Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Two entries with the name Kahedins.


Caerdin, Chaedino, Chedino, Ganhardin, Gheddino, Ghedin, Kaedin, Kahedin, Kahedrin, Kaherdin, Kardín, Kehedins, Kehenis, Kehydyns

Brother of Isolde of the White Hands (Iseult) and son of Havelin, Jovelin, or Hoel.

He became a loyal friend and companion, and then brother-in-law, to Tristan, but became enraged when he learned that Tristan had not consummated his marriage with Isolde of the White Hands. Tristan took Kahedins to see the other Isolde (or her statue), and Kahedins understood his predicament. He fell in love with Isolde’s maidservant, Brangain or Gymele.

In Thomas’s version, his affair with Brangain was ended when she heard (untruthfully) that he had fled from combat with a cowardly knight named Mariadoc. He later killed Mariadoc in a joust. In the Prose Tristan, he falls in love with Isolde herself, causing his friendship with Tristan to end angrily (and causing Tristan to go insane); the tale says he died of grief after he confessed his love to Isolde and she cruelly rebuked him.

In Eilhart von Oberge’s version, he loves Ganoje, the wife of Lord Nampetenis, and he breaks into Nampetenis’s castle to sleep with her. When Nampetenis found out, he chased after Kahedins, killed him, and mortally wounded Tristan. In other versions, Kahedins survives to captain the ship that is supposed to bring Isolde to a mortally wounded Tristan’s bedside, or he joins Palante, Tristan’s cousin, in an invasion of Cornwall after Tristan’s death.

A Welsh character called Cae Hir (Cae the Tall) may be identical.

Tristan | Thomas of England, 1170-1175
La Folie Tristan de Berne | Late 12th century
Tristrant | Eilhart von Oberge, 1170–1190
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240
La Tavola Ritonda | 1325–1350
Tristrams Saga ok Ísöndar | 1226
I Due Tristani | 1555
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470


Kahedins the Fair, Kahedins the Small
Akehededin, Hedin, Hedins le Bials, Kaadins, Kaedin li Beax, Kaedins, Kahadin, Kahedin, Kahodins, Kaodins, Kehedin le Bel the Litill, Kehedin le Petit, Kehedin li Biaus, Kehedin le Petis, Kehedin lo Bens, Kehedins, Kehendis

One of Arthur’s knights, variously called ‘the Small’ and ‘the Fair’.

He is said to be a cousin of Gawain and Yvain. He had a sister named Ydain. His uncle was Sir Kay of Estral. Sommer states he is a cousin of the forester Minoras’ wife who is the sister of Meraugis and cousin of Aiglin des Vaux.

As a squire, he participated in the struggle against the Saxons and was knighted by Arthur for his service. He fought in the Roman War, in the first campaign against Claudas, and in the battle against Caradoc of the Dolorous Tower. In other adventures, Kahedins was imprisoned in the Dolorous Prison and the Valley of No Return (Val Sans Retour), and was freed from both by Lancelot.

Perceval, or Le Conte del Graal | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval | Attributed to Wauchier of Denain, c. 1200
Lancelot do Lac | 1215-1220
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century

The following text is copied from H. Oskar Sommer’s “The Vulgate Version of the Arthurian romances” (1914).

“The name Kehedin has given me a great deal of trouble as there is, through the error of some scribe of one of the earlier MSS. a great deal of confusion caused with regard to it. In my text of Lestoire de Merlin (vol. 11) in the English translation, and in Part I of the MS. No. 337, except on one occasion, only one Kehedin is mentioned and is spoken of as Kehedin, Kehedin li Petiz or Kehedin li Biaus.

The latter speaks of Kehedin on page 174 as ‘ mes nies.’ Both Keux d’Estraus and Kehedin (Kahadin; Kehedin), are said to have been dubbed at Logres by Artus together with Gawain, his brothers and their companions. On page 320 in my text, and in the passages corresponding to it in the two other texts, Kahedina li Biaus (Kehedins li Biaus; Kehedin li Bens) and Kahedin li Petis (Kehedin li Petiz; Kehedin li Petit) are spoken of as two different persons. On page 34 the one, on page 453 the other is mentioned.

In Part II of the MS. No. 337 (my volume vn), except on one occasion, there are always two bearers of the name Kehedin mentioned side by side: one is called li Biaus, the other li Petiz, but the relationship existing between them is nowhere disclosed. A dagger marks above the figures referring to pages where two Kehedins are mentioned.”