Lady of the Lake

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

In the Arthurian legends, a rather shifting supernatural character. In Malory's Morte d'Arthur she gives Arthur the sword Excalibur, but when she asks for the head of Balyn as payment Balyn strikes off her head. Also called the Lady of the Lake (in Malory) is Nimiane (Nimue, and, probably by scribal misreading, Vivien), the wife of Pelleas, who loves Merlin whom she tricks into revealing his magic arts and then imprisons in a tower of air in the forest of Broceliande from which he never escapes. In Malory she is said to have accompanied the three queens who bore Arthur away by ship after his death. In Celtic origin she may derive from Morgan, the archetypal lake lady.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.