I am currently compiling information about Dindrane. She was, apparently,
Percivals sister. She died giving blood for a leper, and was having a
chivalric love affair with Galahad. I am seeking as many details as possible.
Thanks for any help you might provide!
Basic Summary of Dindrane:
Dindrane (Agresizia in Italian Romances) was, as you say, the sister of
Perceval and went on the Grail Quest. The questers came to a castle
where it was the custom to demand the blood of passing women to cure the
leprouse chatelaine. Hearing of this Dindrane voluntarily donated her
blood and died in so doing. Her body accompanies the Grail Knights on
the Ship of Solomon to Sarras.
I'll see if I can't rake up some more detailed information over the next
couple of days.
Sigurd Towrie |
Kirkwall, Orkney Isles | Orkney Website: www.stowrie.demon.co.uk
SCOTLAND | E-mail: s...@stowrie.demon.co.uk
Right here goes....
Perceval sister appears in a number of texts but she is first referred
to as "Dindrane" in "Perlesvaus" where she is calledDandrane. Here the
Grail Quest begins when three maidens come into Arthur's hall; a bald,
ugly damsel who is known as the Maiden of the Cart, a maiden dressed as
a squire on horseback with a hunting dog and a shield and a short
beautiful maiden on foot. The shield is supposedly that of Joseph
of Arimathea, destined to belong to the Grail-winner and the dog will
not greet anyone save that knight.
Later on Dindrane (called Dandrane) comes to the court and asks for the
help of the Knight who is destined to carry Joseph's shield. Her
mother's lands have been stolen from her and now she has ridden through
inhospitable lands to seek Perceval. The dog immediately greets her.
Later that night a mysterious ship comes to shore - it's only passenger
being an unnamed knight who enters the court, takes the shield and is
greeted wildly by the dog (whom he takes with him). In the morning
Dandrane is annoyed at Arthur for not having woken her to greet
her brother and now she will have to resume her quest for him.
Later when Perceval is lodging near a hermitage he overhears Dandrane
praying for assistance - her prayer outlining their mother's peril and
Dandrane's own dangerous quest for Perceval. He shows himself and
Dandrane thinks he has arrived as the answer to her prayer. She tells
him of her determination to make a vigil in the Perilous Cemetery - a
fearful place in which lies a chapel containing a piece of Christ's
shroud (presumably the Turin Shroud as it later became known). She has
been assured by a hermit that her mother's enemy (the Lord of the Fens)
cannot be vanquished by anyone unless they carry a piece of the shroud
and that only a maiden can accomplish this quest.
Dandrane enters the haunted cemetery enters the Chapel and seizes the
shroud. A ghostly voice tells her that the Fisher King is dead and that
the Grail and the other Hallows have ceased to appear and the King of
Castle Mortel has triumphed.
Dandrane's only hope now is Perceval. She rides to her mother's castle
where he has just appeared. Outside it is a tomb which only the best
knights in the world can open. Perceval opens the tomb in the presence
of his mother and sister and finds that it contains the body of Joseph
of Arimathea and several relics of Christ's passion. Dandrane gives
Perceval the piece of shroud and he battles the Lord of the Fens -
Later Perceval hears that the Lord of the Fens cousin has carried off
Dandrane intending to marry her, rape her and then kill her after a year
(Aristor's usual custom). Perceval rides to his sister's wedding beheads
Aristor and gives the head to Dandrane.
As Perceval is about to restore the Grail, the Maiden of the Cart
reappears (remember her?) now sporting a full head of hair again. She
accompanies him to the conclusion of his quest and brings his mother and
Dandrane to the Grail Castle. There they live together until death, when
Perceval sets sail on a ship that bears him away to the Heavenly realms.
In the "Queste del San Graal" Perceval is ousted from the position of
the "sole Grail-Winner", substituting Galahad (son of Elaine and
Lancelot). In this test Dindrane comes to Galahad towards the end of the
Grail Quest and leads him to a ship where Bors and Perceval also are.
The sail to another ship - the Ship of Solomon. On board this ship is a
bed on which is a sword that cannot be drawn by anyone but the best
knight. Like Excalibur the scabbard of this sword protects the wearer
from harm but can only be fastened on by a Princess who is destined to
later remove the belt and exchange it for the thing she prizes most.
Dindrane appears in this text as extremely knowledgeable and informs all
that the wood (white, green and red) from which the bed is made was from
the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the Garden of Eden. (the
white colour came from the twig taken by Eve when she was a virgin, the
green from cuttings taken after she....she "coupled" with Adam and the
red from cuttings taken after the slaughter of Abel by Cain). Dindrane
further tells how Solomon's wife was wiser than the fabled King and knew
that Christ would come and that a certain knight would be the last of
his line. The King wished to leave a testimonial to advise this knight
that he had known and prepared for his coming - hence the construction
of the Ship of Solomon.
Dindrane then shows the belt intended for the sword - a belt woven from
her own hair and names the blade "Sword of the Strange Belt" and the
Scabbard "Memory of Blood". Galahad then draws the sword.
When the come to land again, the company is attacked by armed knights
who demand that Dindrane be taken to a nearby castle and submit to a
custom there - every maiden who passes that way must give blood from her
right arm to fill a silver basin. The company fight to protect Dindrane
but when they learn as to the origin of the custom - that a leprous
maiden can only be healed by the blood of a maiden princess - Dindrane
begs to be allowed to assist. After mass the next morning she is bled
but the loss is too great and she dies. Before her death however she
makes Perceval promise to put her body in a boat and then to make for
Sarras, where her corpse will be buried (she prophesises that this will
be alongside Galahad).
This is carried out and letters are placed in her hands telling all
travellers about her history. Lancelot encounters the boat and learns of
his son's progress in the Grail Quest. Afterwards the Grail knights also
arrive at Sarras where Dindrane is buried with great honours. After the
deaths of Galahad and Perceval, Bors buries them beside her before
returning to relate the Grail Quest to Arthur.
Dindrane also appears in the Welsh Grail story Y Seint Graal where she
is called "DAnbraan" - an interesting connection to the Celtic God Bran
I hope this is of some use.