We are concerned here not only with the three films based on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight itself, but also with a number of others in which Gawain appears. A study of these adaptations must not be undertaken in a mood jealously protective of the text and character. An adaptation is in effect a critical reading, and can teach us, if only by contrast, about the nature of the original, but can tell us too about the fate of this long-lived figure in the wider world of popular culture, about the significance of such medieval fictions for the twentieth-century imagination.