Arthurian Name Dictionary

Hadrian [Adrian, Ludranes]

Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. Britain was under Roman occupation during his reign, and he commissioned a stone wall across northern England, from Solway Firth to the Tyne, to protect southern Britain from the northern tribes.
   In the Vulgate Merlin, Hadrian is introduced as the Emperor of Constantinople in Arthur’s time. His daughter married King Brandegorre of Estrangorre. Arthur’s Sir Sagremor was Hadrian’s grandson, and the intended heir to Hadrian’s throne. As Hadrian grew old and infirm, he faced a revolt from his Greek barons. [VulgMer, Livre, Arthour]

Hags of Gloucester

In Peredur, a pack of nine witches that killed one of Peredur’s cousins and maimed an uncle. Peredur saw the head of his slain cousin on a platter (this cousin corresponds to the murdered Goondesert in the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval), and he learned that he was fated to destroy the Hags for these actions. Peredur was eventually led to their lair by another cousin in disguise, and he killed the Hags with the help of Arthur’s other warriors. [WelshPG, Peredur]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Contin1]

Hainault [Hainaut]

A province of southwest Belgium. According to Wace, it was part of Arthur’s empire. Wolfram says that it was ruled by King Lambekin in the time of Uther. [Wace, Wolfram, Allit]

Hairy Carl

A monster who abducted the maiden Amoret but was defeated and killed by Arthur’s squire Timias and the huntress Belphoebe. [Spenser]

Hall of Statues

A chamber that Tristan built in a grotto that, in Thomas’s Tristan, he had captured from a giant named Moldagog. The Norse Tristrams Saga ok Ísöndar says that the Hall of Statues was on Mont St. Michel, in a cave formerly belonging to the giant slain by Arthur. Two of the statues were of Isolde and Brangain. Tristan consoled himself in his lover’s absence by speaking to her statue. When Kahedins, Tristan’s brother-in-law, confronted Tristan for not consummating his marriage to Kahedins’ sister, Tristan showed him Isolde’s statue. Kahedins fell in love with Brangain upon seeing her image, and he forced Tristan to take him to Britain to meet her. [Thomas, TrisSaga]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Golagros]

Handsome Cad [*Biaus Mauvais]

The name given to Sir Bors by the people of Estrangorre when Bors refused to marry King Brandegorre’s daughter, who was very beautiful. [VulgLanc]

Handsome Coward [*Biaux Coars]

A noble Knight of the Round Table found in Chrétien’s Erec, alongside the Ugly Hero. He may have a relation to the Coward Knight of Perlesvaus. In the second Perceval continuation and the Didot-Perceval, he loves an ugly woman named Rosete, and he fights Perceval when Perceval insults her honor. Rosete later became beautiful at Arthur’s court. According to the Prose Tristan, he participated in the Grail Quest. [ChretienE, Contin2, Didot, ProsTris]

Handsome Foundling

The nickname given to Lancelot by his adopted mother, the Lady of the Lake, in order to avoid revealing his real name to him. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Handsome Prisoner

An alias adopted by Sir Brian of the Isles after Gawain defeated him and sent him to Arthur’s court. [Meriadeuc]

Handsome Young Man

Earliest name of Meriadeuc, who was ignorant of his own name, during his early service at Arthur’s court. When he was knighed, he took the name the Knight of the Two Swords. [Meriadeuc]


One of Lancelot’s squires. [VulgMort]


A port in King Hoel’s Brittany. [ProsTris]


A land ruled by Nautenis, an enemy of Tristan’s father-in-law Jovelin. In view of its proximity to Jovelin’s Arundel, it may represent the county of Hampshire. [Gottfried]

Haram [Harans]

One of the many Saxon kings who invaded Britain as the young Arthur was struggling to establish power. Haram laid waste to most of Lothian and besieged Arundel. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Hard Rock [*Dure Roche, Rocca Dura]

In Perlesvaus, the castle occupied by Brian of the Isles, Kay, and Meliant when they invaded Britain and waged war against Arthur. In the Prose Tristan, it is a castle owned by Arthur, where the king and Guinevere held a tournament in the heyday of Arthur’s reign, between Arthur and the kings of Scotland and Ireland. Tristan won the tournament. [Perlesvaus, ProsTris, Malory]

Hardiant [Hardians]

A Saxon king who, with many others, invaded Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer]


A knight present at the tournament of Sorgarda, which Gawain won. [Heinrich]


The King of Gascony in the time of Uther. He gave his sister Alize in marriage to Duke Lambekin of Brabant, and thus gained a valuable ally. He participated in a tournament at the Welsh city of Kanvoleis, thrown by Perceval’s mother Queen Herzeloyde, and was defeated by Gahmuret. [Wolfram]


A knight who participated in Arthur’s conquest of Rome. When Arthur returned to Britain to deal with Mordred’s insurrection, he left Hardolf in command of some the lands he had conquered. [Allit]

Hargadabran [Bardogabran, Bordogabron, Hardogabran, Hargadabrant, Hargodabran(t)]

A mighty, gigantic Saxon king who was one of the principal invaders of Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. He answered to Aminaduc, the Saxon high king who was his uncle. Hargadabran took advantage of Britain’s political turmoil by leading his armies into the northern kingdoms while all their rulers were battling Arthur at Bedegraine. He led a defeat of the northern kings at Clarence, but was himself defeated there after the rebelling kings united with Arthur. On the tails of this defeat, Hargadabran fled back to Saxony.
   Hargadabran led a second invasion, in Scotland, many years later, conspiring with his sister, Gamille of Saxon Rock, to capture and imprison Arthur and Gawain. Lancelot foiled the plan. Arthur’s forces defeated the Hargadabran’s Saxons at the battle of Godelonte Narrows, and Lancelot cut off Hargadabran’s leg. Hargadabran was subsequently taken prisoner by Yvain, and, grieving over his defeat and maiming, he killed himself. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre]


In Arthour and Merlin, Igerne’s first husband. Uther conquered him and won from him the lands of Gascony, Normandy, Bologna, Paito, Champagne, and Anjou. After his death, Igerne married Hoel. (Uther was her third husband.) The author of Arthur may have taken his name from Aramont, mentioned in the Vulgate Lancelot—which, however, identifies Aramont and Hoel as the same person. [Arthour]


Merlin stole his lover, Columbine, but she returned to Harlequin after using Merlin’s wand to turn Merlin into a donkey. [Hill]

Harniel [Harmel]

In the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation and in Malory, Balin agrees to help a knight (called Sir Garnysh of the Mount by Malory) reconcile with Duke of Harniel’s daughter. Upon finding the girl sleeping with another knight, Balin’s companion murdered the girl and her lover and then killed himself. [PostMer, Malory]

Harp Castle

A castle belonging to King Bagdemagus of Gorre. [VulgLanc]

Harpin1 of the Mountain [Harpyns]

An evil giant in Chrétien’s Yvain who wished to marry the daughter of a king. The king refused, and Harpin slaughtered two of his sons, kidnapped another four, and then ransomed the four sons for the king’s one daughter. The king was saved when Yvain arrived and—with the assistance of his lion—killed Harpin. Harpin appears in the Norse Iweins Saga as Fjallsharfir. [ChretienY, Ywain]

Harpin2 the Red

A knight who broke faith with Arthur after he was sentenced to execution for a crime. As Arthur’s enemy, he besieged the Castle of Three Maidens. Sir Hector of the Fens and the King with a Hundred Knights came to the castle’s defense, and Hector killed Harpin in combat. [Palamedes, ProsTris]


A Saxon warrior present at the battle at Vambieres between the Saxon King Aminaduc and King Arthur. [Livre]

