Gwaine is one of King Arthur's nephews, and was also his most prominent and heroic knight. After a particular incident with a vampire, Gwaine found himself transformed into a creature who could not age or die, and has lived through several centuries of warfare and hardships ever since, now making a name for himself as a bartender in London. Because of the fact he never ages, he has to keep moving around, and can never stay in one place for long, in case people begin to assume that something is different about him.
HistoryGwaine was born in 300AD to King Lot of Orkney and his wife, Morgana Le Fay. At this time, Britain was ruled by Uther Pendragon, Gwaine’s grandfather (on his mother’s side). His father, Lot, was King of the kingdom Orkney, and promised Gwaine that one day he, too, would be King. But Gwaine had other ideas. When King Arthur – his uncle and Morgana’s brother - ascended to the throne after Uther’s death, Gwaine pledged himself to Arthur’s services as a Knight of the round table – effectively relinquishing his claim to his father’s smaller throne, although seeing as Arthur was now considered High King of Britain, he was still seen to be serving his land and his people any way.
Gwaine soon made a name for himself as one of his uncle’s most heroic and prominent knights, and made it his goal to be the best.
Gwaine's father was killed by King Pellinore during the Battle of Tarabel. In retaliation for this, Gwaine's brother Agravaine killed Pellinore in return and this sparked a blood feud between his and Pellinore's family that resulted in his death and the deaths of many others. Gwaine never wanted any part in the feud, and costantly pleaded with his mother to call a truce and end the needless bloodshed.
Feud ResolvedIt was Gwaine himself who eventually made the first move to end the feud. He stunned the other knights by welcoming Percivale to the Round Table and showing no hard feelings towards the young knight, who's father had been the instigator in the entire feud. When Percivale was later told by Arthur about the feud, he approached Gwaine and appologised for all the wrongs his family had ever commited. Gwaine did likewise, and the two agreed to forgive and forget, ultimately forming an alliance between the families and ending the feud. From then on, the pair were inseperable, and became such close friends that they began to view each other as brothers, rather than just fellow knights. The other knights, particularly Gwaine and Percivale's respective brothers, could not understand how two knights could be so close when their fathers had almost literally torn both families apart and resulted in the deaths of several family members, but Percivale would only ever answer "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
The others could not argue with this fact, and from then on it was universally agreed that Gwaine and Percivale were the two strongest knights of Arthur's Round Table, simply because of their ability to forgive each other so easily after so much tragedy and bloodshed.
Sir Gwaine and the Green Knight
One of Gwaine's most famous quests has been told and retold countless times throughout the centuries, and these days, everyone knows the story of Sir Gwaine and the Green Knight.
The story begins in Camelot on New Year's Day as King Arthur's court is feasting and exchanging gifts. A large Green Knight armed with an axe enters the hall and proposes a game. He asks for someone in the court to strike him once with his axe, on condition that the Green Knight will return the blow one year and one day later. Sir Gwaine, the youngest of Arthur's knights and nephew to the king, accepts the challenge. He severs the giant's head in one stroke, expecting him to die. The Green Knight, however, picks up his own head, reminds Gwaine to meet him at the Green Chapel in a year and a day, and rides away.As the date approaches, Gwaine sets off to find the Green Chapel and complete his bargain with the Green Knight. After many adventures and battles, Gwaine, on the brink of starvation from his long journey, encounters a beautiful castle where he meets Bertilak de Hautdesert, the lord of the castle, and his beautiful wife; both are pleased to have such a renowned guest. Gwaine tells them of his New Year's appointment at the Green Chapel and says that he must continue his search as he only has a few days remaining. Bertilak laughs and explains that the Green Chapel is less than two miles away and proposes that Gwaine stay at the castle.
Before going hunting the next day, Bertilak proposes a bargain to Gwaine: he will give Gwaine whatever he catches, on the condition that Gwaine give him whatever he might gain during the day. Gwaine accepts. After Bertilak leaves, the lady of the castle, Lady Bertilak, visits Gwaine's bedroom to seduce him. Despite her best efforts, however, he yields nothing but a single kiss. When Bertilak returns and gives Gwaine the deer he has killed, his guest responds by returning the lady's kiss to Bertilak, without divulging its source. The next day, the lady comes again, Gwaine dodges her advances, and there is a similar exchange of a hunted boar for two kisses. She comes once more on the third morning, this time she offers him a gold ring, he refuses this so instead she insists that he take her shawl. Gwaine accepts the green silk shawl, tying it round his waisrt under his belt. The lady promises it will keep him from all physical harm.
They exchange three kisses and that evening, Bertilak returns with a fox, which he exchanges with Gwaine for the three kisses – but Gwaine keeps the shawl, suddenly afraid for his life and not wanting to give up his only hope for survival.
The next day, Gwaine leaves for the Green Chapel with the girdle. He finds the Green Knight at the chapel sharpening an axe, and, as arranged, bends over the chopping block to receive his blow. The first swing does not touch him, but Gwaine flinches and the Green Knight belittles him for it.
The Green Knight swings to behead Gwaine twice, but holds back both times, before striking softly on the third swing, causing a small scar on Gwaine's neck. The Green Knight then reveals himself to be the lord of the castle, Bertilak de Hautdesert, and explains that the entire adventure was a mere game arranged through the magical manipulations of Morgan le Fay, Arthur's mischievous sister and Gwaine's very own mother (who never expected her own son to take up the challenge, and had hoped Arthur would take it up instead). Gwaine is at first ashamed and upset, but he and the Green Knight eventually part on friendly terms and Gwaine returns to Camelot, wearing the silk shawl round his waist in shame, as a token of his failure to keep his promise with Bertilak and to fully follow the rules of the game.
