Rhiannon

From Academic Kids

In Welsh mythology, Rhiannon was a daughter of Hefeydd the Old. She was married to Pwyll and, later, Manawydan.

Pwyll first met Rhiannon, when she appeared as a beautiful woman dressed in gold and riding a white horse. Pwyll sent his horsemen after her, but she was too fast. After three days, he spoke and Rhiannon told him she would rather marry him than the man she was being forced upon, Gwawl. She made a tryst with Pwyll and after a year from that day, he won her from Gwawl by tricking him to climb into a magic bag that Rhiannon had given to Pwyll-striking an agreement to free him in exchange for Rhiannon.

Rhiannon gave birth to a son after three years of their rule; however, on the night of the birth, the child disappeared while in the care of six of Rhiannon's ladies-in-waiting. They feared that they would be put to death, and to avoid any blame, smeared blood from a puppy on the sleeping Rhiannon, and lay its bones around her bed. Pwyll imposed a pennance on Rhiannon for her crime, to remain in the court of Arberth for seven years, and to sit every day near a horse-block outside the gate telling her story to all that passes. In addition, she was to carry any willing guest to the court on her back.

The child appeared outside a stable of King Teyrnon, whose mares had just given birth but the foals had disappeared. Teirnon had been watching his stables when he saw a mysterious beast coming to take the foal; Tiernon stopped the beast by cutting off its arm at the elbow, and found the child outside the stable. He and his wife adopted him. The child grew to adulthood in only seven years and was given the foal which had led Teyrnon to the stable. Teyrnon realized who the child was and returned him to Pwyll and Rhiannon, who named him Pryderi (worry).

Pryderi married Cigva and became King of Dyfed after his father died. He then invited Manawydan (his stepfather) to live with him in Dyfed. Soon, Dyfed turned into a barren wasteland and only Rhiannon, Pryderi, Cigva and Manawydan lived. Manaywdan and Pryderi, while out hunting, saw a white boar which they followed. Pryderi and his mother, Rhiannon, touched a golden bowl that the boar led them to and became enchanted. Manawydan and Cigva were unable to help them until they captured a mouse which was actually the wife of Llwyd, Rhiannon's enemy (seeking revenge for her treatment of Gwawl), and the spell was lifted.

Her name is derived from the Old Celtic Rigantona, which means 'Great Queen.'pl:Rhiannon

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