Disambiguation - for the Marvel Comics version, see: Morgan Le Fay.
Morgan Le Fay
Morgana or Morgan le Fay is a character in Celtic mythology, Arthur's sister, mother of Mordred and disciple of Merlin. She's the queen of the island of Avalon, with the power to heal and change shape. It is one of the most popular and controversial of the Arthurian cycle as it can be presented as a benefactor of his brother or his worst enemies.
Morgan in the Arthurian cycle
In the Arthurian cycle, the fairy Morgan is a female character, sometimes presented by Christians as an antagonist of King Arthur and enemy of Geneva. In the oldest Welsh stories Morgan has two records din't have her name, but some of its features: The first is the goddess Modron, who married King Urien and was Owain's mother (like the Morgan Le Fay of La Morte d'Arthur) and Gwyar, Arthur's sister, who was the mother of Medrawt and a powerful witch (Morgan role in other versions). In the Vita Merlini (Life of Merlin) XII century, is said to Morgan ("Morgen") is the oldest of nine sisters who rule Avalon. Geoffrey of Monmouth as Morgan speaks of healing and shapeshifter. Writers such as Chrétien de Troyes, based on the interpretation of Monmouth, Morgan is described watching over Merlin in Avalon.
Geoffrey of Monmouth and the first mention of Morgan
In The History Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth says that after the battle with his son Mordred, King Arthur retired to rest eternally to the magical island of Avalon, but does not mention who took him to the island, and what happened next . When Monmouth writes Vita Merlini , speaks of Arturh trip to the island, and says it is ruled by nine sisters fairies. This group is the older, more beautiful, more good, wiser and more powerful: Morgen, which will be known in future as Morgan. This book mentions all his skills (fly, change shape or heal) that were taught by Merlin. Morgen welcome the King on his magical island, it lies on a bed of gold, and with their herbs and potions, heals him. A text written by Guillaume de Rennes called Britanniae regum Gesta suggests that Morgan once healed Arthur, becomes his new lover and live with him in the magic island. Neither this document nor in Monmouth is said to Morgan and the King were relatives, so that their relationship would not be frowned upon, and would be equivalent to the special relationship of Ulysses with the nymph Calypso during the time he was in Ogygia. In the Roman de Brut of Wace, Arthur also travels to Avalon, but in this version the queen of the island is the fairy Argante. As only talk about it in this book, we can deduce that Morgen and Argante are different names for the same character: the Fairy Morgan.
Morgan in the works of Chrétien de Troyes
At the time of Chrétien de Troyes Morgan's character takes more relevance, but without being a main character. During this period, Morgan begins to be identified with Anne (the sister of Arthur in the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth) and is considered sister or half-sister of Arthur. In works like Yvain, the Knight of the Lion or Erec and Enide Chretien described Morgan as the sister of Arthur, and says it is a wise healer who was a disciple of Merlin. In Yvain the protagonist does not heal until they get from Morgan a magical ointment. Years after this text was written, in texts like La Morte d 'Arthur, Morgan and Yvain (or Owain) are mother and son. In Erec and Enid says that Morgan is present at the wedding of the protagonists. The author relates Guingamor, Lord of Avalon. This relationship will be developed in later works to be described as a relationship between Guingamor and Morgan will be frustrated by Geneva, the aunt of the knight.
Vulgate and later works
Both the Vulgate anonymous as in Le Morte d'Arthur, Morgan's role grows in importance and prominence. No longer a fairy who lives in the distant Avalon, but a very involved in what happens in the court of Arthur, a powerful woman, like a fairy, but with feelings and ideas of men such as ambition, passion, revenge or compassion. Their role becomes darker, is a major killer of peace that reigns in Camelot when he unveils his brother the loves affairs of Geneva with Sir Lancelot, but, as in the story of Geoffrey of Mounmouth, is she who leads the boat that carried his brother to Avalon.
