The gods and goddesses in Welsh myths were like the Irish deities, living in Wales, England and Scotland. They inhabited and ruled over the land with mortals. These Welsh deities were powerful rulers of the isle of Britain, establishing mighty dynasties, particularly in Wales and elsewhere.

The deities found here, come mainly from the first four tales of the Mabinogion. Though some of the names appeared in other tales in the Mabinogion, as well as some scattered sources of the Welsh texts.

 
Aeron
Amathon
Aranrhod
Arawn
Beli
Bran
Don
Ceridwen
Dylan
Govannon
Gwydyon
Gwynn ap Nudd      
 
Lleu
Llyr
Mabon
Manawyddan
Math
Modron (see also Morgan le Fay)
Myrddin, see Arthurian Legends, Merlin
Nudd (Lludd)      
Pryderi
Pwyll, see the Mabinogion
Rhiannon
Taliesin, see the Mabinogion



Below are list of Welsh names who appeared with the Welsh Arthur in five tales of the Mabinogion. You will not find the following characters in Celtic Mythology. Since these characters appeared in the legend of Arthur, I have provided links to the relevant characters in the Arthurian Legends.

 
Myrddin (see Merlin)
Uthr Bendragon (see Uther Pendragon)
Eigyr (see Igraine)
Arthur
Gwyar (see sisters of Arthur)
Gwenhwyfar (see Guinevere)
 
Gwalchmei (see Gawain)
Medrawd (see Mordred)
Urien Rheged (see King Urien)
Owain (see Yvain)
Geriant (see Erec)
Peredur (see Perceval)


Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr


Related pages:
      Mabinogion
      British Deities
      Tuatha Dé Danann
      King Arthur






Aeron
 

Aeron was the Welsh god of battle and slaughter. His name was derived from the early British goddess of slaughter, Agroná.

 
Related Information
Name
Aeron.

Related Articles
Agroná.



Amathaon
 

Amathaon was the Welsh god of agriculture. Amathaon was the son of Beli and Don, and the brother of Gwydyon.

Not much is known about Amathaon, except that in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, Ysbaddaden wanted Amathaon to till his land, as one of the conditions of Culhwch marrying Olwen.

 
Related Information
Name
Amathaon, Amathon.

Related Articles
Don, Gwydyon.



Aranrhod
 

The virgin goddess. Aranrhod (Arianrhod) was the daughter of goddess Don and Beli. Aranrhod was the sister of Amathon, Gilvaethwy, Govannon, Gwydyon and Nudd. Aranrhod was the goddess of the sky and fertility.

Aranrhod gave birth to Dylan and Lleu, when she stepped over the magic wand of uncle Math, to prove that she was a virgin. Her brother Gwydyon adopted her son Lleu as his own, while some would say that Gwydyon was actually the father of Dylan and Lleu.

Aranrhod refused to recognise Lleu as her own son. Aranrhod gave three curses to her son instead of three blessings. Aranrhod refused to give Lleu a name, weapons and armour when he reached manhood, and cursed her son that she could not marry a woman of any race of people. Her brother Gwydyon tricked Aranrhod into Lleu: his name and later the weapons.

Aranrhod's third curse was the most difficult to overcome. Gwydyon called upon his uncle King Math to aid him in finding a bride for Lleu. With their combined magic, they created a woman out of flowers. This flower-woman was named Blodeuedd, and she was the most beautiful woman in the world, but she turned out to be an unfaithful wife to Lleu, which had almost cost him his life.

See Math Son of Mathonwy in the Mabinogion, about Aranrhod and her son Lleu.

 
Related Information
Name
"Silver Wheel".
Aranrhod, Arianrhod.

Related Articles
Don, Gwydyon, Dylan, Lleu, Math, Nudd.

Math Son of Mathonwy (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.


