MORGAN LE FAY
Real Name: Morgaine Le Fay
Occupation: Sorceress, Would-Be World Conqueror, former priestess, former queen
Legal Status: Citizen of Fifth Century Britain
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Morganís existence except as a figure of Arthurian Legend.
Other Aliases: Morgana, Morgana Le Fay
Place of Birth: Tintagil Castle in Gorre (Now part of modern Cornwall, England)
Marital Status: Widowed
Known Relatives: Gorlois (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),
Group Affiliations: Leaders of a Sixth Century Cult of Dark-Holders, former ally of Doctor Doom,
Base of Operations: Mobile , formerly Castle Le Fay in the Valley of Wailing Mists, Taneborc Castle in Norgales, Wales and Escalon li Tenebreux and the Dolorous Tower near the mouth of the Tamar River in Cornwall, England
First Appearance: (historical) The Vulgate Merlin, (modern) Spider Woman I #2
History: 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 dakkalfar ("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 adulthood.
Morgan 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 religion.
Morgan 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. Morgan 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.
In 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.
Shortly 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. Morgan 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.
Morgan 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. At some 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.
Morganís 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 projection.
After 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.
Morganís 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.
Morgan 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.
Finally, 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.
Finally, 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.
It is 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.)
Apparently, 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.
Morgan 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.
More recently, Morgan, had dreams and 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 Namor the Sub-Mariner and Thor. Morgan's acts also drew the attention of the leadership of the Inhumans, an off-shoot of humanity who also regarded Atlantis as their hereditary homeland, where they built their first great civilization. Morgan's spells threatened to destroy their native city of Attilan, and the Inhumans began to evacuate the city, wanting to reclaim Atlantis as their own. They 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, however, managed to capture the shrunken city of Attilan and take some Inhumans prisoner. Arcadius, leader of the Inhuman Genetic Council, tried to form an alliance with Morgan, but they were confronted by the Inhumans, the Fantastic Four, and the Sub-Mariner. 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.
Following another cycle of Ragnarok in Asgard, Morgan stole their mystic artifacts, the Norn Stones and the Twilight Sword from the Asgardian gods and proceeded to reconstruct reality in her own image by channeling the reality-warping powers of the Scarlet Witch through the Twilight Sword, reshaping the entire planet into her idealized Sixth Century version. The Avengers who had opposed Morgan's attempt were transformed into her palace guard in the altered reality and exterminated all the other surviving heroes of this reality she had created. Eventually, 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.
In an alternate future of the Thirty-First Century, the Earth was attacked by
an extra-terrestrial race based on a hitherto reported 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.
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 140 lbs.
Strength Level: Morgan Le Fay possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her physical age, height and build who engages in minimal regular exercise.
Superhuman Powers: 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 name, Danu.
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.
Limitations: Morgan has the faerie vulnerability to ďcold ironĒ or steel. These can cause her harm in both her physical and astral forms. Abilities: Morgan has little skills in hand-to-hand combat or even with a sword preferring to use her sorcery at every chance.
Weapons/Paraphernalia: 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 Cornwall . Out of a hundred women there, only four could drink from it. 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.
Comments: This bio describes Morgan Le Fay as she has appeared in the Marvel and DC Universes.
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. Several sources have tried to 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 nature 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.
Morgan 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 should be noted, though, that in several King Arthur movies, Morgan is sometimes omitted as Arthurís main nemesis.
Clarifications: Morgan le Fay is not to be confused with:
Last updated: 10/27/13
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