Lancelot du Lac

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Name: Lancelot du Lac
Occupation: Knight of the Round Table
Relationships: Arthur; Guinevere;
Fandom: Arthurian Legend, King Arthur (film), Merlin (TV series)
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Lancelot is a character in Arthurian Legend. While the origins of the character are obscure, the Lancelot we would recognise today first appeared in the 12thC Old French poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart (Lancelot, le Chevalier de la Charrette) by Chrétien de Troyes.[1]

Portrayals of Lancelot vary greatly in both the accumulated Arthurian Legends and in modern representations. He is generally known as being an excellent, if flawed, knight with high aspirations, and a significant member of King Arthur's Round Table. Lancelot is also known for loving and serving Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere. Their adulterous affair is often portrayed as leading to the destruction of Camelot and its fine ideals.

While these characteristics are common, however, there is no one true or agreed version of Lancelot. He has always been complex, especially as the French portrayal of Lancelot was incorporated into the British legends, and various characteristics and stories were shared or realigned between him and other characters, most significantly Mordred.


There are currently 969 fanworks in AO3 tagged "Lancelot du Lac".[2]

Arthurian Mythology

There are 302 fanworks on AO3 that include Lancelot in the "Arthurian Mythology" fandom. These tend to focus on his relationships with Arthur and with Guinevere (and, indeed, with Arthur and Guinevere).

Examples include:

  • What Is And What Seems To Be by Lesserstorm. "She is the Saxon princess, a token of friendship between two powerful kings. She is the ambassador's tool, a weapon to his hand."
  • The Art of Courtly Love by Ashura. "When Capellanus wrote of love, he swore that no man could have two loves, that the new would chase away the old. If only, Arthur thought, it could ever be that simple."
  • The Knight Who Trespasses by masterofmidgets. "They made me see that the world was beautiful if you were beautiful, and that you couldn't get unless you gave. And you had to give without wanting to get. (T.H. White - The Once and Future King)"

King Arthur (2004)

This non-fantasy film featured Arthur as a Roman commander leading a group of Sarmatian soldiers, including Lancelot (played by Ioan Gruffudd). There are 160 fanworks on AO3 in this fandom that include Lancelot as a character. The main relationship focus in this fandom is Galahad/Tristan (290 works), with Arthur Castus/Lancelot second (177 works).

Examples include:

  • Wait For Me by sasha_b, Lancelot/Arthur. "Arthur Castus, the commander of fortress Camboglanna in the north of Roman Britain, is ambushed while on a routine patrol and taken hostage by the local Pict warriors that populate the close north of Hadrian's Wall. Arthur's knights and his second in command, Lancelot ap Ban, attempt to retrieve him without trouble."
  • The Way Night Falls by Lokei, Lancelot/Arthur. "It took until he lost the first of his knights for Arthur to appreciate the sudden darkness of a late November afternoon."

BBC Merlin (2008-2012)

This fantasy TV series focussed on Merlin and Arthur, with Lancelot as a recurring character (played by Santiago Cabrera). There are currently 332 fanworks on AO3 which include Lancelot as a character. He is often paired with Gwen (Guinevere) or with Merlin. Lancelot has a particularly close friendship with Merlin in the canon, and was the first character (other than Merlin's mentor Gaius) to learn of Merlin's magic.

Examples include:

  • Measure of a Man by kriadydragon, gen. "The measure of a man wasn't always revealed in the heart of battle. More often than not, Lancelot had come to realize, it was revealed in the tests you wouldn't have dreamed possible in a million years."
  • The Curious Incident of the Harpies in Broad Daylight by kaydeefalls, gen. "Or, the Abbreviated Adventures of Gwaine and Lancelot, Not-Quite-Knights For Hire (While We Wait For Arthur To Become King)."
  • Stubborn With Beauty by whetherwoman, Lancelot/Merlin/Arthur. "Arthur strode to the fire and held the note to the light. "For the help I once gave you, I plead a boon in return of the kind only you can give. Please meet me in the lands of Lord Turquine beyond the woods of Perivale. Signed--" Arthur looked up at Merlin sharply. "Signed Lancelot?""
  • All We Have by Onceyourempire, Gwaine/Lancelot, Gwen/Lancelot. "Lance wants Gwaine to trust him, and Gwaine wishes he could trust himself. When the heart is involved, it's hard to trust anything."


Archives & Fannish Links



  1. ^ Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart page on Wikipedia.
  2. ^ Lancelot du Lac tag on AO3.