Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


In Cornish folklore, it is believed that after King Arthur’s death, his soul inhabited the body of a raven, adding a mystical layer to the legend of Britain’s fabled king. This association with the raven reflects deeper cultural connections with the Celtic god Bran, whose name translates to “raven” in both Welsh and Irish traditions.

The significance of the raven in Arthurian folklore extends beyond its role as a mere bird, intertwining with broader mythological themes. For instance, the legend of the ravens at the Tower of London, where their presence is thought to safeguard the kingdom, could be seen as a remnant of the ancient cult of Bran, reinforcing the mystical ties between Arthurian mythology and Britain’s heritage.

Interestingly, Arthur’s soul is also said to have taken on the forms of other birds, such as the chough and the puffin. Some scholars suggest that the raven replaced the chough in later iteration of the legend, possibly due to the extinction of the chough species within the country.

Overall, the symbolism of the raven in Arthurian folklore adds depth to the mythos surrounding King Arthur, connecting his legacy to ancient Celtic traditions and the natural world.

External link
Ravens of the Tower of London |