Harry le Fyse Lake

A Knight of the Round Table in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. When Lancelot and Guinevere were accused of treason, Harry pledged his support to Lancelot and helped him rescue Guinevere from the stake. His name may be a corruption of Erec le fils Lac (Erec son of Lac). [Malory]


The seneschal of the King of the Barren Wasteland. He was accused of murdering the king’s son. Gawain agreed to represent him in judicial combat, and met the king’s champion in battle. Gawain called off the duel when he realized that his opponent was Gaheris, his brother. [VulgLanc]


A count who fathered Arthur’s Sir Equinot. [HartmannE]


In the Middle English Sir Perceval of Galles, the chamberlain of Lufamour, who became Perceval’s wife. His name is probably a variation of the French chatelain, meaning “castellan.” [SirPerc]

Haud of Schuwake

The name of Lancelot’s father in the English ballad “Sir Lancelot du Lake.” In most stories, Lancelot’s father is named Ban. [SirLanc]

Haudebourc [Antebourc, Handeborc]

The Duke of Haudebourc captured and imprisoned Arthur and some of his knights. He was slain by Morholt, who freed the prisoners. [Palamedes, ProsTris]


A wandering squire who, with his companion Blat, made his way to Cornwall on the heels of Tristan’s near-capture: Tristan had been chased through the woods, after leaving a tryst with Isolde, by Mark’s knight Andred. Tristan escaped by jumping into a boat and paddling off down a river. Isolde commissioned Haupt and Blat to assist in the matter by claiming it was they who Andred had chased, thus fooling Andred and Mark into thinking that Tristan had not been there. [Eilhart]


The noble king of Karahes and the father of Kahedins and Isolde of the White Hands in Eilhart’s Tristrant. He refused to marry his daughter to Count Riole of Nantes, so Riole attacked him in revenge. Karahes was besieged and would have fallen if not for the timely arrival of Tristan, who defeated Riole, befriended Kahedins, and married Isolde. He is represented in Gottfried’s Tristan as the similar sounding Jovelin, and is replaced in later Tristan legends by Hoel. [Eilhart]

Head of Annwn

In The Spoils of Annwn, Arthur travels to his realm and steals his magic cauldron. Six hundred of Arthur’s warriors were slain in the expedition. In non-Arthurian Welsh tales, the Head of Annwn is variously named as Arawn, Hagan, and Pwyll. [Spoils]

Hebes the Famous [Berbes, Habé, Ebes]

A Knight of the Round Table who was originally Tristan’s squire. He was related somehow to Lancelot. He first met Tristan in France, where Hebes served King Faramon. Later, he encountered Tristan in Ireland, at the Castle of the Moors tournament, when the latter was using the alias “Tantrist.” Hebes swore to keep Tristan’s identity secret, but inadvertently betrayed him when he kneeled down before him, and Isolde realized that “Tantrist” must be of nobility. Tristan knighted Hebes, and Hebes later saved Tristan from Isolde’s mother, the Queen of Ireland.
   Hebes eventually took service with Arthur and was promoted to the Round Table. According to the Post-Vulgate, he was slain by Tristan, during the Grail Quest, in a tragic misunderstanding; Tristan thought Hebes was Palamedes, whom Tristan wanted to slay because of his love for Isolde. Palamedes had earlier defeated Hebes in joust and had exchanged shields with him. Seeing Hebes riding towards him, Tristan lowered his lance and charged, despite Hebes’ cries to stop, and pierced his chest. Hebes was buried by Gaheris.
   Malory gives a different account, saying that when Lancelot and Guinevere were accused of treason, Hebes pledged his support to them and helped Lancelot rescue Guinevere from the stake. He fought for Lancelot in the wars against Arthur, and in return for his support, Lancelot made him the earl of Comminges. [PostQuest, ProsTris, Malory]


A group of islands off the western coast of Scotland. According to Wace, they were a part of Arthur’s empire. They may be intended as the home of any number of knights with the sobriquet “of the Isles.” [Wace]


The longer form of Bron.


A giant who captured and imprisoned Arthur. Guiron the Courteous defeated him and freed Arthur. To commemorate the occasion, Arthur christened the Fountain of Guiron the Courteous. [Palamedes]


An ancestor of the “Brown” family who ruled the Savage Realm. He was the son of Brun and Lye, the brother of Brun, Galehaut, Lore, and Ysille, and the father of Crudens. [Palamedes]

Hector2 of the Fens [Astor(e), Ector, (H)estor(e), Jastor]

Lancelot’s half-brother. The bastard son of King Ban of Benoic, Hector was conceived when Merlin caused Ban to fall in love with the daughter of Lord Agravadain of the Castle of the Fens. Agravadain raised Hector until he was old enough to take service with Arthur. Hector became a Knight of the Round Table, and his adventures occupy a large part of the Vulgate Lancelot and the Post-Vulgate Cycle. (In Girart d’Amiens’s Escanor, he is called the son of Ares, but there is probably some confusion with Tor.)
   Ector’s deeds included saving Elaine the Peerless from her irrational husband, helping Arthur repel a Saxon invasion of Scotland, and saving his own amie, Perse, from a forced married to Lord Zelotés. After Lancelot’s period of insanity, Hector and Perceval found Lancelot at Bliant’s Castle and brought him back to Camelot. Hector was originally a friend of Gawain, but he later declared hatred of Gawain for the death of Sir Erec. Meraugis and Arthur the Less became his frequent companions. During the Grail Quest, Hector joined company with Galahad to destroy the Castle of Treachery. He fought Perceval, and both were mortally wounded, but the appearance of the Grail cured them. Nascien the Hermit told him that he would be unsuccessful in the quest because of his sins, and, indeed, he was later denied entry to Corbenic, the Grail Castle. When Lancelot broke with Arthur over Guinevere, Hector joined his brother and fought Arthur at the battles of Joyous Guard and Benoic. In return for his support, Lancelot made him king of Benoic and Guienne.
   In the Vulgate and Post-Vulgagte Mort Artus, Hector, following Arthur’s death at the battle of Salisbury, joined Lancelot, Bleoberis, and the Archbishop of Canterbury in a hermitage, where he died after four years. Malory says that after he stabilized his own lands, he, Bleoberis, Blamor, and Bors traveled to Jerusalem, where they died fighting the Turks. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgMort, VulgMer, Contin3, ProsTris, PostMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Stanz, Malory]

Hector3 the Brown

A famous, unsurpassed warrior of the generations before Arthur. He was the brother of Galehaut the Brown and Ellain the Brown, and the father of another Galehaut the Brown. The other Hector the Brown was his nephew. Hector fled Britain with his brother Galehaut to avoid the wrath of King Vortigern, but he was shipwrecked and stranded on an island. [Palamedes, Prophecies]

Hector4 the Brown

Another famous knight of the “Brown” lineage; the son of Galehaut the Brown, Ellain the Brown, or Brun; the brother of Branor the Brown and Bruhalt the Brown; and the father of Segurant the Brown. There is a confusion among relationships here, and this Hector the Brown might be more than one character. [Palamedes, Prophecies]

Hector5 the Noble

A knight slain by Guiron the Courteous at the Levegnic tournament. His brother, Hermenor, was also killed by Guiron. [Palamedes]


A Knight of the Round Table who was the brother of Sir Edward of Carnavron and Sir Pryamus. [Malory]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. His brother was Sir Eladinan. [PostQuest]

Hedged Manor1

The residence of the Hermit of the Hedge. Lancelot recuperated there after he was wounded by the King with a Hundred Knights during a tournament. [VulgLanc]

Hedged Manor2

The home of Brinol, who hated the Queen’s Knights and was defeated before his residence by Lancelot. [VulgLanc]

Hedor [Hector]

