Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Valerin of the Tangled Wood


King of the Tangled Wood, he lived in a castle on a high mountain, mist- and forest-bound. No one could enter unless Valerin told his monsters to let them pass. He was the abductor of Guinevere in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet.

After Arthur married Guinevere, Valerin challenged Arthur for the queen, saying that she had been betrothed to him first. Lancelot, newly arrived at Arthur’s court, championed Arthur in judicial combat against Valerin and was victorious.

Valerin rescinded his promise to relinquish his claim to Guinevere, and he abducted her while Arthur was hunting. Valerin brought the queen to the Tangled Wood, where he placed an enchantment upon her that caused her to fall into a slumber. Arthur besieged the Tangled Wood but could not penetrate its enchantments. Finally, an intervention by the wizard Malduc destroyed Valerin’s defenses. Arthur’s army swarmed into Valerin’s castle, and Valerin was killed.

There are echoes of Meleagant’s (Meleagaunce) abduction of Guinevere in Valerin’s story.

See also
Gasozein of Dragoz | The Legend of King Arthur

Lanzelet | Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, c. 1200