This is the offshoot I mentioned of this question.

According to this,

In a few tales, a maiden or a fay had trapped Merlin in an enchantment. The most famous was the Lady of the Lake. Again, there are few versions involving his death at the hand of the Lady of the Lake.

The Lady of the Lake was a powerful sorceress and the lady of Otherworldly realm, hidden by the illusionary lake. The Lady of the Lake was known by several other names, such as Niniane, Viviane and Nimue. Further confusion resulted when some author listed several women with title the Lady of the Lake.

Following a link,

There seemed to be several "Lady of the Lake". The most important Lady of the Lake was Niniane (also known as Viviane, Vivien or Nimue). Some even say that Morgan le Fay was also the Lady of the Lake, though most often Morgan was referred to as one of nine sorceresses of Avalon.

Even more detail is given here. I looked at Wikipedia and found:

The Post-Vulgate Cycle's second Lady of the Lake is called Ninianne, and her story is nearly identical to the one in the Lancelot-Grail, though it adds her bestowal of the magic sword Excalibur to Arthur. Sir Thomas Malory also uses both Ladies of the Lake in his Le Morte d'Arthur; he leaves the first one unnamed and calls the second one Nimue.

It seems like the "some author" mentioned in the first quote is Sir Thomas Malory.

Is there any connection between the two Ladies of the Lake, given that Malory implies that they are separate figures?

1 Answer 1


In that same Wikipedia link you provided, it says:

Malory dissociates Nimue from the general title of Lady of the Lake, so that when Sir Balin kills (one of) the Ladies of the Lake Nimue can continue to play a pivotal role in the plot.

"Lady of the Lake" is merely a title, one that passes to different women throughout the tales of Arthurian Legend, Nimue being one of them. So there is only ever one lady IN the lake at any one time, but there are multiple ladies who have once held the title. One of them gave Excalibur to Arthur. One of them (presumably the first) was the one who charmed Merlin. And the one Sir Balin kills is the one who succeeds Nimue.

The only connection that there seems to be between the two ladies you mention are that Nimue must have given some training to her successor before leaving. Other than that minor mentoring role, there isn't much connection to be had, other than the fact they share the same title.

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