Gawain’s paternal grandfather. His son was Lot, who succeeded him as the king of Orkney. He was descended from Joseph of Arimathea through Peter. Hedor’s father was Argustes, and his wife was the daughter of the King of North Wales. [VulgEst]

Hefeydd One Cloak [Hyfeidd]

One of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch, Dream]

Heglan [Egglane]

A knight in Arthur’s court from Camelot, defeated in duel by King Pellinore. [PostMer, Malory]


A knight present at the tournament of Sorgarda, which Gawain won. [Heinrich]


The Queen of Hell in Norse mythology. She appears in Thelwall’s The Fairy of the Lake, attended by frost giants and other supernatural creatures. Rowena, Vortigern’s wife, seeks her assistance in seducing Arthur. [Thelwall]

Helaés of Limos

A countess who became Gawain’s lover. She had offered her love to an invader, Oriolt, if he could defeat Gawain in combat, but Gawain was victorious. Helaés’s brother was named Clapor and her uncle was Meleagar. [Livre]

Helain1 [Helake, Helyus]

One of the two peasant brothers who were protégés of King Armant of the Delectable. They treacherously killed the king and seized his kingdom. Palamedes killed Helain and avenged King Armant’s death. Helain is first found in the Prose Tristan, where his brother is unnamed. Malory gives variations of the name—Helake and Helyus—to both brothers. In La Tavola Ritonda, Helain is called Passauver. His name is a variation of Alain, and the spellings are interchangeable. [ProsTris, Malory]

Helain2 the Black

A participant in the tournament at the Pine of the Giant. His uncle was the king of Ireland. [Palamedes]

Helain3 the Brown

A brief companion of the Good Knight Without Fear. He was a weak knight. [Palamedes]

Helain4 the Dragon

One of Arthur’s knights. He fought for Arthur in a battle against the King with a Hundred Knights and the King from Over the Borders of Galone. [LancLac]


A squire from Taningues who dreamed that he was injured by Gawain, and that Gawain promised to make it up to him. Helaine’s mother made Helaine promise that he would not be knighted by anyone except Gawain; however, every time he sought Gawain at Camelot, Gawain was away on adventures. Eventually, the Lady of Rosetoc, who Helaine served, insisted that he be knighted. Helaine witnessed an unknown knight defeat Seguarades in combat, and decided that he would be knighted by the victor. He was delighted when he found out that the victor was in fact Gawain, and he was able to keep his promise to his mother. [LancLac, VulgLanc]


A king who imprisoned Sir Hector. He was defeated by Gawain and forced to release Hector and his other captives. [VulgLanc]


King of Denmark in Claris et Laris. He joined Emperor Thereus of Rome in a war against Arthur. He was apparently succeeded by King Tallas. [Claris]


A man mentioned in a Welsh Triad as one of the “three unrestricted guests of Arthur’s court, and three wanderers.” Another Triad calls him a “violent one,” and a third reaffirms his role as a “wanderer” of Arthur’s court. [Triads]

Helen [Ele(y)ne, (H)elaine, (H)elena]

The daughter, niece, or wife of King Hoel of Brittany (excepting the Vulgate Merlin, where she is the niece of Lionel of Nanteuil, and the Norse Saga of Tristram, where she is Duke Orsl’s daughter). She was kidnapped by the Giant of Mont St. Michel. Arthur, on his way to wage war against Lucius of Rome, heard of her plight and traveled to the mountain with Kay and Bedivere. They arrived to find the lady dead—either from rape or from suicide to avoid rape—but Arthur avenged her by killing the giant. A tomb was later erected on Mont St. Michel in her memory. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer, TrisSaga, Malory]


A Knight of the Round Table who appears at the healing of Sir Urry. [Malory]


An ally of Mordred. Mordred appointed him king of Scotland when he usurped Arthur’s throne. Heliades fought against Arthur’s forces at the battle of Salisbury, where he killed, and was killed by, King Caradoc. [VulgMort]

Helians of Gomeret [Elyas]

A knight in the service of Morgan le Fay. Sir Helians was sent by Morgan with three others, including his brother Kaz, to kill the young Alexander the Orphan at the behest of King Mark of Cornwall. All three were defeated. [ProsTris, Prophecies, Malory]


The duke of Rognes who joined Arthur’s battles against the Saxons at Clarence and Vambieres. His kingdom was later conquered by Galehaut. [Livre]

Helias2 of Toulouse [E(ng)lias]

A sage and scribe who served Merlin and Arthur. He helped Galehaut interpret a disturbing dream, and he predicted the birth of Galahad. He died during the Grail Quest after reciting some of Merlin’s prophecies to Perceval. [VulgLanc, Livre, VitaMer, Prophecies]

Helie1 [Elene, Elias, (H)elie(s), Helyes]

The lady-in-waiting for Queen Esmeree the Blonde of Snowdon. When Esmeree’s city was cursed by two sorcerers, Helie traveled to Arthur’s court to find a knight to save her lady. She was infuriated when Arthur gave her the young, inexperienced Guinglain (Gawain’s son), who at that time was called simply “Fair Unknown.” Helie and her dwarf, Tidogolains, rode off in a huff, but Guinglain pursued them and convinced them to let him try the adventure. Helie realized she had been mistaken about Guinglain when Guinglain proved himself worthy in a number of combats, and when he eventually completed the adventure and freed Esmeree. [Renaut, ChestreLyb]


A knight who served King Urien during Urien’s rebellion against Arthur. [Livre]

Helie3 of Ragres

A noble knight in the service of Galehaut. He asked for and received the privilege of guarding the North Wales Bridge—one of the only passages in to Galehaut’s land of Sorelois—after Gawain defeated the prior guardian in combat. [LancLac, VulgLanc]


The daughter of the King of North Wales. While lodging at their castle, Gawain enjoyed a night with the lady. The king found out and tried to have Gawain killed, but Gawain skillfully escaped. [VulgLanc]


A knight defeated by Sir Gurion at the Perilous Pass after he revealed his love for Guiron’s amie. [Palamedes]


Son of Helin the Red and brother of Alibon and Marran. He and Alexander the Orphan mortally wounded each other. [Palamedes]

Helin2 the Red

A murderous knight born in incest. Rescued from two knights by Sir Guiron, he betrayed Guiron by tying him to a tree in the middle of winter, leaving him to freeze. Guiron was rescued by his friend, Danain the Red. Helin had sons named Alibon, Marran, and Helin. [Palamedes]

Helior of the Thorn

A knight who abducted the wife of Sir Daguenet, Arthur’s fool. Daguenet eventually killed him. [Palamedes]

Heliot [Elyot]

A renowned harpist. When Dinadan wrote an insulting song about King Mark of Cornwall, Dinadan taught the song to Heliot who, in turn, taught it to every harpist in England, Wales and, especially, Cornwall. He eventually was called upon to sing the song in front of Mark himself (Tristan had sworn he would protect Heliot). Mark banished him from Cornwall forever. [ProsTris, Malory]


A knight who fought in Arthur’s forces against the Saxons. He was the steward of the Castle Roestoc and the brother of Mabonagrain. [Livre]

Helis2 [Elyse]

A cousin of Arthur. When his father, Ardan, was defeated by Palamedes in joust, Helis swore revenge. Helis, however, was also defeated. [Palamedes, ProsTris, Malory]

Helis3 the Pale [Helain, Helys]

A knight who assisted Gawain in saving the lady of Nohaut from an attack by the King with a Hundred Knights. He later fought for Arthur in battles against the King with a Hundred Knights and the King from Over the Borders of Galone, and against Agrippe in the Waste Land. He participated in one of Gawain’s quests to find Lancelot. [LancLac, VulgLanc, Livre]

Heliz the Black [Elys]

A knight, subservient to Duke Chalaunce of Clarence, who fought in the tournament at Sorelois. [ProsTris, Malory]


