Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Tantris, Tramtrist, Tremtrist

An alias adopted by Tristan on his visit to Ireland, when he met Isolde. He used the alias so that he would not be recognized as the killer of Morholt, the king’s brother-in-law. In some versions, he goes to Ireland to be healed of a poisoned wound received from Morholt.

In others, he uses the name Pro of Iernesetir on this first visit and “Tantrist” on his second, when searching for a wife for King Mark. Gottfried says that “Tantrist” killed a dragon and thus was forgiven by the royal family, even after Isolde (or her mother) matched the metal fragment found in Morholt’s skull to the missing piece of “Tantrist’s” sword and discovered the deception.

In one source, Tristan is given the alias by Rohand, his tutor, to protect him from Duke Morgan, who killed his father. In others, Tristan adopts the name a second time when disguised as a madman in Cornwall.

La Folie Tristan de Berne | Late 12th century
La Folie Tristan d’Oxford | 12th century
Tristrant | Eilhart von Oberge, 1170–1190
Tristan | Gottfried von Strassburg, early 13th century
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240
Sir Tristrem | c. 1300
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470