Uriens of Rheged

Uriain, Urian, Urience, Uriene, Urien, Uriien, Urijan, Urjen, Uryen, Uryens, Vrien, Vrweyn


King of Gore and Rheged.

The husband of Morgan le Fay and the father of two sons named Ywaine (Owain). In Welsh tradition Urien of Rheged fathered the twins Morfudd and Owain.

Uriens was among the allied kings – probably one of the ringleaders – in the first rebellion against the young Arthur. He fought in the battle of Bedegraine and afterward hosted his fellow rebels in his city of Sorhaute. He did not join the second rebellion, however, and was reconciled with Arthur, either between the two rebellions or when he came with his wife Morgan to the rich funeral Arthur gave Lot and the other kings who died in battle before Castle Terrabil.

On the advice of King Pellinore, Uriens was made a companion of the Round Table after the decisive battle on the Humber against the invading kings of DenmarkIreland, the Vale, Soleise, and Longtains.

Uriens went hunting with Arthur and Sir Accolon of Gaul on the expedition that led into Morgan’s engineered attempt on Arthur’s life, but, after the three hunters had fallen asleep aboard the mysterious boat, Uriens woke up next morning in his wife’s arms, abed in Camelot. After the failure of her attempt on Arthur’s life, Morgan attempted to salvage something by killing her husband, at least, with his sword as he slept, but their son, Ywaine le Blanchemains, prevented her. Although Ywaine promised to keep the secret, on condition his mother try no such thing again, the incident seems to have marked a permanent separation between Uriens and his wife; Morgan shortly thereafter left court and it appears likely that the royal couple never met again. Uriens remained faithfully with Arthur, being listed among those who attempted to heal Sir Urre of Hungary.

In Chrétien’s works, Gore is the land of King Bademagu – here, a monarch of quasimystial propotions – but Uriens is clearly identified as Ywaine’s father. Like his son, Uriens appears originally to have been a real person who lived in the kingdom of Rheged, in southern Scotland and northern England, in the sixth century.


See also
Galeguinant | The Legend of King Arthur
Yvonet li Avoutres | The Legend of King Arthur