Isn't there an old saying about truth being stranger than fiction? Maybe there is something in that.
Today we are going to look at Sir Kay. He may not be as well known as Lancelot or Gawain, but his story is worth telling.
Her father, Ysbaddaden's is not impressed, because if Olwen marries, he dies. So he issues Culhwch with around forty impossible challenges. My favourite of which is that Culhwch has to cut Ysbaddadens's hair and beard -- which isn't as easy as it sounds.
But that is not a problem. Culhwch is extraordinarily strong, he can also hold his breath under water for nine days and nine nights and he can also go without sleep for the same amount of time -- although I am not sure why he would want to do this?! Arthur, Gawain, and a fair few others, help Culhwch with these impossible challenges. In the end Culhwch is able to cut Ysbaddaden's hair and he shaves his beard to the bone and Ysbaddaden dies.
And they all live happily ever after....
- Prince of the plunder,
- The unrelenting warrior to his enemy;
- Heavy was he in his vengeance;
- Terrible was his fighting.
- When he would drink from a horn,
- He would drink as much as four;
- When into battle he came
- He slew as would a hundred.
- Unless God should accomplish it,
- Cei's death would be unattainable.
- Worthy Cei and Llachau
- Used to fight battles,
- Before the pain of livid spears [ended the conflict].
- On the top of Ystarfingun
- Cei slew nine witches.
- Worthy Cei went to Ynys Mon
- To destroy lions.
- Little protection did his shield offer
- Against Palug's Cat
- (In case you were wondering Palug's cat was a terrifying man eating cat in Welsh folklore.)
- Kay comes across in Welsh literature as having a fiery temper, who could drink any man under the table! He wasn't a man that you would want to cross. However, his loyalty to Arthur is unquestionable.
- In later works, Geoffrey of Monmouth, makes Kay the count of Anjou and King Arthur's steward, which kind of stuck from there on in.
- We then head into modern literature. Now, I could list all the movies that he has been portrayed in, but I think that could become just ever so slightly tedious. But the general theme in most of these films is that he is a hot-headed idiot. But, his loyalty to Arthur is always unquestionable.