Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Maleagant (also spelled Malagant or Meleagant) is a villian from Arthurian legend. His earliest appearance is in a medieval poem by Chrétien de Troyes, where he captures Guinevere, who is then rescued by Lancelot and Gawain; this is the first appearance of Lancelot in Arthurian legend. Maleagant is believed to have been based on Melwas , a similar villain form earlier Welsh Arthurian stories (the name 'Maleagant' can be shown to have evolved from 'Melwas'). In the earlier story, King Melwas captures the Queen, and after a year of searching, Arthur locares her and prepares to storm his castle, only to have a priest negotiate her safe return.
Maleagant seems to have been merged with Mordred as the latter became more and more popular in the Arthurian tales (which could also explain Maleagant's relative obscurity); they both are royal villains who capture Guinevere and go to war against King Arthur with the intent of usurping the throne for themselves. However, Maleagant's abduction of Guinevere appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel The Mists of Avalon, and he was the chief villain in the film First Knight.
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