Hearing the Light

Tristan and Parzival are so alike they could be twins, so when Tristan falls in love with Iseult, appearances can be deceptive – and deadly.
This is the story of Tristan and Iseult, from which Tristan is strangely absent.

Tristan kills the King of Ireland’s champion and is healed of his wounds by the Irish princesses, Brangane and Iseult, with a bit of help (or hindrance) from Parzival, the Gral-king. Tristan falls in love with Iseult, who is fated to become Tristan’s uncle’s bride. When Tristan and Iseult sail from Ireland to Cornwall, Iseult takes her revenge so Parzival steps in to ensure things turn out for the best. Except his idea of the best is often contrary to everyone else’s…

Synopsis

Parzival, King of Monsalvat, the lands of the Gral, goes to help his old friend – and doppelganger – Tristan of Kareol and Lyonesse, who has been wounded in combat with the King of Ireland’s champion, fighting to free his uncle’s kingdom of Corneu from paying tribute to Ireland. He takes Tristan to the healer Brangane and her cousin Iseult, who is the King of Ireland’s daughter where Tristan is healed by the combined skill of Brangane and Parzival and falls in love with Iseult. When Kurwenal, Tristan’s former guardian, comes to take him back to Corneu, Parzival leaves for Monsalvat, hoping that Tristan will marry Iseult and have as happy a marriage as he has with Condwiramurs of Brobarz. He has, however, promised Brangane that he will come to her aid if she ever needs him.

Before long he has to keep his promise, as Tristan comes to escort Iseult to marry his uncle, King Margh of Corneu and, furious, Iseult poisons and stabs Tristan. Parzival arrives with his sons, Loherangrin and Kardeiz, and apparently takes control of the situation. Tristan is taken by Loherangrin and Kurwenal to Kareol to be healed, Parzival takes Tristan’s place at Margh’s court, ensuring that Iseult is married to the King of Corneu. He is accompanied by his son Kardeiz, masquerading as Melot, the son of an old friend from the days when Tristan (and Parzival) fought under the command of Artus of Britain. Iseult refuses to believe that Tristan is now Parzival in disguise as no one else notices the deception, even Margh. She drugs Margh on their wedding night and when Margh discovers Tristan and Iseult together, apparently about to make love, Melot challenges Tristan to a duel, hoping to somehow save his father from the situation. However, Tristan walks onto his sword and, wounded, is taken to Kareol, where the real Tristan is dying. Iseult arrives in time for Tristan to die in her arms, Brangane and Margh arrive to unravel some of the knots of the story and Parzival returns to Monsalvat with his sons, mourning his friend – and his part in the action.