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Legend: The Knight of Spears, Bedivere

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Legend: The Knight of Spears, Bedivere


Having just studied my first Court cards, I notice that Anna-Marie uses three different artistic styles in the Legend deck. The Courts have the strongest lines and most intense colours, definitely expressive of personality. The Minors have light lines and an ethereal quality that blends one object into another, and the Majors lie between these two styles.

This heavier style in definitely appropriate for the energetic and bold Knight of Spears, Bedivere, and this is a wonderfully evocative card. Starting with his facial features, we see a man of rugged beauty, with heavy eyebrows and moustache, what could be a warriors knot of hair from the back of his head (what is that called, Anikan Skywalker had one in Star Wars Episode II?), his arm is muscular but not unrealistically so, and he casts a penetrating and powerful stare towards his left. This is definitely a man who is dashing and daring, an intense man with a powerful presence. As the text says, "magnetic" and I would add, virile. Definitely attractive to the ladies - but perhaps, as is so often the case, a man with other priorities.

A Keeper of Wands tells us that Bedivere is one of the original and perhaps most loyal followers of Arthur, the only one who was with him from beginning to end. I get the sense that this is a man on a mission, he has just set forth from his castle, and he pauses at what could be a crossroads, weighing his options.

Looking now at his attire, he wears a tunic with a cross of pink(!) atop what could be a diamond shape of green. Again, as the text suggests, this man is bold and unconventional. He wears heavy, practical and durable pants, and practical, heavy and well worn boots. Across his back is draped a cape of gold, denoting his high rank and reputation. He sits on a horse blanket that looks rather like a tartan, another symbol of wild masculine virility.

Even his horse mirrors the same intense unflinching stare of its master, harnessed with the gold of royalty, with a very powerful and muscular frame.

The Knight of Spears descends from lofty, craggy heights, the path is rocky, the grass pale and weathered, the tree sparse and wind damaged, with a great gash of bark taken off of one side. His castle is square, blocky and utilitarian, low to the ground but powerful. This is perhaps the scene of a recent battle, but at the very least, we see a nature at war with the elements, the scenery a testament to wild and conflicting energies.

The sky is overcast, a white cloud against a sullen purple sky. In the cloud perhaps the image of an upraised hand, about to throw down the gauntlet?
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sophie-David
Even his horse mirrors the same intense unflinching stare of its master, harnessed with the gold of royalty, with a very powerful and muscular frame.
There seems to be a contrast between the muted background colours of the card, to that of the horse and rider, making them the focal point.

A bond of trust is necessary if this horse is to be used by Bedivere in battle. Horses are generally spooked easily by loud noises, waving arms or fluttering fabrics and need to be well trained (as do the Knights) for their purpose - it would need to be ultra-sensitive to the commands of the rider, both to get him speedily into the throng of combat, and out of harms way without flinching.

Likewise, the rider develops an understanding for each movement of the horse between his thighs, to the extent that he is still aware of any change in the gait of the horse while his concentration is taken up with the fight. This breed of horse is not built for great speed, but for endurance, and the stability the knight needs beneath him - for transport through the craggy terrain, jousting and aiming.

They both need to be confident of each other to work as a team. Bedivere uses no saddle or stirrups which indicate to me confidence in his abilities as a horseman. He uses a bridle to control and guide the horse in the direction he decides to take. They face the same direction together on the card, as if something to their left has sparked their interest. Perhaps they will head off the beaten path to investigate and begin another adventure?
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There are some similarities in the Spears Court cards as well, the King, Queen and Knight are all outdoors, the sky has the same gray/blue cast and cummulous clouds...the white fluffy ones that come with high pressure systems and bring sunny dry weather. They all are looking to the right, to the future, tho' the Knight and horse, stand with their direction going toward the left, toward the King and Queen (if you have them lined up that way) He is bonded to them, loyal to them, and does their bidding, but sees the same vision they work to create in/on earth. These three seem to be about ideals and idealism, creating for the greater good, they dress to fit their station, but aren't overly concerned about impressing others with their style and grace, actions speak louder than anything else. They thrive on action in the most positive sense.

They all have silvery, white-blonde, gray hair. Does this mean this Knight really is too old to be playing these games that he is so fond of, the inner child isn't about to grow up and take on absolute responsibility but is content to follow orders and go on quests on a moments notice? The Knight of Cups talks about the Peter Pan syndrome, of never growing up, never getting older, never accepting responsibilities of making things really happen. I guess that is the common factor of all the Knights as well, capable, earning responsibility with each quest's success, mobile and somewhat flexible, alert and ready for action at a moments notice.

