"She knocked me down princess, is that what you want to hear? Yeah, she took the legs right out from under me. So yeah, yeah, I'm afraid. I'm afraid of what happens the next time I get knocked down."
—Galavant, "Joust Friends"
Gary Galavant is the main protagonist of the ABC sitcom Galavant. Galavant was once a heroic adventurer until a shocking betrayal left him depressed and heart broken. He embarked on a quest to reclaim his lost love and become the hero he once was again. Galavant first appeared in the episode "Pilot". He is portrayed by actor Joshua Sasse.
The title character, he is renowned across the land as a hero. He is cocky, egotistical and even narcissistic, though his confidence was wounded sorely at the betrayal of his first love, Madalena, whom he practically worships. Depressed, he lives half-heartedly with only his squire, Sid, to take care of him until Princess Isabella of Valencia entices him out of hiding by telling him Madalena is being abused by her husband and regrets choosing money and power over love. Over the course of the first season's journey to reach the kingdom of Valencia, his character evolves drastically, learning to be more considerate of other people's needs and feelings, and less focused on being "the hero", largely thanks to the love/friendship of Isabella and Sid. As of yet, he still retains a slightly narcissistic view of himself, though considerably less so than before. By the end of the first season, Galavant gets over his love of the selfish and manipulative Madalena, instead falling sincerely for the feisty and sweet Isabella.
When Galavant was young boy he was constantly bullied by his peers. His father Sir Arnold, a heroic knight, found him crying one day after the latest incident. Arnold told Galavant never to show emotions believing that feelings were extraneous. Shutting them off would allow him to focus on seizing his "moment"; a possible scenario where he could show the world his true worth. His also recommended to his son that he should never get married. This was because Arnold had a strained love/hate relationship with his wife and Galavant's mother. At the age of eight, Galavant took his father's words to heart and devoted his time to studying, training and bettering himself. He also vowed to swear off falling in love to avoid any distractions on his path to having his moment. When he reached adulthood, Galavant became a famous warrior and was lauded as a hero of the Five kingdoms ("Galavant (song)"). Despite the promise he made to himself he eventually fell hard for a maiden named Madalena. The two were very happy until a nearby King named Richard became besotted with Madalena. He had his henchman Gareth kidnap her and Madalena was taken to his castle where she was to wed him. Galavant went to rescue his beloved and after easily dispatching several guards interrupted the ceremony. To his surprise Madalena didn't want to be rescued and chose to go through with the wedding. Although she chose fame and fortune over Galavant's love for her she hoped they could remain friends. The empty platitude from Madalena was then followed by a punch in the gut from Gareth and accompanied by a weak kick from the King.
A year later after his humiliation at the altar, Galavant fell on hard times and became a drunkard. His squire Sid attempted to get out of his rut by introducing him to a Princess Isabella from Valencia. She sought out Galavant help to save her homeland from an invading army. As payment for his services she offered him the Jewel of Valencia, a priceless artifact from her country. Despite her pleas, Galavant refused to hear anymore about her problems and threw her out. Later at a local tavern, the bartender refused to serve Galavant who had no money. Noticing that Isabella was also at the bar, Galavant offered to hear the rest of her story if she bought him dinner. Galavant disgusted Isabella by stuffing himself with food and she tried to reconcile tales of his past heroic deeds to the person before her. When she pressed for details on why he changed, Galavant told her what happened with Madalena. Galavant was still uninterested in helping her until she told him it was King Richard who attacked her kingdom. Galavant immediately changed his mind and accompanied by Sid and Isabella set out on a quest to free Valencia. He was unaware that Isabella was actually under orders from King Richard to lure him into a trap ("Pilot").
