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"May I ask you, do you know who's in this painting?"
"The Green Knight is our leader, our protector. He find the Fey to save them." ― Nimue and Cora[source]

Gawain, the Green Knight, is a character on Netflix's Cursed. He is portrayed by Matt Stokoe.[1]

About[]

Gawain was friends with Nimue when they were younger. Arthur is jealous of him at first but Gawain later tells him that she is like a sister to him. Gawain has built up a reputation for himself as the Green Knight, who fights against the Red Paladins to defend the Fey. Gawain is tortured by Brother Salt and eventually dies. Nimue uses her powers to encase his body in plants.

History[]

The arrival of the Green Knight[]

Nimue and Gawain's cheerful reunion

"I can't believe you're alive."
"I can't believe you're alive!"
"I thought for sure... Tell me everything." ― Nimue and Gawain have a joyous reunion[source]

Nimue learns of the Green Knight from a painting at the Fey camp, but does not initially connect him with Gawain. Gawain's arrival at the Fey camp during the Joining ceremony causes much excitement among the crowd. Squirrel arrives with Gawain, which delights Nimue. He tells her that the Green Knight saved him and as Gawain removes his helmet, Nimue realizes just who he is. The two hug, sharing an extremely joyful reunion and start catching up on each other's pasts. Nimue then introduces Arthur to Gawain as being like family and one of her dearest friends. She tells Gawain that it's kind of hard to describe what she and Arthur are.

Later, Nimue goes to talk with Gawain in private and she reveals the Sword of Power to him. He tells her that it is the sword of their people, their history and hope. He is disturbed by her plan to give it to Merlin, who turned against his own kind. When she tells him that it was Lenore's dying wish, he replies that he loves Lenore like his own mother, but it's still wrong. He tells her that he'll protect her in place of Merlin, but she replies that she doesn't need protecting. He pleads with her not to do it, but she's convinced that her mother wouldn't have told her to do it if it wasn't important.[2]

As Nimue leaves on her trip to see Merlin, Gawain again tries to stop her, asking if she honestly believed he would let her ride south. Finally, he insists on accompanying her, but Arthur tells him that he will do so instead. Nimue replies that she doesn't need an escort and he tells her that he will be a riding companion. As Gawain and Arthur bicker, Nimue asks if they're really determined to make her choose and instead turns to Kaze, asking if she will be her escort. Kaze agrees and the two depart.

The siege at the windmill[]

Arthur and Gawain standing before a burning windmill, ready for battle

"When I left, she was a small girl. She is a little sister to me."
"If we survive..."
"We won't."
"I know that, but if we do..."
"Well, then I'll be alive, you can marry her twice for all I care." ― Gawain and Arthur, regarding Nimue[source]


Later, Gawain confronts Arthur in the woods, complaining that he encouraged Nimue to leave and suggesting that his "sell sword friends" might be lying in wait to ambush her and steal the sword. The two go at each other a bit more, but then an elder calls them away to the Crisis Council. At the Council, Arthur warns the group that the Red Paladins are trying to lure them into a trap and offers his protection. Gawain replies that he doesn't ride with men he doesn't trust, but the elder insists that they need the help. Afterwards, Squirrel introduces himself to Gawain, revealing that Gawain knew Squirrel's father, Gullyad. He tries to force himself into Gawain's party, but Gawain is dismissive of him, telling him to go back to the "children's room."

As the group prepares to journey to Moycraig, Mogwan asks Gawain to speak of a battle that stayed with him. Gawain tells of a battle in the first days of the struggle, when he and his best friend formed the first Fey Guard. They slipped into a paladin encampment and slit seven throats. Gawain's friend was caught and strung up, but he ignored the call to surrender, watching his friend tortured, as he knew that two surrender who mean only that there were would be two dead Fey Guard instead of one. He tells Mogwan to kill as many humans as possible, and later tries to turn Mogwan against Arthur because of Arthur's being human.[3]

The group arrives at a windmill where Fauns are at work just as a Red Paladin raid begins. They are forced to take shelter in the mill as archers from the mill start shooting back, killing Red Paladins. Gawain then rushes back out and rescues Arthur when he is cornered by the Weeping Monk. They then flee into the windmill and Gawain's second, Bergerum, tries to flee with them, but is shot just after killing one of the paladins. Inside, Gawain asks if Bergerum is breathing and Arthur replies that he can't tell. With the mill completely surrounded by Red Paladins, the situation becomes a siege.

