I just don’t love this version of the Grail. The story of Sir Percival is such a beautiful myth. His Bel Inconnu story flows perfectly into the tale of a desolate land and a wounded king, a mysterious castle and a mysterious ceremony, the right question, and a questioner who has to grow up to be ready to ask it. Its ending is so satisfying, with his discovery, that the grail is his inheritance, as is the kingdom, and he has finally become worthy of both.
Galahad’s story just feels so untethered to anything that matters. I can’t bring myself to care, and it feels as though Arthur and his knights only care because they feel they Have to. They marvel at Galahad, at his name on the siege Perilous, but he isn’t a real part of their story. His quest feels like it’s being told by people who want it to mean something but haven’t quite figured out how to make it do so.
I dislike how his quest has nothing to do with the well-being of the land, or of the people who inhabit it. His quest has nothing to do with chivalry. The grail in this story is just a holy object, it isn’t the source of healing for the world. It’s a weird story. The grail is this holy thing, and Galahad is born to find it. The End. His finding it doesn’t DO anything for anyone, except maybe his own soul. His birth requires a rape. His quest leads most of the knights to their deaths. Then, upon finding it, he dies, and both he and the grail are taken away to heaven. It’s a wildly unsatisfying version of a story that has held the public imagination for a thousand years.