The daughter of Pelles and mother of Galahad in the Vulgate Lancelot. The story notes that although her name was Helizabel, she was called Amite. The Post-Vulgate changes her name to Elaine. [VulgLanc]


A rocky, perilous river which flowed past the Trial Castle and into the sea. Perceval had the bodies of pagans hurled into the river after he converted the castle. [Perlesvaus]

Hellawes the Sorceress

An enchantress from the castle Nygramous who created the fearsome Chapel Perilous. Lancelot braved the chapel to retrieve a sword and discovered that its terrifying properties were simply illusions. Hellawes appeared before him and asked him for a kiss in exchange for the sword, but Lancelot refused. It turned out that Lancelot would have perished from the kiss had he consented. Hellawes had tendencies toward necrophilia, and she would have rather had Lancelot as a dead lover than to have lived without him. Lancelot hurried away, and Hellawes died a few weeks later from sorrow. [Malory]

Help for the Poor [*Secors as Povres]

The former name of the Small Charity abbey, which was visited by Lancelot. [VulgLanc]

Helpherich of Nasseran

A king who, allied with King Ekunaver of Kanadic, went to war with Arthur. Ekunaver was defeated by Garel, and Helpherich was given a seat at the Round Table. [PleierG]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the second or first century BC. He succeeded his father Cligueill. He had three sons, Lud, Cassibelaunus, and Nennius, the first of whom succeeded him. [GeoffHR]

Helyan the Pale

A Knight of the Round Table who was either the uncle or great-uncle of Sir Sagremor. His brother, Hadrian, was emperor of Constantinople. [Palamedes]


A knight who was forced to flee Cornwall with his brother, Assar, after their sister was raped by King Mark. They settled on the Island of Two Brothers. Later, Helyas abducted Assar’s wife and started a war. Assar received the assistance of Tristan, who slew Helyas in single combat. [ProsTris]


A knight who abducted the paramour of Sir Espinogrés. Palamedes, responding to Espinogrés’s laments, vowed to rescue her, but Sir Safir, Palamedes’s brother, accomplished the deed first by defeating Helyor in combat. [ProsTris, Malory]

Helys the Red

A knight whose nephew, Taulas, was killed by Arthur’s knights. Afterwards, Helys attacked any knights of Arthur’s service that he came across. [Palamedes]

Hemelian [Emelyant]

A castle on the border of the Middle-Eastern duchy of Orberica, ruled by Nascien. [VulgEst]

Hen Beddestyr (“Old Walker”)

Son of Erim, one of five brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors. He was faster than any man, on horseback or on foot. [Culhwch]

Hen Gedymeddeith (“Old Comrade”)

An Arthurian warrior. [Culhwch]

Hen Groen (“Old Skin”)

The horse belonging to Saint Cynwyl, one of Arthur’s warriors who survived the battle of Camlann. [Culhwch]

Hen Was (“Old Servant”) the Swift

Son of Erim, one of five brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors. He could ran faster than any animal. [Culhwch]

Hen Wyneb (“Old Face”)

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. [Culhwch]

Hendris [Ho(n)dri(s)]

King of Slavonia. He joined his ally, Emperor Thereus of Rome, in a war against Arthur. He was killed by Gawain. [Claris]

Henec Suctellois

A Knight of the Round Table who was the son of Gawain. [HartmannE]


One of Arthur’s knights. Henete was one of many to ride after Meleagant when Meleagant kidnapped Guinevere, but he was defeated. [HartmannI]

Hengist [Algis, Angis, Ang(u)ys, Engis(t), Hanguist, Hengest, Hengistus]

A semi-legendary Saxon chieftain credited in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle with the impetus for the Saxon conquest of Britain. He has an important role in the Arthurian chronicles, and is mentioned by Bede, Nennius, and Geoffrey of Monmouth, among others. Bede traces his descent from a Saxon god, and names his father as Wihtgils. In Arthurian chronicles, he has a son named Octa and another son, or cousin, named Eosa. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gives him a son named Æsc, who may be identical to Eosa. In Dryden’s King Arthur, he has a son named Oswald.
   Hengist, his brother Horsa, and their warriors were welcomed into Britain by the British King Vortigern. Vortigern hoped to employ them as mer cenaries against the Picts and the Irish. Hengist had other plans. Seeking the kingdom of Britain for himself, he gave his daughter Rowena (or, in one source, Sardoine) to Vortigern in exchange for the country of Kent, to which he summoned a large Saxon army. Vortigern allowed the immigration because he believed that Hengist’s Saxons would help protect Britain from Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon, who were poised to invade from Brittany. The Triads call Vortigern’s decision to admit Hengist to Britain one of the “Three Unfortunate Counsels of the Island of Britain.”
   Eventually, Vortigern (and the rest of Britain) became aware of Hengist’s plan. Vortimer, Vortigern’s son, led an army of Britons to drive Hengist and the Saxons off the island. Vortimer succeeded, but died soon afterwards. Hengist returned and told Vortigern that he wished to make peace. At the signing of a treaty at Ealing or Ambrius, however, Hengist and his men drew daggers and slaughtered Vortigern’s men. Hengist took Vortigern prisoner and ransomed his life for the countries of Essex, Sussex, and Middlesex.
   According to Nennius, Hengist died soon after this conquest and was succeeded by his son Octa. Geoffrey, however, contends that Hengist lived to plague Ambrosius when he became king, but was finally defeated and captured at the battle of Conisbrough. He was then executed by Eldol, the Earl of Gloucester. In the Vulgate Merlin, Hengist tries to murder Uther in his tent, at night, during a lull between battles. Uther, warned of the plot by Merlin, was armed and ready, and he slew Hengist after a short struggle. Merlin does not mention Octa, but says that Hengist’s kinsmen, led by Aminaduc, invaded Britain during Arthur’s reign. In Richard Hole’s Arthur, Hengist is alive during Arthur’s reign. Aided by the three Fatal Sisters, he adopts Arthur’s likeness and tries to rape Inogen, Arthur’s wife. He is attacked and slain by his own warriors, believing him to be Arthur.
   An interesting variation occurs in the fourteenth-century Short Metrical Chronicle, where Hengist is praised as one of Britain’s most noble kings. According to this text, he ruled Britain for 150 years, united the island, and conquered parts of France. His reign is placed between those of King Belinus and King Lear. In the Prose Brut, “England” is derived from his name. [Bede, Anglo, Nennius, Triads, GeoffHR, Wace, VulgMer, Butor, ProsBrut, Arthour, Short, Dryden, Hole]

Henin the Old

Father of Arthur’s mistress Garwen. [Triads]

Henri1 of the Borderlands [Harvys, Herni, Hervi]

A knight who challenged Sir Alexander the Orphan for the former castle Fair Guard and was defeated. He fought against the Saxons when they invaded Britain. [ProsTris, Prophecies, Malory]

Henri2 the Courteous

A knight who brought a force of soldiers to Jerusalem to save it from an attack by the King of Baghdad. [Prophecies]


The Alliterative Morte Arthure once names Henry as Yvain’s father, probably intending Urien. [Allit]


Emperor of Germany, king of Cologne, and father of Arthur’s Sir Laris. Henry’s daughter, Lidoine, married Sir Claris. [Claris]

Henry3 II

According to Etienne de Rouen, author of Draco Normannicus, the famed English monarch (1154–1189) corresponded with Arthur, who was immortal and living in an antipodal kingdom. Henry was in the process of conquering Brittany from Count Rollandus when Arthur sent a letter to Henry in an attempt to intervene on Rollandus’s behalf. Arthur supposedly granted stewardship of Britain to Henry II, but retained ultimate sovereignty for himself. Henry ignored the letter and evidently suffered no consequences. The Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation notes that Henry II removed statues of Perceval and Clamadeu from the battlefield at Beaurepaire and stored them in his treasury at St. Lorent. According to Giraldus Cambrensis, it was Henry who told the Glastonbury monks where to find Arthur’s body. Henry had apparently learned of the location from a bard. [Etienne, Giraldus, PostMer]


