Before his long period of amnesia on Earth, Corwin spent much of his time as lord of a shadow called Avalon. I think the first reference to this is in Nine Princes in Amber, when Bleys says:

"It is rumored that you once commanded troops. Where are they?”

I turned away from him. “They are no more,” I said. “I am certain.”

“Could you not find a Shadow of your Shadow?”

“I don't want to try,” I said. “I'm sorry.”

At the end of the book, however, he decides to seek it after all:

I had set sail for a land near as sparkling as Amber itself, an almost immortal place, a place that did not really exist, not any longer. It was a place which had vanished into Chaos ages ago, but of which a Shadow must somewhere survive.

The shadow isn't named until the second book, The Guns of Avalon. In that book, Corwin quotes a song he wrote:

"Beyond the River of the Blessed, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Avalon. Our swords were shattered in our hands and we hung our shields on the oak tree. The silver towers were fallen, into a sea of blood. How many miles to Avalon? None, I say, and all. The silver towers are fallen.' "

So: Is it indicated anywhere just what happened to Avalon?

1 Answer 1


Never described, but we can assume the names and Arthurian allusions indicate that something similar to the fall of Camelot transpired, with a bit of the Song of Roland thrown in, in the betrayal by Ganelon. Corwin ruled under his own name (as Benedict mentions it is not a name given to children there) but presumably played the role that Arthur did.

Of course our Arthur myths are 'just' a distorted shadow of those events, so YMMV!

  • The knights of the round table were more or less equal in their abilities, That's never was the case with Corwin and his knights. i doubt someone from a shadow like Avalon could've challenged him and done him and his kingdom a serious damage. His dear relatives, however... both the ones in Amber or in the court of chaos are perfectly capable of destroying a shadow...
    – user68762
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 22:01
  • Also... "Beyond the River of the Blessed, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Avalon. " doesnt that remind you of psalm 137:1 "by the rivers of babylon..."? That is, a force much bigger than zion (babylon) came from outside and completely destroyed it.
    – user68762
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 22:03
  • 2
    Oh, yes. Zelazny delighted in puns and double meanings. I'm sure he (raised a Catholic) was aware of the psalm, but he also had been influenced by Weston’s Arthurian analysis. And Launcelot was pretty good vs. other Knights, and Gawain had that thing where he got stronger as the Sun rose higher, so they might have been able to give Corwin a run for his money. But yeah, Zelazny loved his mysteries.
    – docwebhead
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 2:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.