered that Morgan was controlling the aliens in her plans to take control
of the Earth.
Morgan Le Fay possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her physical
age, height and build who engages in minimal regular exercise.
Morgan Le Fay is one of the most powerful sorceresses in the history of Earth.
Her magical powers are derived from three major sources. Due to her faerie
heritage she possesses innate personal powers such as the ability to control
minds; she also possesses abilities all humans potentially have, such as the
ability to engage in astral projection. She also has the faerie ability to
manipulate mystical energy, often through spells and enchantments of ancient
Celtic origin, an ability she has honed through practice. Finally, she has
abilities as a high priestess of the Earth goddess (Gaea) by invoking her Celtic
Not all of Morganís powers have
been documented as yet. It is known that she can mystically manipulate both the
natural environment of Earth and the environment of the astral plane in which
she once existed. She can cast illusions, project mystical bolts (which can
affect physical beings and objects even when she is in astral form), create
mystical force shields and remove spirits from their bodies and place those
spirits under her control. When in physical form, she can fly and change her
shape into other people or animals (both real and mythical). She also has
healing powers which she might have used on her former foe King Arthur on
transporting him to Otherworld.
Morgan can also tap into and
manipulate powerful magical energies for powerful feats of magic without having
to tax upon her normal magical abilities, such as when she used the power of the
Norn Stones and the Twilight Sword to restructure reality. There may be an upper
limit to how much energy Morgan can control as when she tapped into these
energies she did so through the Scarlet Witch, Magda Maximoff .
Morgan has the faerie vulnerability to ďcold ironĒ or steel.
These can cause her harm in both her physical and astral forms.
Morgan has little skills in hand-to-hand combat or even with a sword preferring
to use her sorcery at every chance.
Morganís Drinking Horn was enchanted that only women faithful to their
husbands could use it. If any woman drinking from it had been unfaithful, the
horn would force itself to spill. While Morgan herself could not use it, she
tried to use it to expose the infidelity between Genevieve and Lancelot, but a
messenger took it to King Mark of
Morgan also owned a rich mantle
set with precious stones, which she had given to Arthur as a peace offering
between them. However, Nimue warned Arthur from wearing it unless Morganís
damsel messenger tried it on first. Arthur had the messenger wear it and the
young woman was incinerated into coals.
Morgan also possessed objects with
mystical properties. She had an ointment that could heal any wound and even cure
madness. She had a powder that induced temporary amnesiac conditions in her foes
and opened them to her powers of suggestion. Greater doses induced madness;
Lancelot affected by it stayed Morganís guest in accordance to his own will
and painted his life story on the walls of his own room within her castle.
Morgan also had a shield lacking
in mystical properties. Emblazoned in gold with the image of a knight with his
feet upon the heads of a king and queen, she lent Tristan this sword at a
tournament at the Castle of the Old Rock.
Morganís preference for
the surname, ďLe Fay,Ē is not explained in Arthurian Legend. In the Marvel
Universe, it is explained she had faerie blood, but this is not part of her
legend. Possibly, she added it out of ego, out of her connection to the pagan
arts or it was added to her name when the stories of Arthur were first
transcribed. Most sources I have read link Fay and Faerie to Fata (Fates), the
Olympian goddesses of destiny.
There are also elves and faeries
native to Avalon, the world of the Celtic Gods, and Svarga, the realm of the
Slavic Gods. The Nymphs, lesser divinities of Olympus, home of the Olympian
gods, also have faerie attributes so their origins are not actually preclusive
to Svartalheim. The Hindu, Oceanic, Chinese and African pantheons also have
divinities nearly identical with faeries.
Marvelís Castle Le Fay, going by
Arthurian legend, may be Ringwood Castle in southwest Southhampton because of
its proximity to La Beale Regard, which Morgan usurped. She might have also kept
a castle near the stronghold of Tauroc which might be Taneborc Castle at the
entrance of Norgales. Late in his reign, Arthur and his associates came to this
Welsh castle and were stunned to find Morgan alive as they had not seen her in
some years. She also had a chapel called Val Sans Retour between Escalon li
Tenebreux and the Dolorous Tower near the mouth of the Tamar River in Cornwall
and had it enchanted so that no knight could depart while everyone else could
come at go at will. Only a knight who had always been true in love could deliver
the trapped knights.
Le Fay has been portrayed several times in the movies and motion pictures. Most
notably by Candice Bergen (Arthur-1985), Anne Crawford (Knights of the Round
Table-1953), Greta Fox (Merlin 1999), Kelly Le Brock (The Sorcererís
Apprentice-2002), Helena Bonham Carter (Merlin-1998), Jean Marsh (A Connecticut
Yankee in King Arthurís Court-1989), Helen Mirren (Excalibur-1981), Catherine
Oxenberg (Arthurís Quest-1999) and Jessica Walters (Dr. Strange -1978 with
Peter Hooten as Dr. Strange). It may be noted, though, that in several King
Arthur movies, Morgan is sometimes omitted as Arthurís main nemesis.
Morgan le Fay is not to be confused with:
, called Titania in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
former adversary of Hercules, Hercules, The Legendary Journeys