(urth) Ravd of Redhall

Craig Brewer cnbrewer at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 13 08:35:13 PST 2009

If it's a Spenser reference, it's oblique. The Knight of Holiness in the Faerie Queene is called Redcrosse, but he's also St. George. In FQ, he's a young, untested knight who fails repeatedly to live up to his moniker until he learns how to stop being chivalrous (depending on self) and learns to be faithful (depending on God). In FQ, he's more like Able, and Arthur is more like Ravd (from Able's perspective), in terms of representing an ideal of knighthood. Still, the "Red" is very telling.

There's no one named Ravd (or close relative to that sound) that I recall. I wish there was, however. I read Wizard Knight with Spenser in mind, but never caught direct references, or so I thought. It certainly deals with similar terrain, however, both thematically and "surface" level. If someone could show me that I missed things, however, I'd be eternally grateful.


From: John Watkins <john.watkins04 at gmail.com>
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 9:55:09 AM
Subject: Re: (urth) Ravd of Redhall

I think it's a Spenser reference as well, and likely a Chesterton reference.

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 10:50 AM, Scott Wowra <swowra at yahoo.com> wrote:

I am new to Urth.net, so my observations are original (to me) and not based on reading your threads (although I have perused them). 
I am working on some onomastics of major characters in The Knight. 
Below are speculations of Ravd of Redhall. Any feedback you have is appreciated.
Ravd of Redhall
Sir Ravd of Redhall appears in Chapter 4 of The Knight. Ravd is a knight in the service of Duke Marder ("marder" is German for marten, a solitary carnivore related to the weasel). Able describes Ravd in his list of characters as, "The best knight I ever saw" (p. 13). 'Best' probably refers to Ravd's strict adherence to the code of chivalry. 
The term "ravd" appears to be a variant of "red" in Old Norse, which was the language spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia during the Viking Age [5]. 
"The word / ravd /in the context you mention is just a spelling variant of the colour adjective /rauðr/ m in Old Norse, meaning "red". As an anthroponym it refers, in all probability, to the colour of a (male) persons hair." (Hagland, personal communication; 2009) 
The epithet "red" appears in both Norse Mythology and Arthurian Legend. 
1. Norse Mythology. The god Thor possessed red hair and a red beard. The Viking chieftains Erik the Red and Thorstein the Red conquered lands during the Viking Age. 
2. Arthurian Legend. The "Red Knight" is an appellation referring to 3 major knights, depending on the source materials, including Percival, Gawain, and Galahad [6]. 
The interaction between Able and Ravd in Chapters 4-6 may represent early passages in 'Percival, the Story of the Grail [7] . Percival is a naive lad of 15, ignorant in the code of chivalry. He encounters a group of knights, and is so impressed by them, resolves to become a knight himself. Percival travels to King Arthur's court, but due to his crude clothes, naive manner, and lack of training, is not well received by Arthur's knights. Outside of Arthur's castle, young Percival bests a knight in red armor. Claiming the armor and charger, Percival is knighted and earns the appellation of the Red Knight. 
If Able in some ways represents Percival, the Red Knight, then Ravd of Redhall is the exemplar on which Able models his behavior. "Ravd of Redhall" is therefore a clue inserted by Mr. Wolfe to look to the story of the Red Knight for insights into Able's motivations and development. 
Urth Mailing List
To post, write urth at urth.net
Subscription/information: http://www.urth.net

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.urth.net/pipermail/urth-urth.net/attachments/20090213/de393aac/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Urth mailing list