At a makeshift camp Galavant's party set up, he awoken from his sleep due to a nightmare about Madalena and King Richard. He resolved to continue his mission in order to "save" Madalena only to realize he was out of shape ("Hero's Journey"). Nevertheless, with the party low on funds Sid suggested Galavant particpate in a local jousting tournament for the prize money. They arrived at the sign in for the contest where they meet Galavant's rival Jean Hamm. Spurred by Hamm's taunts, Sid offered the Jewel of Valencia to pay the entry fee and Isabella convinced an official to automatically advance Galavant to the finals. Unwilling to lose the crown jewel of her country, Isabella put Galavant through a rigorous training program to get him back into shape ("Stand Up"). To further help him she slipped Jean Hamm a mickey in his drink before the match which disabled him. However, Galavant was in a similar bad condition as he was unable to move having over trained. The joust commenced very slowly due to the impaired competitors and when their lances finally struck both contestants were knocked off their horses. While Galavant and Hamm remained unmoving on the ground a tournament official declared that the first one to their feet would win. Inspired by Isabella, Galavant stood up first and was declared the winner. Afterwards, Isabella and Galavant relationship improved and they begun considering each other in a different light ("Maybe You're Not the Worst Thing Ever"), ("Joust Friends").
As their journey continued, Sid invited Galavant and Isabella to his hometown for a brief respite. When they arrived, Galavant noticed the towns name was "Sidneyland" and there was a giant statue of Sid in the town square. Sid explained that the townspeople, and particularly his adopted parents, believe him to be a big deal. Galavant was amused by the hoopla Sid's return evoked until he was told that the villagers believed he was Sid's squire. Sid's parents happily welcomed their son home, invited Isabella inside and left Galavant to prepare the dinner. Galavant went along with the lie as did Isabella who pretended to be engaged to Sid. He was ordered by Sid's parents to help prepare a ball to celebrate Sid's upcoming nuptials. This led to Galavant having a moment of clarity after working alongside other squires who complained bitterly about the Knights they worked for ("Jackass in a Can"). At the ball, Galavant observed how proud Sid's parents were of him and how uncomfortable his squire was lying to them. He talked to Sid in private and told him the reason he was hired was because of how honest and true to himself he was. Sid further impressed Galavant by being loyal and never complaining despite how difficult the job has been. Galavant was willing to continue the charade but told Sid he shouldn't be ashamed of the man that he is. This inspired Sid to tell his parents the truth as Galavant and Isabella looked on ("Two Balls").
Eventually Galavant and his party made their way to the river leading to Valencia, Isabella warned him that there were rumors of bandits in the area but Galavant insisted on heading in that direction. At this point the trio found themselves getting annoyed by each other's personal quirks ("Togetherness") . In the midst of an argument they were having, armed men ambushed and captured them. They were taken back to the bandits basecamp which had a piratical theme to it. When Galavant asked the leader why a pirate crew was on land he learned that their ship washed ashore and got stuck on a hill ("Lords of the Sea"). The leader's frustration with his men's incompetence had him make Galavant an offer. He revealed himself to be an old acquaintance named Peter the Pillager and offered to release Isabella and Sid if Galavant joined his crew. Not only did Galavant reject the offer but he easily disarmed Peter and took him captive. Galavant returned to the basecamp with his prisoner and was surprised to find his friends had likewise subdued their captors. Galavant formed a truce with Peter and everyone worked together to move the pirate ship off of the hill ("Togetherness (Reprise)"). Once it was freed the vessel was put out to sea with all on board headed towards Valencia ("Comedy Gold").
Upon arriving in Isabella country, Galavant was eager to begin his mission but the princess convinced him to postpone his plans so he could clean up properly. He followed her to a local monastery, "The Order of our Father of Perpetual Refrain", where the monks cheerfully greeted them ("Hey, Hey, We're the Monks"). Later, Galavant had the trio to disguise themselves as monks so they could sneak into the castle. However, Richard anticipated this due to Isabella's complicity with the king and his guards captured them. Galavant was devastated when he learned of Isabella's betrayal and he was taken with his party were to the castles dungeon. Isabella tried to explain but Galavant refused her apologies and was only interested to know if Madalena really wanted him to rescue her. Isabella had no answers for him and Galavant was dragged off by the guards supposedly to be hanged. Instead Galavant was surprised when he was seated at a table in a private room where a feast was spread out before him. He was further shocked when Madalena appeared and offered him a part in a scheme she had just set in motion ("Completely Mad...Alena").
