A list of the major characters, to help those who have gotten confused or who have just joined.
[Tomb of El Doncel (the Young Nobleman) Martín Vázquez de Arce in the Cathedral of Sigüenza, Spain. He served as a pageboy to Queen Isabel of Castile and died in 1486 at age 25 while fighting in the conquest of Granada. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigüenza]
As is typical of medieval novels, Amadis of Gaul features a number of intertwining plotlines and an enormous cast of characters and families. Here is an alphabetical list through Chapter 24 of the major protagonists and antagonists who will appear in subsequent chapters.
Agrajes: Son of King Languines of Scotland, cousin of Amadis, and a fine knight. He is in love with Olinda, Princess of Norway. He and his uncle Galvanes free a damsel from being burned at the stake in Chapter 16, which earns them the sworn enmity of the Duke of Bristol. In Chapter 23, Agrajes, Galvanes, and a knight named Olivas arrive at the royal court.
Amadis: The greatest knight in the world. He is born out of wedlock to King Perion of Gaul and Princess Elisena of Little Brittany. As a newborn, he is cast into the sea in a wooden ark and recovered by a Scottish knight, Gandales, who raises him as a son. From Chapter 2 to 10, he is known as Childe of the Sea. At age 12, he meets Princess Oriana of Great Britain and they fall in love, but he is a boy with no name or estate and she is the daughter of a powerful king, so theirs is an impossible, secret love. He grows up to be handsome, brave, and a fierce protector of all women as well as the oppressed. His love for Oriana can overcome his senses, however, and he hopes that as a knight, he can achieve such feats as to be worthy of her. In Chapter 10, he learns who he is. In Chapter 15, he agrees to serve Queen Brisena, Oriana's mother. He leaves Windsor to search for his brother Galaor. In Chapter 24, he has found Galaor and they are returning to the royal court when he goes dashing off to rescue a damsel in distress.
Angriote d' Estravaus: He loves Grovenesa, who hates him, so she orders him to guard a valley and make all knights who pass through it swear that she is the most beautiful woman in the world, and if they refuse, Angriote must fight them; she hopes that someone will kill him. In Chapter 18, Amadis, who cannot bear to say that any woman is more beautiful than Oriana (no woman is, actually), defeats Angriote but spares his life and thus wins his everlasting loyalty. In Chapter 23, Angriote arrives at the royal court.
Arcalaus the Sorcerer: He fights Amadis in Chapter 18 and defeats him with an evil spell, but Amadis is rescued from death by two nieces of the sorceress Urganda. Amadis then frees 115 men and 30 knights held in a horrible prison in Arcalaus's castle. In Chapter 20, Arcalaus goes to the royal court to announce that he has killed Amadis, but everyone hates Arcalaus for it, so he leaves; the truth is soon known. Expect more trouble from Arcalaus.
Ardian: A dwarf who becomes Amadis's vassal in Chapter 18.
Balais of Carsante: One of the knights freed by Amadis from Arcalaus's prison. He intervenes in a fight between Amadis and Galaor in Chapter 22, then joins them on their trip to the royal court in Windsor. In Chapter 24, he rides off after a knight who attacked their horses.
Brisena: Wife of King Lisuarte of Great Britain, daughter of the King of Denmark, mother of Oriana. Amadis is her knight.
Damsel of Denmark: She serves Oriana. Always level-headed, she has upbraided Amadis, Oriana, and Mabilia when they were acting foolish.
Galaor: Legitimate son of King Perion of Gaul and Queen Elisena. He is stolen as a toddler by a giant in Chapter 3. He is knighted by Amadis, who does not know him, in Chapter 11. He is an excellent and fearless knight, but not especially intelligent and not at all chaste. Galaor serves as a comic foil to his brother. He and Amadis meet in Chapter 22 while wearing helmets and thus fail recognize each other, and they fight to near death. In Chapter 24, Galaor is traveling to Windsor with Amadis and Balais when they find a murdered knight beneath a tree.
Gandalin: Son of the Scottish knight Gandales, who found Amadis as a newborn in the sea. They were raised together as brothers, and he has become Amadis's loyal squire.
Lisuarte: King of Great Britain, husband of Brisena, father of Oriana.
Mabilia: Daughter of King Languines of Scotland, close friend of Oriana.
Oriana: The most beautiful woman in the world. Daughter of King Lisuarte and Queen Brisena. She falls secretly in love with Amadis as a child, and, as adults, they confess their love to each other in Chapter 14. When Arcalaus says in Chapter 20 that he has killed Amadis, she almost dies of grief.
Urganda the Unrecognized: Sorceress who can assume any disguise and thus pass unrecognized; protector of Amadis and Galaor.