Tristan and Isolde III

(Death of Love )


Gabriela Viseur

Tristan and Isolde - Part 1
Tristan and Isolde - Part 2
Tristan and Isolde - Part 3

Xena and Gabrielle are characters belonging to Universal and/or Renaissance Pictures. This story is not intended to infringe any copyright law, it was written for fun without commercial puposes.

The story was inspired by the classical Arthurian legend of Tristan and Isolde, and adapted by the author.

Music: "Marble Halls" by Enya.

VIOLENCE: King Arthur Knights battle against Lord Mordred´s warriors.

SEX: No.

Tristan and Isolde met again several times. Just as the Warrior Prince imagined, King Mark became jealous and suspected that the Queen had a love affair. In an attempt to calm his suspicion, King Mark compelled Isolde to the Judgement of God.

When the day came, the Queen walked into the Cathedral and bowed to the King, the Bishop and the Barons.

A monk advanced. His head was covered with the hood and his face could not be seen in the shadow. He walked with a humble attitude: he looked down, his back slightly bent forward, but it was easy to tell he was a tall man.

The monk stood in front of Isolde and raised his face to look at her. The Queen could catch a glimpse of the blue eyes shining in the shadow and felt reassured.

Isolde and ...the monk... walked together to a small fire already burning. He helped her put the hands into the fire and she declared solemnly, with a calm and firm voice: "I swear before God Our Lord and you all that no man has ever held my hands except King Mark and this monk." She took the hands out of the fire without any harm, for she had spoken just the truth.

All the people were satisfied and praised the Queen´s vertue, understanding from her words that she was faithful her husband. Only King Mark felt angry, because he suspected the trick... but he had to keep silence. What else could he do? Unmask Tristan and kill him... his nephew? Reveal the Queen´s treason, bring shame unto her...but also unto himself? How to blame Tristan for loving her? And how to blame Isolde if she loved someone younger, stronger and so much better looking?

Besides, the Queen had the sympathy of everyone in her land of Ireland and now also in Cornwall. King Mark knew well that there was no one that would not stand for the Queen. At last, he comforted himself by thinking that, after all, what matters to people is what you seem and not what you are, prefering a private shame to a public scandal.



Meanwhile Tristan, the Warrior Prince, went on battling and fighting against evil. His name and his exploits were well known even in lands far away from Britain as Venice, Constantinopla and Spain.

But King Arthur and his knights had many powerful enemies. Among these, the most evil and dangerous were Morganne, the wicked fairy and Mordred, the son she had conceived from King Arthur.

The ambitious young warrior joined forces with his allies and they all marched to attack Camelot. Mordred´s plan were simple: kill the King, annihilate the Round Table´s Knights and sit on the throne.

It was a difficult situation for King Arthur: he had Excalibur to fight, but Merlin had disappeared and he couldn´t count on his wise advice.

The day of the battle came. It was a grey, foggy morning. King Arthur and his men, outnumbered by the ennemy´s forces, decided to attack to take advantage of the surprise.

Tristan saw in the confusion a knight with a black armour. The Warrior Prince recognized him as sir Mordred and defied him: "Come here and fight, you unworthy knight, if you dare to face Sir Tristan´s sword!"

The Black Knight replied: "Oh! Sir Tristan? Ah! I´ve been waiting so long for this moment! I´ll kill you first... and then that pathetic old man I hate to call father!"

Tristan said, ironically: "Really? I´m honoured to be first in your list of hates... though I´d like to know why."

He lifted his helmet and asked, "Don´t you remember me,...Xena?"

There was no way the Warrior Prince could forget that thin face, the effilate nose, the lips curved in a cruel smile, and specially, the hard, cool look of those dark eyes, full with greed and ambition for power. He answered, feeling the wrath boiling in his blood: "Yes, of course I remember you... I remember you very well... Caesar!"

They started to fight, but at the first attack, Tristans´s sword broke in two as it hit Mordred´s armour.

Seeing his enemy now without defense, the vile knight attacked and his sword cut Tristans´shield like butter.

