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Guinevere

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Nasuverse character
Guinevere
Japanese name: ギネヴィア
Franchise: Fate
Appears in: Fate/hollow ataraxia
Fate/Zero
Character type: Human
Gender: Female

Guinevere (ギネヴィア, ?) is the wife of King Arthur and the lover of Lancelot.

ProfileEdit

BackgroundEdit

Guinevere was the daughter of King Leodegrance who married Artoria in a political marriage so as to bring about the outward appearance of a "kingdom" in Britain.[1][2] They held a grand wedding ceremony that lasted close to seven days and was celebrated throughout the land.[1] It was marriage out of necessity rather than love, where the king was not a man and it was one that would never be consummated. It was felt necessary for the ideal king to have a queen beside "him", as a monarch should be according to the ideals of the populace. The first time upon having an audience with Lancelot, the knight decided to do anything for her including give up his life. Trouble by his intentions, she soon found it was because she had fallen in love with him despite love being the greatest taboo for she who "discarded the happiness of a woman" to play the role of queen.[3]

While it was an "impossible romance", it should have been possible for the two to follow a path where they could have shouldered their sins while continuing on until the end, but it was hard for Lancelot who served the King with absolute loyalty. Torn between serving his king with chivalrous ideals and discarding it to live for love, Guinevere remained a tormented and ignored woman who continually wept each day. Artoria could never blame her because she considered Guinevere to be holding a greater burden than her own. It was a situation where none of them were "wrong" in their actions, and because they were all "right", it brought about a tragedy.[3] Mordred's intervention in order to shatter the prestige of the King in the eyes of the people brought them to light, making the situation spiral out of control.[4] Although Artoria did not blame either of them for their actions, Guinevere was given a death sentence, causing Lancelot to go against the king to save her.[3]

While Lancelot fled to France and was pursued by Artoria, Mordred stayed to command in the absence of the King. She prepared her rebellion and even went as far as to mockingly propose to Guinevere, who thought the idea foolish. Mordred surprised her by revealing knowledge of her fake marriage and showing her face to Guinevere.[4] She fell into a deep self-deprecation for having misguided the "perfect knight" and the affair being revealed brought her great sorrow as she silently cried throughout the days. She was ashamed beyond measure, blaming and questioning her own actions. She was assaulted by words like "unchaste wife" and "traitorous queen", holding herself as a sinner shouldering all the guilt and blame in the world. They did not know the truth about her marriage, so they simply surrounded her and reprimanded her all at once. Lancelot later felt that the only thing he had ever done for his love was to "make her cry forevermore."[3]

AppearanceEdit

Guinevere is described to have a beautiful countenance, although the depression from the affair being revealed caused her to become more ragged each day.[3]

PersonalityEdit

Guinevere's role was to protect the country for the greater good, but to act as the "queen" was to become a mechanical part simply supporting the King. She could not be a "woman" or even a "human", but only the idea of a "noble and virtuous queen" to stand beside the ideal king. Having eventually consigned herself to playing the part, she discarded everything for the grandiose ideal of supporting the ideals the populace had for thing king. She respected and admired Artoria as a person, but she was a "normal woman" at her core and found it too hard to imitate and keep up with Artoria's way of life. From a young age, she was taught to avoid self-reflection, as was the culture of the time, so she was someone who had little sense of herself as a woman. Ignorant that there was even a true difference between the two sexes, she believed the relationship between a king and queen was something formed purely from ideals. Not even understanding that a different type of attraction could exist between two people, her world was changed and cast into turmoil upon meeting Lancelot. She was constantly torn between her conviction as a queen and the feelings in her soul for Lancelot.[2][3]

RoleEdit

Fate/hollow ataraxiaEdit

When speaking of marriages after the topic is first brought up by Taiga Fujimura, Saber recounts her own wedding as reference for Illyasviel von Einzbern and details her relationship with Guinevere. Saber, having married Guinevere for political reasons did not love her, but she did try to bear Guinevere good will in her own manner. She feels she was unable to sufficiently be a husband because she only married Guinevere in the capacity of a king, so they were only able to betray each other in the end. She feels that Guinevere leading a life of misfortune was in part her fault for allowing Guinevere's honor to be soiled. Despite that, Saber recounts the wedding ceremony as one time where she could earnestly wish for Guinevere's happiness, an extremely blissful moment for Saber as a human.[1]

Fate/ZeroEdit

Guinevere's affair with Lancelot is recounted in his flashbacks, and he is particularly reminiscent of her crying.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fate/hollow ataraxia - What kind of wedding?
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Fate/Zero volume 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fate/Apocrypha volume 3

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