King Pellinore was said to be of the Royal line of St. Joseph of Arimathea, the dynasty who guarded the mystical Holy Grail. He was a son of King Pellam and the father of Sir Lamorak. Pellinore takes on various roles across different stories.
He first appeared in the Vulgate Merlin (c.1225) and the Livre d'Artus (early 13th c.), he is called the Maimed King. This character was wounded by a holy lance after doubting the powers of the Holy Grail. Like their monarch, his lands became sickly and barren; and neither were healed until his grand-nephew, Galahad, achieved his goal in the Grail Quest. Pellinore was father of the first grail-seeker, Percivale, and his brothers, including Tor.
Elsewhere, Pellinore was the pursuer of the bizarre Questing Beast. He appeared at the court of the High-King Arthur and was immediately challenged, by the monarch, to a fight for the right to undertake this hunt. During the fight Arthur breaks the Sword in the Stone and Merlin casts a spell on Pellinore to put him to sleep before taking the king to recieve Excalibur. Afterwards Arthur accepted Pellinore into the Order of the Round Table.
Later, in the King's service he killed King Lot of Lothian, either accidentally in a joust or during a rebellion, and unwittingly instigated the blood feud between the two families, which ultimately led to his death at the hands of Lot's sons, and eventually the death of Lamorat.
Pellinore's brother and, presumably, joint-ruler, Pelles, is portrayed as an almost identical wounded character known as the Fisher King and, in post-Vulgate romances, it was their father who was maimed.
RS Loomis argues that Pellinore was Beli Mawr, the Welsh Sun-God. All three Grail Kings were almost certainly this same character in origin. Their attachment to the Grail story is probably through their supposed ancestor, Brons - Joseph of Arimathea's son-in-law who developed from Welsh God, Bran. In Welsh genealogies, he is often confused with Beli. Both were Chiefs of the Gods and, according to Welsh mythology, Beli was Bran's grandfather.