Arianrhod gives weapons to Lleu
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Arawn
 

Arawn was the Lord of Annwfn (Otherworld) in the First Branch of the Mabinogi – Pwyll Lord of Dyved (Mabinogion). Arawn befriended Pwyll when they encountered one another in the woods. Arawn offered Pwyll to take his place as Lord of Annwfn for one year and a day. Pwyll would be transformed to look like Arawn, so that Pwyll could fight Havgtan (Hafgan) in his place. Havgtan was also a Lord of Annwfn and Arawn's archenemy. Havgtan could only be killed in one blow, for the second blow would magically heal Havgtan. So Pwyll mortally wounded Havgtan and refused to strike another blow, so Arawn's enemy died.

Arawn had a beautiful wife, who was unnamed. While Pwyll was pretending to be her lord and husband, Pwyll did not take advantage of it, making love to Arawn's wife. Arawn was surprised that Pwyll would protect his wife's chastity, that they became friends and allies. Arawn richly rewarded Pwyll for both deeds. It is believed that Arawn had sent Rhiannon to become Pwyll's wife.

Arawn had also given pigs to Pryderi, Pwyll's son, when Pryderi became Lord of Dyved. These pigs were stolen by Gwydyon (Gwydion), in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi – Math Son of Mathonwy. This led to a war between Dyved and Gwynedd, where Pryderi was killed in single combat against Gwydyon, the nephew of King Math of Gwynedd.

Arawn was also said to possess the magic cauldron, which Arthur tried to steal in the obscure poem in the Book of Taliesin, called Spoils of Annwfn (Preiddiau Annwfn).

 
Related Information
Name
Arawn.

Related Articles
Pwyll, Pryderi, Rhiannon, Gwydyon, Arthur.



Beli
 

Beli was the son of Mynogen. Beli was the husband of the goddess Don, the daughter of Mathonwy. Beli was the father of five sons: Amathon, Nudd, Govannon, Gwydyon and Gilvaethwy. Beli was also the father of two daughters: Aranrhod and Penarddun, the wife of Llyr.

According to the story of Llud and Llevelys, Beli was also said to be father of Lludd, Llevelys, Nynmyaw and Caswallon (Casswallawn). The Welsh Triad mentioned that his daughter was Aranrot. According, to this Triad (32), Caswallon left Britain with a host (Third Host to Leave Britain), with his nephews, Gwenwynwyn and Gwanar, sons of Lliaws and Aranrot. They were from Arllechwedd and went to Gascony.

His children with Don were known as the Children of the Light, as opposed to Llyr's Children of Darkness.

Beli was often called Beli Mawr. Beli was equivalent to the ancient Gallic god, Belenus, and to the Irish god, Bile.

 
Related Information
Name
Beli (Welsh).
Beli Mawr.

Bile (Irish).

Belenus (Gallic and British).

Dis Pater (Roman).

Related Articles
See also Bile and Belenus.

Don, Aranrhod, Gwydyon, Nudd, Govannon, Llyr.



Brân
 

Brân (Bran) was the king of Britain or Wales. Bran was the son of Llyr, and Penarddun, daughtet of Beli son of Mynogan, was ruler of Britain. Bran had a sister named Branwen (Bronwen); a brother named Manawyddan and two half-brothers - Nissyen and Evnissyen.

Bran was more of a king than a god in the Welsh myths. Bran seemed to rule from London. Bran was a giant that no buildings were larger enough to shelter him. An elaborate, giant tent or pavilion was erected to shelter Bran. Bran was taller than the tallest tree, and could wade through the sea, like the Greek hunter Orion, with only his head above the water surface.

Mallolwch (Matholwch), king of Ireland, came to Britain seeking a wife. Bran offered his beautiful sister Branwen to the Irish king, whom he married.

It was the quarrelsome Evnissyen's acts towards Mallolwch, which led to mistreatment of Branwen by her husband and the disastrous war between Britain and Ireland.

