Morgana or Morgan le Fay is a character in Celtic mythology, Arthur's sister, mother Mordred and disciple of Merlin. She's the queen of the island of Avalon, with the power to heal and change shape. It is one of the most popular and controversial of the Arthurian cycle as it can be presented as a benefactor of his brother or his worst enemies.
Morgan in the Arthurian cycle
In the Arthurian cycle, the fairy Morgan is a female character, sometimes presented by Christians as an antagonist of King Arthur and enemy of Geneva. In the oldest Welsh stories Morgan has two records din't have her name, but some of its features: The first is the goddess Modron, who married King Urien and was Owain's mother (like the Morgan Le Fay of La Morte d'Arthur) and Gwyar, Arthur's sister, who was the mother of Medrawt and a powerful witch (Morgan role in other versions). In the Vita Merlini (Life of Merlin) XII century, is said to Morgan ("Morgen") is the oldest of nine sisters who rule Avalon. Geoffrey of Monmouth as Morgan speaks of healing and shapeshifter. Writers such as Chrétien de Troyes, based on the interpretation of Monmouth, Morgan is described watching over Merlin in Avalon.
Geoffrey of Monmouth and the first mention of Morgan
In The History Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth says that after the battle with his son Mordred, King Arthur retired to rest eternally to the magical island of Avalon, but does not mention who took him to the island, and what happened next . When Monmouth writes Vita Merlini , speaks of Arturh trip to the island, and says it is ruled by nine sisters fairies. This group is the older, more beautiful, more good, wiser and more powerful: Morgen, which will be known in future as Morgan. This book mentions all his skills (fly, change shape or heal) that were taught by Merlin. Morgen welcome the King on his magical island, it lies on a bed of gold, and with their herbs and potions, heals him. A text written by Guillaume de Rennes called Britanniae regum Gesta suggests that Morgan once healed Arthur, becomes his new lover and live with him in the magic island. Neither this document nor in Monmouth is said to Morgan and the King were relatives, so that their relationship would not be frowned upon, and would be equivalent to the special relationship of Ulysses with the nymph Calypso during the time he was in Ogygia. In the Roman de Brut of Wace, Arthur also travels to Avalon, but in this version the queen of the island is the fairy Argante. As only talk about it in this book, we can deduce that Morgen and Argante are different names for the same character: the Fairy Morgan.
Morgan in the works of Chrétien de Troyes
At the time of Chrétien de Troyes Morgan's character takes more relevance, but without being a main character. During this period, Morgan begins to be identified with Anne (the sister of Arthur in the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth) and is considered sister or half-sister of Arthur. In works like Yvain, the Knight of the Lion or Erec and Enide Chretien described Morgan as the sister of Arthur, and says it is a wise healer who was a disciple of Merlin. In Yvain the protagonist does not heal until they get from Morgan a magical ointment. Years after this text was written, in texts like La Morte d 'Arthur, Morgan and Yvain (or Owain) are mother and son. In Erec and Enid says that Morgan is present at the wedding of the protagonists. The author relates Guingamor, Lord of Avalon. This relationship will be developed in later works to be described as a relationship between Guingamor and Morgan will be frustrated by Geneva, the aunt of the knight.
Vulgate and later works
Both the Vulgate anonymous as in Le Morte d'Arthur, Morgan's role grows in importance and prominence. No longer a fairy who lives in the distant Avalon, but a very involved in what happens in the court of Arthur, a powerful woman, like a fairy, but with feelings and ideas of men such as ambition, passion, revenge or compassion. Their role becomes darker, is a major killer of peace that reigns in Camelot when he unveils his brother the loves affairs of Geneva with Sir Lancelot, but, as in the story of Geoffrey of Mounmouth, is she who leads the boat that carried his brother to Avalon.
In the tradition of the Arthurian cycle, Morgan was the daughter of Arthur's mother, Lady Igraine, and her first husband, Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine, was, therefore, his half brother. As Celtic woman, Morgan inherited part of the "magic of the Earth" from her mother. Morgan had two older sisters (and was therefore the youngest of three, and not the older of nine). The trio of sisters (for example Morgause, Elaine, Morgan and others) is a formula used abundantly in Celtic mythology. When Uther married Igraine, her older sisters also married. Since then stop talking about Morgan in the legend until after Arthur's coronation, but there are two versions of where the girl ended: One says he went to Avalon with Merlin to learn magic, and another that Uther locked Morgan in a convent, in which he suffered ridicule and punishment because of his powers. There he began calling Le Fay (the fairy).
In La Mort d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur) and other sources, it is the unhappy wife of King Urien of Gore, and Owain mab Urien is her son, that stops her when, overcome by anger, attempts to kill Urien.
