Guinevere wishes that she could ‘live and die’ in her own country, and never leave it, but that is not how the world works, so she rides away from it to embrace a new life through a marriage to the most powerful man in the kingdoms. Though apprehensive each time she faces a new situation, she comes to learn to rely on the same things in those she meets – something their character has ‘proven to her’ along the way. She becomes accustomed to Lancelot saving her… again and again. And to Arthur’s steadfast love, of a more gentle kind. She feels torn between the wild inclinations of her heart, which are fanciful, and the need to be a steadfast and diplomatic queen. She is very much governed by the laws of the time in which she lives, unlike the more free-spirited, follow-your-heart Lancelot. She values her independence until an evil knight threatens her realm, then agrees to marry King Arthur of Camelot for the protection of her people. She sees it as her duty to protect and govern them, and develops an attitude of ‘we’ to her husband before she has even met him. When Lancelot rescues her on the way to Camelot, but demands sexual favors in return, she slaps him and informs him she is ‘due to be wed.’ She is free and forthcoming with her feelings to and around Arthur. Much later, when she has kissed Lancelot (after he endlessly pressures, begs, and finally agrees to leave her alone)… Guinevere confesses to her husband that she loves him and Lancelot ‘differently but not unequally; and you have the better bargain, for my will is stronger than my heart.” She shows very little capacity for problem-solving on her own, preferring to leave it to the men in her life. Guinevere fails to see the larger picture of her emotional attachment to Lancelot, both fearing his remaining there (thus a temptation to her, despite all her protestations) and his leaving.

Enneagram: 6w7 so/sp

Lancelot, upon their first meeting, notes that she is “afraid” even after the situation has reversed and she is no longer in peril of kidnapping. She is afraid to give in to her desire for Lancelot and adopts an attitude of ‘against’ to combat his suave self-confidence, but really, she is indecisive and ambivalent, unable to decide to follow her heart, and more inclined to rely upon her ‘will’ (what is promised, what is rational) instead. Guinevere is palpably nervous, all the time; she does not know who to trust, and seems relieved to find out Arthur’s true character. She chooses her marriage out of a need for security and to protect her people. She often looks to Arthur for facial and verbal reassurances. She adopts a sweet, likable demeanor that conceals her apprehension in new situations. Whenever the worst happens, however, she becomes strong and smart—unable to rescue herself at times, but able to make a run for it, use a crossbow on a man who intends to rape her, and save her handmaidens’ lives. She shows the ‘courage under fire’ of the 6. Her 7 wing, however, likes to be ‘reckless’ within safe bounds (she loves beautiful things, to ride her horse very fast, and in a sense, runs away from admitting her own feelings for Lancelot, until she can no longer stand the thought of him leaving without the kiss she owes him).

Review: First Knight (1996)