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Luca Cherstich

Leodegrance

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I would like to know how old is Leodegrance for my Campaign.

We are very early (480)...and this may be a problem for what we know about Leodegrance.

I know that:

  •  in 485 Leodegrance should be king of Cameliard (GPG p.25)
  • King Uther gave the Round Table to Leodegrance (although I do not know in which year), but this certainly means that Leodegrance was already an important man in the Uther period.
  • in 492 (according to the Book of Uther p.117) Leodegrance helped Uther against Malahaut
  • In 497 Guenever was born and her father Leodegrance appears often in the Boy King period.
  • In 510 (according to GPC p.129) Leodegrance gave his fealty to Arthur
  • in 514 (GPC p.147) Leodegrance gives the Table to Arthur and maybe suggest also some candidates.

 

Off course we cannot know how old was Leodegrance when he did what he did from 485 to 514, but since he was King in 485 and his daughter Guenever was born in 497, I guess he could have been 25-30 years old at that time, and maybe 45-55 years old during his main events during the Boy King period.

My guess is that in 480 Leodegrance is young: maybe 21 years old, just knighted.

In 480 he can maybe be a Prince (waiting for this father King to die and inherit the throne) or maybe his father has just died and he has just inherited the throne.

Off course, I guess, that we do not have information about Leodegrance father....

 

Does all of this make sense to you?

 

 

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To evaluate the birth date of Leodegrance, I would process in reverse. If his only child was born in 497, I will suppose that :

  • the queen (unnamed) is barren after that
  • he was 25 (more or less) when he fathered Guenever

So, he was born in 472. And his age would be:

  • 8 in 480
  • 13 in 485
  • 38 in 510. Still a strong warrior, which is logical
  • 58 in 530. In the third edition, still alive at this time. Old but respected king. Still logical
  • He will die probably in the 540's, and Guenever would become queen of Cameliard in her own way

It all makes sense to me.

So what, do you do of this pesky mention that he was already king in 485 ? He could be a boy King, under the tutelage of Uther. Why not. Maybe Uther was his godfather, or maybe his father was killed with Aurelius Ambrosius in 480. It will explain why later he will be one of the first Arthur's loyalist.

Otherwise, you could create a father. I would call him Leodegrance the Elder, but it's just me.

Edited by Tizun Thane

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I did a similar thing but tried to make it fit with him being king in 485. On my list of major Round Table Knights, I made him born in 462. Which just adds 10 years to Tizun's ages. This makes him a very young king in 485 and 35 when Guenevere is born. Which probably comes as a surprise.

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2 hours ago, Username said:

I did a similar thing but tried to make it fit with him being king in 485. On my list of major Round Table Knights, I made him born in 462. Which just adds 10 years to Tizun's ages. This makes him a very young king in 485 and 35 when Guenevere is born. Which probably comes as a surprise.

This would also explain why he apparently only has one legitimate heir, Guinevere: the marriage wasn't particularly fruitful. Although in the stories, he does have some bastards, too.

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A couple of  thing that may ,or may not, help: 

  • The Knight of Long Knives happened in 463, so whoever ruled Cameliard before him almost certainly died there. If that was Leo father, we could assume the Leo must have been born by 463, 464 at the latest, assuming that he was conceived in 463.  which makes him 21 in 465 highly improbable, but still barely possible.
  • He isn't mentioned as doing much, if anything before Arthur draws the sword in the stone, yet Uther left him with the Round Table (suggesting he was a close friend and/or strong supporter of Uther).  
  • Book of Uther mentions him as King of Cameliard in 492, when he supports Uther against Malahat. So this might be what earns him Uther trust and the Round Table. 
  • Some sources claim that he passed away shortly after Guinevere marriage to Arthur, and he isn't mentioned in the GPC after giving the Round Table to Arthur.

So while a 21 King Leodegrance seems barely possible, and older Leo seems more likely.

2 hours ago, Username said:

...and 35 when Guenevere is born. Which probably comes as a surprise.