In the tradition of the Arthurian cycle, Morgan was the daughter of Arthur's mother, Lady Igraine, and her first husband, Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine, was, therefore, his half brother. As Celtic woman, Morgan inherited part of the "magic of the Earth" from her mother. Morgan had two older sisters (and was therefore the youngest of three, and not the older of nine). The trio of sisters (for example Morgause, Elaine, Morgan and others) is a formula used abundantly in Celtic mythology. When Uther married Igraine, her older sisters also married. Since then stop talking about Morgan in the legend until after Arthur's coronation, but there are two versions of where the girl ended: One says he went to Avalon with Merlin to learn magic, and another that Uther locked Morgan in a convent, in which he suffered ridicule and punishment because of his powers. There he began calling Le Fay (the fairy).
In La Mort d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur) and other sources, it is the unhappy wife of King Urien of Gore, and Owain mab Urien is her son, that stops her when, overcome by anger, attempts to kill Urien.
In modern Christian interpretations of the Arthurian mythology, Morgan seduces Arthur conceive the evil Mordred, although originally in La Mort d'Arthur this role is assigned to Morgause or Anna, one of his sisters. However, in the novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley "The Mists of Avalon", Mordred or Gwydion, is conceived by Arthur under the appearance of Horned, the God, during the Celtic rites of Beltane in Avalon. Older versions says as Morgan and Arthur slept together, conceiving Mordred. Merlin announced Arthur that the child would be born the first of May, in Beltane, and that would be the end of the reign of justice that Arthur took place. The king sent a ship and lock in all the babies born on that date and launched the boat into the sea. All children except his son died, which ended growing up with his uncles Lot and Morgause in the Orkney Islands. Arthur made marry Morgan with the king Uriens and had a son, Sir Owein. But Morgan and her husband never got along, and once tried to kill him.
Morgan and Merlin
Several sources described Morgan as a disciple of Merlin, and later as his rival, in this paper, the character is partially superimposed to "Viviana", one of the figures that correspond to the name of "Lady of the Lake". While Viviana (also called Nimue) seduces and bewitches Merlin with its beauty and its magic, Morgan learns the magic of it and then use it to harm the knights of Arthur and Queen Guinevere, as in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , where Morgan is called fairy and goddess and says she was a student and lover of Merlin to overcome him in magic and knowledge.
In some legends, Morgan tries to conspire against Arthur stealing Excalibur and handed it to his beloved Sir Accolon to assassinate Arthur. Arthur kills Accolon in a duel and retires to rest in a nearby convent. Morgan, angry, steals the sheath of Excalibur (what makes Arthur invincible) and throws it into the sea. Later he sends her a coat, apparently to reconcile but the king refuses. Following the advice of Nimue, the Lady of the Lake and Merlin's successor, Arthur puts it to the servant of his sister. The coat sticks to her body and begins to burn magically. The king saves his life and Morgan escapes away from Camelot.
Morgan, Geneva, and Lancelot
Morgan and Geneva always has been portrayed as enemies, as they represent different aspects: at physical level (Geneva is blond, Morgan is black-haired ) and ideological (Morgan was a woman raised in Avalon, so that worshiped the ancient gods and the Christian Geneva , his sister in law, hated her for it.) Works as the Vulgate tells when Geneva discovered the relationship of Guiomar(nephew of Geneva) with Morgan expelled him from the court to hurt Morgan. One day the beloved of Geneva, Sir Lancelot, reached the Morgan's castle, also called Castle of the Wagon. The witch tried to seduce him, but it did not work, so she locked him a year in his dungeon. After this time, Lancelot escapes, but Arthur comes to pay a visit to her sister. Morgana shows his brother a mural painted by Lancelot with love scenes with Geneva and himself as protagonists. After that the king insatiably pursued the knight who had been his best friend, and Morgana finally take revenge of her enemy. According to another older legend Morgan gave him a special gift to King Arthur: a horn which only faithful wives could drink. Arthur gave it to his wife, she could not drink of the horn.
