Parsi-fal "Pure Fool
This is the easiest description of Sir Perceval (also Percival or Percivale). He wasn't known for his brains to say the least.
Perceval spent most of his childhood in Wales, where his mother hoped to spare him from the bloodshed at Arthur's court. Her plan worked until the day Perceval ran into a group of knights riding through the nearby forest. He was immediately dazzled by their strength and weapons, and so he ran off to follow them on their way back to court.
Once he arrived he asked to be made a knight right then. Most of the court laughed at his this, but Arthur, who saw that he was a true innocent, explained that he would have to work his way toward knighthood. From there, Perceval became a court page, causing disasters wherever he went because of the dangerous combination of innocence, ignorance, and curiousity that resided in him. He could also be counted on to get into trouble, although never on purpose or with cruel intent.
Eventually he rose to the level of knight and set off into the world to find adventure. He came upon an old man in a boat who invited him back to his castle for the knight. There Perceval saw a wonderous procession leading towards a strange cup. He also noted that the land around the castle was in ruins and it's owner (the old man) was in a similar state. He thought it rude to ask questions, so he remained silent about the entire episode. Little did he know, this was the Fisher King, the guardian of the Holy Grail, laid to waste by the Dolorous Stroke. Had Perceval shown any interest in the situation (by asking a question) he would have restored the King to his former glory. But, alas, poor Perceval instead found himself on the cold ground of an empty, abandoned castle in the morning. He realized his mistake and then spent years wandering in search of the Grail Castle and the Fisher King.
Here the story diverges a bit. In the later, more widely known version, Perceval joins the company of Sir Galahad and Sir Bors, who are together known as the Three Elect. Together they find the Grail Castle and Galahad heals the Fisher King. When Galahad finally sees the Grail, he decides he has nothing left to live for and dies, having completed his mission (to find the Grail). Bors is sent back into the world to spread the news to the world and is named "The Messenger". Perceval is left to take the place of the Fisher King, guarding the Grail. In the earlier, original myths, Perceval eventually finds the castle on his own. He is the great hero (as opposed to Galahad), but instead of dying in the midst of its beauty, he is left to guard, as in the later myth.
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