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Tristan de Bois
Also Known As: Sir Tristan
The Black Knight
Biographical Information
Race: Human (Pre-series)
Wraith
Gender: Male
Family: Ygraine Pendragon (Younger Sister) †
Arthur Pendragon (Nephew) †
Uther Pendragon (Brother-in-law) †
Agravaine de Bois (Younger Brother) †
Guinevere Pendragon (Niece-in-law)
Statistics
Affiliation: Ygraine Pendragon
Nimueh
Enemies: Uther Pendragon
Sir Owain
Sir Pellinore
Behind the Scenes
Portrayer: Rick English
Christopher Fairbank (Voice)
List of Appearances: Excalibur
Tristan de Bois was the brother of Ygraine -- Uther's wife. Ygraine died in childbirth. He blamed Uther and came to the gates of Camelot and challenged him. Uther won. But in his dying breath, Tristan cursed Camelot to one day suffer his return. I thought it was the ramblings of a dying man.
Gaius to Merlin[src]

Tristan de Bois, also known as "The Black Knight" was the older brother of Ygraine and Agravaine de Bois, the brother-in-law of Uther Pendragon, and one of Arthur's maternal uncles. A former friend of Uther, he turned against him after the death of Ygraine. Many years after his death, he became the deceased uncle-in-law of Guinevere, the wife of his nephew, Arthur.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Presumed the eldest child of his parents, Tristan was closest to his younger siblings, Ygraine and Agravaine. When his beloved younger sister Ygraine died during childbirth, Tristan blamed Uther for her death and challenged him to a duel. Uther won the duel but before he died, Tristan swore in his dying breaths that he would rise from the dead and avenge Ygraine.

ResurrectionEdit

Twenty-one years after his death, at Arthur's coming of age ceremony, Tristan is reanimated as a Wraith by the sorceress Nimueh. He crashes his horse through the window during the ceremony and challenges the knights to a fight to the death. Sir Owain takes up the challenge and strikes a would-be fatal blow, but ultimately dies, Sir Pellinore takes up the next challenge and also dies, though he too strikes a fatal blow. Arthur challenges Tristan to a duel himself, and he accepts. Gaius and Geoffrey of Monmouth are later able to identify Tristan by the crest on his shield. It is an image of a white Phoenix. He is the only knight known to have carried such a crest.

Merlin observes that both times the Knights fatally wounded Tristan, he survived. With the help of the Great Dragon, Kilgharrah, he creates a sword that can kill the dead. Although it is intended as a sword for Arthur's use only, it is Uther who fights Tristan with Excalibur. As a result the Wraith dies, and Tristan de Bois returns to the world of the dead, his revenge unfulfilled (Excalibur).

Tristan de Bois on his black horse is later seen inside a crystal of the Crystal Cave when it Merlin is seeing flashbacks or previous events (The Diamond of the Day).

AbilitiesEdit

Tristan showed to be an exceptionally skilled warrior, with incredible swordsmanship and a formidably aggressive fighting style. When he returned from the dead as a wraith, not only had his fighting skills remained unchanged, but he was the perfect opponent for agile or fast individuals, as he was momentous, powerful, and extremely strong. Additionally, as a wraith, because he was already dead, Tristan could not be killed, as any man-made weapon or even mortal magic cannot kill a wraith. 

AppearancesEdit

Series 1
Excalibur (Appears as a ghost or spirit)
Series 5
The Diamond of the Day: Part One (Appears in crystals) (cameo)

GalleryEdit


TriviaEdit

  • Tristan was never mentioned by his brother, Agravaine like their sister Ygraine was so it is unknown what their relationship was like. Given Agravaine's hatred at Uther for the loss of both of his siblngs, it is likely that he is close to him, though not as close as to Ygraine.
  • According to Gaius and Geoffrey, Tristan was the only person to have used such a crest (the white phoenix) as it is never seen to have been used by Agravaine. It is still implied that the white phoenix crest was the also the crest of the House of de Bois.
  • Like Cornelius Sigan, it is unknown to what Tristan's actually characteristics were due to the fact that at time of his resurrection, he was a wraith.
  • His surname, De Bois, means "of wood" in French.
  • Tristan is the first of two characters of the same name to appear in the show. The second was the smuggler Tristan and the lover of Isolde.
  • Given that Tristan blames Uther on Ygraine's death rather than accepting it due to birth complications, it is likely that he and Agravaine are aware that their sister conceives through the use of magic on Uther's requests. 
  • In the Italian version of the show, his name was translated as Tristano.
  • While his resurrected form is referred to as a wraith it bears a striking resemblance to a revenant.
Series 1 Enemies
The Dragon's Call: Mary Collins † • Lady Helen (indirect) †
Valiant: Valiant † • DevlinSerpent Shield
The Mark of Nimueh: Nimueh † • Afanc
The Poisoned Chalice: Nimueh † • Balorian SpidersCockatrice
Lancelot: Griffin
A Remedy to Cure All Ills: Edwin Muirden † • Elanthia Beetles
The Gates of Avalon: Sophia † • Aulfric † • Sidhe elder
The Beginning of the End: Uther Pendragon
Excalibur: Nimueh † • Tristan de Bois
The Moment of Truth: Kanen
The Labyrinth of Gedref: Arthur Pendragon (indirect) †
To Kill the King: TaurenMorgana † • Uther Pendragon
Le Morte d'Arthur: Nimueh † • Questing BeastKilgharrah

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