Gawain is shocked by the arrival of Squirrel in the windmill. Squirrel tells him that he's there to rescue him, but he's less than impressed, telling him he ordered him to stay back at camp. Squirrel tells him that he will kill paladins, but he warns him to stay in the windmill's basement and out of trouble. Back up top, Arthur reports to Gawain that Bergerum is still alive. The Weeping Monk approaches Bergerum and Gawain fires an arrow at him, but he bats it aside with his sword. He then seizes Bergerum and orders the Green Knight's surrender, beginning to torture Bergerum. Gawain makes to leave, but Arthur reminds him of his story from before, about how there would be two dead Fey instead of one. Gawain tells him he doesn't care, as the Weeping Monk talks about cutting Bergerum to pieces. Gawain tries to leave again, but Arthur stops him, calling him a fool. Gawain pulls out his sword, threatening to kill Arthur if he tries to stop him again. Gawain emerges, but before he can go any further, Arthur shoots and kills Bergerum. He tells Gawain that it was what had to be done and that he should honor Bergerum by saving lives and not wasting them. This finally seems to get through to Gawain.

The paladins then start shooting flaming arrows into the windmill and Gawain warns that they'll burn before the sun sets. The party hides in the basement as the windmill is consumed by fire and Gawain tells Arthur to prepare to guide everyone out of the mill. He will distract the paladins to give them a minute's jump. Squirrel begs him not to do it, but he tells him that with Bergerum gone, he needed a second. He tells Squirrel to lead everyone back to camp. Squirrel agrees, but Arthur, however, tells Gawain that when he went out, he is coming with him. He then asks Gawain if he loves Nimue, but Gawain tells him that Nimue is like a little sister to him. He tells Arthur that he could marry Nimue twice for all he cares and Arthur agrees that they will die as brothers. They race out and fight earnestly, but are convinced they will be captured. However, Nimue appears, creating a storm, and they all managed to escape. Back at camp, Gawain warns Nimue that her people are losing hope and he has nothing to offer them, that they only have her. He then listens with the others as she gives a rousing speech. When she states that she claims the Sword of Power as the "Sword of the First Queen," he shouts "The Fey Queen!" and the group takes up the chant.[4]

Capture, torture and death[]

Gawain in Brother Salt's torture kitchen

"You will sing to us. And you will tell us all we need to know about your witch."
""You want my words, priest?"
"Oh, I do, I do."
"
Are you sure? I know many things. Many secrets." ― Father Carden and Gawain[source]

Gawain walks with Nimue, taking her to Arthur, who introduces her to a woman named Druna, a smuggler. She tells Nimue that she has three ships which can move her people to Byzantium, but Gawain wonders about the Fey who are still in hiding. He says that they can't run now, but Arthur points out that they can't even feed those they already have. Gawain is dead-set against the idea, but Nimue feels it's a matter of protecting her people, so it's something she has to consider. However, the Red Paladins are closing in. Gawain gets a map and points out Gramaire as the first city beyond Moycraig. Nimue then declares a bold plan to take Gramaire, one he considers "bloody mad." Nevertheless, the plan goes forward. Nimue serves as a distraction, occupying the paladins until Gawain and his archer forces seize the ramparts. Gawain then declares an ultimatum, for the paladins to drop their arms and they will be allowed to live. A couple try to resist, but are swiftly shot down and Gawain asks if anyone else thinks that they can outrun a Faun archer. The remainder of the forces flee and Gawain shouts after them to tell Carden that the Green Knight and Wolf-Blood Witch send their regards. He encounters Iris, who is secretly attempted to stab Nimue with a knife and not realizing her intentions, tells her that Nimue will be alright and to go back to her clan.

He joins Nimue when she visits Lord Ector, telling him that he's in her seat. When Lord Ector is slow to vacate, he tells him that he heard her. A couple of his men step towards Gawain, but Ector eventually departs, telling Nimue to enjoy her brief reign. Gawain then joins a group informing Nimue of missing villagers. She tells them to form a search party and Squirrel asks to come with, which Gawain agrees to, having finally become convinced of Squirrel's value. In the woods, Gawain finds a number of slaughtered individuals, the people they were sent to search for. He is then ambushed by the Weeping Monk and seeing the Monk's hand turn green upon touching the ground, realizes that the Monk is Fey-kind. The two battle valiantly, but the Monk finally lands a crippling blow. Gawain begins to recite the Fey phrase "Born in the dawn, to pass--" but the Monk smacks in the face, knocking him down. He tells Gawain that the Red Paladins want him alive. Squirrel can only watch from behind a tree as the Monk prepares to take Gawain away.[5]

The Weeping Monk arrives at the Red Paladin Camp with Gawain, and is greeted by Carden and Abbott Wicklow, who has been sent by the church as an observer. Gawain is forced to his feet and Carden reminisces about those of his men that Gawain has killed. Gawain refuses to speak and Carden replies that they like that, that they have Brother Salt and his kitchens for the quiet ones. Wicklow, looking at Gawain, comments that it's uncanny how he almost passes for human. Carden tells Gawain that he will sing for them and tell them everything they want to know about Nimue. Gawain asks if he truly wants his words and he replies that he does. Gawain asks if he's sure, saying that he knows many secrets. At this, Carden orders his men to take Gawain to Brother Salt. Squirrel watches from the trees.

