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"...don't call me Junior!"
The title of this article is a nickname. This article is about a canonical subject that lacks a proper name, and is known only by its nickname or callsign. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page or explanation in the article itself.

"The last of three brothers who swore an oath to find the Grail and to guard it."
―Grail Knight[src]

The Grail Knight or Guardian of the Holy Grail was the brother of Sir Richard and another knight who all served in the First Crusade. They discovered the Holy Grail and pledged to protect it. Considered the wisest and bravest of the three, the knight took responsibility as guardian of the Cup of Christ for hundreds of years.


Early life[]

The man who would become the Grail Knight was estimated by Indiana Jones to have been born around 1066.[2] He was the elder of three brothers,[3] one named Richard and an unidentified one.[1]

Protector of the Cup of Christ[]

"I was chosen because I was the bravest, the most worthy. The honor was mine until another came to challenge me to single combat."
―The Knigth describes why he was chosen.[src]

In the late eleventh century,[4] this man and his brothers became Knights of the First Crusade. During their journeys in the Holy Land, they discovered the Holy Grail and protected it at the Temple of the Sun in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon for 150 years, using the Grail's power to extend their natural lifespans. Chosen to remain as the Grail's sole guardian because he was the bravest and most worthy, his two brothers traveled back to Europe, leaving behind two markers leading to the Grail's location. The Knight lived in a side chamber off of the inner sanctuary of the Temple of the Sun, and had a book to read by firelight.[1]

Though drinking from the Grail had kept him alive, the centuries spent in isolation had sapped his strength.[1] Every time the Knight's spirit wavered, he physically aged a year.[5] Even then, the Knight remained loyal to the Cup of Christ, willing to entrust its protection to any knight he deemed worty enough.[1]

Encountering the Jones[]

"You must choose, but choose wisely. For as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you."
―The Knigth warns about the choice among the Grails.[src]

In 1938, forced by the Nazis to retrieve the Grail to save his mortally wounded father Henry Walton Jones, Senior, the American archaeologist Indiana Jones managed to survive all of the Temple of the Sun's tests and entered into the inner sanctuary of the Grails. Surprised by the visitor, the Grail Knight attempted to fight Jones, but his age got the best of him quickly toppled over from the weight of his own sword.[1]


The Grail Knight's encounter with Indiana Jones.

Gracious in defeat and sensing Jones as some sort of curiously dressed knight, the Grail's guardian tried to pass on his sword and role of protector to Jones, but Jones declined due to having little time left to save his father and was soon interrupted by the arrival of Walter Donovan and Elsa Schneider. Donovan demanded that the Knight reveal which was the true Holy Grail, but the Knight refused to do so, warning that they must choose on their own as a final test and that the wrong cup would mean death. Donovan allowed Schneider to choose for him and she deliberately selected a false golden one.[1]

"But the Grail cannot pass beyond the Great Seal. That is the boundary and the price of immortality."
―The Knigth's final warning.[src]

After Donovan drank from it and rapidly aged and disintegrated into dust, the Knight remarked that Donovan had chosen poorly. Not a materialistic person like Donovan, Jones subsequently deduced how the Grail would look like that of a carpenter, found the correct one and after drinking from it without ill effect, the Knight informed Jones that his decision had been wise. However, he then cautioned Jones and Schneider that the eternal price of the Grail's miraculous effects was that it could not be taken beyond the Great Seal on the floor of the Temple's front chamber.[1]

The Knight was last seen by the Joneses waving goodbye and awaiting the collapse of the Temple of the Sun, after Schneider crossed the Great Seal with the Grail in an attempt to claim the relic for her own glory and fell to her doom into the chasm below along with the Grail. After Jones was dissuaded by his father from recovering the Grail and running away, they turned back to see how the Grail Knight waved goodbye to them as he stayed behind.[1] As they left the Temple, the Knight smiled, acknowledging that now beyond anyone's reach, the Holy Grail was once again safe.[6]


Immediately after leaving the Temple of the Sun, after hearing from Henry that he had found illumination inside the temple, Indiana imagined his father dressed in the Grail Knight's garb while thinking how they lost the possibility of claiming the Holy Grail. By contrast, Henry inwardly admitted that he should have stayed in the temple to stay as the new Grail guardin to replace the Knight, but deemed himself as too weak and unworthy.[7]

In 1943, during a World War II mission with his friend George McHale, Jones would talk to McHale about his encounter with the Grail Knight, conversation in which Indy told McHale how much he estimated the Knight's age may have been when they met upon being asked so by McHale.[2]

Personality and traits[]

Grail knight

The knight was puzzled by Indiana Jones' 20th century clothing.

"You’re strangely dressed for a knight."
―The Grail Knight to Indiana Jones[src]

The Grail Knight was chosen to remain as the Holy Grail's guardian as he was deemed the bravest and most worthy of the three brothers that had found the relic.[1] However, during the centuries, the knight physically aged a year every time his spirit wavered.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

The Grail Knight was portrayed by the late Robert Eddison in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.[1] While unnamed in the final film, the Grail Knight introduces himself to Indiana Jones in Jeffrey Boam's revised first draft of Indy III: "I am Lord de Bauvis[sic], seigneur of St. Gobain and Folembray. Castellan de Cambri, Viscount of Savoy... known far and wide as William the Lion, Duke of Brittany".[8]

Before Eddison was cast in the role of the Grail Knight, the late actor Sir Laurence Olivier was considered for the part, but he was too ill at that time so he declined the offer.[9] Olivier passed away in 1989, the same year in which Last Crusade was released in theaters.

During the early development of the film's script, Jones bests the Grail Knight who is on horseback and the crusader reveals the Holy Grail to be hidden within an earthenware jug that Jones drank from to test the water. The knight rides out of the temple after Jones and his father leave but his mount and he are turned to stone then sand before being blown away by the explosion that seals the temple. In the second revision, the Grail Knight becomes a skeleton when they leave.[8]

It would be very unlikely for an eleventh century figure to be able to communicate in 20th-century English, as depicted in the film, even if the French knight knew the English language of his day. The First Crusade lasted from 1096-1099, which in linguistic history marks the very end of the Old English period and the beginning of Middle English, either of which would be quite unintelligible to a speaker from the 20th century. In fact, even the French of that time period (the knight's presumed native tongue) would sound strange to a modern speaker of French.

Although not officially confirmed, the Grail Knight may be a nod to Sir Percival, one of the Knights of the Round Table who quested for the Grail and served King Arthur.

Although the Grail Knight didn't appear in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,[10] the Knight makes a brief appearance in one of the film's teaser trailers as some footage of the Grail chamber scene from Last Crusade was included.[11]

In LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, the Grail Knight battles Indy, and in this version, Sallah in the Grail chamber apparently due to feeling betrayed by the former for "bringing" Walter Donovan to the room, unlike the film when his strength has left him. When he first appears, the Grail Knight mimicks Darth Vader's iconic breath before revealing himself to not be bad. He also mocks Donovan's choosing poorly by laughing at his rapid aging and decomposition. In the DS version of the game, the meeting with the Knight is instead rendered as a prerendered cutscene taken from the console versions. As, the Knight does not fight against Indy and Sallah, while his imitation of Darth Vader extends to have his blade appear in a manner similar to a lightsaber, In addition, in this version, rather than shake his fist at Indy like in the console versions, he instead celebrates Indy's choosing wisely for the true Grail.[12] In the video game's sequel, the Grail Knight, while still a playable character, is absent during the Grail chamber scenes.[13]



Notes and references[]