Mordred enjoyed seeing the surprise and despair in the Warrior Prince´s eyes and he laughed loudly: "Hahaha! I am protected by my mother´s magic! No weapon can hurt me... and no shield, no armour can resist my sword! Prepare yourself to die!"

But Tristan recovered himself and kicked Mordred´s hand, making him lose his sword, and then hit the vilain´s head with his armored fist. The Black Knight, groggy, embraced him and they both fell to the floor, wrestling.

At last, Mordred took a hidden dagger from his armour and wounded the Warrior Prince in the back, through the shoulder´s joint of the armour.

Then Mordred freed himself from his enemy´s arms and reached his sword. He lifted it to finish sir Tristan: "Ah! I will rule Britain.. and then the word! I´ll fulfill my destiny at last., and there´s nothing you can do to change it!"

But suddenly, Mordred felt someone holding his arm: "No, sonny , now it´s our turn."

Mordred answered: "Oh! As you please... daddy ."

The Warrior Prince tried to warn King Arthur: " No, sire! Be careful! He´s got..!" but his strenghts failed him and he fainted. Sir Lancelot and Sir Gawain were near and they helped the loyal and faithful Kurwenal to bring the uncounscious knight to a safe place.



Tristan woke up. Kurwenal was looking anxiously at him. Sir Gawain and Sir Lancelot were also there.

The squire said, happily, "Oh, milord, you woke at last! Thanks Heaven you are already better!"

The Warrior Prince said: "Thank you for taking care of me, Kurwenal!" He loked at the other knights: ""And thank you too for your help, my friends!"

Lancelot said "Oh, don´t mention it."

Tristan remembered, in a shock "The King! Mordred! What happened?"

Gawain answered "It´s all over... The King killed his unworthy son."

The Warrior Prince sighed with relief: "Ah!"

Lancelot added, with a sad voice "But there´s also bad news: King Arthur was badly wounded... He´s dying."

Tristan complained "Oh, no, no! That can´t be!" He could say nothing else, for a strong cough interrupted him.

Kurwenal quickly brought a bowl with water: "Here, milord! Drink! This will calm your cough."

The knights looked at each other, worried. Then Lancelot asked "What is it, sir Tristan? Are you all right?"

Tristan answered "Ah, my friends...Cough, cough! This is a serious wound! he dagger went deep right into my lung, I´m afraid..Cough, cough cough!"

Gawain said "Well, we shall bring you to Camelot... there you can stay and heal!"

But Tristan replied "Heal? In Camelot? Cough, cough cough...! No, my friends!There´s nothing to do... I´ve seen too many wounds and I know this one is fatal! If anything can heal me..Cough, cough! Would be seeing Isolde again!

Kurwenal wanted to protest "But sir...!"

His master interrupted him "Listen! Take me to the coast, and then... Cough, cough cough !...Set sails forth to Cornwall...Cough, cough! Bring Isolde!"

Sir Lancelot put a hand on the squire´s shoulder: "I´m afraid we must do as he wishes...Don´t worry! We´ll go with you!"

Tristan said, happily "Oh, thank you, my friends! But you, sir Lancelot...Cough, cough... I think you should go to Camelot! Cough, cough! Your duty now is being with Queen Guinevere..Cough, cough cough!

Sir Gawain added "Sir Tristan is right...Go to Camelot, my friend! Take care of the Queen! And tell our knight brothers that I have a mission to do to help sir Tristan."

Sir Lancelot said "All right, then...I´m going to Camelot. Have a good journey and good luck to you three!



Tristan was lying on a bed under a group of trees near the sea. Kurwenal was lighting a fire and Sir Gawain came to greet them:

"Well, Sir Tristan, I must leave now. The boat is waiting for me."

Tristan said anxiously: "Remember.. cough cough... If she doesn´t come with you, put black sails... Cough, cough, cough! If she is aboard, put the white sails...! Cough, cough!

Gawain answered: " Don´t worry, I´ll be back with her as soon as I can. Goodbye my friend!"

"Goodbye, sir Gawain."

The leaving knight added "And goobye to you, Kurwenal! Take good care of your lord!"

The squire answered "That´s what I´ll do, sir Gawain! Farewell, and have a good journey!


