Lancelot is a featured article, which means it has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki community. If you see a way this page can be updated or improved without compromising previous work, please feel free to contribute.
Lancelot du Lac (French for Lancelot of the Lake), also written as Launcelot and other variants (such as early German Lanzelet, early French Lanselos, early Welsh Lanslod Lak, Italian Lancelotto, Spanish Lanzarote del Lago, and Welsh Lawnslot y Llyn), is a character in some versions of Arthurian legend, where he is typically depicted as King Arthur's close companion and one of the greatest Knights of the Round Table. In the French-inspired Arthurian chivalric romance tradition, Lancelot is the orphaned son of King Ban of the lost kingdom of Benwick, raised in the fairy realm by the Lady of the Lake. A hero of many battles, quests and tournaments, and famed as a nearly unrivalled swordsman and jouster, Lancelot becomes the lord of Joyous Gard and personal champion of Arthur's wife Queen Guinevere. But when his adulterous affair with Guinevere is discovered, it causes a civil war that is exploited by Mordred to end Arthur's kingdom.
His first appearance as a main character is found in Chrétien de Troyes' poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, written in the 12th century. Later, his character was expanded upon in other works of Arthurian romance, especially the vast Lancelot-Grail prose cycle that presented the now-familiar version of his legend following its retelling in Le Morte d'Arthur. There, Lancelot's and Lady Elaine's son Galahad, devoid of his father's flaws of character, becomes the perfect knight and succeeds in completing the greatest of all quests by retrieving the Holy Grail after Lancelot himself fails due to his sins.