Definitions

childe harolds pilgrimage

Childe

[chahyld]

In the Middle Ages, a childe was the eldest son of a nobleman who had not yet attained knighthood, or had not yet won his spurs.

The term is now obsolete, but is still well-known from poetry, such as Robert Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came and Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

The term also exists, albeit with a different meaning, in the roleplaying system "Vampire: The Masquerade" and various spin-offs. It signifies the "offspring" of a vampire, in this respect called a "Sire".

Childe in Stephen King's The Dark Tower (series) is, in Roland Deschain's own words, "...a term that describes a knight - or a gunslinger - on a quest. A formal term, and ancient. We never used it among ourselves...for it means holy, chosen by ka. We never liked to think of ourselves in such terms, and I haven't thought of myself so in many years." (p. 859, The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, Pocket Books, 2006 ed.)

The term is used to apply to an expected next stage in human evolution in the Childe Cycle novels by Gordon R. Dickson.

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