— Sir Gawain, Sonic and the Black Knight
Sir Gawain (ガウェイン Gauein?) is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He is an anthropomorphic echidna and the alternate reality doppelgänger of Knuckles the Echidna from the world of Camelot. He is a member of the Knights of the Round Table, a group of knights in the service of King Arthur. Gawain is known for his stubbornness when it comes to his unbending loyalty to King Arthur, along for a direct approach to conflict. He carries the legendary twin-sacred swords Galatine.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 History
- 3 Personality
- 4 Powers and abilities
- 5 Relationships
- 6 In other media
- 7 Real world background
- 8 Quotes
- 9 Theme songs
- 10 Trivia
- 11 References
Gawain is essentially a doppelganger of his mainstream counterpart and is so identical to him in anatomy. For attire, Gawain wears a redwood visor over his eyes. This visor is further connected to a plate of redwood metal armor that extends from his forehead, over his head, and down to the back of his head. On top of his head armor and visor are also a short silver "fin" that runs down the middle of both armor pieces. He also wears metallic redwood torso armor with a silver crescent mark across the chest, a silver hemline, redwood shoulder plates, and four redwood metal flaps hanging from the front of its aforementioned hemline. In addition, he wears gauntlets with silver metal mittens that possess two spikes for knuckles and redwood forearms armor with golden cuffs around the wrists and near the elbows. Lastly, he wears hot pink metallic shoes with a grey, sextuple-bolted plate on top, green metal cuffs, and redwood and sliver armor extending up his lower legs.
The nephew of King Arthur, Gawain would become one of the Knights of the Round Table in service to Arthur. He would also develop a rivalry with his brother-in-arms and fellow Knight of the Round Table, Lancelot.
As Arthur got bewitched by the scabbard of Excalibur and became the tyrannical Black Knight, Gawain, being honor bound to serve his king, remained by Arthur's side as his loyal servant.
Sonic and the Black Knight
In Sonic and the Black Knight, Gawain, along with Sir Lancelot and Sir Percival, met up with the corrupted King Arthur after Merlina the Wizard and Sonic the Hedgehog escaped him. Ordered by Arthur to go after Sonic and Merlina and slay them on sight, Gawain accepted the order he was given. Regardless, Gawain expressed reservations about going after the Royal Wizard herself. However, Lancelot and Percival reminded Gawain that they had their duty to their king.
Gawain eventually came across Sonic and Caliburn inside a druidic henge on Titanic Plain. Taking Sonic's remark that he looked like a "knucklehead" he knew as an insult, Gawain got ready to duel Sonic. Not interested in picking fights, Sonic tried telling Gawain that he was trying to save some townspeople from a dragon. Gawain, however, believed Sonic's story to be a lie and that he was only after the dragon's treasure, before heading in to kill Sonic in the name of King Arthur. However, upon being defeated, Gawain believed he had been disgraced by losing by a "mere apprentice", and thus tried to commit suicide with his sword in order to restore his honor. However, his attempt was thwarted when Sonic confiscated Galatine, disapproving of Gawain's overreaction. Gawain insisted that he deserved death since he, as a knight, had failed his king. However, he changed his mind when Sonic asked him if there was more to being a knight than just serving a king before leaving.
A while later, Gawain, Lancelot and Percival cornered Merlina in Camelot Castle. There, Merlina revealed that Arthur was but an illusion created by her grandfather. When Sonic then arrived on the scene with the scabbard of Excalibur. Gawain was held back by Percival when he tried questioning Sonic. The group then saw Merlina take the scabbard from Sonic with the intend of using its magic to make the kingdom eternal in spite of the damage it would cause. As Merlina's magic tore the castle apart, Gawain and the others fled from the area and retreated to the outskirts. Unable to do anything, a frustrated Gawain and his fellow Knights of the Round Table could only watch as the forces of the Underworld began consuming the kingdom. Sonic and Nimue, however, convinced Gawain and the others that being a knight meant more than just serving a king and that there was still time to stop Merlina. With Nimue revealing that they could contain Merlina's influence by creating a barrier around the castle by inserting their sacred swords into barrier stones around the kingdom, Gawain took Galatine back after Sonic relinquished it and vowed to save the kingdom and its people.
Gawain himself went to Great Megalith where he inserted Galatine into the barrier stone, which gave him a cryptic message regarding the sacred swords. Gawain soon after regrouped with the others to watch Sonic confront Merlina in the Dark Hollow through Nimue's magic. As Sonic continued to perservere despite being outmatched, Gawain and the others tried to convince Sonic to save himself. However, Sonic's undying determination soon awoke the long-lost light of the sacred sword. Following Nimue's advice, Gawain and the other knights sent their sacred swords to Sonic, transforming him and Caliburn into Excalibur Sonic and Excalibur. With this power, Sonic defeated Merlina in her Dark Queen state and saved the kingdom. In the aftermath, following Merlina's redemption, Gawain was still shocked over learning that Arthur was nothing but an illusion. However, when Caliburn revealed that he was the one who decided who was worthy to be the king of England, Gawain and the other knights realized that Sonic was the true King Arthur, and bowed before him.