The softer side of the witch
After Arthur go looking for Lancelot, Mordred wants to marry Geneva. This triggers the wrath of Arthur, and so is the battle of Camlann, where father and son are killed. Regretful, Morgan takes Arthur, half-dead to the island of Avalon, along with several fairy queens mourning, which in some versions are group of three other four, and nine others. That's where Arthur sleep for ever and ever. This last story shows the softer side of the witch, who ultimately forget the past and reconcile with his brother. This final chapter will cause, in the XX and XXI centuries, many writers introduce Morgan as a tormented woman torn between the love to her brother Arthur and the seeking of revenge for the terrible death of her father and her mother's humiliation , which was achieved thanks to Merlin.
DC: New 52
(in Demon Knights #0 and 11-12, Sept-Nov 2012)
Morgaine Le Fay made her New 52 debut in the pages of Demon Knights, set in the dark ages after the fall of Camelot. The Demon Knights have been dispatched by the rulers of Alba Sarum to find a way to bring the murdered Merlin back to life, hoping their city could become the next Camelot. In order to do so, the Knights must travel to Britain and return to the location of Arthur's Camelot, even before they reach the island they are met with monsters of incredible durability and savagery, according to the locals it had gradually gotten worse ever since Camelot fell. The Knights later encounter a skeletal King Arthur who is soon restored and leads them to Camelot, where Morgaine Le Fay has built her castle on the ruins and desecrated various items, such as the Round Table.
Morgaine is revealed to be one of the Fay, or Ladies of the Lake a race of woman-like creatures that lived on the shores of Avalon and is as such the sister of Madam Xanadu, who she knows as Nimue. Even by Fay standards Morgaine is old and due to the magics she has practiced over the course of her life, her body has decayed to a point that she prefers to hide it behind a golden mask. Though she has been planning on switching her mind to the body of Merlin, which would allow her to endure and be a new person. Her plan for Merlin is foiled, and her attempt to transfer herself into Nimue is thwarted by King Arthur, who then strikes a gem that had been responsible for the monsters. What became of Morgaine and Arthur remains unknown.
Aquaman and The Others
(in Aquaman Annual #1, Dec 2013)
In this story, Morgaine faced off against The Others. She'd been going by the alias 'Madame Xan' as a sort of way to annoy her sister, Nimue (a.k.a. Madam Xanadu), a little. She wanted one of the Atlantian artifacts, the helmet that let it's wearer survive in space, so that she could leave Earth and venture out among the stars. She wanted that because she'd been looking at the state of the world recently and came to the conclusion that mankind was going to make the world uninhabitable before long, so she wanted to get out while the getting was good.
She succeeded in getting the helmet easily enough, but it wouldn't accept her as it's wielder for whatever reason. That avenue left closed to her, she decided to go to her backup plan and sink a few sections of the Earth's surface land into the oceans. Aquaman and his team battled her, and she tempted each of them to try to get them to take her side.
She actually didn't need to do much more than tell the truth to one of them though. Ya'Wara, who had long been a defender of Earth's natural habitats, saw her goals as just and betrayed her team because she believed in what Morgaine was trying to do.
Even with Ya'Wara's help though, her plan was still thwarted. She escaped though.
(in Batwoman #35-38, Dec 2014-Mar 2015)
Morgaine battles Batwoman, Batwoman's twin sister Alice, Clayface, Etrigan the Demon, and Ragman.
Storyline: Pre-New 52
In Vertigo Comics, Morgaine is known as Morgana and is sister to Madame Xanadu and Vivienne. It is uncertain if this counterpart is an alternate reality version or fits into DC continuity. In Vertigo, Morgana is youthful and does not have to wear any armor.
Morgana became extremely interested with humans at the dawn of man. She thought them beneath her kind and inconsequential, but somehow became obsessed with their affairs. She began interfering and manipulating them to cause their own destruction.
After being refused by a king named Uther. She swore that he would never get his love Igraine and took on the disguise of a human in order to stop their union. But the wizard Merlin interfered to fulfill his own prophecy and the couple got together and had a son, the one king, Arthur. Because of her actions, her father banished her and she was exiled from the Elder Folk.
