Castle of Air and Darkness: Margawse

Morgan le Fey by Sandys

The Castle of Air and Darkness

Welcome to my home. Feel at home, make my home your home. I get so lonely here in the Orkney Islands. My sons have all grown up and are off to a bit of mischief themselves, and I just don't have much to I am very glad to have visitors. Take a seat. Let me tell you about myself...

My name is Margawse, although some call me Morgause, or other such names. Some people strangely mistake me for my younger sister, Morgan le Fey but I think that they're rather silly, all in all. We're really nothing alike. I am, of course, the queen of these islands who rules completely alone, thanks to the death of my husband, Lot. Not that I really mind, all that much...I am also called the Queen of Air and Darkness, and am considered a sorceress of some power.

My life is intersting enough to make any tabloid. I was the daughter of Igraine and her husband Goloris. When Goloris was cruelly murdered by Uther, my little sister, Morgan le Fey, was sent to a convent. Being all of thirteen, I was married off to Lot, a man old enough to be my father. I tolerated his presence remarkably well and we had four sons, Gawaine, Gareth, Gaheris, and Agravaine, all of whom became Arthur's knights. Gawaine, my eldest, became Arthur's premier knight...

I had no way of knowing when I went to meet the new king to discuss an independant peace treaty with the man who my husband was at war with that he was the son of my mother and Uther. Things...happened, and our son, Mordred, went on to cause Arthur's doom. Of course, some people would insist that I was actually trying to kill Arthur, or that I knew exactly what I was doing, but those sensationalistic rumor mongers also make Morgan a pagan, so what can I say?

Arthur was not a particularly good father. He learned from his rotten assistant Merlin that Mordred would be born on May day, so he ordered that all infants born that day be put into a boat and drowned. Mordred managed to escape, only by luck, and was returned to me, unharmed.

My ending was perhaps more exciting even than my beginnings. I died, in bed, with an enemy of my husband and a knight of Arthur's court, Lamerok. I was killed by my horrified son, either Gareth or Gaheris, or occasionally it's even said to be Agravaine. (I don't really know. Remember, I was dead at the time.) Such an ending!

Strangely, for all of my importance in the plot of Arthurian legends, I tend to be ignored for my far more boring sister, Morgan le Fey. Even that picture up there is of her! What sort of people are these? And when I am portrayed, I end up being made lazy and lustful. Humph! However, I have appeared, despite people's attempts to get rid of me, in a fairly large number of stories. On-line I even have the marvelous poem Lady Morgause (Sinful Sister) by Maryann Hazen.

My enshriner, being a very wise woman, also wrote me into some very strange fan fiction that she wrote involving a large number of characters from the anime series Slayers. It's a marvelous adventure where I meet the most fascinating woman named Nagha. The parts are, Through the Rabbit Hole, Meetings, In Another World, Splitting Up, The Grail, The Astral Plane, and Back Home. I would advise you to read all of them, especially if you enjoy Slayers and to tell my enshriner what you think of them if you have time. If you hate the characterizations, she also wrote Arthurian Notes for Slayers: Grail Quest so that she could defend exactly why Guenievere becomes a justice freak. Whatever. I'll never understand her.

Mary Stuwart made me a major character in her Merlin chronicles, especially in the two last, The Last Enchantment and The Wicked Day both in which I am an evil and powerful enchantress who wishes to force Merlin to teach me everything he knows and eventually leads to his downfall by poisoning him and pronouncing the curse that a woman will kill him. I am even mistaken for that woman, Niniane, and, although I typically do not get along particularly well with her, do have a sister page that is about her, Broceliande. Courtway Jones also gives me a rather fascinating character as a beautiful, sexy, yet rather helpful sorceress and matriarch in the wild north in his books In the Shadow of the Oak King, Witch of the North, and A Prince in Camelot. T.H. White dedicates a large portion of space in his The Once and Future King to me, including an entire book called, The Queen of Air and Darkness. T.H. White is a marvelous man, I must say that. He gives me the attention I deserve and Morgan le Fey only appears briefly as a rather rotund fairy. Jealous, me? Never. I appear in Malory, obviously, as well as various other classical manuscripts, although, again, I don't tend to get quite as much attention as my rather worthless sister. So it goes!

Unfortunately until my ridiculous web enshriner gets together all of my information, this will remain rather brief...However, if you must have more information about me, I do have a few pictures up at Vanity: Margawse's Picture Gallery


Oh, and you might wish to check out that enshriner's main page, The Ivory Tower where there are thousands of other myth and legendary pages, most of which she has spent more time on than this one.

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