NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Ulfin, Ulfyn, Urfin, Urfins, Ursin

The noble knight Sir Ulfius became Uther Pendragon’s confidant (councillor) in the matter of Uther’s love for Igraine. It was Ulfius who conceived the idea of fetching Merlin to help the king consummate his desire. When Merlin gave Uther the likeness of Igraine’s husband and himself the likeness of Gorloïs’ knight Jordanus, he gave Ulfius the likeness of Sir Brastias, another of the Duke’s men. After Duke Gorloïs death became commonly known, Ulfius arranged the treaty and forwarded the marriage between Uther and Igraine.

Some years later, the newly crowned Arthur made Ulfius his chamberlain. Ulfius served Arthur well during the first rebellion of the kings. The last Malory seems to tell us of Ulfius, at least as an active knight, is when he impeached Igraine of treason for not coming forward to testify to Arthur’s identity; this, however, may have been a “staged” rather than a serious accusation. Like many other knights, Ulfius may have retired to a religious life; the similarity of names suggests he should be identified with the hermit Ulfin mentioned in the Grail Adventures.

Ulfius may well have been a companion of the Round Table when Uther had it. The service Malory records Ulfius as doing for Arthur comes before the young king received his father’s Table from Leodegrance; Ulfius may have retired or died before Arthur’s marriage, but if the old knight did remain long enough in Arthur’s court, he would surely have been reinstated or elected to the Round Table.

In the French romances he is sometimes called Urfin or Ursin.