Once first among the Arthur's knights, Malagant is part of a history to which the audience is largely unaware. A previous relationship between Arthur and Malagant is suggested in their dialog, but the details of that relationship are not brought to light by the storyline. Malagant is perhaps an amalgomation of several traditional characters from the Arthurian legend. Most notably, he displays characteristics often associated with Lot of Orkney and his children. He also seems to fill the role of Mordred, as the once trusted son who betrays his father's ideals.

Sir Mador: Sir, I don't believe Malagant wants war with Camalot.
Arthur: Arm the reserves. He wants war, Mador, and he thinks he can win.
Sir Mador: He wants Leoness as a buffer.
Arthur: He wants Camelot! He always has.
In the role of the bad son, Malagant is placed in opposition of Lancelot as the second generation of Camelot seeks to establish their claim to the throne. While Lancelot comes to represent the chivalry of Camelot, Malagant reminds us of the previously accepted idea that "might makes right." Malagant is a throw-back to the days when kings led through fear and intimidation rather than justice.

Malagant: The strong rule the weak. That's how your god made the world.
Arthur: God makes us strong only for a while, so that we can help each other.
Malagant: My god makes me strong so I can live my life!