Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 483


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Pwyll (PEW-uhl), prince of Dyved. To redeem himself after an attempt to steal a deer, he agrees to change places and appearances with the chieftain who has caught him in the act and to slay the chieftain’s enemy after a year’s time. His contract fulfilled, he returns home, where he sees the beautiful lady Rhiannon ride by, subdues her suitor, and marries her.


Rhiannon (REE-ah-non), Pwyll’s wife.


Pryderi (prih-DEH-ree), the son of Pwyll and Rhiannon.


Kicva (KIHK-vah), Pryderi’s wife.

Bendigeid Vran

Bendigeid Vran (behn-DIH-geed vran), the son of Llyr and king of the Island of the Mighty. While making war on the Irish because of their treatment of Matholwch and Branwen, he is killed by a poisoned arrow.


Branwen, Bendigeid Vran’s sister, who is given in marriage to Matholwch. She dies of sorrow when her brother is killed in battle.


Matholwch (mah-THOH-lewkh), king of Ireland, Branwen’s husband.


Manawydan (mah-now-IH-dan), Bendigeid Vran’s brother. With Pryderi, another survivor of the Irish war, he settles on land that is magically desolated until it is learned that the source of the curse is a churchman avenging an ancient insult.

King Math

King Math, the son of Mathonwy.


Goewin (GEE-wihn), King Math’s footmaiden, raped by Gwydion and Gilvaethwy.


Gwydion (GWIH-dih-yon), King Math’s warrior, and


Gilvaethwy (gihl-VAY-thew), his brother, turned by King Math into animals for three years as punishment for their rape of Goewin.

Llew Llaw Gyffes

Llew Llaw Gyffes (tlih tlow GIH-fehs), Gwydion’s favorite son, for whom King Math creates an elfwife, Blodeuwedd.


Blodeuwedd (blon-DEW-wehth), Llew Llaw Gyffe’s elfwife. For her faithlessness, she is turned into an owl.

Macsen Wledig

Macsen Wledig (WLEH-dihg), the emperor of Rome, who dreams of a beautiful maiden and, after a long search, finds her just as she appeared in the dream.


Lludd (tlihth), king of Britain. His people ravaged by three plagues, he seeks the help of his brother, Llevelys, who offers three successful remedies.


Llevelys (tleh-VEH-lihs), Lludd’s wise brother, king of France.


Kilhwch (KIH-lewkh), King Arthur’s knight. By dint of cunning, magic, and the help of his fellow knights, he wins Olwen from Ysbaddaden.


Olwen (OHL-wehn), Ysbaddaden’s beautiful daughter, who is won by Kilhwch.


Ysbaddaden (ihs-bah-THAH-dehn), a crafty giant, Olwen’s father.

King Arthur

King Arthur , the legendary British leader.


Rhonabwy (roh-NAH-bew), a dreamer who, in sleep, finds himself in King Arthur’s court.


Owain (OH-win), a knight. He overcomes the Knight of the Fountain, marries his widow, and assumes his title.


Peredur (peh-REH-dihr), a matchless knight at King Arthur’s court.


Gerint (GEH -rihnt), King Arthur’s knight. Spending more time with his wife than in knightly pursuits, he finds himself obliged to...

(The entire section contains 691 words.)

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Critical Essays