In the fighting, Bran received a wound from a poison-smeared spear. Before he was even wounded, he was called the "Pierced Thighs". His body was too large to be shipped back to Britain for burial, so Bran asked his brother Manawyddan to sever his head, and bury on White Hill in London. He also informed his brother that his head would keep him company in the hall of Gwales. His head would be able to talk.

However when Manawyddan returned to Wales, he found that his cousin Casswallawn had taken over power in Britain. Casswallawn had caused the death of Caradawg, the son of Bran. Manawyddan with six other survivors stayed in Gwales, possibly in Cornwall. He kept his brother's head for eighty years in Gwales that the court became known as the Assembly of Wondrous Head. They forgot all about the sorrow and losses in the disastrous war as long as they stayed in this hall.

Once the door of the hall was opened, their memories of their sorrow and losses would return. After this, they went to White Hill and buried Bran's head on the mound.

See Branwen Daughter of Llyr for the full story.

In the Welsh Triads, Bran was named as one of the "Three Blessed Kings of Britain".

With the involvement of the Cauldron of Rebirth and his nickname as Pierced Thighs, some scholars believed that this tale was forerunner of the Grail legend, where there are similarity to his name to the Bron, the brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea, and as the Rich Fisher, he was the Keeper of the Grail.

 
Related Information
Name
Brân, Bran.

Bendigeid Vran or Bendigeidfran – "Bran the Blessed".

Pierced Thighs.

Related Articles
Llyr, Manawyddan.

Branwen Daughter of Llyr (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Ceridwen
 

Ceridwen was a Welsh goddess of unknown attribute. Some would call Ceridwen a witch, and she was often depicted as an old hag. She had the ability to shift-change.

Ceridwen was the wife of Tegid Foel. Ceridwen was the mother of a daughter named Creirwy, and had two sons, Morvran ab Tegid and Morfran (Y Fagddu or Afagddu). Creirwy was the fairest maiden in the world, while Morvran was ugly but a strong warrior. However her youngest son, called Afagddu or Avagddu ("utter darkness"), was extremely ugly (and perhaps deformed) that no one would accept him in the noble society, unless he was gifted in wisdom and poetry.

From the cauldron of inspiration, known as Amen, Ceridwen was determined to make her son, the wisest and most inspirational bard from three drops of her brew.

However the brew would take a whole to make, so he had two servants to keep the fire lit and continuously stirred the cauldron. One of the servants was named Gwyon Bach (Gwion Bach). Her plan was in ruined when three drops scalded Gwyon Bach's thumb, making Gwyon put his finger in his mouth. Gwyon instantly gained the knowledge and skill of the bard, instead of her son Afagddu.

Ceridwen in rage, set out to kill Gwyon. Gwyon and Ceridwen went through several metamorphoses of different animals. Gwyon as a hare, Ceridwen as a greyhound; he as a salmon, she as an otter; he as a bird, while Ceridwen had transformed into a hawk. When Gwyon turned himself into a grain of seed, Ceridwen as a hen, swallowed Gwyon, and became pregnant.

When Ceridwen gave birth to a son, she knew her child was really reincarnation of Gwyon Bach, who retained memory of his previous life, as well as his skill as a bard. Ceridwen had intended to kill the infant, but could not bring herself to perform such murder, because of the baby's beauty. So Ceridwen put the baby in a leather bag and threw him into the sea.

Elphin (Elffin) rescued the child from the weir, and he named the infant (Gwyon Bach), Taliesin.

See Taliesin in the Mabinogion.

Not much is known about Ceridwen beyond the story of Taliesin, though her name and her cauldron appeared frequently in allusions of medieval Welsh literature.

Nothing more was said about her son, Afagddu. In the story of Culwch and Olwen, it mentioned that Ceridwen's other son, Morfran had also fought in the battle of Camlann, sustaining no wound, because he was so ugly that the enemies thought he was demon, would not come near him. Morfran had hair on his face like that of a stag.

 
Related Information
Name
Ceridwen, Cerridwen, Caridwen, Keridwen, Kyrridwen.