An enchanted pig in Welsh legend, tended by the magician Coll. The stories and Triads in which Henwen appears are non-Arthurian—with the exception of a single re-written Triad, in which Arthur chases and tries to destroy Henwen because it has been prophesied that her offspring will worsen the state of the world. After giving birth to several piglets, she dove into the ocean. This hunt is reminiscent of his pursuit of Twrch Trwyth in Culhwch and Olwen. [Triads]


Son of Yder. Her was one of King Arthur’s barons who fought for Arthur in the war against Rome. Her was part of the escort taking Roman prisoners to Paris. The prisoner train was attacked by the Romans, and Her was killed. [GeoffHR]

Heraut [Barant]

The real name of the King with a Hundred Knights in the Prose Tristan and in Malory. [ProsTris, Malory]


A “great lord” from Rome, killed fighting Arthur’s warriors in the Roman War. [Malory]


The godson of a hostler named Heudins, with whom Lancelot lodged on his way to Rigomer castle. Herbert loved Heudins’ daughter, Eme. [Merveil]


In the Vulgate Merlin, Arthur comes to possess Marmiadoise, the Sword of Hercules, forged by Vulcan and passed from heir to heir until it was owned by Rions, Arthur’s enemy. The conception of Hercules (or, more properly, Heracles) in Greek mythology precedes that of Arthur: Zeus visited the lady Alcmene in the form of her husband, Amphitryon, much as Uther Pendragon seduced Igerne in the form of her husband, Gorlois. [VulgMer]

Hereford [Herford]

A city in west central England, on the Wye river. Wace says that Earl Guerguint governed the city under King Arthur. [Wace, Layamon]


An Arthurian knight who joined Gawain’s quest to conquer Castle Rigomer. [Merveil]


The region of Wales that contains Mount Droac, on which Vortigern built a castle. [Wace]

Héri the Clever

In the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd, one of King Mark’s counselors. He advised Mark of the affair between Tristan and Isolde. He had previously served Philippus, Mark’s father. [SagaTI]

Herlan1 [Herlans]

The grandson of Joseph of Arimathea. He inherited the kingdom of Orkney from his father, Peter. He married the King of Ireland’s daughter and had a son named Meliant. Herlan was an ancestor of Lot and Gawain. [VulgEst]

Herlan2 of Benoic

A knight present at the Sorelois tournament. [ProsTris]

Herlan3 the Bearded [Harlews le Berbeus, Herlaus]

A knight defeated by Alexander the Orphan at the castle of Fair Guard. Malory gives this name to the knight, unnamed in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin, who is killed by the invisible Sir Garlon while in the company of Sir Balin. [PostMer, ProsTris, Malory]

Herlen [Harlon]

Father of Argustes, a knight aided by Lancelot during the Grail Quest. [VulgQuest, Malory]


A lady loved by King Vridebrant of Scotland. On her account, Vridebrant killed King Hernant. This story was related to Perceval’s father Gahmuret when he came to the kingdom of Zazamanc. [Wolfram]

Herlion [Helyois]

A king defeated by Lancelot in a tournament at Pomeglai. His brother was King Clarion of Northumberland. [VulgLanc]


Arthur’s Count of Triple. He was killed in the Roman War. [VulgMer]

Hermit King [Hermit Uncle]

Perceval’s uncle. Perceval came across his forest cloister after having failed to ask the Grail Question during his first visit to the Fisher King’s castle. The Hermit King gave Perceval additional information about the Grail and the Grail keepers. The character first appears in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval, though he has no name or designation. In Perlesvaus, he is given the proper name of King Pelles; Wolfram von Eschenbach names him Trevrizent; and the Fourth Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval calls him Elyas Anaïs. There is some confusion as to whether he is Perceval’s maternal uncle (and therefore the brother of the Fisher King) or his paternal uncle (the brother of Alain the Large). [ChretienP, Contin2, Didot, Perlesvaus, Wolfram, Contin4]

Hermit of the Hedge

A knight-turned-hermit who lived in the Hedged Manor, near the castle Dolorous Guard and the Dolorous Prison. He gave lodging to Lancelot and Gawain when they came to liberate the Dolorous buildings, and he administered the Extreme Unction to two of Arthur’s knights—Loholt and Galegantin—when they were sick in the Dolorous Prison. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Hermit’s Cross

The home of Gais the Large, Perceval’s grandfather. [Perlesvaus]

Hermit’s Spring [*Fontaine a ‘Ermite]

A fountain where Hector had his armor stolen by a treacherous squire, as part of the Lord of the Fens’ plan to capture Hector. [VulgLanc]

Hermitage of the Hedge

A location where Kay was released to Aglovale after having been imprisoned by Griffon. [VulgLanc]

Hermitage of the Mount

An abbey where Yvain recovered from wounds received while helping a maiden recover a sparrowhawk. [VulgLanc]

Hermoine the Hermit

A holy man from Tarsus who baptized Sarrassinte, King Mordrain’s wife, as a child. He died in Orberica. After Joseph of Arimathea converted Mordrains, he re-interred Hermoine’s body in a holy tomb in Orberica. Nascien later encountered Hermoine’s spirit during an adventure at sea. [VulgEst]


Daughter of the King of Scotland. She was loved by a knight named Camel, but was unnerved by his sleepwalking habit. She offered to marry the knight who displayed the greatest prowess in a series of five tournaments, which were organized by her cousin Florée. When Meliador, one of Arthur’s knights, learned of her pledge, he set out to win her. He killed Camel and proved himself to Hermondine by winning the tournament at Roxburgh against 1,566 knights. Hermondine married him. [Froissart]


A king killed by King Vridebrant of Scotland for the love of Herlinde. In revenge, Hernant’s allies and kinsmen invaded Scotland. These events occurred during the reign of Uther in Britain. [Wolfram]

Hernant2 the Young

A squire of Sir Guiron the Courteous. [Palamedes]

Hervi of Rivel [Harvy, Hernil, Herui(s), Herv(i)eu, Hervis]

An Arthurian knight named in the romance of Yder as a king and the father of one of Arthur’s Yvains. According to the Vulgate romances, he served Uther Pendragon before Arthur. He participated in the Saxon wars, the campaign in Gaul, the war against Galehaut, the struggle against Rions and Nero, and the battle of the Humber. Arthur appointed him to the Round Table after the Humber. He was still serving as Arthur’s knight when he was 80 years old. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre, PostMer, Arthour, Malory]


In Malory, a nobleman who held a tournament against the Count of the Plains during the Grail Quest. Bors arrived at the tournament and met his brother Lionel, whom Bors had believed dead. In the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal, Hervyn’s place is occupied by the lady of the Castle Tubele. [Malory]

Hervyse de la Forest Savage

A Knight of the Round Table, possibly identical to Hervi. [Malory]

Heryan the Brown

A squire to Sir Guiron the Courteous who was knighted for his service. [Palamedes]


A knight in the service of Cador of Cornwall. He participated in Arthur’s war against Rome. [Allit]


