Updated: Aug 29, 2020
Mordred, or Medraut, was the son of Morgause (sometimes Anna or Morgan) and newphew to Arthur. The French romances make him out to be the incestuous offspring of Arthur and Morgause; though this horror is absent in many accounts, it continues to impact and colour the reputation of Mordred.
Once Mordred came of age, his mother sent him to join his brothers in Arthur's court. Initially, Mordred waas considered to be a loyal supporter of the king, but after witnessing the reality of his court, Mordred became disillusioned in an effort to ride the court of its seamy side, Nordred began to expose its long guarded secrets. He began with the queen's affair with Lancelot, the ramifications of which would cause the Fellowhip to self destruct and Mordred to reach for the throne.
At his worst, Mordred is portrayed as the traitorous villain who leads a revolt against and dies with Arthur. At best, he has a legitimate claim to the throne as the son of the king's sister , and seeks to replace teh fading Arthur and lead thepeople into a new era.
The character of Mordred may be based on teh hisotircal figure Medraut, who is recorded as having died in the battle of Camlann in A.D. 539. Whether he opposed or fought alongside Arthur in this battle is not known.
From Ferguson, Anna-Marie. Keeper of Words. 1995 Llewellyn Publications. St. Paul, Minnesota. (209)