Sir Galahad

Legends of Tomorrow doesn’t treat well all Medieval heroes in Camelot/3000, most notably he doesn’t Sir Galahad, the purest of all Knights of the Round Table. Portrayed by Neil Webb, he’s killed in cold blood by King Arthur, who’s under Rip Hunter‘s control, and he’s replaced on the battlefield by Ray Palmer, who inherits his sword and his pure heart. He’s been quite unfortunate also in the comics, dying quite too many times for a single man: let’s take a look.

Sir Galahad didn’t live through all the history of Camelot, but even as a young knight he managed to obtain just fame: born from the occasional love between Sir Lancelot and Elaine of Corbenic, he was raised by a grandaunt, and was prophesied by Merlin to eventually surpass his father, considered the greatest of the Knight of the Round Table. The prophecy came true when Galahad, a young man, challenged his father to a duel and defeated him, behind knighted by him as a result. He was accepted by King Arthur as a new Knight when he survived seating on the Siege Perilous, a mystic seat reserved for the one entrusted with retrieving the Holy Grail, that had killed many before him. King Arthur regarded him as the greatest knight ever, and let him, along with Percival and Bors, go on a mission to retrieve the relic, a most dangerous quest that he succeeded against all odds. According to some accounts, Galahad then ascended to Heaven as a reward for his purity, but truth was much darker: Camelot was raided by the Sheeda, a race of warlords from the future, who made short work of the knights. Sir Galahad guided the human resistance against the Sheeda, and led his people to the underground, where they organized a last desperate move to depose evil King Melmoth, ruling over an undead legion with the name Mordredd the Dead. Using future knowledge, Galahad convinced his fellow Knights of the Broken Table to employ an atomic bomb, that defeated the hated usurper, at the cost of the knights’ lives. This heroic end, however, wasn’t meant to be a reward for Galahad, but merely the beginning of a worse torture.

The Sheeda, now led by Melmoth’s traitorous wife Queen Gloriana Tenebrae, reanimated him and tortured him for years, trying to break his spirit and to taint his heart. As strong and virtuous as Galahad was, not even him could resist to all that pain, darkness and evil, and he eventually surrendered, becoming a monster the likes he had sworn to destroy. Now a hound of the evil queen, the horrendous undead Galahad was unleashed against Sir Ystin, the new Shining Knight and his former protegee, one of the Seven Soldiers who opposed the Sheeda. Galahad vanquished his former pupil in front of Gloriana, in her throne room, and even humiliated him by exposing him as a woman in disguise. Ordered to break her and turn her into a slave like he was, Galahad was about to proceed, when Ystin abandoned all hopes of reaching to his once pure soul and opened his head in two with her sword, swearing on his corpse that she would have murdered Gloriana with her own hands. Even this second death wasn’t the last word on the knight’s fate, though, as Merlin had enchanted him as well as many other Knights of the Round Table. In the year 3000, he reincarnated in Japan, where his unshakable morality and his religious discipline led him to embrace Bushido, and to become a modern-day samurai, fiercely loyal to the old ways. He didn’t remember anything about his true self until King Arthur awakened, and had Merlin give all knights their memories back. A Knight of the Round Table again, Galahad was reunited to the Once and Future King, ready to consecrate his sword to him like in the old times… and to sacrifice his life to justice and freedom for the third time, if needed.

Sir Galahad is valor and virtue incarnated, a knight totally devoted to justice, chivalry and sanctity. As the Perfect Knight, he’s an unbeatable warrior, with arms just as strong as his heart and an armor as impenetrable as his morality; he’s an unmatched swordsman, and knows no pain nor fatigue in battle. The epitome of the hero, Galahad has no flaws, he’s fiercely loyal to his peers and his king, and will go as far as to sacrifice his own life (more than once!) for the ideals he firmly believes in: his clear soul will never be tainted, and his courage will never falter.

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