Rivalin Canelengres

Rivalen, Riwalin

According to Gottfried von Strassburg, the ruler of Parmenie and father of Tristan. He married Blanchefleur, the sister of King Mark of Cornwall. His name seems to originate in a historical Lord of Vitré, Rivalin, who was known to have flourished in the eleventh century.

He is variously given as the king of Lyonesse (or Lohenis), or the lord of Parmenie. Rash and bold, he declared war on his overlord, Duke Morgan, and fought a destructive conflict. During a truce, he traveled to Cornwall to assist King Mark against Mark’s Irish enemies. There, he met Mark’s sister Blancheflor and fell in love with her.

He received a deep wound in battle, but Blancheflor’s presence revived him. They married, and Blancheflor died giving birth to Tristan. Gottfried says that Rivalin died soon afterwards, in the renewed war against Morgan, but not before commending Tristan to the care of his steward, Rual. Eilhart says that he lived to raise his son. Upon Rivalin’s death, Tristan inherited his kingdom but never ruled it.

The Norse Saga of Tristram and Ísönd calls him simply Canelengres, and the Middle-English Sir Tristrem refers to him as Rouland. His character was supplanted by Meliadus.