In the Queen´s rooms at Tintagel, Brangaine was arranging a vase with flowers. Meanwhile, Isolde was playing the lute and singing :


"I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls, with vassals and serfs at my side;

and of all those who assembled within those walls

that I was the hope and the pride.

I had richess all too great to count and a high ancestral name,

but I also dreamt, which pleased me most, that you loved me still the same

that you loved me, you loved me still the same;

that you loved me, you loved me still the same."


There were knocks at the door and Brangaine opened it. A knight was there and he asked, anxiously : "Is Queen Isolde here? I have to see her!"

The maiden replied "And who are you sir?"

"I´m sir Gawain...Please, do let me in! I´ve got most important news from sir Tristan."


Isolde commanded "Please, Brangaine, tell sir Gawain to come in!"

"Come in , milord."

"Thank you!"

The knight bowed in front of the Queen. "I´m honoured to meet you, Your Grace! I only wish that the circumstances were different."

She declared "Sir Gawain, you are welcome here, no matter what the circumstances are! You said you have news from sir Tristan..." Then she asked anxiously "Is he all right? What happened?"

The knight answered "Oh, Your Grace, I´m afraid I must tell you bad news! He was badly wounded in battle."

"Oh, no, no! That can´t be!"

"Unfotunately I am telling you the truth. He fought bravely, but the magic that protected Mordred was stronger."

"Oh, Heavens!" The Queen started to cry.

Sir Gawain told her "Please, Your Grace, it´s not the moment to cry. You can help your dear friend... He says he would recover his health if he would but see you."

Isolde asked "Oh, really?"

Sir Gawain answered "Of course, Your Grace!"

The Queen was suddenly resoluted: "Then I must go to him! But how?"

"My ship is ready to leave, Your Grace... I f would honour us."

"Oh, thank you, Sir Gawain!"

The door opend and the King came in ."Madam? Isolde?" Then he saw sir Gawain "What? Who´s this man?" He turned to Isolde "Ah, you vile infamous creature! What new shame have you brougth upon us?"

The Queen answered sternly "Sir! Please calm down! Only let me explain...!"

King Mark answered, in a fury "Oh, I´ll kill him first, and then I´ll kill you !" He attacked the knight with his sword.

Sir Gawain was in trouble, because he didn´t want to hurt the King, but however he could easily immovilize and control the old man.

King Mark begged him "Kill me! Kill me, please! I´d rather be dead than suffer such dishonour!"

The knight reassured him "Oh, no! I´d never do such a thing! Your Majesty has nothing to fear... There´s no dishonour in this."

King Mark could not believe it "Oh, really? Then what are you doing here, in the Queen´s rooms?"

"I´m a messenger, Your Majesty." Gawain said

"A messenger?"

Isolde said "Yes, milord. He´s brought me news that sir Tristan is badly wounded."

Gawain added "He could be dying, Sire! His only wish is to see the Queen!"

The King asked, ironically "Oh, to see the Queen, that´s his wish? Didn´t he see enough of her?"

She protested "Milord!"

Mark replied "Oh, come on, Isolde! Don´t you think you can cheat me! I know very well that you love him!"

Isolde knelt weeping before him "Well, Sire, if you know it, I won´t deny it any more! Do suffer me to ask your permission to go!"

The King was astonished "What? You betrayed me...You filled my life with scorn... And now you ask me to allow you to flee into your lover´s arms?!"

She wanted to reply "But milord..."

King Mark ordered: "Silence! Don´t taint your lips with more lies!"

She answered firmly "Oh no, Sire! It is no lie to say that since I´ve married you I never asked anything from you... And now, the first and only thing I want, you will deny it to me?"

The King answererd harshly "You ask too much, Isolde!"

The Queen asked, severely "And aren´t you asking too much from me!?"

He erplied completely upset "How dare you...?"

But she interrupted him "Oh yes, I dare! Can you tell me who cared after you when you had that fever last winter? Who healed you when you fell from your horse and broke your leg? Didn´t I always help you with my advice whenever you asked for it? Didn´t I always obbey you as a wife must do? And a last question: Were the doors of my room ever closed for you?"

