They are sometimes referred to as the Forty companions, not including Merlin or Arthur. To confuse matters, some texts omit or corrupt some names in this fellowship, so that the number of the companions is less in some texts. Indeed, in Sommer’s edition of the Vulgate Merlin, the 32nd name is missing, because it is missing in Sommer’s A manuscript. Other manuscripts include the missing name, in the various forms, as Sommer notes on page 56 in the 3rd volume of his edition of Le Morte Darthur. Sommer also notes two other manuscripts in which the name appears in his The Structure of Le livre d’Artus, and its Function in the Evolution of the Arthurian Prose-romances, (pp. 13—14). The missing knight is Guivret of Lambale, a knight known elsewhere.
Sommer notes this carefully in this last mentioned work on page 14:
A omits the name of Guivret of Lambale, filling the 32nd place in B and the 31st in C because he left out the number 32 altogether in his list.
In his translation, Rupert T. Pickens picks up on this error, but miscorrects it by changing the numbering as though the list ought to have contained 41 names, including Merlin.
List of namesEdit
Here then, is the complete list of the forty-two companions:
Standard Form for this Wiki Oskar Sommer’s Vulgate Merlin 1. King Ban of Benwick li rois bans de benoyc 2. King Bohort, his brother li rois bohors ses freres 3. King Arthur li rois artus 4. Sir Ector antors 5. Ulfin ulfins 6. Brithael bretel 7. Sir Kay keus 8. Sir Lucan the Wine Steward lucans li boutelliers 9. Griflet the son of Don of Carlisle gifles le fil do de carduel 10. Mauruc of the Rock mauruc de la roche 11. Driant of the Wildwood drians de la forest 12. Belyas the Lover, of the Castle of Maidens belyas li amoureus 13. Flandrin the Short, of the Castle of Ladies flandrins li bres 14. Ladinas of Benwick ladinas de benoyc 15. Amoret the Brown amores li bruns 16. Taulas the Red aucalec li rous 17. Blois of the Hamlet blois del casset 18. Bliobleheris of Gaunes bliobleris de gaunes 19. Canode canode 20. Meleaudon of Blois meleaudon de blois 21. Aladant the Crespe(?) iesmeladant 22. Placides the Merry placides li gais 23. Lampades of the Flatland lampades de la planoie 24. Jervais the Slender ieruais lanches 25. Cristofles of the Grey Rock cristofles de la roche bise 26. Aiglin of the Vales aiglins des vaus 27. Calogrenant calogrenant 28. Agusale the Desired agusale le desire 29. Greu the nephew of the Wise Lady of the Forest of No Return agraueil le fil a la sage dame de la forest sans retour 30. Cliacles the Orphin cliacles lorphenin 31. Guivret of Lambale [guivret de lambale] 32. Kehedin the Handsome kehedin li biaus 33. Meraugis of Port Lesguez meraugis de port le gues 34. Gorvain Cadrauc gornains cadrus 35. Clariet of Gaul claries de gaule 36. the Ugly Brave li lais hardis 37. Amadan the Proud amadan lorguellous 38. Osenain Strong Body osenains cuer hardi 39. Galesconde galesconde 40. Gales the Bald gales li chaus 41. Blaaris the godson of King Bohort of Gaunes blaaris li filleus au roy bohort de gaunes 42. Merlin who led them merlins qui les conduisoit
For variations between the name given by Sommer and those given here, see the article for each knight. One exception follows.
Knight number 29 in Oskar Sommer’s edition of the Vulgate Merlin is the otherwise unknown Agraveil the son of the Wise Lady of the Forest of No Return.
That knight in this article is instead named Greu who is the nephew of the Wise Lady, rather than her son, following the text of MS. BN fr, 337 (and the Middle-English translation of the Vulgate Merlin). MS. BN fr, 337 also contains the alternate ending to the Vulgate Merlin known as the Livre d’Artus. There Greu plays an important role as the knight who puts an end to the Ugly Image.
Greu, in the Livre d’Artus, is indeed not the son of the Wise Lady of the Forest of No Return. But this Wise Lady does appear in the tale, and only in this tale in extant Arthurian stories. Greu marries her niece.
The name ought to be corrected to something like “Greu the son-in-law of the Wise Lady of the Forest of No Return” to fit the story told in the Livre d’Artus. But of course, in the Livre d’Artus, Greu only meets the Wise Lady much later.