Some time in the future, a rift between Gawain and Lancelot will doom the Round Table, becoming one of the factors leading to the ruination of the kingdom.
Like his counterpart, Gawain is wild, tough, stern and unmovable. He is also quite hardheaded and stubborn when it comes to his unbending loyalty to his king. Like Knuckles, Gawain is also prone to rash, ignorant, and ill-adviced actions, like when he jumped to the conclusion that Sonic was a liar seeking a dragon's treasure when he met him for the first time despite Sonic telling him that he was out to save some people from a dragon.
As one of the Knights of the Round Table, Gawain possesses a lot of pride in his status and does not take kindly to insults, noting that insulting him was "an act most unwise" when he believed Sonic made fun of him. Having been noted to have a thing for battles, Gawain tends to quickly charge into a fight without thinking too much and plow down his opponents. He likewise possesses what has been described as a "twin-fisted approach to conflict" and has a rather short temper.
Being a member of the Knights of the Round Table, Gawain strongly follows the code of chivalry. As such, he is a noble, dutiful and honorable knight in spite of his flaws. He is similarly endlessly loyal towards his appointed king, whom he will show the outmost respect for while striking down anyone who dares defy him. At the same time though, his loyalty to his duty is not unshakable as he would question his king's amoral orders. Gawain also holds concepts like a knight's honor and their duty to their king in high regard, so much in fact that he tried taking his own life in order to restore his honor after having it supposedly stained by failing King Arthur after losing to an apprentice knight. However, Gawain's focus on his devotion to King Arthur made him forget that being a knight not only meant serving his king, but also helping those in need and standing up for what is right. It was first after Merlina's rise to power and Sonic's words of encouragement that Gawain regained his full understanding of being a knight and began serving the kingdom of England and its people as a whole.
Powers and abilities
Much like his counterpart, Gawain possesses superhuman strength, being able to deal maximum damage with relatively few strikes. He likewise possesses incredible durability that lets him withstand just as much punishment as he can deal out. Gawain is also able to move at amazing speeds, being able to keep up with even Sir Lancelot, who is said to be as quick as Sonic.
Gawain is rather acrobatic, being capable of executing both swordplay and tricks while in midair. Also, by stretching his arms and legs outwards while airborne, Gawain can catch the air under his dreadlock-like spines to ride on air currents, allowing him to expertly glide long distances through mid-air.
As a member of the Knights of the Round Table, Gawain is a master of swordsmanship. In battle, he specializes in power-based swordplay, focusing on powerful ground combo sword strikes and slashing dives, while keeping up a constant series of strikes, not allowing his opponent to lower their guard for a second. However, Sonic has remarked that Gawain is good at defending too. Gawain is also skillful enough with his swords to throw them as boomerangs to strike his opponents from afar and then catch them upon their return.
Gawain primarily wields weapons bearing resemblance to short, axe-like swords. Unlike the other Knights of the Round Table, Gawain always dual-wield two twin-swords in battle where they complement his twin-fisted approach to conflict. His preferred weapon of choice, however, is Galatine, one of the legendary sacred swords, which are praised for their absolute sharpness.
King Arthur was Gawain's original king. Being honor bound to serve Arthur, Gawain was fully committed to be of service to Arthur. As far as loyalty went, Gawain's loyalty towards Arthur was said to be "unbending". He was similarly known for his stubborness when it came to his loyalty towards Arthur.
Following Arthur's fall from grace after being bewitched by the scabbard of Excalibur, Gawain continued to never lever his side and serve him to the fullest of his abilities. Regardless, Gawain would start to doubt Arthur's orders and have reservations about carrying them out as his demeanor turned dark. Nonetheless, even in these times, Gawain's devotion to Arthur was so great that he initially chose to kill himself after having failed to carry out Arthur's orders, believing that a Knight who fails his king was unfit to live.
Sonic the Hedgehog
After Sonic the Hedgehog arrived in the world of Camelot, Gawain received the mission to find and slay him on sight by King Arthur. With Sonic declared an enemy of his king, Gawain pursued Sonic with every intention of killing Sonic. When they finally met, Gawain showed contempt for Sonic after perceiving what he first said to him as as insult. He did not have a high opinion about Sonic either, as he quickly jumped to the conclusion that he lied about being out to save some people from a dragon and that he was really after the dragon's treasure. When he subsequently lost to Sonic in a fight, he considered it a disgrace for him to lose to a "mere apprentice", showcasing a refusal to recognize Sonic's skills. However, Gawain found his viewpoints as a knight called into question thanks to Sonic when he asked Gawain if there was more to being a Knight that serving a king after he prevented Gawain from committing suicide due to failing Arthur.