Related Articles
Taliesin.

Genealogy: Family of Ceridwen and Taliesin.


Ceridwen
(Sorry, there are no information available)



Dôn
 

Don was the mother-goddess, similar to the Danu, the mother of the Tuatha dé Danann.

Don was the daughter of Mathonwy, and sister of Math. She married Beli, the god of death. Don was the mother of Amathon, Aranrhod, Gilvaethwy, Govannon, Gwydyon and Nudd.

Her children represented the tribal deities of light as opposed to the children of Llyr, who were the deities of darkness.

 
Related Information
Name
Dôn, Don (Welsh).
Danu, Dana, Anu (Irish).

Related Articles
See also Danu.

Math, Aranrhod, Gwydyon, Nudd.

Math Son of Mathonwy (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Dylan
 

Dylan and his brother Lleu were the sons of the virgin goddess Aranrhod. She gave birth to them immediately after she stepped over the magic wand of her uncle, Math.

Dylan was a boy with golden hair. Shortly after he was baptised he left for the sea.

Dylan also became known as the son of Ton, because a wave never broke beneath him. Dylan was sort of Welsh god of the sea or the waves. Dylan took the nature of the waves, and could move in the water, better than a fish.

Dylan was killed by his uncle Govannon (Goibhniu), the Welsh smith god.

See Math Son of Mathonwy about Dylan's birth.

 
Related Information
Name
Dylan.

Related Articles
Aranrhod, Lleu, Math, Gwydyon, Govannon.

Math Son of Mathonwy (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Govannon
 

Govannon was the Welsh counterpart of the Danann smith god of Goibhniu. Govannon was the master smith and god of skills.

Govannon was the son of Beli and Don. Govannon was also the brother of Amathon, Aranrhod, Gilvaethwy, Gwydyon and Nudd.

Govannon was the uncle of Lleu and Dylan. He was responsible for the death of Dylan, possibly out of envy that his nephew's ability to swim like a fish.

Govannon's name appeared as one of the quests that the giant Ysbaddaden had set for Culhwch.

 
Related Information
Name
Govannon, Gofannon (Welsh).
Goibhniu, Goibniu, Goban (Irish).

Related Articles
See also Goibhniu.

Lleu, Dylan.

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Gwydyon
 

The warrior god. Gwydyon was the god of magic, poetry and music.

Gwydyon was the son of Don and Beli. Gwydyon was the son of Amathon, Aranrhod, Gilvaethwy, Govannon, and Nudd. Gwydyon adopted the children of his sister Aranrhod: Dylan and Lleu.

Gwydyon served as the chief adviser of his uncle Math, king of Gwynedd, in northern Wales. He killed Pryderi in single combat over some pigs.

Gwydyon helped Lleu overcome the curses or taboos set by Lleu's mother (Aranrhod), and rescued his nephew when he was transformed into an eagle.

See Math Son of Mathonwy for full story.

 
Related Information
Name
Gwydion.

Related Articles
Don, Aranrhod, Lleu, Nudd.

Math Son of Mathonwy (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Gwynn ap Nudd
 

Mythical king of Annfwn. Gwynn was the son of Nudd; therefore he was called Gwynn ap Nudd. His father was sometimes called Nudd Llaw Ereint or Nudd the Silver Hand, and identified with the Danann king Nuada Airgetlam. Gwynn's brother was named Edern; he and his brother were named by Culhwch as two of Arthur's warriors.

Gwynn was best known in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, where he was a rival of Gwythyr fab Greidawl, for the love of Creiddylad. Apparently, Creiddylad was married (or betrothed) to Gwythyr, but Gwynn abducted Creiddylad. Gwythyr pursued, and the two armies fought. Apparently, Gwynn was gaining the upper hand in the war, killing several of Gwythyr's kinsmen and allies.

