So, knights. Everybody knows em, right. Chivalry, Thees & Thous, Ser Blah Blah Whosit and Lady Yackety Schmackety. The popularity of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series has catapulted knights back into the brains of those who don’t ingest large amounts of high/epic fantasy.
The A Song of Ice and Fire series has a couple of awesome knights that shine (figuratively and literally) despite the rank debauchery that seems to permeate the very air in Westeros. But I’ve already done a Baddest MF On The Fantasy World post featuring a character from ASOIAF, and I don’t plan on doing another anytime soon.
No, no. With this post, I am revisiting one of my favorite fantasy series from my youth. This month’s Baddest MF: Mandorallen, Baron of Vo Mandor, husband of the Baroness Nerina, and Knight Protector to Princess Ce’Nedra. Mandorallen appears in David Edding‘s series The Belgariad and The Malloreon as a play on (or homage to, depending) depictions of classic knightly characters, and their abiding by the code of chivalry. He is tragic, stubborn, immensely strong, and actually suffers from the affliction of not understanding the concept of fear. This is an actual thing for him. It actually serves as a neat little bit of character development for him later on in the story.
Mandorallen is the greatest warrior in his home region of Arendia, and such a BAMF that no other knights in the area really want to tangle with him. He reportedly never lost a jousting match, or a fight.
The Baron of Vo Mandor was named BY DESTINY (echo, echo, echo) as Knight Protector of the future queen of the West, Princess Ce’Nedra. And Mandorallen was the type of dude to take his duties very seriously. So much so that, during an unfortunate instance where he was caught without his sword and staring into the jaws of an oncoming lion, he just beat it to death with his bare hands. Sort of like this, but with more grappling and heavy plate armor (and, you know, an actual lion).
Perhaps the most amazing test of his resilience, though? He’s involved in a classical tragic love triangle for a whole series of books:
Eddings also took the idea of a proper medieval tragic love triangle and incorporated it into Mandorallen. He loves Nerina, the wife of the Baron of Vo Ebor, the knight who trained him. The Baron knows they are in love, but he also loves Nerina, and Nerina loves both knights equally. Only the death of the Baron of Vo Ebor in The Malloreon resolves this situation, though even then, circumstances require involvement of Belgarion, Overlord of the West.
Wild stuff, right?