My Valiant Lords and Sweet Ladies of the Round Table,
I do not wish to disturb your tender hearts away from your peacetime reverie however a truth must be brought to light. A terrible lie has been fed to you. The ending of the good cleric Chrétien’s story was erased and rewritten by the wicked Godefroy of Lagny. Now, Godefroy himself acknowledged that he wrote the ending but said he had Chrétien’s approval. Not so! The gentle Chrétien passed from this life to the next believing that the true story of Lancelot’s love for me, his queen, would go down in history as the greatest love story ever told.
So, you ask, what really happened? Lancelot was indeed rescued from the tower by Meleagant's kind sister and (like most of the other women in the story) asked for Lancelot's love in return. However, Lancelot DID NOT respond by pledging his heart, body, aid, and possessions to her. Instead he promised to free her from Meleagant's tyranny (by causing his death) but that his love was only for his queen (the same answer given to all other women in the story). Lancelot returned to King Arthur's court and defeated the loathsome Meleagant. When I first saw that he was alive and well, my heart leapt and could not be contained in my body. Love indeed ruled me over Reason and I outwardly rejoiced. This was not at all taken as odd because of course he was there as my champion and Arthur himself was overjoyed by his return. After Lancelot slew the traitor Meleagant, Arthur gave Meleagant's sister to Lancelot as a wife believing that would please them both. For shame! Shame on such a day! Lancelot and I were heartbroken and intent again on killing ourselves out of love. In the end we decided to try to live honorably for each other and arrange more secret trysts whenever we could. It was bittersweet, but it was true love.
Why, you ask, would the vile Godefroy have changed this ending? He felt that the pure but tragic love between Lancelot and me was shameful and should not be recited to future generations. He changed it in an attempt to make Lancelot seem more honorable and less sinful. But is not a lie even more disgraceful? I hope to have shed some light onto why Chrétien's story ended so strangely and abruptly. Please do not judge Lancelot and me too harshly. We are both ruled by Love instead of Reason.