Queen of Wales and mother of Perceval in Wolfram’s Parzival. Herzeloyde was a member of the enigmatic Grail Family, the daughter of Frimutel, and the sister of Anfortas, Trevrizent, Schoysiane, and Repanse de Schoye. As was the custom in the Grail Family, Herzeloyde was sent away from Munsalvæsche, the Grail Castle, to become the wife of a noble lord; in her case, this lord was Castis, the King of Wales and North Wales. Their marriage was unconsummated due to Castis’ untimely death, and Herzeloyde, as a maiden, inherited Castis’ kingdom.
   She threw a tournament at her city of Kanvoleis, promising herself and her lands to the knight who won the tournament. The noble Gahmuret was the victor, and thus found himself bound to marry Herzeloyde, even though it was not his wish. After their marriage, Gahmuret secured permission from Herzeloyde to seek adventure, and was killed fighting in the Middle East.
   Herzeloyde went slightly mad and soon gave birth to Perceval, who she saw as the reincarnation of her husband. She raised him in seclusion, ignorant of knighthood and chivalry, in order to protect him from the same fate that befell his father. While she was living in this sequestration, King Lähelin entered and conquered her lands. Perceval eventually found out about knighthood from some passing knights, and insisted on going to the court of King Arthur. When he left, Herzeloyde died from a broken heart.
   Herzeleide is German for “heart sorrow,” and Wolfram probably created the name to express the queen’s sorrow for losing her husband. Her character is unnamed in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval. [Wolfram]


A knight present at King Uther Pendragon’s Urbano tournament. He was defeated by King Lot. This name often appears as a variation of Hector. [Tavola]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Cynedyr the Wild. He has two epithets: “Silver Brow” and “the Leper.” [Culhwch]


An Irish shepherd with whom Lancelot lodged on his way to Rigomer castle. During Lancelot’s stay, a pack of robbers besieged Heudins’ hostel, but Lancelot drove them off. Heudins had a daughter named Eme and a godson named Herbert. [Merveil]


A knight who served Lord Golagros. During the war between Golagros and Arthur, Hew was captured by Arthur’s knights. [Golagros]

Hew2 de la Montayne

A knight from North Wales who jousted with Lancelot prior to the tournament at the Castle of Maidens. Hew lost. [Malory]


A duke who governed Guiens under King Arthur. [Pierre]


An Arthurian knight. [Golagros]

High Mountain [*Haute Montai(n)gne]

“He of the High Mountain” was a nobleman present at the wedding of Erec and Enide. [ChretienE]

High Rock

One of the Arthur’s Castles. It was seized by Montenart of the Hidden Island, but was returned to Arthur’s control when Erec killed Montenart. [PostMer]

High Walls [*Haut Mur]

A castle in Benoic. It’s lord, Grayer, was one of King Ban’s stewards. [VulgLanc, VulgMer]

High Wild Forest

Pellinore’s domain in the Post-Vulgate. In other references, it is Listenois or the Waste Land. [PostMer]

Highlands of Hell

The sons of Gwawrddur Hunchback were “sprung from the Highlands of Hell.” The Highlands also contained the Valley of Distress, in which the White Hag and Black Hag lived. [Culhwch]


A Welsh bishop who King Mark commissioned to conduct an ordeal in which Isolde would have to prove her fidelity. On the way to the ordeal, a “beggar” (Tristan in disguise) helped Isolde cross a patch of mud, and Isolde was able to swear before God that no man had come near her except Mark and the “beggar.” [SagaTI]

Hill Castle

The lair of Malduit, a giant slain by Yvain. [VulgLanc]

Hill of the Cat [*Mons du Chat]

A knoll next to Lake Lausanne in France or Italy where Arthur slew a giant devil cat in the Vulgate Merlin. The evil cat, which had been born when a fisherman broke a promise to God, had terrorized the region for many years. Prior to Arthur’s defeat of the cat, the hill was called the Hill of the Lake. The monster defeated by Arthur recalls the Cath Palug of Welsh legend. The author of Merlin may be referring to Cat’s Tooth, a hill in Savoy. [VulgMer]

Hill of the Spring

The location of Sir Tericam’s prison, which held such knights as Hector, Lionel and Gaheris, before Tericam was killed by Lancelot. [VulgLanc]

Hill of Wretches [*Tertre as Caitis]

The residence of Druas the Cruel, who made a tradition of slaying passing knights. It was renamed Agravain’s Hill when Agravain killed Druas and ended the hill’s customs. [VulgLanc]

Hipomenes [Ypomenés]

The grandfather of the Questing Beast. He was a king in Britain, and his daughter loved her brother, named Galahad. She was impregnated by a demon. Under the demon’s influence, she falsely accused Galahad of rape. Galahad was executed, and the Beast was born of Hipomenes’s daughter in due time. Realizing that the monster couldn’t have sprung from a human, Hipomenes tortured the truth from his daughter and then had her executed. [PostQuest, ProsTris]


The ruler of Crete who owed his allegiance to Rome, and was called upon to join Lucius in the war against Arthur. [GeoffHR, Wace]


The Baron of Periron or Peritum under King Arthur who fought for Arthur in the war against Rome. Hirelglas was part of the escort taking Roman prisoners to Paris. The prisoner train was attacked by the Romans, and Hirelglas was killed. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Hirelglas2 [Herupeys, Hire(s)lg(l)as]

Nephew of Bedivere and a knight of Arthur’s court in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia. During the Roman War, he saw his uncle killed by King Boccus of Media, and he became enraged. He avenged Bedivere’s death by slaying Boccus. The French Liber de Compositione Castri Ambaziae renames him Billeius and the Vulgate Merlin calls him Segart. [GeoffHR, Wace]


The King of Parthia. He owed his allegiance to Rome, and he joined Lucius’s war against King Arthur. He led a battalion of soldiers at the battle of Soissons. [GeoffHR]


A Scottish duke who served King Vridebrant of Scotland. Hiuteger accompanied Vridebrant on a campaign to conquer the Arabain kingdom of Zazamanc. When Vridebrant returned to Scotland, Hiuteger continued the assault. To decide the conflict, Hiuteger agreed to face Gahmuret (Perceval’s father, who was championing Zazamanc) in single combat. Hiuteger lost. [Wolfram]


A king of Spain who was served by Tristan’s father and grandfather. His land was invaded by two kings named Seran and Elemmie, and Hlöòver was killed by Elemmie. Patrocles, Tristan’s grandfather, later re-conquered the country and took the throne. [SagaTI]

Hoel1 [Horel, Howel(l), Ohel]

King of Brittany or Nantes. He was an ally of Arthur, who was either his uncle or cousin. In Welsh legend, his father is named Emhyr, but Geoffrey of Monmouth calls him the son of Budec. In some of the Tristan romances, he is Tristan’s father-in-law. Welsh legend names him as one of Arthur’s three “Royal Knights,” and says that he was handsome, wise, and skilled at arms.
   In Arthur’s early days as king, Hoel assisted his kinsman against the Saxon invaders led by Colgrim. Hoel became sick during the campaign, and Arthur was forced to leave him in the city of Dumbarton. While Arthur was defeating the Saxons in Bath, Picts and Scots attacked Dumbarton, and Hoel had to weakly hold them off. Eventually, Arthur returned and rescued Hoel from defeat. Hoel, in turn, helped Arthur win the war against the Scots at Lake Lomond. During the campaign against Gaul, Hoel accompanied Arthur and, with a division of soldiers, conquered much of the region, including Aquitaine and Gascony. Hoel also pledged himself and a force of soldiers to Arthur at the beginning of the campaign against Rome. Before they embarked, however, they received word that Hoel’s niece Helen (or, in Malory, his wife—the Duchess of Brittany) had been carried off by the giant of Mont St. Michel. Arthur and his knights attacked and killed the giant, but were too late to save the woman’s life. (In the Vulgate Merlin, the Helen’s uncle is Lionel of Nanteuil; and in the Norse Tristrams Saga, the character is called Orsl.)
   Despite the loss, Hoel went with Arthur to Rome and proved one of the best warriors Arthur had, leading a battalion of soldiers at Soissons. In Geoffrey’s account, Arthur sends Hoel on to conquer Rome while Arthur returns to Britain to deal with Mordred’s insurrection.
   In the Prose Tristan, Hoel becomes the father of Isolde of the White Hands, Kahedins, and Ruvalen (replacing Havelin or Jovelin from earlier texts). Another (unnamed) daughter married King Meliadus of Lyonesse and became Tristan’s step-mother. Tristan came to Hoel’s court and ended up saving Hoel from a tyrannical neighbor named Agrippe. In return, Hoel married Tristan to Isolde of the White Hands.
   A ruler named Hoel governed Brittany in the time of William the Conqueror and was one of William’s allies. Geoffrey of Monmouth may have used adopted Hoel’s name in order to flatter his Norman patrons (Bruce, 23). [GeoffHR, Triads, Wace, VulgMer, ProsTris, Dream, Geraint, Prophecies, Malory]


