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In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight challenges the knights of King Arthur's court to a game. The Green Knight and his opponent each must take a blow from each other's weapon. The participant that survives the other's blow is the winner. None of Arthur's men agrees to accept the challenge so Arthur agrees to participate himself. This is when Sir Gawain tells King Arthur that he will take his place in the game.
This is one of the knights that is prepared to let King Arthur participate in a game that could cost him his life. He just stands by and lets Arthur accept the Green Knight's challenge.
Gawain takes the first swing in the game. He hits the Green Knight with a powerful blow that cuts his opponent's head off. However, this does not kill the Green Knight. He picks his head up from the floor and mounts his horse. The Green Knight tells Sir Gawain that he now must search out the Green Chapel, where he lives, to take a blow from his axe.
Gawain is stunned when he sees the Green Knight pick up his head and mount his horse. The blow surely would have killed any other knight. Gawain must now begin his journey to find the residence of the Green Knight.
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