Wednesday, August 03, 2005


UI's Celtic Mythology - Owain

Yesterday I wrote about an Arthurian myth involving the knight Cynon being defeated by a mysterious Black Knight. Today I will conclude the story which centres around another knight, Owain.

Owain, in Welsh mythology, was the son of Urien and one of King Arthur's warriors. When a fellow warrior named Cynon was defeated by a mysterious Black Knight, Owain set out to find this stranger. He severely wounded the Black Knight but did not unseat him, and when the Knight galloped off to a nearby castle, he gave chase only to find himself a prisoner once he entered its walls. Owain was saved by a lady named Luned, who gave him a ring of invisibility. Soon the lord of the castle, the Black Knight, died of the wound Owain had inflicted on him. Not deterred by her grief, Owain persuaded Luned to plead his cause with such success that his widow consented to marry him. Thus he became master of the Castle of the Fountain, as the Black Knight's stronghold was called. But the long absence of Owain worried king Arthur a great deal, so he sent out a party of knights to find him. Owain returned with them to King Arthur's court, and he gradually forgot about his wife.

When a very angry lady arrived at court to accuse Owain of deceit, treachery and unfaithfulness, he was overcome with shame. A remorseful Owain fled to the forest and pursued the solitary life of a hermit. There he would have died but for a well-born lady who used a magic potion to restore his health. Sir Owain took up his arms, slew a dragon and befriended a lion. The knight and the lion had numerous adventures, which included saving Luned by burning and slaying a giant. Owain returnd to the Castle of the Fountain, where he was reconciled with his wife. They seem to have spent the rest of their lives together in King Arthur's court.

A nice tale. Just one question though - how do you forget about your wife?! Joking aside, a good story and I do enjoy the Arthurian myths.


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