Following Merlina's rise to power, Sonic became Gawain's ally after he restored his resolve to stop Merlina and gave him back Galatine. By the time of Sonic's confrontation with Merlina, Gawain had come to care about Sonic's well-being, urging him to stop resisting as he got pummeled by Merlina. When later learning that Sonic was the one true King Arthur, Gawain quickly accepted him as his new king and bowed before him.
In other media
In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs, Sir Gawain is the counterpart of Knuckles the Echidna from another Zone connected to the reality of the In Another Time, In Another Place reality.
Real world background
In Arthurian legend, Gawain is the nephew of King Arthur and one of the Knights of the Round Table. He was introduced on some of the earliest Welsh Arthurian sources for the literature of the Arthurian legends under the name "Gwalchmei". Under the name "Gawain", he makes appearances in various texts, notably in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as the story's protagonist. He has made numerous appearances in other stories as well, such as Historia Regum Britanniae, Roman de Brut, De Ortu Waluuanii, Diu Crône, The Awntyrs off Arthure, Ywain and Gawain, Golagros and Gawane, L'âtre périlleux, Le Chevalier à l'épée, and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle, including the works of Chrétien de Troyes and the prose cycle Lancelot-Grail.
Being one of the few members of the Round Table that were referred to as one of the greatest knights, he was a close companion of King Arthur. He is typically portrayed as the son of Morgause (also called Anna) and King Lot, while his siblings and half-siblings include Agravain, Gaheris, Gareth, and Mordred. Legends would describe his a formidable, courteous, and compassionate warrior who was fiercely loyal to his king and family. This would make him a friend of inexperienced knights and a denfender of the poor and women. Due to his devotion to protecting women in particular, he became known as "the Maidens' Knight". His steed is referred to as Gringolet and his sword is the Excalibur. The "Fair Unknown", Gingalain, may also be included as one of his sons. In the legends, Gawain is also said to get his strength from sunlight, hence why he is called the "Knight of the Sun".
A recurring theme in later versions of Gawain's legend is his friendship with Lancelot, who would grow to become his bitter enemy and kill all of Gawain's siblings when Gawain tried to stop Guinevere's execution. Only his half-brother was spared. Gawain's usually glowing portrayals are diminished in the Lancelot-Grail Cycle in favor of Lancelot and especially Galahad, and his character even turns markedly ignoble in the Post-Vulgate Cycle and outright villainous in the Prose Tristan.
- "Strike me if you dare! I, Sir Gawain, will show you how a real Knight fights!"
- —Gawain fighting Sonic, Sonic and the Black Knight.
- "To lose to a mere apprentice.... I have been disgraced! Only death can remove this stain upon my honor!"
- —Gawain attempt to commit suicide after losing to Sonic, Sonic and the Black Knight.
- "Silence! Silence, I say! A knight that fails their King is unfit to live!"
- —Gawain's view on the meaning of being a knight, Sonic and the Black Knight.
Gawain's theme song is a segment of "Unknown from M.E.".
- Gawain's set character style is Paladin Style, a power-based swordplay style. This refers to Knuckles himself being a Power Type character.
- Gawain is the only Adventure Mode character who has no Homing Dash, making it so that he has to glide head-on into foes in the Legacy Missions to destroy them.
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 5. [Knights of the Round Table] "Lancelot is known as the strongest and Arthur's nephew Gawain as the greatest knight. Though brothers-in-arm, the two are rivals. And Sir Percival's quest is a legend in its own right."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Gallery. Vault 5. [Gawain] "Also known as the Knight of the Sun. His loyalty to the king is unbending, kind of like his hard head."
- Height chart of Sir Gawain.
- "Like his counterpart, Knuckles the Echidna who is known for his hard-head, the Knight of the Round Table Gawain is known for his stubbornness when it comes to his unbending loyalty to the king. Gawain carries the double-sword Galatine to complement his twin-fisted approach to conflict." - Sir Gawain's profile on the official Sonic and the Black Knight United States webpage.
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/level: Dark Hollow. "Merlina: Lancelot and Gawain's rift shall doom the Round Table. Arthur is struck down by his son Mordred, and departs for Avalon."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/level: Titanic Plain. "Sonic: Man, this guy sure has a thing for battles."
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Area/level: Titanic Plain. "Gawain: Do you actually believe your attacks can affect me?! / Sonic: Wow, you can dish it out, and you can take it too!"
- Sonic Team (13 March 2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Wii. Sega. Cutscene: World Destruction.