In the epic Sir Gawain is faced with great danger -- the Green Knight has challenged him to play a deadly "Beheading Game." However, as a result of the game, Sir Gawain is not only unharmed, but he also learns a valuable lesson of loyalty and courage. Furthermore, Sir Gawain wore a magical emblem, pentangle, on his shield and on his coat. The emblem was thought to possess magical powers, which would protect the hero:
Was Gawain in good works, as gold unalloyed, Devoid of all villainy, with virtues adorned in sight. On shield and coat in view He bore that emblem bright, As to his word most true And in speech most courteous knight (ll 633-639).