This is the continued story from yesterday's post.
King Arthur returned to his castle and called together his Knights to tell them of his latest problem. He told them of meeting the hideous hag and how he had promised her a husband if she gave him the correct answer to "What does a woman want most in a man". The hag had told Arthur that what a woman wants most in a man is sovereignty. Being honorable and keeping his promise, now he must find the hag a husband. It was Sir Gawain’s loyalty to King Arthur that made him stand and say, "I will marry the hag and fulfill your promise." Everyone was horrified that the handsome Sir Gawain would agree to marry some one as hideous as the hag, but Gawain was also honorable and kept his word.
The wedding took place at the castle with a large crowd of people attending the ceremony. Sir Gawain was young and handsome and the hag was, well, hideous. After the ceremony there was the usual feast and merry making, but no one was happy over the wedding. Everyone felt sorry for Sir Gawain having to be married to someone so hideous. No one expected him to keep his promise. When it came time for the groom to take his bride to their bedchamber, everyone thought that Gawain would back out. Once again, Sir Gawain proved his loyalty and took the hag to consummate the marriage. Alone in the bedchamber something magical happened and the hag was instantly turned into a beautiful young woman. Gawain was pleasantly surprised and spent a glorious night with his beautiful bride.
Before the sun came up the next morning, the beautiful bride woke up her new husband. She told him he must make a decision. Either she would be the beautiful young woman at night for him alone in their bedchamber, but she would be the hideous hag by day for all to see. Everyone would feel sorry for Gawain that he was married to the hideous hag. Or, she could be the beautiful young woman by day for the entire world to see, but alone in their bedchamber she would be the hideous hag. Everyone would think how wonderful it was that he was married to such a beautiful woman, but she would be hideous for him alone. It was his decision to make. If he did not make the decision before the sun came up, she would remain the hideous hag forever.
Sir Gawain thought about his decision. Which would he rather have, the beautiful woman by day and everyone would think highly of him? Or would he rather have the beautiful woman by night for himself alone and everyone feeling sorry for him thinking he was married to a hideous hag? The sun was about to rise. He must make the decision quickly, but he could not. Sir Gawain told his wife, "This is not a decision I can make. I will be happy with you no matter what. I will love you no matter if you are beautiful by day or by night. This is a decision only you should make. It is for you to decide which you want to be as my wife – beautiful by day, but hideous at night or hideous by day and beautiful by night."
As the sun rose, Gawain’s beautiful bride sat upon their bed making her decision. Gawain waited, letting her choose for herself how she would live, knowing he would love her and stay married to her whatever her choice. The sun came up and she was still his beautiful bride. Then she said, "Because you have given me sovereignty, I will remain beautiful forever. With the spell of the hideous hag broken, they lived happily ever after.