Arthur needed Gwynn to aid him in the hunt of wild boar, Twrch Trwyth, so he forced a truce between Gwynn and Gwythyr that they would not fight one another in a duel on May Day, each year, until the end of time (or till Judgment Day), while Creiddylad returned to her father to await for the outcome of the duel.

Gwynn and Gwythyr not only took part in the hunt for Twrch Trwyth, they also advised Arthur to send someone else to fight against the Black Hag in the land of Valley of Distressed. The Black Hag easily defeated warriors that Arthur sent, so in the end the king fought and killed her.

In the Black Book of Carmarthen, there is a short dialogue between Gwynn and Gwydneu Garanhir. Gwynn has been to Caer Vandwy, a place mentioned in The Spoils of Annwfn. Either Gwynn or Gwydneu witnessed the death of Gwendoleu son of Ceidaw, Bran (son of Gweryd?), Llachau son of Arthur, and Meurig son of Carreian, Gwallawg, and the soldiers of Prydain.

 
Related Information
Name
Gwynn, Gwyn.
Gwynn ap Nudd.

Related Articles
Nudd, Culhwch, Arthur.

Culhwch and Olwen.



Lleu
 

Lleu was associated with Irish god Lugh (or Lugus in Gallic), since he was known as Lleu Llaw Gyffes ("Lleu of the Dexterous Hand"). Apart from the similarity in name, the tales of Lleu and Lugh were totally different.

Lleu and his brother Dylan were the sons of the virgin goddess Aranrhod. She gave birth to them immediately after she stepped over the magic wand of her uncle, Math. They were possibly the sons of Gwydyon, Aranrhod's own brother.

Gwydyon was responsible for Lleu's upbringing and education. For some unknown reason, she tried to kill Lleu. She placed a series of taboos (curses) or geis on him, preventing from having a human wife. Gwydyon, with the help of his uncle (King Math) taking pity on Lleu, created a woman made out of flowers. This flower-woman was called Blodeuedd.

However the marriage did not last long, because Blodeuedd fell in love with Goronwy the Staunch, lord of Penllyn, when Lleu was absence one day. Together they plotted to kill Lleu. Though they could not kill him, Lleu was transformed into an eagle.

Gwydyon found Lleu and transformed Lleu back to human form. Gwydyon transformed Blodeuedd into an owl, who was then called Blodeuwedd. As for Goronwy, Lleu killed him with the same spear he had used on Lleu.

See Math Son of Mathonwy for full story.

 
Related Information
Name
Lleu Llaw Gyffes ("Lleu of the Dexterous Hand").

Lugh, Lug (Irish).
Lugus (Gallic).

Related Articles
See also Lugh.

Aranrhod, Dylan, Gwydyon.

Math Son of Mathonwy (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.


Lleu Transformed Into An Eagle
Alan Lee
Illustration, 1984



Llyr
 

Welsh god of the sea. Llyr was Welsh equivalent of Lir, old Irish god of the sea. Llyr was also the god of magic and healing.

Llyr married to Penarddun, daughtet of Beli son of Mynogan, who was ruler of Britain. Llyr was the father of Bran, Manawyddan, and a daughter named Branwen. Llyr was the father of tribal deities known as the Children of Darkness, as opposed to the goddess Don and her Children of Light.

The story of Llyr's children can be found in the second and third Branches of the Mabinogi, called Branwen Daughter of Llyr and Manawyddan Son of Llyr.

 
Related Information
Name
Llyr (Welsh).
Llyr Llediaith.

Lir (Irish).

Related Articles
See also Lir.

Manawyddan, Bran.

Branwen Daughter of Llyr, Manawyddan Son of Llyr (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Mabon
 

The divine youth. Mabon was the god of youth. Mabon was also probably the god of love. Mabon was the son of the goddess, Modron.

Mabon was derived from the ancient British god, Maponus, who was linked with Greek/Roman god Apollo.

According to Welsh myths, Mabon was abducted from his mother, when he was only three nights old.

