The novel of chivalry represented in Theys was written by Chrétien de Troyes towards the end of the 12th century, at the court of Marie de Champagne, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is the novel of Perceval or Le conte du Graal. Perceval is one of the most famous knights of the Round Table, along with Lancelot, Gawain, and Gilead. They all serve King Arthur.
The first particularity of Perceval is that he had the privilege of seeing the Grail, during his stay in the castle of the Fisher King. The second is that he would not have become a knight if his mother had succeeded in carrying out her plan. Indeed, she had made sure to keep him close to her, in her isolated castle in the heart of a deep forest and far from the princely courts, so that he could not meet any knight, because she feared that he would die, like his father and his brothers, with weapons in his hands.
The designers of the decor of the Châtel de Theys have chosen, in an original way, to illustrate the beginning of the story, when Perceval is still ignorant of chivalry. It is therefore the initiation of the knight that was preferred (see all medallions).
Perceval leaves his mother’s castle to go hunting and meets knights whom he admires. He returns to his mother to tell her that he wants to become a knight and goes to King Arthur’s court. On the way, he meets the red knight who has just stolen a cup from the king. He kills him, takes his weapons, and sets off on an adventure. He then meets a noble lord who will teach him the first rudiments of chivalry…