Study Guide

The Once and Future King Book 1, Chapter 11

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Book 1, Chapter 11

  • Only boys or girls can get into Castle Chariot, which is why Robin needs children to help him out here.
  • It won't be so easy, though, because Morgan has a fierce griffin for a watchdog.
  • Since they can't do anything about the situation until after dark, the boys hang out with Robin and his band all day.
  • The boys are warned to hide their iron knives (fairies can sense iron, and they hate it) and to not eat anything while they are in Morgan's castle. If they do, they will have to stay there forever and ever.
  • Marian is an accomplished soldier, and can move through the woods almost silently. This makes up for Wart and Kay being put in a girls' group (which they initially regarded as a sort of insult—like having to eat Thanksgiving at the kiddie table).
  • After trekking through the forest, they make it to their destination, and luckily sneak past the terrible griffin.
  • And things get even stranger. The castle is made out of food! We even get to read an old medieval poem that talks about a castle made out of things like milk, butter, cheese, and ribs. Apparently, fairies are gluttons.
  • Plus, they took a tip from the wicked witch from Hansel and Gretel and are trying to entrap children with a delicious domicile.
  • The fairies got it wrong, though. The boys just think Castle Chariot is disgusting. Who wants dairy products blended with pork blended with butter? Not Kay or Wart, that's for sure. Cow hairs in butter? That's just gross.
  • They find Morgan le Fay lying on a bed of lard (yuck!), and as they move toward her to touch her with their iron daggers, the entire castle melts into a lardy puddle (more yuck) and the prisoners, the boys and the dog are safe.
  • Then, they head home.

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