Can't condem any of the Knights too much for not wanting to settle down...they have a job to do and need to focus all their energies at the task at hand, rather than have divided loyaties to another, other than their leige lord and King. This Knight, Bedivere, gaurds the way to the castle, perhaps he's waiting for the message that the Queen has arrived and keeps a lookout.

The Queen seems to be the go between the King and the Knight, perhaps her message and mission (she is on one to be sure) is far too important to trust the the wings of air. It's content to great or heavy for it to carried in any other way than by person. But this is a thought for another time....

Bedivere appears in the Keeper of Legends several times, rescuing Arthur from a laybrynth by breaking through the roof. Arthur had become a prisoner of the Fay, having offended the Faery by trying to win the Cauldron of Annwyn away from the Irish, outdoing the exploits of Bran and move it to Briton. (See The Cauldron of Annwn, following Temperance)

His second appearance is in "Avalon", the story following Judgment. Here Arthur lies dying after the Battle of Camlann, and asks Bedivere to return Excaliber to the Lady of the Lake. Bedivere finds he can't throw it back and hides it under a tree. When Arthur asks, he replies "Only wind and waves", so Arthur knows he's lying and sends him back again, only he fails again to bring himself to lose this sword forever. Upon his return, Arthur asks, "Would you betray me for the riches of the sword?" This time Bedivere did as he was told, flinging out as far as he could and saw the hand of the Lady rise from the waters and catch it. When he returned this time, and told Arthur what he had seen, Arthur made one more request, to be carried to the water's edge where the barge waited in the mists to carry him to Avalon. Bedivere was so grief stricken from the loss, that he gave up his arms and remained in the forest as a hermit for the rest of his days.

Bedivere appears again in the Two of Spears, as one of the the Kings earliest companions, loyal and close confidant planning for progress of the king and realm. Cai and Bedivere were given the responsibility of adminitrating the provinces in Gaul.

I am amazed that I can have read this book so many times and not have things sink in, such as Bedivere is missing one hand and that his name in Welsh, Bedwyr, means "spear-wielder."
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Well, here are a few collected thoughts on Bedivere.

To pick up on the horse chatter - it was fairly common in the middle ages for a knight to have 3 horses, a warrior/battle horse (which could also be used for jousting), an 'everyday' horse for long travelling etc and a carrier horse, to show off all his wealth, his plunder, his clothes etc. In the later middle ages it became far more important to have a trail of horses that you had bought to carry your things, and horses taken from the battles you have won, all dressed up in your heraldry. Taking your gold with you assured people that when you said you were a knight, they believed you because of your wealth. They may have known your name, but probably not your face.

Looking into the air/fire switch/blurring, its evident in the courts. Bedivere stands on a rocky landscape, with the wind and the trees. His spear is said to have drawn blood from the air. Bedivere seems to be on a journey, perhaps to administer some justice and speak on behave of his authority, Arthur. Like the gentry of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, the knights had to bring the people close to their king with their presence, their law and order and their tales of the court.
Yet he is fiery, he has gone through suffereing and excelled with the loss of his hand. He has the look and feel of a verry traditional, virile and charming Knight of Wands, far more daring and unpredictable than any traditional sword. His fierce loyalty to Arthur though, doesn't just come from respect of authority, but as a true friend seeking to help in any way he can. Course, he's charm is what could have lead to him and Guen coming together, so although loyal to Arthur, he's as unpredictable as ever to have an affair with his best mates wife!

Did Bedivere ever marry in the tales especially after the switch of his role to Lancelot?

Sezo
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Quote:
Originally posted by innana_tarot
it was fairly common in the middle ages for a knight to have 3 horses, a warrior/battle horse (which could also be used for jousting), an 'everyday' horse for long travelling etc and a carrier horse, to show off all his wealth, his plunder, his clothes etc. In the later middle ages it became far more important to have a trail of horses that you had bought to carry your things, and horses taken from the battles you have won, all dressed up in your heraldry.
I like that bit of information Sezo

Quote:
Originally posted by innana_tarot
Did Bedivere ever marry in the tales especially after the switch of his role to Lancelot?
Although Bedevere is said to have had children (see the 2 urls below),
http://www.timelessmyths.com/arthuri....html#Bedivere
http://www.mystical-www.co.uk/arthuriana2z/b.htm#BEDV
he is also said to have become a hermit after the King's death, whereas Lancelot joined a monastary - so he was not married to my knowledge in either case.
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