The King of Gohenet who was an ally or vassal of Arthur. He participated in a tournament at the Castle of Maidens. [Renaut]


The other name of King Aramont of Brittany, possibly identical to the first Hoel. [VulgLanc]


The duke of Cornwall in the Vulgate Merlin and Arthour and Merlin. In the former, he takes the role usually assigned to Gorlois, while in the latter he precedes Tintagel as Igerne’s husband. Arthour names him as Igerne’s second husband, after Harinan. His daughters were Blasine, Belisent, and Brimesent. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A Saxon warrior who was part of the Saxon army fought by Arthur at the siege of Vambieres. [Livre]

Hojir of Mannesvelt

A count called the “Red Knight” because of his crimson hair and beard. In a version of the “sparrowhawk” tournament found in Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois, Hojir wrongfully gave a parrot—which had been intended for the most beautiful lady at the tournament—to his own lady. None of the knights at the tournament were willing to stand up to him. The rightful victor left and found Wigalois (Gawain’s son), who accompanied her back to the tournament, defeated Hojir in combat, and awarded the parrot to its rightful owner. Hojir and his lady were forced to travel to Arthur’s court as prisoners. Hojir later became a friend of Wigalois. His counterpart in Renaut de Bâgé’s The Fair Unknown is Girflet. [Wirnt]

Holdin [Holden, Holdyne, Howeldin]

One of Arthur’s nobles, to whom Arthur gave either Flanders (in Geoffrey of Monmouth) or Boulogne (in Wace). Holdin assisted Arthur in the Roman war. He led a company at the Battle of Soissons, where he and King Alifatma of Spain mortally wounded each other. Arthur had him buried in his city of Thérouanne or Tervanna. In the Prose Brut, he is Arthur’s chamberlain. Thomas Bek calls him the “King of the Ruteni.” [GeoffHR, Wace, ProsBrut, Bek]


Part of Arthur’s empire according to the Alliterative Morte Arthur, Holland did not exist as a country until the tenth century. [Allit]


King of Sarras. He made war on King Tholomer of Babylonia. He was killed and succeeded by King Evalach. [VulgEst]

Holy Cemetery

A graveyard and church, so named because it contained the bodies of Galahad, a son of Joseph of Arimathea, and Simeon, a follower. In the “Knight of the Cart” episode from the Vulgate Lancelot, Lancelot raises the stone on Galahad’s tomb, proving that he has the mettle to rescue Guinevere from Meleagant. Lancelot failed to raise Simeon’s tombstone—an adventure completed by his son Galahad during the Grail Quest. [VulgLanc]

Holy Grail

The Grail, after it became identified with the chalice or dish used by Christ at the Last Supper.

Holy Lance

A name used in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin for the Lance of Longinus, which a Roman soldier stuck in the side of Jesus Christ. See Bleeding Lance. [PostMer]


The King of the Isles decreed that any knight who was able to draw Honoree, a magnificent sword, from its sheath would marry Beauté, the king’s daughter. Clarete, Beauté’s maidservant, carried the sword around until Beaudous, the son of Gawain, managed to draw it. [RobertBlo]


The Roman Emperor during Arthur’s war with Rome, according to one French source. Lucius was his general. In most sources, the Emperor is Leo or Lucius himself. An historical Emperor Honorius ruled Rome in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. [Liber]


A knight from Wendland who, at the Round Table’s first feast, rode into Arthur’s hall and abducted Nimue. Arthur assigned King Pellinore to retrieve the lady and bring back the knight. Pellinore came upon Hontzlake fighting Nimue’s cousins, Mellot and Bryan. Pellinore challenged Hontzlake to combat, and Hontzlake responded by killing Pellinore’s horse. This enraged Pellinore so much that he killed Hontzlake with a single blow to the head and returned Nimue to Camelot. [Malory]


Hengist’s brother in the Prose Brut; probably a corruption of Horsa. He built a castle called Horn Castle which was destroyed by Vortigern. [ProsBrut]

Horsa [Horse, Horsus]

A Saxon leader and a brother of Hengist welcomed into Britain by the King Vortigern. Bede, the first to mention Horsa, traces the brothers’ decent from a Saxon god, and names their father as Wihtgils. Horsa led part of the Saxon army in Britain. He was killed fighting one of Vortigern’s sons (Vortimer, Catigern, or Vortiger) during Vortimer’s war against Hengist, but managed to mortally wound his killer. The site of Horsa’s death is variously given as Episford or Æglestherp. [Bede, Anglo, Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Hoselice1 [Haucelice, Hoceliche, Sorelice]

An early name of Wales, according to the Vulgate romances. It was renamed in honor of Galahad, son of Joseph of Arimathea. Galahad was its first Christian king. Its finest city was Palagre. [LancLac, VulgEst]

Hoselice2 [Hoschelice]

A Saxon kingdom ruled by Ammaduc, who led an invasion of Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer]


The castle ruled by Assar, an enemy of King Mark of Cornwall. [ProsTris]


The horse belonging to Arthur’s warrior Caradawg Strong-Arm. [Triads]

House of Holiness

A spiritual house where the Red Cross Knight recuperated—physically and spirituatlly—before his battle with a dragon. The lady presiding over the house was named Coelia. [Spenser]

House of Pride

A palace visited by the Red Cross Knight after he was seduced by Duessa, an evil witch. It’s queen was Lucifera, and her counselors were the seven deadly sins. The Red Cross Knight encountered Sansjoy, the brother of a knight (Sansfoy) he had slain. Sansjoy and the Red Cross Knight met in single combat, but when the Red Cross Knight seemed to be winning, a black cloud carried Sansjoy away. [Spenser]


A nephew of Arthur and brother of Jon. Howe and Jon accompanied Sir Launfal when Launfal fled to Caerleon to escape Guinevere’s disfavor. When Launfal fell into poverty and depravity in Caerleon, Howe and Jon returned to Arthur’s court. [ChestreLvl]


Earl of Spain and brother of Siguròr and Isolde the Dark. He gave his sister to Tristan when the latter conquered Spain. [SagaTI]


An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Gwryon. [Culhwch]


A gatekeeper at King Arthur’s court. He served Glewlwyd Strong Grip and was killed by the boar Twrch Trwyth during the epic hunt. [Culhwch]


An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Aflawn. He had such an enormous appetite that he became a virtual plague in the countries of Devon and Cornwall until his stomach was sated. [Culhwch]

Hubaus the Brown

One of the knights of the “Brown” lineage. [Palamedes]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the tenth century BC. Hudibras was the son of King Leil and the father of King Bladud. During Hudibras’s reign, he founded the cities of Canterbury and Winchester. [GeoffHR]