Morgana had a son with King Arthur named Mordred, just as in DC, who she used to make Camelot fall. She enchanted her son's armor to not be harmed by any man made weapon. But King Arthur had Excalibur, and it's mystical properties cleaved her son in two. After seeing her son killed, she became powerless and was captured by the men of Camelot.
She escaped and left the world of men, ruling over undesirable creatures such as goblins and trolls. Through magic, she still could influence men, and she also had a great desire for destruction. A thousand years passed and she finally made her return, defeating her sister and leaving to wreak havoc on New York City. Becoming the Dark Lady of a group of Satanists known as the Church of the Midnight Dawn, she began her plans to collect three relics of her past - the war-helm of Mordred, the spear head that killed King Arthur and Merlin's Philosopher's Stone - to begin a new age of warfare and destruction.
Batman & Robin
Batman and Robin travel back in time and end up in her castle, where Batman claims he's a better sorcerer that Merlin, so she makes Batman and Merlin duel to see who's stronger.
Robin remarks that she looks a lot like Catwoman for some reason.
In the 20th Century, Morgaine loses her youth and forces Jason Blood to turn into the demon Etrigan and bring her to Merlin's tomb because he has the secrets to her youth. Etrigan beats Morgaine Le Fey, and she doesn't get her youth.
Le Fey often goes searching for the Philosopher's Stone which will give anything that is desired to whoever has it.
Her and her Daughter Morgana are the foes of Batman, The Justice League, and more commonly, Wonder Woman. She once sought to steal Wonder Woman's eternal youth not knowing that she had already given it up, and as a result Le Fey turned into dust.
Morgaine Le Fey must steal her youth to be immortal, and after Merlin stole her youth and beauty, she hides her old, ancient body under gold armor.
Morgaine Le Fey allied herself with the anti matter universe Riddler (Enigma) and Despero in an effort to seize the positions of the trinity (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) as the keystones of the multiverse. In order to do so, the dark trinity started stealing items connected to the three heroes, and they also stole the massively powerful cosmic egg (which also contained the Maltusian Krona). When they acquired everything they needed, Morgaine is able to cast her spell despite the superheroes' efforts and remakes the world completely without the trinity ever existing (the trinity are exiled to the cosmic egg) and enhances the dark trinity's power.
However, Despero turns out to be a disguised Kanjar Ro which, leaves the spell incomplete allowing some people to remember the original world and help the trinity (who have been endowed with god like powers) return from the cosmic egg. Enigma also offers the alien Xar Xalitan to be a replacement for the traitorous Kanjar Ro, he accepts thus remaking the dark trinity. And so, the trinity engage the dark trinity in battle which, leaves Morgaine and her allies defeated.
After her defeat Morgaine retreats to her Castle Branek, and draws out the god like trinity which, will give her the advantage, since the castle is her seat of power. This proves to be false as the trinity easily defeat her forces. She forces Tarot (who is connected to the worldsoul) to tell her how can she obtain more power, the Tarot's reply confused Morgaine which said that the power that fuels her may still be her salvation.
Later, Morgana struck a bargain with Despero and the Crime Syndicate promising them great power if they defeat the trinity. This attempt however, failed when the they were defeated by the trinity due to their divine powers.
Finally, Morgaine realizes that the power that fuels her is that of Krona's, (which according to Tarot is her salvation) so she asks for Krona's help and in return she offers him Enigma's daughter soul (the worldsoul whom Krona seeks). The divine trinity manage to trap Krona, but Morgaine gives her power to him allowing him to break free and destroy the Earth and everyone with it. However, in the end when all seemed lost, the trinity apparently having survived the destruction of Earth, returned and defeated Krona, and then recreated the world. In the end, Morgaine is imprisoned by Jason Blood.
