Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Hebes le Renoumes

‘Hebes the Famous’
Berbes, Ebes, Habé

Hebes first met Tristan in France, where Hebes served King Faramon. He was sent to Tristan by King Faramon’s daughter, with a love letter and a gift brachet. After the lady had died of love, Hebes returned to the great knight and served as his squire. He remained in Britain when Mark sent Tristan to Ireland to be cured of the wound from Marhaus’ spear.

Hebes accompanied Gawaine, however, to Ireland for the tournament for the Lady of the Launds, hoping “to be made knight”, and there recognized Tristan – who was using the alias ‘Tantrist’, promised not to reveal is true identity, and asked to receive knighthood from Tristan’s hands.

Tristan obliged, after which Hebes “did right well that day” at the tournament and afterward held with Tristan.

Hebes inadvertently betrayed him when he kneeled before him, and Isoud realized that ‘Tantrist’ must be of nobility. When the Irish queen, Isoud’s mother, discovered Tristram was the man who had killed her brother Marhaus, it was Sir Hebes who bodily prevented her from slaying Tristram in his bath.

Tristram knighted Hebes and he later took service with Arthur and took place at the Round Table and were among those who tried to heal Urre. According to the Post-Vulgate, Tristan killed him during the Grail Quest, believing Hebes was Palamedes, whom Tristan wanted to slay because of his love to Isoud. Palamedes had earlier defeated Hebes in joust and had exchanged shields with him. Seeing Hebes riding towards him, Tristan lowered his lance and charged, despite Hebes’ cries to stop, and pierced his chest. Hebes was buried by Gaheris.

According to Malory, things ended differently: Lancelot and Guenevere were accused of treason and Hebes pledged his support to them, and were one of the knights who helped Lancelot rescue Guenevere from the stake. He fought for Lancelot in the wars against Arthur, and in return for his support, Lancelot made him the Earl of Comminges.

He is said to be related somehow with King Arthur.

Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal | 1230-1240
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470