NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia



The illegitimate dwarf son of Julius Caesar and Morgan le Fay whose adventures are recounted in the thirteenth-century French romance Huon de Bordeaux, as well as in Auberon and Ysaie le Triste.

Other sources say that he was originally an excessively ugly dwarf by the name of Tronc, serving as a mentor and companion to Ysaie the Sad and Marc – the son and grandson of Tristan. When these knights completed their quests, the fairies took pity on Oberon, removed all traces of his former ugliness and giving him the throne of the kingdom of Faérie, called Momur, which Arthur thought belonged to him.
Arthur contested Oberon for the kingdom, but Oberon scared Arthur away by threatening to turn him into a wolf (or werewolf). Oberon died having bestowed his lands to Huon de Bordeaux.

The non-Arthurian French medieval romance, Ogier le Danois, calls Oberon Morgan’s brother rather than her son. Though originating in French romance, Oberon was popular in Elizabethan England. In Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Oberon’s daughter, Tanaquill, becomes the Fairy Queen Gloriana, with whom Arthur fell in love. He first appeared in English literature in a prose translation of the earlier French romance c. 1534.

Possibly the best-known use of this character is in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In this Oberon is shown as a magical figure, married to Titania and accompanied by an impish servant, Puck. Titania does not figure widely in Arthurian literature, though she does appear in two modern works: The Masque of Gwendolen (1816) by Reginald Heber and The Quest of Merlin (1891) by Richard Hovey.

Oberon himself is also a fleeting character within the mainstream Arthurian sources. He was said in one to have been the father of Robin Goodfellow by a human girl.

See also
Fairies | Myths and Legends
Puck | Myths and Legends
Werewolf | Myths and Legend

Huon de Bordeaux | Early 13th century
Ysaïe le Triste | Late 14th century or early 15th century
Roman d’Ogier le Danois | 14th century
The Faerie Queene | Edmund Spenser, 1570-1599