The Roman van den Riddere metter Mouwen (‘Romance of the Knight with the Sleeve’) is a thirteenth-century Arthurian romance written in Middle Dutch, of which a fourteenth-century version is preserved in the Lancelot Compilation. The original, Flemish romance seems to have been adapted considerably: the Brabantine compiler abridged his source text, added several episodes, and even changed the storyline, turning the romance into a diptych. The second half of the current story differs in many ways from the first half, raising questions about the compiler’s part in its creation. Remarkable is an abrupt change in the portrayals of King Arthur and his nephew Walewein. In the ‘Aragon Episode’ the monarch, until then a benevolent overlord, makes an awkward decision, which provokes a critical response from Walewein. The famous knight appeared as only a minor character so far, but now, the story’s hero being sidetracked in another adventure, he suddenly lives up to his reputation. In this article, a case is made for the hypothesis that the compiler wrote the Aragon Episode himself, offering his favourite knight Walewein an opportunity to shine.
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