Cursed presents itself as the story of King Arthur, but twisted. The series focuses on Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, who the iconic sword chooses to become Queen of the Fey. All the recognizable characters from the Arthurian legends show up, from Arthur himself to Gawain the Green Knight. Both Merlin and Uther Pendragon play significant roles, as does the fight between Christianity and Paganism that's become the heart of the legend. But then there's a mysterious new figure the show added. So, fans are curious: Who is the Weeping Monk in Cursed?
Warning: Spoilers for Cursed Season 1 follow. When the Weeping Monk first turns up in Cursed's premiere, he seems to be a character with no counterpart in Arthurian lore. Even smaller roles like Ygraine are references to Arthur's childhood, and The Widow is a take on Morgana. But The Weeping Monk is just this random badass fighter who dresses all in black, with makeup that wouldn't be out of place at Hot Topic.
An evil figure fighting on the side of the Red Paladins, the Weeping Monk's job is murdering Pagans and burning down Fey villages in the name of the Holy Father and the Church. He's not in charge, though; he answers to Father Carden, just as the rest of the Paladins do. But he's a bit of a first among equals, the Church's secret superweapon in the fight against the ungodly.
But as Gawain discovers when the Weeping Monk captures him, this is a man with a moral code. He does not hurt the helpless; children are left alive when he's around. Gawain challenges the Monk to see the truth of the situation they're in: The Weeping Monk himself might not murder children, but he kills their parents, burns their homes, and leaves them to starve. And the other Paladins *do* murder children, while he looks that other way.
It's enough to make the Monk rethink his choices. When he sees Squirrel, a Fey-raised lad, about to be slaughtered in the Red Paladin camp, the Monk changes sides, taking down the encampment's whole army.
The Weeping Monk might have let himself die after that, but Squirrel pulls him up and helps him get on a horse and ride away. As they travel, the Weeping Monk asks if Squirrel has a real name, before admitting to his own: Lancelot.
For fans of Arthurian legends, this is a hell of a kicker. Lancelot is *the* Knight of the Round Table, the Knight In Shining Armor, goodness personified. To meet him in his "goth phase" as it were is a shock to the system.
But it also makes sense. Lancelot is the ultimate Christian Knight in Arthurian legends, loyal to Arthur, but faithful to the Church to the bone. Even if he's left the Paladins behind and joins up with Arthur going forward, his heart and moral code will always be with his religion.