Berserker/Lancelot was never examined to my satisfaction (what did drive the him insane? It could have been so much…), so here is my theory on what drove him to become the Servant he did… Although I at first thought that Berserker must have been the Black Prince.
Even though the legend would later describe how he had fallen in love with Guinevere, the wife of king Arthur, and seduced or been seduced by her, it, frankly, wasn't true.
In part because "Arthur" had never married and in part because no woman could ever rival his king in any way.
She was strong, intelligent, a natural leader who easily bore the strain of the misery that came with war and kingship, showing the strain but never even groaning under it, and she was beautiful.
Certainly, he had seen women with fairer skin and more beckoning attitudes, but he had never seen anyone who so glowed with spirit and who so seemed equal to him and his fellow knights in all ways, or who had such a lightning wit and natural humour that made her both a fantastic friend and a good strategist.
Until he had met Arturia he would have claimed many of the things she had done so naturally to be simply impossible for a woman. He would have thought it impossible for a woman to lead Britain as Her king, he would have thought it impossible for a woman to wear hard won battle scars as no shameful burden but as a simple fact of life (and to carry them with grace and beauty to rival any flower), he would have thought it impossible for any woman to inspire loyalty and awe in him that seemed almost blasphemous in its intensity, he would have thought it impossible for a woman to go into war, see betrayal left and right, kill numerous enemies, see her own comrades killed en masse and yet at the end of the day be able to spit out a joke that would raise the spirits of those around her, and he would most certainly have thought it impossible for any which woman to so utterly claim his heart.
He was not proud to admit it, but while he had often found a woman's comforts one of the great pleasures in life, he had also always thought that one woman's comforts would never be enough, but after Arturia… He was not the only to have become love stricken, but it seemed as if the others had outgrown it, had come to see her as a man with a peculiar shape rather than a woman. But to him, she had always been a very beautiful woman.
No, that wasn't strictly true. When he had first seen her, he had thought her no more than pretty, hard around the edges and with an oddly grim air about her, which was easy enough to forget when soft, slanting sunlight landed on her sun kissed hair, giving the impression of a halo… If she had only had a few more inches, both vertically and around her bosom, she would certainly have been beautiful.
Then a knight had stalked up to her, bowed formally, and said: "Sire, your presence is requested in the courtroom. Shall I tell them to wait a while, your Majesty?"
Lancelot's jaw may or may not have hit the floor as he realized that either this knight was in all actuality a lunatic who had stolen a knight's armour or this girl was the king of Britain.
And that she was either a marvellous actress playing along or she really was the king of Britain!
All of a sudden, the hardness around her eyes and in the set of her jaw and the solemnity that permeated the air around her become very hard to ignore.
His determination to serve king Arthur wavered at the realization that no one could simply don such an air, it was something that came to them with the burden of leadership. Could he serve a woman? Could he go down on one knee before her and swear his allegiance?
As it turned out, he not only could, he did and he never looked back.
That is… Until the day he realized he would never have her.
Then he regretted having not simply balked at the idea of following a woman and left. How could he, now, stand to look at the woman he loved throwing herself almost recklessly against the enemy and surround herself with men who nearly died almost every day and who shone with a beauty both inner and outer and who seemed both the perfect fit for the role yet in agony at the weight of all the lives she had to carry and who would never be in his arms and…
Oh, just looking at her, talking to the men to inspire hope and trying to make them think of better days, made him ache with a longing that was both familiar and utterly frightening in its strangeness.
It was enough to drive a man mad.
Hum… I suppose more could be written, but I don't think I'm the one to do it. A little warning, what follows is a rant.
What the heckles is it with me and writing things from the point of view of the men in this fandom? It's all Sabre-based, but it's all from various less-than-likeable men's point of view? What the hafles is up with that?
So, back to normal, please review and tell me what you liked/disliked and/or agreed/disagreed with. It would be much appreciated. =)
Edit: I have now watched the last episode, where Lancelot (in a flashback) explains what happened to him. If you, oddly, haven't watched it yet here're some spoilers. Apparently, he did fall for Guinevere and just felt bad for Arthur not giving a damn and not punishing him for it, which drove him mad. I like my theory better, and not just because it's mine. Seriously, who would go that level of insane because he got away with doing something bad when the one he hurt was in a position to punish him for something (s)he knew he had done?
Edit 2: If you are Chinese (or know someone who is) and would like to read this in Chinese, riminal has been kind enough to translate it. You can find it on: 1) ht*tp:/archive*of*ourown.o*rg/works/481102 - 2) ht* *og.c*d/the-mad-knight/ - 3) ht* *wxc.n* ?novelid=1597046 You just remove the asterisks and you're good to go!