The Swan Knight

Who is the Swan Knight and where does he come from? And why does there seem to be two of them…

The Swan Knight came to right wrongs and marry the maiden Elza. So why is she in a nunnery and he back in Monsalvat? Meanwhile, who saved Godfroi of Bouillon? What is Wolfram von Eschenbach writing about now? Kardeiz of Waleis, part-time Long Distance Herald and sometime denizen of Monsalvat, thinks he can provide an answer to some of the questions ­– and asks some of his own. Or is he just seeking useful source material for von Eschenbach?  Who can tell?


Parzival, Gral-king of Monsalvat, sends his two sons into the world to right wrongs. His oldest son, Loherangrin, goes to marry Elza of Bouillon, but the event is not a success – she ends up in a nunnery and Loherangrin retreats to Monsalvat. Kardeiz of Waleis, Parzival’s second son, is more successful ­– he saves Godfroi of Bouillon from a watery death and restores him to his dukedom. Both rescues are hindered by Matilda of Canossa, who declares that she knows their father and is certainly more than she appears to be…

While Loherangrin returns, distraught, from Bouillon and shuts himself away in Monsalvat, Kardeiz goes about his business as a Long Distance Herald in Santen. There he makes the acquaintance of Wolfram von Eschenbach, who tells him that he has been writing a history of the Monsalvat clan. Kardeiz is interested and slightly alarmed, but before he can advise von Eschenbach about the misconceptions in his annals, Parzival arrives, in an unorthodox fashion, and requests that Kardeiz escorts Elza to Monsalvat.

Kardeiz does what his father has asked but worries how Elza ­– and her daughter – will be received by his brother. All is resolved when they arrive in Monsalvat but Kardeiz refuses to stay there and retires to his castle in Waleis.