The Knights of the Round Table, it is decreed from then on, should henceforth wear a green sash in recognition of his adventure.
Of course, only Gwaine himself knows if this story is accurate, or has merely been retold so many times over the years, that embelishments have been added to 'spice it up', but never-the-less, he will not retell the story to anyone, for the simple reason that he is ashamed of his actions. He still has the silk shawl, however, as does his best friend, Sir Percival (calling himself Paul Logan these days), and both will often wear them round their wrists or necks, upholding their promise to Arthur that they would always wear them.
Nobody apart from these two understands the meaning or significance of the green silk, and most just assume it's some weird 'cult thing' that both men are into.
Another tale of Gwaine's that is not so well known or documented is the day that he and Percival became immortal.
Both knights were out on a routine patrol around Camelot, laughing and joking together as they so often did, when the sounds of screaming interupted what had so far been an uneventful morning. Galloping their horses into the woods, in pursuit of the scream, they came across a vampire and werewolf fighting in a clearing. Because it looked to the knights like an innocent civilian being mauled by a huge wolf, they charged in to save the man, swords drawn.
Gwaine was thrown from his horse when the creature was spooked by the vampire, and as Gwaine scrambled to his feet to place himself between the wolf and the man, he felt something terrible and sharp biting into his neck. He turned just in time to see blood red eyes glaring at him hungrily before everything went dark.
Three agonizingly painful days later, after it felt like he had been burnt alive, Gwaine awoke to a whole new life. Not only was he now faster and stronger than he could ever imagine, but his senses were ten times better, and he could do things that no mere human could EVER do. He was also thirsty beyond all comprehension and craved blood, to his extreme horror. Determined not to become a raving monster, like the thing that had attacked him, Gwaine forced himself to only prey on animals, which was hard at first. But Arthur had not drilled discipline into his knights for nothing, and soon Gwaine was able to control his thirst.
Four days after the attack, he met up with Percival once more and discovered that his friend had been bitten by the werewolf, and had now inherited morphing powers himself. For some reason the two could not bare to turn on one another, even though something deep inside them was urging them to tear each other's throats out. Fighting this urge, just as Gwaine was also fighting his bloodhunger, the two remained friends, despite everything, and this friendship has only grown stronger over the centuries. They were always together after that - and one was never usually far from the other. Some mistook this relationship for a romantic one, but it was more akin to a sibling relationship than anything else. The two see each other as brothers, despite their obvious differences.
PersonalityAt first Gwaine can appear to be a funny and carefree man who thinks about little more than drinks, parties and women. However those who get to know him will soon learn that he respects honour and loyalty above all else.
He is also very selfless and humble, his lifestyle has taught him that titles are not important and he is incredibly honourable and chivalrous, earning himself the nickname, during his days as one of Arthur’s knights, as the “Maiden’s Knight”, because he was fiercely protective of women and children who could not protect themselves.
These days, he has very few ‘real’ friends, who he would turn to in a moment of need, but those he befriends, he keeps close, and remains incerdibly loyal to.
He also has a good sense of humour and is cheerful and optimistic even in extreme danger.
Facts and Trivia
- Gwaine is currently a bartender in London, but has formerly been a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, a Knight for various other Kings and Queens over the centuries (including King Richard, whom he went to the Holy Lands with during the Crusades), a carpenter, an inn keeper, a horse trainer, a stable master, a Captain during WW1, a Major during WW2, a Captain of the Household Cavalry, a teacher of history in various secondary schools and a delivery driver.
- Gwaine was born on the 7th Feb 272 AD, making him 1739 years old.
- He is the nephew of King Arthur (his mother was Arthur's half sister Morgana).
- Both the names Gwaine and Gavin mean 'Hawk', hence his nickname. Gwaine actually means 'White Hawk of Battle' - a fitting name considering Gwaine's colours during competitions were mainly white with a few shades of blue.
- Gwaine has no vampire fangs. After getting himself into a fight with his vampire half-sister Torani Storm, she punched him in the face, and one fang snapped clean off. It took him weeks to convince someone with enough strength to snap the other one off so they match.
- His best friend is a werewolf and fellow Arthurian Knight, Sir Percivale, Son of Pellinore. Despite the supposed rivalry between wolves and vampires, the two are best friends, and haven't let their differences get in the way of their friendship.
- Gwaine has turned a few of his friends and family into vampires to spare their lives, though no-one has yet thanked him for this, considering their vampiric lifestyles to be curses rather than gifts. His 'victims' include his half-sister Torani, who was bleeding to death and stood no chance of survival and Captain John Nicholls, a fellow Captain during World War One, who was shot by a sniper.
- Gwaine's most famous story from his time in King Arthur's court was when he faced the eerie 'Green Knight', and lived to tell the tale. He refuses to tell the story, however, as he is ashamed of his actions.
- Both he and Percivale wear emerald green silk strips which they tie round their waists or wrists. Nobody but the two knights understand the significance of the silk, but again, they refuse to say why the silk is so special.
Behind the Scenes
Gwaine is an NPC (Non Playable Character) created by Paradox Member and Admin Frankie. He is modelled on the likeness of Eoin Macken's character Sir Gwaine from the BBC series Merlin.