Galahad was Lancelot's son, begotten during a visit to Pelles, one of the succession of keepers of the Grail. Pelles was of the lineage of Joseph of Arimathea, who had brought the Grail to Britain, and regarded his daughter Elaine (not Elaine of Astolat) as the destined mother of a knight fit to know the Grail's secrets. He led Lancelot to believe Guinevere was in a castle near by, sent Elaine to await him there, and employed a magic potion to delude him into thinking she was the Queen. Thus Lancelot became the father of Galahad. The illicit love would prevent his own success in the Grail Quest, but produced the unblemished knight who did succeed. When the potion wore off, Lancelot realized how Elaine's father had tricked him. She would not let him go, and Guinevere's jealous fury when she followed Lancelot to the court was the main cause of his time of madness.
   Galahad grew up and came to the court himself where he takes his place at the Siege Perilous. He was handsome and unsurpassed in jousting and knightly activities; but self-dedicated to chastity and therefore worthy to be the Grail-achiever. Next to Lancelot, Galahad is, in my opinion, the most boorish lout that ever entered Camelot. He could never have been created by Chretien, lacking all of the emotional and knightly acts of the court of love. Most of his character is the embodiment of the women hating, darker side of the Cistercian monks, the ideal Templar knight, pure and virgin, the perfect warrior to fight the infidel, and by some parallels, the second coming.
   In Norris Lacy's Lancelot-Grail, vol. III, page 162 there is an inscription upon a tombstone, which tells about a leopard (Lancelot) begetting a lion (Galahad) -- 'This tombstone will not be lifted until the leopard, from whom is to descend the great lion, puts a hand to it, and he will lift it easily, and afterwards the great lion will be begotten in the beautiful daughter of the King of the Land Beyond.'
   This seems to foretell the birth of Galahad but it has been pointed out by Linda Malcor and others that Lancelot is usually identified as one of the three Lions of Britain (Tristan and Lamorack being the other two).

Galahad in Malory's le Morte

See also Lancelot