When Cursed introduces Nimue to viewers in the premiere, she's part of a Fey community. A teenager with magical abilities she's still learning to control, she's also an only child. But Nimue has adopted herself a found family of friends, including a little kid named Squirrel. Nimue sees Squirrel as a beloved little brother, and when their village is attacked, she helps save him. But fans might be a little surprised that when they become separated, Squirrel gets a story of his own. So, who is Squirrel in Cursed?
Warning: Spoilers for Cursed follow. One of the delights of Cursed is that it doesn't focus just on Arthur, Nimue, Merlin, and Morgana, though all four characters have significant arcs. When Nimue and her friend Pym become separated, Pym doesn't just disappear. She gets her own little storyline that helps introduce the Vikings, who will eventually side with Nimue. Squirrel also gets his own tale. His quick feet and hiding skills mean he finds his way to safety among the Fey encampment.
But even though he and Nimue see each other again, and he's there to see her take up the mantle of the Fey Queen, he has different directions to go than follow her. He, ironically, is the one who teaches Iris how to use a bow and arrow. He meets Gawain, the Green Knight, a friend of his late father, and becomes his second. And he witnesses The Weeping Monk capture Gawain, taking him back to the Paladins.
Though Squirrel is unable to rescue Gawain, his presence affects The Weeping Monk. The Monk prides himself on not harming children, though he turns a blind eye to the atrocities his red brothers commit. When Gawain challenges him to do better, to save the children, and he sees Squirrel in danger, the Weeping Monk changes sides, fighting against the Paladins. He might have fought to the death, but Squirrel returns the favor, encouraging the Monk to get on a horse and ride away together.
As they ride, The Monk asks Squirrel if he has a real name. The boy responds: "Percival."
For fans of Arthurian lore, this is a huge reveal. Percival is one of the legendary Knights of the Round Table. As one of the youngest members, Percival first starts his Arthurian story as a squire trained by Arthur's chosen warriors. He is also the one who meets the Fisher King, the last of those charged with protecting the Holy Grail.
Percival's story of the quest to find and bring back the Holy Grail, along with Galahad, son of Lancelot, is one of the most famous in all of the Arthurian lore (which makes The Weeping Monk's confession that his real name is Lancelot all the more relevant.) If Cursed gets a second season, Squirrel/Percival's importance to this story will likely only grow.
Cursed Season 1 is on Netflix now.