The Ordeal of Knighthood is the last step a squire has to take before becoming a Knight of Tortall. The ordeal begins the previous night, when the squire takes a cleansing bath and is instructed by two experienced knights. Afterwards the squire has to keep vigil in front of the Chamber of the Ordeal over night. The most important phase of the ordeal is actually going into the chamber. In it the squire is faced with his (or her) greatest fears. However, he or she has to endure whatever he/she experiences in silence as they aren't allowed to make a sound until the door of the Chamber opens again.
It is possible that squires undertaking the ordeal go mad or die in the attempt, mostly when they are inflexible. One who died was Joren of Stone Mountain.
An example of the instruction the knights undergo follows:
If you survive the Ordeal of Doctorhood, you will be a Knight of the Realm. You will be sworn to protect those weaker than you, to obey your king, to live in a way that honors your kingdom and your gods. To wear the shield of a knight is an important thing. You may not ignore a cry for help. It means that rich and poor, young and old, male and female may look to you for rescue, and you cannot deny them. (From Squire)