Knight Game: Sir Gawain and the Lady Ragnell

I’ve been taking an interest in game throughout history. I believe I first read the Arthurian legends, the Knights of the Round Table when I was in the third grade. The Tale of Sir Gawain and the Lady Ragnell was probably the first encounter I had with “game.” King Arthur is caught unarmed and made “an offer he cannot refuse” by a local thug. He has to answer a riddle “What do women want most?” Arthur can’t figure it out but he meets an ugly old crone in the woods and she offers to tell him the answer, but in exchange, Sir Gawain (Arthur’s nephew) will have to marry her. Pretty good negotiation for an old hag. Sir Gawain eventually finds out about this and (to save the king) he agrees to marry the old girl in exchange for the knowledge that “women want to have their own way” or said in a single word: sovereignty.

So Arthur is saved, and Gawain now has an ugly wife. Anyway, it turns out that on his wedding night, it is revealed she is affected by some curse and she’s actually a hot princess, but only half the time. He will have to choose if she is hot in public and ugly in the bedroom, or alternatively she can be ugly in public, and super hot at home. According to Franco in “Practical Female Psychology for the Practical Man” this type of shit test is a double blind. The classic example of “Do I look fat in this dress?” Option A and Option B both kind of suck. Instead of choosing A or B, he uses both the knowledge that she has given him (all women are solipsistic and want their own way) and a strong frame to choose option C “You are the one who must bear this burden my dear, it is you who must choose.” She exclaims “oh you have broken the curse, since you gave me my own way, the spell is broken and I can be hot for you all the time.”

It’s a nice fairy tale, but as with most legends that survived through time (also religious texts), there are levels to it. While it can look like Sir Gawain is being rewarded for simping, he’s actually passing a major shit test and holding a strong frame.

Unfortunately, the incorrect “simping is rewarded” lesson is what a lot of people take away from the story. Younger men might misinterpret it as Sir Gawain being rewarded for being a nice boy who sub-communicates “I want to please you mother.” The kind of married men or relation-whipped men who say “she’s the boss” or “let me ask my better half” and think they are being noble like knights and will be rewarded for it. WEAK. Is this where white knights come from? 

White knights incorrectly aping the example of Sir Gawain are often miffed that they are not rewarded for simping. All these rules of giving women what they want, giving them flowers and chocolates were for courtly love among nobles (where marriages were arranged) and these things were for signaling TO HER PARENTS that the man would take good care of her. Like small gifts in a business transaction to show good will toward an eventual business deal.

In game terms, it was a shit test. Her curse was a shit test and he broke the curse by holding frame. Her curse was presented within the frame that there were only two options of how she could be for him, and he had to choose one. He refused to accept the frame of her curse and instead gave her a third option (which was cleverly hidden in plain sight as the answer to the riddle). In the true style of a patriarch, he gave her the guidance she needed and delegated the decision back to her. She was delighted that he passed the shit test and broke the curse, and supposedly became his hot willing princess wife, which, if he keeps a strong frame, that’s not unlikely.

The Hans Comyn level 3 (how do I make her shine) moral of the story: Don’t be distracted by her beauty. Even the most beautiful girls think or feel that they are ugly sometimes. Giving her some guidance and direction while holding a strong frame guides her to be the beautiful princess all the time.

A lower vibration takeaway is jumping on a grenade. He’s a knight who got roped into this marriage to save his king’s life. Dispassionately taking one for the team. It could have gone something like this: “Look here Lady Rags, I’ve got a duty to the king and a kingdom to save, so when you’re ugly and when you’re hot is a burden you have to bear, so you need to deal with it and make a decision. Hurry up. Let’s go.”

Finally, the most detached takeaway is that the thug who threatened King Arthur actually had his lands taken from him by Sir Gawain, so by having his ugly cursed sister marry Sir Gawain in what is essentially a shotgun wedding, they reacquire their family lands back by marriage. Life in court must have been complicated. The whole thing was actually an arranged marriage shotgun wedding business deal.

I think this will be the story I use to introduce game to any male heirs I produce.

The thing I’m left wondering: was Lady Ragnell a yes girl? The Lady of the Lake sure was.