Son of Caw, one of twenty brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors who “never submitted to a lord’s hand.” According to Culhwch and Olwen, Hueil became Arthur’s enemy by stabbing Gwydre, Hueil’s nephew and one of Arthur’s warriors. Caradoc’s Vita Gildae recounts how Hueil, who had aspriations for the British throne, led raids into Britain from Scotland. Arthur tracked him down and killed him at the island of Minau, then had to beg for the forgiveness of St. Gildas, Hueil’s brother. [Culhwch, Caradoc]

Huelins of Bedigan

A knight who joined Arthur’s battles against the Saxons at Clarence and Vambieres. [Livre]


A squire present at the tournament at Lancien, thrown by King Mark of Cornwall. [Contin4]

Huge Yellow

The horse belonging to Urien’s son Pasgen. [Triads]

Hugh of the Red Castle

A knight who was the brother of Sir Edward of the Red Castle. Hugh and his brother stole lands from the Lady of the Rock. Yvain championed the lady, fought the two brothers at the same time (as they had insisted), killed Edward, and defeated Hugh. Yvain ordered Hugh to return the Lady of the Rock’s lands and to report to Arthur’s court. [Malory]

Hugon [Hewgon]

A knight defeated in combat by Sir Alexander the Orphan at Fair Guard. [ProsTris, Malory]


The Duke of Huiscam is named as Enide’s father in the Prose Tristan. He was killed by Senahar. Erec avenged the duke’s death by imprisoning Senahar. [ProsTris]


A river in northeast England, often appearing as the northern border of Arthur’s kingdom. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the river was named for Humber, king of the Huns, who drowned there while fighting the sons of Brutus. The Vulgate romances locate a number of fortresses on the Humber—including Galafort, Dolorous Tower, Dolorous Guard, King’s Fortress, Queen’s Ford, and the town of Chanviere—but they seem to think that the river is in Wales. The Livre d’Artus locates one of Arthur’s battles against the Saxons on the river.  According to the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation, Arthur battled the Kings of Ireland, Denmark, the Valley, Sorelois, and the Distant Isles at the Humber, killing all of them (in the Vulgate Lancelot, seven kings were said to have opposed Arthur in the battle). Kay showed particular valor in the fight. Arthur erected the Abbey of the Good Adventure along the river to commemorate the battle, and Guinevere dubbed a nearby ford the Queen’s Ford. In Hector Boece’s Scotorum Historia, the Humber is the site of Arthur’s final battle with Mordred, a fight that earlier texts place at Salisbury or Camlann. [GeoffHR, VulgLanc, VulgMort, VulgEst, VulgMer, Livre, PostMer, Malory, Boece]


The renowned brother of Gener of Kartis, a maiden who helped Gawain during his Grail Quest. [Heinrich]


A Knight of the Round Table who Arthur sent, with Gawain, to the court of the King of the Isles. Gawain and Hunbaut were supposed to demand the king’s submission to Arthur. After delivering their message, they fled the king’s court. On the return trip, Hunbaut became separated from Gawain. He rescued a knight from a pack of robbers before returning to Arthur’s court. [Hunbaut]


The daughter of Arthur and Queen Dollallolla in Henry Fielding’s parody The Tragedy of Tragedies. She loved the diminutive warrior Tom Thumb, to whom Arthur betrothed her. This enraged Lord Grizzle, another of her suitors. In the original play, Tom Thumb, Grizzle kills Tom Thumb’s ghost, for which Huncamunca kills him; in the revised Tragedy of Tragedies, Huncamunca slays Cleora, her maidservant. Doodle, one of Arthur’s courtiers, kills Huncamunca in return. [Fielding]


An Arthurian knight who joined Gawain’s quest to conquer Rigomer castle. [Merveil]

Huneson [Hemison, Onesun]

The lover of Morgan le Fay, with whom she had a daughter called Pulzella Gaia. He was killed by Tristan on the mountain of Petrosa, for which Morgan cursed Tristan to die with his own lance. Morgan somehow obtained the lance used by Tristan to kill Huneson, poisoned it, and sent it to King Mark of Cornwall, who used it to kill Tristan. [ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]

Hungary [Hungri(e)]

The Vulgate Merlin tells us that Sagremor’s father was the King of Hungary and Vlask. In Claris et Laris, it is ruled by King Ditas and then by King Saris. In Malory, it is listed as the home of Sir Urry, the knight healed by Lancelot. Hungary did not exist as a country until the late tenth century, when Stephen I became its first king. During the Arthurian period, it was made up of the old Roman provinces of Pannonia and Dacia. [VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]

Hungerford [Hongrefort]

A castle in the Vulgate Lancelot, possibly the actual Hungerford in Berkshire. The Lady of Hungerford was the daughter of Count Alout of the Land of the Heather and the sister of Amide. When Alout died, his brother Gallidés tried to force the lady of Hungerford into a marriage with his seneschal. When she refused, Gallidés went to war with her and besieged Hungerford. Amide brought Sir Bors to champion the lady against Gallidés, and Bors was victorious. [VulgLanc]


A collection of warlike Asiatic tribes that invaded eastern and central Europe in the fourth and fifth centuries. Geoffrey of Monmouth says that the Huns, led by Guanius, invaded Britain in the fifth century, during Maximus’s absence, but were driven out by Gratian Municeps. They returned upon Gratian’s death, and were finally defeated by Arthur’s grandfather Constantine. [GeoffHR]

Hunting Knight

The alias used by the King of Gascony during a visit to Arthur’s court. [IrishL]

Hunting Maiden [*Damoiselle Cacheresse]

The alias adopted by Niniane or Nimue during her first visit to Arthur’s court, when she was abducted by a knight and rescued by Pellinore. [PostMer]


Hero of Huon de Bordeaux, an early thirteenth century French Carolingian romance. Huon enjoyed the protection of Morgan le Fay. Oberon, the fairy king, gave Huon the realm of Faérie. Arthur, who had been living there since his “death,” thought that the land was rightfully his. Arthur tried to seize it from Huon, but Oberon intervened and stopped him. [Huon]


A forest in which a dragon devoured Arnoullant the Fair, a companion of Segurant the Brown. [ProsTris]

Husdent [Hiudan, Hodain, Hudenc, Idonia, Utant]

Tristan’s dog. In some texts, it is given to him by the daughter of King Faramon of France. Several sources maintain that the hound licked some of the love potion that bound Tristan and Isolde, making him unusually loyal to the lovers. When Tristan and Isolde were forced to flee from Mark into the forest of Morrois, Husdent followed them. Tristan then trained him not to bark so that he would not attract attention. When the lovers had to part again, Tristan gave Husdent to Isolde, and the hound later identified Tristan to Isolde when Tristan came to court disguised as a fool or insane. The dog died on top of the lovers’ grave three days after they were buried. [Beroul, Gottfried, FolieB, FolieO, ProsTris, Tavola, SirTris]


The castle owned by Bertilak of the High Desert, also called the Green Knight. Gawain lodged at Hutton while waiting for the day on which he was scheduled to fight the Green Knight at the Green Chapel. [SirGawain, Grene]

Hwyrddyddwg (“Late Bringer”)

The horse belonging to Arthur’s warrior Bwlch. [Culhwch]


A servant of Arthur assigned the task of bearing the magical cauldron that Arthur seized from Diwrnach the Irishman. Hygwydd later accompanied Arthur’s party to the cave of the Black Hag in the Valley of Distress. Hygwydd and his brother Cacamwri were the first warriors to enter the cave, and they were both mauled, stripped, and thrown out of the cave screaming by the Black Hag. [Culhwch]

Hyrcania [Ertayne, Irritaine]

An ancient Persian province on the Caspian sea, allied, according to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, to Lucius the Roman, Arthur’s enemy. [Allit, Malory]

Copyright Christopher Bruce. All Rights Reserved. Provided here by his kind permission. Layout of book modified to fit the Celtic Twilight format.