Over the dinner Madelana had prepared, Galavant and her caught up as he related the trails he went through to reunite with her. He again declared his love for her but she didn't definitively recipricate his feelings which left Galavant confused ("I Love You"). He was returned to the dungeon where he annoyed his fellow captives by debating with himself if Madalena really loved him. Sid and Isabella, along with his fellow captives the Jester and the King and Queen of Valencia, tried in vain to to get Galavant to see the truth. Eventually Galavant forgave Isabella's deception aware of the pressure she was under. With her help he finally accepted Madalena never loved him and the two of them also shared an epiphany about their own relationship ("Love is Strange"). Reinvigorated, Galavant assured all of his fellow prisoners that he would somehow find a way to save the day.(Dungeons and Dragon Lady)
Galavant draws a map of the castle and promises to make his father proud.The guards come in and interrupt Galavant as he sings about his moment coming, and take everyone up to the throne room. Madalena introduces them to Kingsley, her future husband and brother-in-law.Galavant grabs Gareth's sword and takes down the guards, but then drops the weapon and says that in return for the prisoners' freedom, he will fight for Richard. As Galavant arms himself, he tells Isabella that he can't let feelings get in the way of what he has to do. However, he assures her that if he could, she would be the one he'd have feelings for her. Before Galavant can sing that his moment has come, a guard announces that an army is riding toward them.
Sid charges in on the feast and tosses Galavant a sword. Galavant fights his way past the guards and advances on Richard... and then stabs Isabella's crab, sparing her digestive danger because she's allergic to crab. He apologizes and explains that his father was wrong. Harry, realizing that Isabella is in love with Galavant, decides to go home. Once he leaves, Isabella tells Galavant that he finally got his moment in the sun.(My Cousin Izzy)
As preparations are made for the duel, an imprisoned Galavant tells the others that he's going to use his wits and gain Richard's confidence. However, when Isabella comes over and hints that they should kiss, Galavant walks away. Sid tells Galavant to kiss the girl, and Galavant admits that he's afraid that what's between him and Isabella is too big to control. Gareth brings in some rats for lunch and Galavant demands an audience with Richard. Gareth wonders why Richard should agree to meet with him, and Galavant says that he has some juicy gossip about Madalena.When he hears what Galavant has to say, Richard has Gareth bring the hero to his bedchambers and listen to the hero's description of Madalena's feet. Galavant suggests that they commiserate together over drinks.Once both men are drunk, they sneak into the palace and head for Kingsley's room.They enter Kingsley's quarters and Richard thanks Galavant for taking him out and treating him like a friend. He asks Galavant to promise not to tell anyone that he's not a virgin... just as Kingsley, Gareth, and the guards step out from hiding. In the dungeon, Galavant collapses and Isabella covers Galavant over with a blanket and lies down next to him.
The next morning, Galavant wakes up and they tell him what he did.When Galavant wakes up, he discovers that he's on the beach in a dinghy. Gareth has loaded Richard into it and tells Galavant that he's paid the pirates to take both men back to Richard's kingdom. If Galavant comes back then Gareth will have his friends killed. Richard wakes up in the dinghy and assures Galavant that they'll have fun.(It's All in the Executions)
Galavant grew up with parents who deeply loved each other and showed it through violent fighting. His father taught him from a young age that heroes do not have emotion, which lead Galavant to turn his back on finding love and towards becoming a strong and mighty hero throughout the realms. He grew to become determined, tough and cocky. As he grew older and became famous among the land, he met and fell hard for the fair maiden Madalena. Due to Galavant being so withdrawn from his emotions in the past, he became devoted to Madalena and was heartbroken when she was kidnapped, leading him to swear to save her, only to be betrayed when she denied her saviors hand. Galavant hides his emotions behind a mask of cockiness and 'manliness' although underneath he is needy and loves deeply.
Galavant is also fiercely loyal and possess the stereotypical traits of a fairy tale hero.
Galavant's name means: gal•li•vant or gal•a•vant (ˈgæl əˌvænt, ˌgæl əˈvænt) v.i. 1. to wander about, seeking pleasure. 2. to go about with members of the opposite sex.