Rigomer


An enchanted Irish castle that serves as the focus of the thirteenth century French tale of Les Merveilles de Rigomer, “the Marvels of Rigomer”. Its name reflects that it was situated on a rigort de mer, or “bay of the sea” (Loomis, Romance, 385).

The castle was guarded by fearsome beasts, scores of soldiers, and numerous enchantments. Its queen, Dionise – who seems to have been half-ruler, half-prisoner – could only marry the knight who could conquer the castle, a feat deemed impossible. Arthur’s knights first learned of its existence when a messenger sent by Dionise came to Arthur’s court.

The castle had been created by a fairy. It lay on an island off the coast of Ireland, atop a high cliff, with only a single bridge connecting it to the mainland. The bridge was guarded by a horrendous dragon. The heath approaching the bridge, called Vrikevreue, was guarded by three knights called the Unarmed Knight, the White Knight, and the Knight of Triple Arms. Traveling to Rigomer involved a long journey through Ireland, described in the story as a wild and savage land. If a knight did happen to make it past the defenses, he would succumb to the castle’s magic, which would steal his wits and scramble his mind.

Lancelot was the first of Arthur’s knights to embark on the journey. He completed a number of perilous adventures in Ireland before arriving at the castle. He passed all the defenses, including the dragon, but once inside the fortress, he was tricked into putting on a magic ring, which turned him into a fool. He was thrown into the Kibouene Pits, Rigomer’s unholy prison.

When word of Lancelot’s imprisonment reached BritainGawain raised a battalion of Arthur’s knights to conquer Rigomer. Gawain was imprisoned along the way, and the other knights reached it first. The best of them – including GaherisGaudinCligésBleoberis, and Sagremor (Sagramore) – went ahead of the main party. They were all defeated and imprisoned. The rest of the knights challenged Rigomer’s armies. They performed valiantly, but were overwhelmed by waves and waves of supernatural forces.

Gawain finally freed himself, arrived at the castle, passed the defenses, and refused to accept the ring. He took the rings off the fingers of his friends, freeing them from Rigomer’s magic. Having thus conquered the castle, Gawain declined to marry Dionise, promising to find another worthy husband for her.


See also
Accursed Cemetery | The Legend of King Arthur
Amauris | The Legend of King Arthur
Antiufais | The Legend of King Arthur
Baudris | The Legend of King Arthur
Bauduins of Wanglent | The Legend of King Arthur
Bedionés | The Legend of King Arthur
Bernart | The Legend of King Arthur
Boncu | The Legend of King Arthur
Brinemans | The Legend of King Arthur
Brios of Montascon | The Legend of King Arthur
Butocostiaus | The Legend of King Arthur
Chenelius | The Legend of King Arthur
Cocu | The Legend of King Arthur
Cornu | The Legend of King Arthur
Demedy | The Legend of King Arthur
Eme | The Legend of King Arthur
Estriguel | The Legend of King Arthur
Fauviel | The Legend of King Arthur
Finecoce | The Legend of King Arthur
Flor Desiree | The Legend of King Arthur
Fors Graviers | The Legend of King Arthur
Fres Marés | The Legend of King Arthur
Frion of Dessemoume | The Legend of King Arthur
Garradains | The Legend of King Arthur
Gaudionés | The Legend of King Arthur
Gavony | The Legend of King Arthur
Germions | The Legend of King Arthur
Ginains | The Legend of King Arthur
Ginemans | The Legend of King Arthur
Gingamors | The Legend of King Arthur
Gladoain | The Legend of King Arthur
Gonereus | The Legend of King Arthur
Grémines | The Legend of King Arthur
Herbert | The Legend of King Arthur
Herenc | The Legend of King Arthur
Heudins | The Legend of King Arthur
Hunes | The Legend of King Arthur

Jaidons | The Legend of King Arthur
Jorans li Febles | The Legend of King Arthur
Julian | The Legend of King Arthur
King of Mon Merouac | The Legend of King Arthur
King of the Red City | The Legend of King Arthur
Knight of the Golden Quilt | The Legend of King Arthur
Knight of the Horn | The Legend of King Arthur
Leoniés | The Legend of King Arthur
Lone | The Legend of King Arthur
Lorie | The Legend of King Arthur
Lot of Galway | The Legend of King Arthur
Macob of Icrac | The Legend of King Arthur
Mal Ostagier | The Legend of King Arthur
Mal Ostoir | The Legend of King Arthur
Male Gaudine | The Legend of King Arthur
Marescos | The Legend of King Arthur
Marmans of Cop | The Legend of King Arthur
Martha | The Legend of King Arthur
Maudins li Gardingniers | The Legend of King Arthur
Midomidas | The Legend of King Arthur
Miraudiaus | The Legend of King Arthur
Monmelitire | The Legend of King Arthur
Pavengay | The Legend of King Arthur
Popelicians | The Legend of King Arthur
Pygmies | The Legend of King Arthur
Savari of Ruiste Valee | The Legend of King Arthur
Tanbruns le Preus | The Legend of King Arthur
Torplain of the Green Plain | The Legend of King Arthur
Torvain | The Legend of King Arthur
Tuesmome | The Legend of King Arthur
Willeris | The Legend of King Arthur
Yonés the Noveliers | The Legend of King Arthur


Source
Les Merveilles de Rigomer | Jehan, mid to late 13th century