Huon of Bordeaux Characters

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Huon de Bordeaux

Huon de Bordeaux (ew-OH[N] deh bohr-DOH), the older son of the dead duke of Guienne. On his way with his brother Gerard to pay homage to King Charlemagne, he is ambushed by the king’s son, Charlot, whom he kills in self-defense. He is then sent, by the angry Charlemagne, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After many adventures, through which he is assisted by Oberon, the fairy king, he returns to court to claim the rights usurped during his absence by his brother.


Gerard (zhay-RAHR), the younger brother of Huon de Bordeaux and the usurper of his rights.

King Charlemagne

King Charlemagne (shar-leh-MAHN-yeh), who bears little resemblance to the great king of legend. He is pictured as in his dotage, petulant, violent, and unreasonable. Unjustly angry with Huon de Bordeaux, he sends him on a dangerous pilgrimage to Jerusalem.


Charlot (shahr-LOH), King Charlemagne’s son, who ambushes Huon de Bordeaux and is killed by him in self-defense.


Oberon (oh-bay-ROH[N]), the dwarf king of the Otherworld, who aids Huon de Bordeaux in his adventures. Granting Huon the right to summon him in the time of danger, Oberon finally brings about the restoration of Huon’s rights and promises him the inheritance of his fairy kingdom.


Gawdis (goh-DEE), the amir of Babylon.


Claramond (klah-rah-MOH[N]), Gawdis’ lovely daughter, won by Huon de Bordeaux.


Gerames (zhay-RAHM), a hermit and loyal follower of Huon de Bordeaux.

The Abbot of Cluny

The Abbot of Cluny (klew-NEE), the uncle of Huon de Bordeaux.

Earl Amaury

Earl Amaury (ah-moh-REE), the evil adviser to Charlot and the cause of his own and Charlot’s death at the hand of Huon de Bordeaux.

Duke Naymes

Duke Naymes (nehm), the wise adviser to King Charlemagne and a well-wisher of Huon de Bordeaux.


(Great Characters in Literature)

Rossi, Marguerite. “Huon de Bordeaux” et l’évolution du genre épique au XIIIe siècle. Paris: Champion, 1975. The only detailed book-length literary study of the poem. Excellent for the serious student interested in the evolution of the epic genre. Contains a thorough study of the epic technique and the way it has been used in Huon of Bordeaux. Analyzes sources, themes, and characters. Also includes an exhaustive bibliography and index.

Ruelle, Pierre, ed. Huon de Bordeaux. Bruxelles: Presses Universitaires de Bruxelles, 1960. A critical edition of the original poem that discusses the extant manuscripts and a previous edition. Contains a detailed linguistic study of the text, as well as a complete summary of the poem. Traces the literary sources of the text and establishes a date. Includes notes, glossary, index of proper names, and five facsimile pages.

Steele, Robert. Huon of Bordeaux, Done into English by Sir John Bourchier, Lord Berners: And Now Retold by Robert Steele. London: Allen, 1895. A modernized version of the sixteenth century translation by John Bourchier. The language of Steele’s version, though updated, manages to retain much of the charm of Bourchier’s original translation.

Suard, François. “Le Cycle en vers de Huon de Bordeaux.” In La Chanson de geste et le mythe carolingien: Mélanges René Louis. Vol. 2. Saint-Père-Sous-Vézelay: Musée Archéologique Régionale, 1982. A study of the continuations and reworkings of the original Huon de Bordeaux. Analyzes key episodes in order to place the respective continuations in relationship to the others.