Gawain is brought to Brother Salt's "kitchen" and tied up in a chair. Salt tells him that he will introduce him to his friends, "God's fingers." He continues that each is named after one of God's archangels, such as Michael, a nasty-looking pronged fork. Michael glows pure-white in the fire, the "light of truth." He tells Gawain that he can only speak truth to Michael. He continues that Gawain shouldn't worry, for he will "meet them all." The torture continues for sometime, Gawain badly bloodied and Salt commenting that he breaks slow and that he will have some soup and then they'll start again. The Weeping Monk enters the room and Gawain tells him to not be afraid, that he doesn't bite. He continues that he sees from his eyes that he's one of the Ash Folk. He asks him how he found his way there, given that there haven't been any in these lands in centuries. The Monk asks him why he didn't tell the paladins the truth about him, and he replies that all Fey are brothers, even the lost ones. The Monk tells him that the suffering will cleanse him and Gawain replies that he parrots the paladins' words, but he knows they're all lies. He asks who twisted the Monk, but the Monk replies only that they are saving souls. Gawain speaks of the slaughter of children, saying that he sees it all and it makes him guilty. He tells the Monk he could be the Fey's greatest warrior, that his people need him, but the Monk replies that he is not his people. Gawain challenges him to tell the Red Paladins the truth of his heritage if it's really where he belongs.

Squirrel enters Brother Salt's kitchen and moves to free Gawain. Gawain pleads with him to get out, telling him that his legs don't work, so he couldn't escape even if he wanted to. He begs Squirrel to leave him, but he insists that he won't. Gawain, however, dubs him a knight of Fey and tells him to go help Nimue. Sobbing, Squirrel hugs him and Gawain tells him to be brave. He warns him to hurry before they return, but it is too late and he is seized by Brother Salt.[6]

Nimue arrives before King Uther Pendragon and Carden and tries to negotiate with them. She learns that they have captured both Gawain and Squirrel, Carden telling her that if she doesn't sing for them, Squirrel surely will. She warns him that he'll choke on his own blood if they harm him. She warns King Uther that he will never see the Sword of Power if her people are not returned. Carden, however, breaks away from King Uther and Gawain is delivered to Nimue, dead, with the message "Here's the bag of shit you ordered." She sobs in shock over his dead body, then, enraged, unleashes a powerful blast with resounds through the camp and lights many fires, killing a number of Red Paladins, before falling beside Gawain's body in exhaustion.[7]

Personality and traits[]

"A water snake has more soul than a human being. So if you get the chance, boy, kill as many as you can." ― Gawain to Mogwan[source]

Gawain is a steadfast defender of the Fey-folk and a skilled fighter. He has a strong sense of judgment and does not like to fight a losing battle. As such, he once left someone else to die because he knew that trying to fight himself would only result in his own death. A strong man, he withstands torture without ever spilling the secrets asked of him. He has a steadfast hate of human-kind, due to his experiences with Father Carden and his Red Paladains. However, though he is highly wary of Arthur at first, he comes to regard him as being like a brother, despite Arthur's being human, overcoming his prejudice.

Relationships[]

Nimue[]

They grew up in the same village, but they had been out of contact for a while; they were delighted to reunite. Although the two sometimes find themselves at odds over Nimue's handling over the Sword of Power, they are very close with each other. Nimue is extremely devastated by Gawain's death.

Squirrel[]

At first sight Gawain thinks little of Squirrel, a friend of Nimue's. Squirrel is envious of Gawain. After Squirrel proves his courage several times, Gawain comes to deeply respect and admire him, telling him that he wished he had a hundred men with bravery like his.

Arthur[]

Arthur is jealous when he sees Nimue with Gawain and tries to compete with Gawain. Gawain tells him that he doesn't care about Nimue that much and he needs to get his priorities straight. They fight side by side against the Red Paladins. The two eventually come to respect each other as brothers when Arthur realizes that Gawain thinks of Nimue as a sister and is not competition for her.

Appearances[]

Season One

Trivia[]

  • In the original Arthurian legends, Gawain was one of Arthur's knights, but not himself the Green Knight, who was instead a different character who challenges him in the story Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
  • Gawain is first mentioned by Nimue in the premiere episode, "Nimue." She says he had left on the same ship she had intended to leave on.

Gallery[]

References[]

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