In the tale of Culhwch and Olwen (Mabinogion), Culhwch and Arthur had to release Mabon from his prison, because Mabon was the only person who could control Drudwyn, the hound of Greid.

So Culhwch and Arthur embarked on the quest to free Mabon and fetch Drudwyn. Gwrhyr, Arthur's interpreter, had to talk to various animals to find the location of where they held Mabon captive. The salmon finally led Culhwch to the prison in Gloucester.

Mabon was now a young man, became Culhwch's companion during the hunt of the wild boar Twrch Trwyth. Culhwch needed to fetch several items attached to boar's hide: razor, comb and scissors. Mabon had retrieved a razor for Culhwch, in the River Havran (Severn).

 
Related Information
Name
Mabon.

Maponus (British - Romano-Celtic).

Related Articles
See also Maponus.

Culhwch, Arthur.



Manawyddan
 

Manawyddan was often identified with the Irish god, Manannan, though the Irish and Welsh stories were different and unrelated to one another.

Manawyddan was the son of Llyr and Penarddun, daughter of Beli son of Mynogan, who was ruler of Britain. Manawyddan was the brother of Bran and Branwen.

Manawyddan was known as one of the "Three Ungrasping Chieftains", meaning, a lord without land.

Manawyddan appeared in the Welsh tale from the Mabinogion, called Branwen Daughter of Llyr, as one of the survivors in the war against Ireland.

Manawyddan reappeared as the hero in another Branch of the Mabinogion, called Manawyddan Son of Llyr, where he married Rhiannon, mother of Pryderi.

In the land of Dyved, all of Pryderi had mysteriously vanished, except for Rhiannon, Pryderi and Kigva, Pryderi's wife. When Rhiannon and Pryderi vanished in the magical castle, Manawyddan went through a series of trials before he lifted the curse or enchantment upon the people of Dyved, and Rhiannon and Pryderi were set free.

See Branwen Daughter of Llyr and Manawyddan Son of Llyr for the full story about Manawyddan.

 
Related Information
Name
Manawyddan (Welsh).
Manannán, Manannan (Irish).

Related Articles
See also Manannán Mac Lir.

Llyr, Bran, Rhiannon.

Branwen Daughter of Llyr, Manawyddan Son of Llyr (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Math
 

Math was the son of Mathonwy, and brother of Don. Math was a powerful sorcerer and the lord of Gwynedd, in northern Wales. His main seat of power seemed to be in Caer Dathal.

Though one of the tales in the Mabinogion had the title called Math Son of Mathonwy, it was his nephew Gwydyon who had the most active role in the last Branch of the Mabinogi.

Math was a king, who likes to rest his feet on the lap of virgin maiden. This maiden was named Goewin, the daughter of Pebin from Dol Bebin in Arvon. Another of his nephew Gilvaethwy, however, fell in love with Goewin and raped her during Math's absence. Math punished his nephew and Gwydyon who was also involved, by transforming them in various animal forms for three years.

When Math need another maiden's laps to rest his feet upon, Gwydyon suggested his sister Aranrhod, daughter of Don. Math tested Aranrhod by making her stepping over his magic wand. Though a virgin, two infant sons dropped out of her. One was named Dylan and the other was called Lleu.

Math brought up Dylan while Gwydyon raised Lleu. Math took pity upon Lleu and created a woman from the flowers named Blodeuedd, since Aranrhod had her own son. Math gave Lleu the land or cantrev of Dinoding to live in.

Later, Lleu ruled Gwynedd after Math.

 
Related Information
Name
Math.

Related Articles
Don, Gwydyon, Aranrhod, Lleu.

Math Son of Mathonwy (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Modron
 

Modron was the Welsh goddess of fertility or the mother goddess. Modron was the daughter of the god, Avallach. Modron was the mother of Mabon, according to the tale of Culhwch and Olwen.

