Sir Ector is one of Uther Pendragon's knights. He is heavyset in appearance with red hair and a primitive attitude; preferring more practical concepts like fighting and war training over educational pursuits. At some point, he adopted the orphaned Arthur but cares very little about him beyond the obligation of guardianship, treating him more as a servant and derisively calling him the Wart, while doting on his birth son Kay. He is extremely distrustful of magic and thus of Merlin, whom he mistakenly refers to as Marvin. After Arthur is revealed as the rightful King of England, he regrets his treatment of the boy and (out of fear of his former charge's reprisal) begs for Arthur's forgiveness.
Role in the film
Sir Ector first appears in his castle, worried about Wart, who has disappeared into the woods. He scolds Kay for allowing Wart to go into the forest alone, though Kay insists that it isn't his duty to look after Wart. Ector notes that he adopted Wart, and so he feels responsible for the boy's safety. When Wart returns along with Merlin, he gives Wart 4 demerits for his misbehavior. Though he initially refuses Merlin's (whom he keeps on calling "Marvin" by mistake) offer to educate Wart, he is quickly convinced otherwise by a display of magic. Later at night, Ector's friend, Sir Pellinore appears with news of a tournament on New Year's Day. Ector decides that Kay should be knighted and entered, as the winner's prize is ascension to the throne of England, and the Wart will accompany them as Kay's squire.
Ector is seen early the next morning, training Kay unsuccessfully. Later that day, after Wart returns from his lesson with Merlin, Ector punishes Wart for the strange story the young man tells about the lesson. Later, upon finding the Wart has snuck off with Merlin again, he finds the kitchen to have been bewitched by Merlin due to the Scullery Maid telling him. Ector accuses Merlin of using black magic. When the Wart defends Merlin, Ector angrily piles on demerits and finally revokes Wart's privilege of being Kay's squire.
However, after Kay is knighted at Christmas, the replacement squire, a groom boy called Hobbs, catches the mumps. Ector is forced to reinstate Wart as the Squire. Ector later attends the tournament, and is shocked when Wart is revealed to have pulled the legendary Sword in the Stone, which is supposed to reveal the rightful heir to the throne. Wart had discovered the sword and had intended to use the sword as a replacement for Kay's sword, which Wart had forgotten to bring. Everyone starts laughing at this event; making Ector and Kay think Wart is making a fool out them. Ector returns the sword to the stone and asks Wart for the miracle. Unfortunately, Wart is interrupted by Kay; stating "anyone can pull it once it's been pulled", a fact proven wrong. Ector encourages Kay to pull the sword with all his might; hoping to have his son made the new king of England, and even helps him in the process. Then, other knights join in. A knight named Sir Bart states this isn't fair and Sir Pellinore suggests they let Wart try it first which of course, Sir Bart agrees to: "That's what I say: Give the boy a chance". After Wart removes the sword yet again, the miracle is fulfilled. Sir Bart asks Ector for the boy's name. Sir Ector almost calls him Wart, but catches himself and calls the boy Arthur. Ector kneels at Arthur's feet and begs for forgiveness for his mistreatment, to which Arthur says is not necessary. He then orders Kay to bow before his new King as well.
- Sir Ector was constantly thought to be the main antagonist of the film.
- Sir Ector may have been inspiration for Vernon Dursley from the Harry Potter series, as they both have much in common:
- Both have a similar body structure with a heavy mustache.
- Both hate magic and are cynical of it.
- Both are the foster father of the protagonist (Ector to Arthur and Vernon to Harry, though Vernon is Harry's uncle).
- Both have a son whom they pay more attention to (Ector to Kay and Vernon to Dudley, Harry's cousin).
- J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has claimed that Arthur's story was one of her primary inspirations, and has even referred to Arthur as Harry's "spiritual ancestor".
- The only notable difference between the two is that while Vernon does not love Harry, Ector cares very much for Arthur's well-being but just seems to show it in his own, gruff way.
- Sir Ector is also similar to George Darling from Peter Pan and King Triton from The Little Mermaid. They were strict and have punished their film's respective child/stepchild when they didn't deserve to be punished (Wendy Darling in George's case, Ariel in Triton's case, and Arthur in Ector's case). In the end, all three of the characters see the errors of their ways and apologized to his child/stepchild for their harsh behaviors.