Since a year and a day had already passed, it was time for Sir Gawain to finally face the Green Knight. Their encounter occurs outside of the Green Chapel, to which Sir Gawain wears the gifted silk girdle. At the moment when the first blow was to be delivered, the Green Knight did not strike the other Knight. Mocking Sir Gawain’s flinching at the raised ax, the Knight also regarded him as a coward.
Furthermore, only the third hit caused a thin cut to appear; as it is revealed, the last strike was a punishment for the dishonesty of King Arthur’s nephew. “Here your faith failed you”: the Green Knight accentuates the idea that the gifted girdle should have been given to the lord. Moreover, the Knight’s hidden identity is uncovered to be the actual lord of the castle. In this way, Sir Gawain discovers that the whole deal with the Knight was a test by King Arthur’s step-sister, the respected old lady at the castle. Therefore, the received wound from the third ax strike served as a reminder to be honest and faithful as a knight.