There was in Rhyd y Gyfarthfa or the "Ford of Barking", where hounds to come to this place to bark, and people were frightened to go there to investigate why. One day, Urien Rheged came to this ford and found a woman washing clothing. Urien found this washing woman very attractive, and she was very pleased that he had come here, breaking some sort of curse or spell that was placed upon her. Apparently, she was fated to wash in this ford until she had a son by a Christian. It was at this point that the sounds of barking have stopped, when he slept with her. She told Urien that she was a daughter of the king of Annwfn.

Modron was not only the mother of Owain (Yvain); she also had a daughter named Morvudd. The Welsh Triads, often mentioned Owain being her son. Morvudd's name was also mentioned in the tale of Culwch and Olwen.

The fairy queen and sister of King Arthur, Morgan le Fay, was most likely derived from Modron, because they both had the same husband and the same son (Owain).

Modron appearance of washing clothes at the ford, was a form of banshee, known as the Washer at the Ford. In Scottish Gaelic folklore, they were known as bean nighte, where they were said to wash the bloodstained clothes of the one who were about to die. There was no sign of Modron doing this. In the Irish myth, Morrigan had also washed clothes in the river on the night she sleep with Dagda. Modron was sometimes identified with this Morrigan as well as with Morgan le Fay.

 
Related Information
Name
Modron, Madron (Welsh).

Morrigan? (Irish).

Morgan le Fay (Arthurian).

Sources
Culhwch and Olwen (Mabinogion).

Modron daughter of Avallach.

Welsh Triads.

Related Articles
See also Morrigan and Morgan le Fay.

Mabon Urien Rheged, Owain (Yvain).

Culhwch and Olwen.



Nudd (Lludd)
 

There are likely several (or many) people with the name – Nudd. Lludd was probably another form for the name Nudd. This being the case, I would cover the different Nudd here.

One Nudd was described as being the son of Senyllt; and according to the Welsh Triads, one of the most generous man in Britain:

  Three Generous men of the Island of Prydain. Nudd the Generous, son of Senyllt; Mordaf the Generous, son of Serwan; Rhydderch the Generous, son of Tudwal Tudglyd.
Welsh Triad 2

Nudd has been associated with the British god, Nodons, during the Roman period. He has also being associated with Nuada Airgedlámh, "Nuada of the Silver Hand", the king of Tuatha de Danann on Ireland. In Welsh myth, he was called either Nudd Llaw Ereint or Lludd Llaw Ereint, "Lludd Silver Hand". In the story of Culhwch and Olwen, Lludd was the father of Creiddylad, whom Gwythyr son of Greidyawl and Gwynn son of Nudd (thus Gwynn ap Nudd). Nudd father of Gwynn and Lludd Llaw Ereint appeared to be two different people.

Nudd, father of Gwynn, was the son of Don and Beli. This mean Nudd was also the brother of Amathon, Gilvaethwy, Govannon, Gwydyon, and brother of two sisters named Aranrhod and Penarddun. Nudd also has a son named Edern.

Then there is the case of the story of Lludd and Llevelys, another story from the Mabinogion, where Llud (Nudd) was a son of Beli, and brother of Caswallon (Casswallan), Nynnyaw and Llevelys.

 
Related Information
Name
Nudd, Lludd (Welsh).
Nuada (Irish).
Nodons, Nodens (Romano-British).

Nudd Llaw Ereint or Lludd Llaw Ereint – "Nudd Silver Hand".

Related Articles
See also Nodons and Nuada.

Beli, Don, Gwynn ap Nudd

See Lludd and Llevelys.



Pryderi
 

Pryderi was the son of Pwyll, the lord of Dyved, and of Rhiannon. Pryderi was the only characters to appear in the four tales of the Mabinogi.

In the tale of Pwyll, Pryderi was abducted when he was only an infant. In the story of Branwen, he was a young man who ruled his father's kingdom; however, his role in this story was minor. This tale was about the war between Ireland and Britain. Bran, the king of Britain was killed in battle. Pryderi was one of the seven survivors, who had fought against Ireland, and brought Bran's head back to Britain.

