AVENTURE TO BARENTON
Nephew of King Arthur, the knight Yvain, son of Urien, is one of the companions of the Round Table. When he hears about the enchantments of the fountain of Barenton, and the strength of its guardian, the Black Knight, he rushes to the forest of Broceliande. He victoriously confronts the Black Knight and marries his widow, the beautiful Laudine. But, unable to keep his promise to his wife, he loses his love. Grief driving him mad, he flees into the forest where he returns to the animal state.
The Lion Knight
The care of a hermit and a balm prepared by Morgana bring him back to his senses. He then sets out to win back Laudine. In Broceliande, he saves a lion struck down by a snake. The lion becomes his devoted servant, his faithful friend. Throughout his ordeals, Yvain, the lion knight, learns generosity, fidelity, self-forgeting; he also faces discouragement and despair. At the end of his journey, learning the craft of man and initiation to royal power, Yvain triumphs over darkness. His journey, accomplished entirely in the heart of Broceliande, makes him the equal of the Lady of the Fountain.
Their renewed marriage celebrates the union of opposites, that of fire and water, without which there is no balance in the world. The bubbling of Barenton, fire in the water, retells the story of Yvain and Laudine every day.
YVAIN AT THE ROUND TABLE
“Monseigneur Yvain” appears in many Arthurian novels. He rules the ceremonies and protocol of the court. Full of elegance and friendliness, he welcomes the young knights who come to be knighted by King Arthur. It was he who received Lancelot, brought by the Lady of the Lake, and who asked the king to knight him as soon as possible. Faithful to Arthur until the end of the Round Table, he is among the last to die by the hand of Mordred, alongside his sovereign.
Text written by Claudine GLOT, Centre de l’imaginaire Arthurien (CIA)