From an early age, people begin to distinguish people as good or bad and thus hero or villain. First impressions and appearance have been a significant factor in determining the category the person falls into, however good and bad are not always accurately pulled from appearance. Someone appearing pleasing and handsome may be a very rude person once interacted with and thus could be categorized as bad. This is the case for the Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Upon introduction, the Green Knight was not viewed as a monster or evil based on appearance, but as the story goes on the reader learns of his supernatural attributes. Similarly, Sir Gawain is also difficult to categorize until the end of the story and taking into account various actions he has made. Throughout the story, the author gives contradicting clues as to whether the Green Knight and Sir Gawain are heroes or villains, as they are both looked with high regard from other characters but are both unfaithful and untruthful.
The first impression of the Green Knight causes conflict when determining whether he is a villain or a hero as he does not look like a typical monster. When the Green Knight first enters the hall, everything is brought to silence (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 140 I. 134). The guests were “astounded” by his appearance, thinking he was the most attractive (140 II. 142-147). The Green Knight did not immediately strike the guests and king as frightening or a monster. Typically,