In the tale of Manawyddan, Pryderi had more active role than all the other tales. Pryderi returned to Wales, and made his mother marry Manawyddan (brother of Bran). Pryderi was married to Kigva (Cigfa). However, his subjects mysteriously vanished. To survive, Manawyddan and Pryderi took various trades in different towns, such as boot-making, shield making, etc. Manawyddan and Pryderi proved to exceptional or gifted tradesmen, which caused jealousy and hostility from other tradesmen. When he returned home with his family, Pryderi and Rhiannon had also vanished when they had touched a golden cauldron. In the end, Manawyddan had restored them, when he lifted the curse or enchantment of Pryderi's kingdom, by catching the sorcerer's wife. The sorcerer's wife was sister of Pywll's old enemy.

In the final tale, called Math Son of Don, Pryderi appeared only in the first part of the tale. Gwydion, nephew of King Math of Gwynedd (northern kingdom) and a great sorcerer, had cheated him by stealing his pigs. These pigs was given to him, by Lord Arawn of Annwfn (Otherworld), who was a close friend of his father Pwyll. To avoid a battle, Pryderi agreed to a single combat against Gwydion, in which Pryderi lost his life.

In a way, the four tales of Mabinogi was a Cycle of Pryderi, yet he only played a minor role in each of story. Pryderi also appeared in a Welsh tale, called Preiddiau Annwfn (Spoils of Annwfn), where Arthur tried to steal a magic cauldron in Annwfn (Otherworld). Again, Pryderi was one of the seven survivors, along Arthur and Taliesin. (Hey! This sounds familiar to the tale about Branwen.)

Not much else is known about Pryderi except in these four stories, so I suggest that you read the Mabinogion, since I had told each story in full.

 
Related Information
Name
Pryderi – "relief from her anxiety".

Gwri Gwallt-Euryn – "Golden Hair".

Related Articles
Pwyll, Rhiannon, Manawyddan, Bran.

Pwyll Lord of Dyved, Branwen Daughter of Llyr, Manawyddan Son of Llyr, Math Son of Mathonwy (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.



Rhiannon
 

The horse goddess. Rhiannon was the Welsh equivalent of the Epona (Gallic) and Macha (Irish). Rhiannon was also associated with a Romano-Celtic goddess Rigantona ("Great Goddess").

Rhiannon was the daughter of Hereydd the Old. She married Pwyll, a chieftain of Dyfed.

Rhiannon was unfortunate figure in Welsh myth. Rhiannon had many suitors, among them were Pwyll, chieftain of Dyfed, and Gwawl, the son of Clud. Pwyll won her hand and married her. Gwawl and his father laid a curse upon Pwyll's household. Rhiannon was barren for many years. Pwyll blamed his wife for their inability to have a child, mistreated Rhiannon.

Even though she managed to give birth to a son named Pryderi, she was accused of killing or devouring her infant.

See Pwyll, lord of Dyved, in the Mabinogion.


Later, when Pwyll died, Rhiannon lived with her son, before she married Manawyddan, after the death of Manawyddan's brother (Bran) from the war in Ireland. Upon her son arrival back, Rhiannon and Pryderi were beset by curse from Llywd, the son of Kil Coed, and friend of Gwawl, Rhiannon's former suitor. Their subjects in Dyved had vanished. Llywd had transformed Rhiannon into an ass, while her son was transformed into a gate-hammer. They were released from the curses through Manawyddan's cunning and resourcefulness.

See Manawyddan son of Llyr, in the Mabinogion.

 
Related Information
Name
Rhiannon (Welsh).
Macha (Irish).
Epona (Gallic).

Related Articles
See also Epona; Macha.

Pwyll, Pryderi, Manawyddan, Bran.

Pwyll Lord of Dyved, Manawyddan Son of Llyr (Mabinogion).

Genealogy: House of Don and House of Llyr.


Rhiannon
Alan Lee
Illustration, 1984









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