For whatever the reason, I have never really felt worthy of the position which I hold in Arthur’s court. So far as I am concerned, his other knights are bolder, braver, stronger, and generally more talented than I. How then, you may ask, do I find myself held in such high regard? In truth, I am Arthur’s nephew. This is no secret, mind you. Rather, it is well known throughout the court. As such, I feel that my companions have perhaps a better opinion of me than I deserve simply because the same noble blood that runs in Arthur’s veins is in mine as well. Perhaps Arthur keeps me at the high table out of nepotism, or maybe he is blinded by our familial tie. Which of these are true, I know not. It does not matter, though, as I feel my position is undeserved regardless.
The time when I was perhaps the most aware of my own inadequacy was one New Year’s during the court’s feast. As was usual for me, I occupied a seat that communicated to all that Arthur held me in favor. I was at the high table, “seated beside Guenevere” (109) and many of the best knights Arthur had in his service. Although I felt out of place being honored so, I enjoyed the feast regardless. It would have been difficult not to with such mirth and merrymaking all round me! Still, I was acutely aware of my position.
A great shock came upon the hall that evening, however, when a terrible and mysterious visitor burst into our midst. He was a tremendous man, and perhaps even more notable than that was the fact that he was completely green, in both skin and dress, save for his terrible rolling “red eyes” (304). He flew into the hall with no regard for us, mounted on horseback no less! I was astounded by his brash discourtesy, especially as a feast was in progress. Then, he had the gall to pose a challenge to the hall. Shamefully, no one responded. How I wish that I had spoken sooner! Arthur, as a result, was forced to take up the challenge, lest the honor of the court be ruined.
However, I could not in good faith let him do such a thing. Arthur is wonderful, and brave, and noble. There is no one in England, no, the world, who could be a better king than he. If he were to come to grief in this strange and supernatural challenge, it would be as if I had killed him by not stepping in myself! For it mattered little if I died at the hands of this terrifying green knight. As I have said, “I am the weakest [of Arthur’s court], I know, and the dullest minded,/ So my death would be the least loss” (354-55). Of course, truth be told, I was terrified to say those words, but I knew them to be right. I never could have forgiven myself if one of my worthier counterparts had died, or suffered so much as a scratch. If anything, I thought, perhaps taking the challenge would help me to become just a bit worthier of my place in Arthur’s court, whether I came out of the ordeal alive or not.