Why? 35 year old men can father children. We do not know how old his wife is, or if he remarried during his reign. 

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16 minutes ago, Morien said:

Although in the stories, he does have some bastards, too.

In the Vugate, he sired Guenever and the false Guenever the same night. What a man!

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10 minutes ago, Tizun Thane said:

In the Vugate, he sired Guenever and the false Guenever the same night. What a man!

Although not very creative, if both of her daughters had the same name :P

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Another possible point in favor of the idea that Leodegrance is on the older side and had Guenevere later in life is that her cousin, who helps facilitate the False Guenevere episode, is a knight named Sir Bertholai, once called "the Red" but later "the Old," known as the best warrior in Cameliard despite his age. Now, the ages of the main players at any given time is often a bit sticky (it feels like pretty much everyone's a senior citizen come Camlann), but if Bertholai is "old" I personally would assume he's notably older than most of the "main cast" at Camelot, including his cousin. Admittedly, there are still any number of reasons for him to have been born so much earlier than Guenevere (he was the son of Leodegrance's older bastard brother, or of an older sister, or an older son who was disinherited, etc.), but it's equally easy to say that Leodegrance's sibling(s) just had kids at an early or normal age while Leodegrance had Guenevere later in life. Which also potentially makes his siring a girl by his seneschal's wife a little more understandable, if perhaps he was despairing of ever having a child of his own by his wife and sought comfort in the arms of another, with the irony that he'd literally just got done conceiving said child.

Speaking of Guenevere's cousin(s), according to Mallory she's got two more, named Garaunt and Guy. The former of these seems very similar to "Geraint," called "Erec" by Chretien and who is otherwise absent in Mallory, so some think there's a connection there. Which is interesting, as Geraint is said to be a king of Dumnonia/Cornwall, while in the Book of Sires it comes about that Cameliard is formed from the Cornovii who remain behind rather than settle in Cornwall (which also means Guenevere might be a distant relative to Mark).

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Guinevere also has a first cousin named Guiomar, obviously by Leodegrance's younger sister, as he isn't a contender for the Cameliard throne. He was the lover of Morgan briefly in the 510s before Guinevere ordered them to break it off, embittering Morgan against her forever.

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3 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Guinevere also has a first cousin named Guiomar, obviously by Leodegrance's younger sister, as he isn't a contender for the Cameliard throne. He was the lover of Morgan briefly in the 510s before Guinevere ordered them to break it off, embittering Morgan against her forever.

Couldn't he just as easily be a maternal cousin to explain that?

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23 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Couldn't he just as easily be a maternal cousin to explain that?

Could be. As I recall, however, Guiomar first appears as Leodegran's ally and vassal (along with his brother Sadoine) in the Estoire de Merlin. As a vassal of Cameliard he's more likely to be part of Leodegrance's line than his wife's, as Leodegrance presumably married outside his kingdom (like most medieval rulers).

In some romances, however he's specified as the Queen (Guinevere)'s nephew. This is chronologically improbable in KAP as he's already a knight in 510. But it also suggests that he is related to Leodegrance in the mind of the author, as he would have to be Guinevere's sister (?)'s son.

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23 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Why? 35 year old men can father children. We do not know how old his wife is, or if he remarried during his reign. 

I imagined it was more because he'd probably been married for at least a decade with 0 kids with his wife.

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5 minutes ago, Username said:

I imagined it was more because he'd probably been married for at least a decade with 0 kids with his wife.

Possibly second marriage, of course. Keep in mind, however, that the likely original of Leodegran is Ogyfran Gawr, 'Jackdaw the Giant' and his daughter's name, Gwenhwyfar, in Welsh means 'Beautiful Phantom'. Guinevere and her father were originally fairies. An aged king with a magic table and a supernaturally beautiful daughter and heiress are fairy tale rationalizations of this.

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Looking up my notes I made him born in 460, and had his grandfather be the one who died at the Night of Long Knives. Looking through it I also made him a distant relative of Gorlois and Mark.

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