In modern Christian interpretations of the Arthurian mythology, Morgan seduces Arthur conceive the evil Mordred, although originally in La Mort d'Arthur this role is assigned to Morgause or Anna, one of his sisters. However, in the novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley "The Mists of Avalon", Mordred or Gwydion, is conceived by Arthur under the appearance of Horned, the God, during the Celtic rites of Beltane in Avalon. Older versions says as Morgan and Arthur slept together, conceiving Mordred. Merlin announced Arthur that the child would be born the first of May, in Beltane, and that would be the end of the reign of justice that Arthur took place. The king sent a ship and lock in all the babies born on that date and launched the boat into the sea. All children except his son died, which ended growing up with his uncles Lot and Morgause in the Orkney Islands. Arthur made marry Morgan with the king Uriens and had a son, Sir Owein. But Morgan and her husband never got along, and once tried to kill him.
Morgan and Merlin
Several sources described Morgan as a disciple of Merlin, and later as his rival, in this paper, the character is partially superimposed to "Viviana", one of the figures that correspond to the name of "Lady of the Lake". While Viviana (also called Nimue) seduces and bewitches Merlin with its beauty and its magic, Morgan learns the magic of it and then use it to harm the knights of Arthur and Queen Guinevere, as in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , where Morgan is called fairy and goddess and says she was a student and lover of Merlin to overcome him in magic and knowledge.
In some legends, Morgan tries to conspire against Arthur stealing Excalibur and handed it to his beloved Sir Accolon to assassinate Arthur. Arthur kills Accolon in a duel and retires to rest in a nearby convent. Morgan, angry, steals the sheath of Excalibur (what makes Arthur invincible) and throws it into the sea. Later he sends her a coat, apparently to reconcile but the king refuses. Following the advice of Nimue, the Lady of the Lake and Merlin's successor, Arthur puts it to the servant of his sister. The coat sticks to her body and begins to burn magically. The king saves his life and Morgan escapes away from Camelot.
Morgan, Geneva and Lancelot
Morgan and Geneva always has been portrayed as enemies, as they represent different aspects: at physical level (Geneva is blond, Morgan is black-haired ) and ideological (Morgan was a woman raised in Avalon, so that worshiped the ancient gods and the Christian Geneva , his sister in law, hated her for it.) Works as the Vulgate tells when Geneva discovered the relationship of Guiomar(nephew of Geneva) with Morgan expelled him from the court to hurt Morgan. One day the beloved of Geneva, Sir Lancelot, reached the Morgan's castle, also called Castle of the Wagon. The witch tried to seduce him, but it did not work, so she locked him a year in his dungeon. After this time, Lancelot escapes, but Arthur comes to pay a visit to her sister. Morgana shows his brother a mural painted by Lancelot with love scenes with Geneva and himself as protagonists. After that the king insatiably pursued the knight who had been his best friend, and Morgana finally take revenge of her enemy. According to another older legend Morgan gave him a special gift to King Arthur: a horn which only faithful wives could drink. Arthur gave it to his wife, she could not drink of the horn.
The softer side of the witch
After Arthur go looking for Lancelot, Mordred wants to marry Geneva. This triggers the wrath of Arthur, and so is the battle of Camlann, where father and son are killed. Regretful, Morgan takes Arthur, half-dead to the island of Avalon, along with several fairy queens mourning, which in some versions are group of three other four, and nine others. That's where Arthur sleep for ever and ever. This last story shows the softer side of the witch, who ultimately forget the past and reconcile with his brother. This final chapter will cause, in the XX and XXI centuries, many writers introduce Morgan as a tormented woman torn between the love to her brother Arthur and the seeking of revenge for the terrible death of her father and her mother's humiliation , which was achieved thanks to Merlin.
Morgan in Other sources
The fairy Morgana also appears in fantastic stories later, unrelated Arthurian cycle, often as a personification of the optical phenomenon fata morgana. For example, the fairy tale Morgana appears in wild swans by Hans Christian Andersen.
It also appears in the "Chocolate frog cards", a collectable stamps in the series Harry Potter.
Additionally, in the story of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, of "The Arabian Nights", Morgan (also called Morgianna, Maryanna or Marchana) is the name of the bold, brave and cunning slave of Ali Baba, that saves at different times of the revenge of the 40 thieves. As reward, Ali Baba delivery in marriage to his own son.
It also appears in the Walt Disney Pictures film The Sorcerer's Apprentice, its existence is part of the backbone of the story.
In the animated series Winx Club, also appears Fata Morgana, Queen of all the fairies of earth, resented by banish Magi. In the same series mentioned in previous seasons to be, Avalon, saving the protagonists repeatedly.
In the film Oh! My Goddess (2000) as the Fairy Morgan
Morgana is also a famous Spanish dancer belly dance specialist tribal fusion and gothic style. Performs well arms and showy choreography with martial arts moves. Is Co-founder of Excalibur Dance Co. and director of the school Mists of Avalon.
Morgana is also a character "Hero (Heroine)" the popular free online game League of Legends (LoL).