Superman/Batman: Sorcerers Kings
Morgaine Le Fey along with Felix Faust, Blackbriar Thorn, and Brother Blood made a bargain with dark powers to sacrifice the sun in exchange for limitless power. To ensure this plan would work they sent a powerful creature from the future to defeat Batman and his team.
During the Brightest Day crossover, Mr. Terrific mentions that Morgaine is among the dozens of magical beings driven to madness by the Starheart. According to him, Morgaine was spotted in New Mexico, where she was going on a rampage.
Fables, Fairest, and The Unwritten
The witch with the long dark hair and beauty mark on her face. Her name was not revealed until Fables 128, where Rose Red refers to her as Mrs. Green. Mrs. Green was part of Ozma's super team put together to defeat Mister Dark, where she was given the superhero name the Green Witch. She has the power to fly. In the Snow White story arc, after Snow is taken captive by Prince Brandish, Mrs. Green is seen discussing rescue plans with her fellow witches, Ozma and Maddy. Because Brandish has bewitched himself so that any injury inflicted on him will also hurt Snow, the task is easier said than done, especially since the spell is difficult to break. Later, Mrs. Green comes up with a plan. They will not try to break the spell, but add to it instead: She will build in a delay between cause and effect, which will give them some wiggle room between the moment Brandish is killed, and the same thing happens to Snow. Green begins the hard work of casting the spell, while Rose Red rescues Snow while Brandish is distracted. Snow then engages Brandish in a sword fight, while Green slowly, but carefully manages to finally break the spell that Brandish has cast on himself, allowing Snow to kill him with a stab straight through his heart.
The Unwritten: Recently the comic book The Unwritten is doing a crossover within it own pages entitled The Unwritten Fables. Tom Taylor is transported to the Fables universe. There he meets several characters and on of them is Mrs. Green.
(in Camelot 3000 #1-12, Dec 1982-April 1985)
In the year 3000, the Earth is facing a threat from an alien invasion of unknown origins. Reconstituting the round table at Lancelot's orbital habitat, Arthur and his knights battle both the invading aliens as well as intrigues from Mordred and Morgan. Their task is complicated by internal tensions including the renewed love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan's grappling with her gender identity, Tom Prentice's infatuation with Tristan, and Gawain's desire to see his family again. Eventually, the Knights track the origin of the alien invasion to a previously undiscovered tenth planet of the solar system. Flashbacks reveal that after her defeat in the Middle Ages, the spirit of Morgan traveled out into the solar system, eventually reconstituting herself on the planet where she enslaved the native population and led them in their invasion of Earth.
Arthur and his knights travel to the tenth planet to defeat Morgan. Galahad sacrifices himself so that they can gain entry to Morgan's citadel. In final combat, Arthur uses the supernatural aspect of Excalibur to slice into an atom, creating a nuclear explosion which destroys Morgan and her command center. Before Arthur sacrifices himself to stop Morgan, he forgives Lancelot and Guinevere, and wishes that they live together happily.
Justice League Unlimited
Morgaine appeared in 2 issues of this comic book adaptation of the animated television series.
(in Justice League Unlimited #9 "Castle Perilous", July 2005)
Morgaine battles the Justice League in the past, during the time of Camelot. She is raises and army of en-spelled knights, but is ultimately defeated by Vixen who channels the power of a dragon.
(in Justice League Unlimited #33 "Everything Old Is New Again, July 2007)
Morgaine commands an army of walking skeletons, blazing with blue fire and wearing medieval armor, to help her wage her attack on the Museum of London so that she can steal the London Stone. A squad of Justice Leaguers show up to try to stop her, but she is successful in obtaining her prize anyway and teleports away. Stargirl and Crimson Avenger follow her through her portal, but she casts a 'Freaky Friday' style curse on them, switching their bodies so Stargirl is in Crimson Avenger's body and vice-versa, after which she teleports them away. She uses the London Stone to transform her son, Mordred back from an old man into a young boy again (after events in that happened in the animated series). She is still angry at Mordred for his prior betrayal however. Stargirl and Avenger figure out the curse and turn the tables on her in the end, cursing Morgaine and Mordred with a body-switch of their own. Mordred attempts to use his mother's magics, but messes it up and accidentally teleports them away to parts unknown.
Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table
(in Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table #1-2, Dec 1998-Jan 1999)
Just Imagine Stan Lee Recreating the DC Universe
A member of the Church of the Eternal Empowerment, Morgana is the same from the arthuric myths, but also was revealed than she had a romantic relationship with Merlin. Despite this she still was his enemy and ally of Dominic Darrk and helped him to fight against Shazam and Sandman.
However she betrayed Darrk when the life of her own son, Mark Merlin was at risk. She take him and both fade from the world to an unknown location running away from the being know as Crisis.
In Justice League, Morgaine Le Fay appears in the episode "A Knight of Shadows". She fights Batman, Etrigan, and the Justice League. She searches for the Philosopher's Stone to create a kingdom for Mordred. She brainwashes the Martian Manhunter to do her bidding, but is eventually defeated.
She returns in "Kid Stuff". Her son, Mordred wants the throne to the kingdom, and she seeks to help him do that. Mordred accidentally, using a mystical object transports all the adults in the world to another dimension. Le Fey calls out the heroes of the Justice League, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern to become children again and stop Mordred. When they do, Mordred is transformed into a elder and Morgaine must care for him.
Morgaine Le Fey is voiced by Olivia D'Abo.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
She appears in the fifth episode "Day of the Dark Knight!". It's shown in a flashback how she defeated the Knights of the Round Table and her former teacher Merlin in order to overthrow his brother King Arthur. As her personal bodyguard she controls Etrigan The Demon.
When Merlin traveled in time to recruited Batman and Green Arrow, the sorceress sent Etrigan and other creatures to stop them. Seeing the failure of her slaves, she decided to join in battle personally. At the entrance of tower of Excalibur Le Fey mesmerized Batman and gave him Medieval armor to claim Excalibur in her name. Merlin freed Batman and Etrigan from her control. The witch angered by the latest move done by Merlin turned into a dragon. She managed to transform to stone Merlin and Etrigan. But she is defeated by Green Arrow using Excalibur as an arrow.
Live Action Series/Films, etc.
The fairy Morgana also appears in fantastic stories later, unrelated Arthurian cycle, often as a personification of the optical phenomenon fata morgana. For example, the fairy tale Morgana appears in wild swans by Hans Christian Andersen.
It also appears in the "Chocolate frog cards", a collectable stamps in the series Harry Potter.
Additionally, in the story of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, of "The Arabian Nights", Morgan (also called Morgianna, Maryanna or Marchana) is the name of the bold, brave and cunning slave of Ali Baba, that saves at different times of the revenge of the 40 thieves. As reward, Ali Baba delivery in marriage to his own son.
It also appears in the Walt Disney Pictures film The Sorcerer's Apprentice, its existence is part of the backbone of the story.
In the animated series Winx Club, also appears Fata Morgana, Queen of all the fairies of earth, resented by banish Magi. In the same series mentioned in previous seasons to be, Avalon, saving the protagonists repeatedly.
In the film Oh! My Goddess (2000) as the Fairy Morgan
Morgana is also a famous Spanish dancer belly dance specialist tribal fusion and gothic style. Performs well arms and showy choreography with martial arts moves. Is Co-founder of Excalibur Dance Co. and director of the school Mists of Avalon.
Morgana is also a character "Hero (Heroine)" the popular free online game League of Legends (LoL).
Morgan Le Fay take the name of Morgan Farrel in the story arc "Merlin Stone", she is an archaeologist student who is looking for the Merlin Stone.
(in Wonder Woman, Season 2, Episode 15, "Diana's Disappearing Act", Feb 1978)
note: In this appearance, her name is Morgana La Fay, instead of Morgaine Le Fey.
Portrayed by actress Brenda Benet.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
She teams up with the Clock King on Dinosaur Island and must be defeated by Batman and the Red Tornado.