The King thought for an instant and said "I must admit you´re right... But that can´t change the fact that you made and make me suffer".

"Oh Sire! I know it and can understand you very well! I also suffered..."

The King snarled.

Isolde continued "Oh, yes! I suffered because I couldn´t love you as you want to be loved, the way you deserve to be loved... I suffered because of your honour, which, though you may not believe it, I esteem more than my own...Ah! I never enjoyed the sweetness of love without the bitter taste of guilt! I was always torn between my love and my duty!"

The King said with despair "Ah, Isolde, my unfaithful wife! I should hate you, I should kill you... but I can´t! I still love you!"

She answered sadly "I wish things were different between us! Believe me sir, I would give anything to love you as a noble, wise and kind man as you deserves to be loved. But my heart belongs to Sir Tristan, and we´re linked by a love stronger than ourselves. We can try our best, but we can´t fight it!"

The King, now sad but calm replied "There´s nothing we can do to change that... But now, we must hurry to leave...I suppose this knight can tell us were Tristan is."

Sie Gawain answered "Oh, yes, Your Majesty! I can guide you to him! As I already told Queen Isolde, my boat is ready to leave as soon as you like."

The Queen was surprised "Are you coming too, milord?"

"Oh, yes! After all, Tristan is my nephew..."



Kurwenal came running hastily and stood by sir Tristans´s bed: "The ship, sir...The ship´s back!"

The knight answered "The sails..? Cough! Did you see the sails?"

The squire smiled "White, sir...! They´re white!"

Tristan closed his eyes and sighed "Ah! She´s coming to me!"

Somewhat later, four people arrived: Sir Gawain, the King, Brangaine... and the Queen.

Tristan was surprised to see his uncle "What? You here, milord? Cough, cough!"

King Mark answered "I came to see you, my nephew... I want to tell you that all is forgotten and forgiven."

Isolde knelt besides Tristan´s bed and held his hands "Oh, my dear Warrior Prince! How are you feeling?"

"Much better now that I have seen you, my Queen... Cough, cough cough! Now I can die in peace."

She answered, horrified "No, no, don´t mention it! Don´t speak like that, King of my heart! You can´t leave me! You must live...! You must live for my love!"

The Warrior Prince said, with a weak voice "I´ll always be with you... in life or death, my Queen, in life... or death..." Then he took a deep breath, sighed and closed his eyes.

Kurwenal touched him "Milord? Milord!"

Gawain said "He´s dead!"

The Queen cried desperately "Oh, no, no, that can´t be! Ah, please wake up, my dearest friend! You.. you can´t leave me! Oh, I need you! What will happen to me... your honeysuckle... without you, my hazelnut tree?" She thought for a moment "Ah, yes, I´ll kiss you! I´ll kiss your lips and my love will give you a new life!"

Brangaine tried to stop her "Madam!"

However, Isolde kissed the dead Tristan on the lips. Then she looked at him , disappointed "What? Won´t you open your eyes? Won´t you smile at me again? Shall I not hear your voice again whispering sweet words in my ears..?Aah!" She put her hands on her chest, with a gesture of pain, and then she collapsed. Brangaine did an effort to hold her, but Isolde fell on Tristan´s body.

Brangaine, worried, called her "Madam? Are you all right, Madam?"

But Isolde did not move and the handmaiden touched her pulse. Then she looked horrified at the others "She´s...dead!"

Gawain said, sadly, "Ah! She died of a broken heart!"

The King fell on his knees, crying and hiding his face behind his hands.

Sir Gawain knelt and made the Sign of the Cross.

Brangaine and Kurwenal, sobbing, imitated the knight and joined him in the prayer.



The dead lovers received all the last honours due to them and King Mark ordered they should be buried together. Some time later, a hazelnut tree appeared on Tristan´s grave and a honeysuckle on Isolde´s tomb. Both plants grew together, tightly embraced.

King Mark ordered none should cut them, but that was not necessary. Everybody knew by instinct they were a symbol of eternal love.

And that´s what happened to those unfortunate lovers, Tristan and Isolde, who were the legendary warriors Xena and Gabrielle in their past life.






Return to the Academy