- "...had been deserted by a man whom she loved dearly, and she thought her heart would never mend"
- —Amata's description[src]
She suffered from a broken heart due to her being deserted by a man whom she had loved dearly. Hence, she journeyed with two witches and a Muggle knight who had problems like herself to the Fountain of Fair Fortune. When they reached the fountain, she realised that she no longer needed the fountain and let Sir Luckless to bath in it instead and, after he did, he proposed to her and she accepted.
- "The stream had washed away all her regret for her lover..."
- —Amata's deserted lover[src]
Quest for the Fountain
- "And Amata became caught upon the armour of a dismal-looking knight who was seated on a bone-thin horse."
They soon decided that three heads are better than one and pooled their efforts to reach the Fountain together. At first light, a crack in the wall appeared and creepers from the garden reached through and wrapped themselves around Asha, the first witch, who grabbed onto Altheda, who then took hold of Amata. But Amata got tangled in the armour of a knight, and as the vines pulled Asha in, all three witches along with the knight were pulled through the wall and into the garden. Since only one person is permitted to bathe in the Fountain, the first two witches were upset that Amata had inadvertently invited another competitor. Because he had no magical power, he recognised the women as witches, and was well-suited to his name, "Sir Luckless," the knight announced his intention to abandon the quest.
Amata promptly chided him for giving up then asked him to join their group. They had to get past three challenges, the third of which is completed by Amata. The third task asked challengers to pay "the treasure of [their] past." Attempts to float or leap across failed. Finally, Amata thought to use her wand to withdraw the memories of the lover who had abandoned her and drop the memories into the water. Stepping stones appeared in the water, and the four were able to cross to the Fountain, where they then had to decide who would bathe in the Fountain.
Finding True Love
Asha collapsed from exhaustion and is near death. She is in such pain that she cannot make it to the Fountain, and she begs her three friends not to move her. Altheda quickly mixes a powerful potion in an attempt to revive her, and the concoction actually cures her malady, so she no longer needs the Fountain's waters. The same went for Altheda, because she could cure this disease and use it as a means to earn money. Amata realised that her former lover was a bad person, and that she was actually better off without him. Realising she no longer needed the Fountain's blessing, she told Sir Luckless to bathe in it instead, and, after he did, he proposed to her, and she accepted.
Personality and traits
- "She hoped that the Fountain would relieve her of her grief and longing."
- —Amata's grief and longing[src]
At the beginning of the story, she was already portrayed as an open and compassionate woman who could empathise with the misfortunes of others, as seen by how she, Asha, and Altheda became good friends through sharing their respective tales of woe, and how they even came to the agreement of uniting and trying to reach the Fountain if they had the chance to. Her initial flaw was that, before the end of the story, she suffered from the grief and longing of a broken heart due to her lover's desertion.
Unlike Altheda and Asha, Amata could be generous to a fault, as demonstrated by how she convinced Sir Luckless to not give up and help them reach their goal, despite the obvious fact that an addition to the group meant increased difficulty of deciding exactly who should bathe in the Fountain if they ever reached it. Her method of conviction, however, was in the form of a good scolding of Sir Luckless' pessimism and apparent cowardice, which seems to testify that Amata was not one to give up easily, and hated seeing others do so without even attempting to try their very best. Later on, she proved her intelligence by solving the riddle of the third trial of the Enchanted Garden.
When the four companions finally reached the Fountain, one could also see that Amata was a true and selfless friend, given how she was perfectly willing to forgo her chance to bathe in the Fountain through giving that very chance to Asha, who had collapsed from exhaustion and was on the brink of death.
At the very end of the story, Amata realised that she did not need to bathe in the Fountain after all, for she had grown wise enough to see that her former lover had been cruel and faithless, and it was actually a joy to her to be rid of him. She also realised that she had found a man worthy of her: Sir Luckless, whose proposal of marriage she accepted.
- "...had been cruel and faithless, and that it was happiness enough to get rid of him..."
- —Amata's lover[src]
Asha and Altheda
On their journey to the Fountain, the motley band faces three challenges. First, they face a "monstrous white worm, bloated and blind" who demands "proof of your pain." After several fruitless attempts to attack it with magic and other means, Asha's tears of frustration finally satisfy the worm, and the four are allowed to pass. Next, they face a steep slope and are asked to pay the "fruit of their labours". They try and try to make it up the hill but spend hours climbing to no avail. Finally, the hard-won effort of Altheda as she cheers her friends on (specifically the sweat from her brow) gets them past the challenge.
At last, they faced a stream in their path and were asked to pay "the treasure of your past." Their attempts to float or leap across failed, until Amata thought to use her wand to withdraw the memories of the lover who abandoned her, and drop them into the water. Stepping stones appeared in the water, and the four were able to cross to the Fountain, where they must decide who gets to bathe.
Asha collapsed from exhaustion and was near death. She was in such pain that she cannot make it to the Fountain, and she begged her three friends not to move her. Altheda quickly mixed a powerful potion in an attempt to revive her, and the concoction actually cures her malady, so she no longer needed the Fountain's waters. Because Altheda now knew how to cure the disease, she decided that she wouldn't need it either. Amata told Sir Luckless to bathe in the fountain and they set off "arm-in-arm." We then learn that the four friends live long, never realising that the Fountain's waters "carried no enchantment at all."
Sir LucklessAsha in, all three witches along with the knight get pulled through the wall and into the garden.
Since only one of them will be permitted to bathe in the Fountain, the first two witches are upset that Amata inadvertently invited another competitor. Because the knight possessed of no magical power, he recognises the women as witches, and is well-suited to his name, "Sir Luckless," the knight announces his intention to abandon the quest. Amata promptly chides him for giving up and asks him to join their group.
The task that Sir Luckless succeeded in on is the second. The challenge was that they were asked to pay the "fruit of their labours". Sir Luckless dropped a single coin on the grassy hill and they were able to proceed forwards.
When they reach the fountain, Amata lets him bathe in the waters. The knight, amazed at his luck, bathes in the Fountain and flings himself "in his rusted armour" at the feet of Amata and begs for her "hand and her heart." Each witch achieves their dreams for a cure, a hapless knight wins knowledge of his bravery, and Amata, the one witch who had faith in him, realises that she has found a "man worthy of her."
Amata is an Italian word meaning beloved.
Queen Amata is a minor character in the Aeneid, an epic by Roman poet Virgil, written between 29 and 19 BC. She is the wife of Latinus, a King in Italy. She is somewhat a tragic figure; she commits suicide after the poem's antagonist, Turnus, is defeated in battle. This could be compared to the grief suffered by Amata in Beedle the Bard's tale.
Notes and references