Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Boon, Brom, Brons, Bruns, Ebron, Gron, Hebron, Nesecuj(?)

The Fisher King and Maimed King in Robert de Boron’s Grail Cycle, represented in Robert’s Joseph and the Didot-Perceval.

Bron married Enygeus, the sister of Joseph of Arimathea, and accompanied Joseph on his trek from Judea to Britain. Joseph appointed him keeper of the Grail, and he earned his title after he caught a fish which God multiplied into thousands. His piety was reflected by the fact that he was able to sit in the Perilous Seat at the Grail Table.

He had a dozen sons, one of whom was named Alain li Gros (Alain the Large). Perceval was Bron’s grandson. He fell ill when Perceval arrogantly sat in the Round Table’s Perilous Seat, and could be cured only by the Grail Question. Perceval failed in his first visit to Bron’s castle, but returned for a successful second visit. Bron was healed, passed the Grail on to Perceval, and died three days later.

According to the Didot Perceval, Brons was the grandfather of Percevale and became the Rich Fisher. When he was cured, he was carried off by angels.

The author of the Vulgate Cycle, recognizing the centuries between Joseph of Arimathea’s time and Arthur’s, makes Bron an ancestor, but not the grandfather, of Perceval and Galahad. The distinction of Fisher King is transferred to his son, Alain. The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal names another of Bron’s sons as Joshua, and the Prose Tristan names two more as Naburzadan and Sador.

The longer version of his name, Hebron, belongs to both a biblical city in Israel and a son of Kohath, whose family was responsible for care of the Ark of the Covenant. Proponents of a Celtic origin for the Grail have urged a connection with King Bran of Welsh legend, who was also maimed, who owned a magical vessel (a cauldron), and who was said, in a Triad, to have brought Christianity to Britain.

Joseph d’Arimathie | Robert de Boron, 1191-1202
Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal | 1220-1235
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240