This is #HistoricalSerial Episode 11: The End
One (historical) story told week by week. Told by me, the author of this manuscript.
To read #HistoricalSerial from the beginning, click me.
Last week on #HistoricalSerial, Gillion finally managed to admit to the whole bigamy thing, although it didn’t go quite as planned. Seeing as this is the last installment, are we all hastening towards a happy ending? Not quite…
Marie and Gracienne didn’t give Gillion much choice—they simply up and left him for the Abbey of Olive. They seemed super happy together in their new life as nuns.
However, apparently life in a nunnery was not exactly healthful, as in less than a year both Gracienne and Marie died within days of each other. After all that, they die? Really? Really. But the story isn’t quite over.
Meanwhile, the sultan had called Gillion back to save Cairo. Again. Gillion had been moping around dealing with his abandonment issues, what with losing two wives and all. He probably wasn’t too displeased to be called back into service (well at least someone wanted him!)
Gillion traveled back to the East, taking with him his younger twin son, Gerard, and leaving the eldest son, Jean, in charge of the family lands. For Gillion, it was good to be back in the saddle again (literally).
In the end, Gillion heroically fought by the side of the sultan once more, only to get mortally wounded in a furious battle. His last wish was to be reunited with his two wives in Europe. Gerard took a warm leave from the Sultan, carrying his father’s heart with him back to Hainaut.
There, a fine triple tomb holds the celebrated remains of Gillion, Marie, and Gracienne, united for all time. And this brings us back to that mysterious triple tomb that sparked the idea to write this whole story down. As an author, I have to admit that the final line to a story like this usually involves “And they lived happily ever after” rather than a cop-out where everyone conveniently dies, but in this case, perhaps there is a happy ending after all, since now Gillion, Marie, and Gracienne will spend eternity together and will be remembered forever.
And so concludes our attempt to tell a medieval romance week by week in the style of @serialpodcast.
The Getty owns a beautifully illustrated copy of this story from which we’ve been pulling images. If you’d like to further explore the tale and delve into the illuminations, check out @gettypubs The Adventures of Gillion de Trazegnies: Chivalry and Romance in the Medieval East by Elizabeth Morrison and Zrinka Stahuljak.