We learn that Sir Ector (and Wart and Kay) live at The Castle of the Forest Sauvage. Best castle name, or best castle name?
On the downside, we also learn that these are some troubled times, so when tyrants attack or there's a raid of any kind, all the people in the nearby village flock to the castle for protection.
The castle is still standing, and you can go visit it if you're ever over in England.
We get a long and quite detailed description of the castle. Its architectural niftiness is mostly for protection (or for offense—like pouring boiling hot lead or oil onto invaders' heads).
Today, Wart is hanging out in the kennel.
There's a boy who lives in the kennel, called (wait for it) the Dog Boy. He takes care of the dogs and acts kind of like a dog, and is missing his nose because it was bitten off by a crazed guy named Wat.
No time to remain in the kennel, though, because today's the day Wart will start his lessons with Merlyn.
Wart, like most medieval boys, isn't interested in being cooped up in a stuffy classroom. He wants to swim in the moat.
Wish granted. Merlyn summons Neptune, who gives permission for Wart to be turned into a fish. Merlyn is also turned into a fish.
Not surprisingly, he enjoys being a fish. Swimming as a fish is kind of like flying.
A little fish comes up to Wart (a roach, not the insect but a type of fish) and wants help for his mother. She swims upside down all the time, and needs someone to straighten her out.
Merlyn sings a song to Mama Roach, and by the end of it, she's straightened up and swimming right.
The pair hang out for a while in the moat, just watching the various water creatures doing their thing. It seems safe enough.
Not so fast, Merlyn points out. There are dangers here Wart hasn't considered. For instance, it's kind of like the forest, which was a scary place initially to Wart.
Merlyn introduces Wart to the King of the Moat—a fish named Black Peter. This will give Wart the chance to see what it's like to be king. Hmmm… more prophecy?
Black Peter looks horrible. His expression conveys the bad aspects of kingship, such as pride, selfishness, loneliness and cruelty.
He kind of looks like Uncle Sam (anachronism alert!)
Black Peter tells Wart that there is nothing except power. Power of the body is the ultimate thing. Might is Right.
Wart should leave right now, the King of the Moat tells him, otherwise he might gobble him right up.
Merlyn turns them back into humans, and they're out of the moat, now lying on the drawbridge.