NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Arec, Arel, Arels, Ares, Aret, Areta, Areth, Aretha, Thares

In Malory, Aries was a cowherd, reputed father of Sir Tor, and actual father of twelve sons besides.

At the time of Arthur’s marriage, Aries reluctantly yielded to Tor’s desire and brought him to Arthur’s court at London to request knighthood for the boy. After comparing Tor with his twelve supposed younger brothers and finding him unlike any of them, Arthur dubbed the boy. Merlin then explained that King Pellinore had begotten Tor on the housewife Vayshoure when he took her maidenhead.

Being assured both by Merlin and by the woman that Tor had been begotten before ever she was wedded, Aries remarked,

[I]t is the less grief unto me.

In early French romance, he is called Ars, a king of Autice and the real father of Tor.

Erec | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Erex Saga | 13th century
Yder | Early 13th century
Lancelot do Lac | 1215-1220
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin | 1230-1240
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470