A green knight came to the kingdom of King Author seeking acceptance to his challenge. "And I will stand for your stroke, steady on the floor,/ Provided you my honor my right, when my inning comes,/ To repay./ But let the respite be/ A twelvemonth and a day;"(lines 76-80) he said.
A year and a day later, the Green Knight sought his opponent. At first none stepped forward. Then King Author himself accepted the challenge, but his nephew, Gawain, persuaded the king to allow himself to take the challenge. "' I beseech you, Sire,' he said,/Let this game be mine," (lines 123-124). He did this to earn honor.
Gawain and the Green Knight agree to trade defenseless blows. The Green Knight knelt down and prepared himself to accept the blow. Gawain raised the ax and struck down onto his bare neck. "The fair head fell from the neck to the floor of the hall," (line 158). The rest of the knight's body picked up the head and left the castle on his green steed.All of the nobles rejoiced.
Gawain sets out to stand true to his deal with the Green Knight. He came upon a castle of a lord and a lady, who offered to house him. There was only one requirement. "At the end of each day, they will exchange what they have won. While the lord is out hunting, lady attempts to seduce Gawain. Gawain resists her, however, and on the first two days accepts only kisses, which he gives to the lord at the end of each day in exchange for the hat the lord has gained in the hunt," (passing of time pg 216).
On the third day the lady insists that Gawain accepts a gift. He refuses to her valuable ring and instead accepts the green and gold scarf that she offered after he refuses to take the ring. She says that the scarf will protect him from harm. He accepts the scarf. "AS long as he keeps it looped around him,/ No man under Heaven can hurt him," (lines 233-234).
Gawain then went to the Green Knight prepared for his strike. The knight struck him and nothing harmed Gawain. The Green Knight was shocked and didn't believe it. But Gawain held up his end of the deal and the knight was satisfied. The Knight revealed it was his wife that gave Gawain the scarf. "That sash you wear by your scabbard belongs to me;/ My own wife gave it to you, ad I ought to know," (lines 350-351). The Green Knight was testing Gawain and Gawain succeded.