Bran

British - A giant-god. King of Britain. Son of Llyr and Iweriadd or Penardun. Brother of Branwen and Manawydan. Half-brother of Efnisien and Nisien. In some accounts his father is variously given as Glifieu, Gruddieu, Ynawg or Ywerit. When Bran agreed that his sister Branwen should marry Matholwch, king of Ireland, his crazy half-brother Efnisien maimed the Irish king's horses. Bran gave Matholwch a magic Cauldron of Rebirth, capable of restoring the dead to life, in compensation. Later his sister was made to work as a drudge and she sent him a message with a starling, whereupon Bran invaded Ireland, wading the Irish sea while his army went by ship. The Irish king abdicated without a fight in favour of Gwern, his son. When Efnisien killed Gwern by pushing him into the fire, fighting broke out again and all the Irish, except five pregnant women, and all except seven of the British were killed. Bran was wounded and died soon after. Branwen died of grief at his loss. His head was struck off, as he had instructed, and was taken back to Britain to be buried many years later at the White Mount (the Tower of London) to protect the kingdom. In the years before it was buried the head ate and spoke as it had done when Bran was alive. The seven survivors of the battle were Gluneu, Grudye, Heilyn, Manawydan, Pryderi, Taliesin and Ynawg. During Bran's absence from Britain, the country was conquered by Caswal - lawn. Years later, King Arthur, saying that the kingdom should depend for its defence on him rather than on some buried relic, dug up the head. The story of Bran's invasion of Ireland is similar to the story of King Arthur's expedition to the underworld, Annwfn; here too, there were just seven survivors. In later years, Bran was known as Urien. Also commonly referred to as Bran, Bendigeid Vran, Bendigeid Vran, Bran, Bendigeidfran, Bendigeidfran, Bran, Bendigert Bran, Bendigert Bran or Bran.
Irish - A hero voyager. Son of Febal. He picked a branch of apple blossom and carried it to his hall where a mysterious woman told him about a marvellous island across the sea. She then took the branch and disappeared. Bran followed with three boats, each with a crew of nine men. Manannan the sea-god confirmed the story of the island, Emain Ablach, so they rowed on. At the Island of Joy one of the crewmen stayed behind while Bran and the rest went on to the Island of Women, where they stayed for about a year. One of his crew, Neachtan, became homesick so they returned to Ireland but when the sailor jumped ashore he immediately crumbled to dust - they had been away for centuries and nobody recognised Bran or his men so they put to sea again and no more was heard of them. Identified as Bran, Bendigeid Vran, Bendigeid Vran, Bran, Bendigeidfran, Bendigeidfran, Bran, Bendigert Bran, Bendigert Bran or Bran.
Irish - A hound of Finn. Finn's sister (or in other accounts his sister-in-law or aunt) was Uirne and she was to be married to Iollann. When she became pregnant Iollann's jealous mistress, a druidess, put a spell on Uirne, turning her into a bitch, with the result that her children, Sceolan and Bran, were born as hounds. In other accounts Uirne was restored to her former self by Lugaid Lagha, whom she married, and the pups were born to them at the same time as human triplets. When Angus Og said the hounds could never kill any of his swine, Finn set both dogs to work and they killed all the herd of 100, including the famous black boar. In some versions Bran was originally owned by a giant who stole children. When Finn killed the giant and rescued the children he also took the giant's bitch and her two whelps. Finn kept the brindled one, Bran, and the other, called Sceolan, was left with the father of some of the stolen children who had sought Finn's help. On one occasion, both Bran and Sceolan were stolen by Arthur, a son of British King Arthur, who had come to Ireland with twentyeight warriors to seek adventure. Nine Fianna warriors followed them when they continued their journey to Scotland and killed all of them, taking Arthur prisoner and recovering the hounds. Finn accidentally struck Bran with a leash and the hound was so upset at this harsh treatment that it ran away and drowned itself in a lake. Other stories say that Finn himself killed the hound to save a fawn that he had run down. On occassion, known as Bran, Bendigeid Vran, Bendigeid Vran, Bran, Bendigeidfran, Bendigeidfran, Bran, Bendigert Bran, Bendigert Bran or Bran.
Norse - The dog of Frithiof. Occasionally referred to as Bran, Bendigeid Vran, Bendigeid Vran, Bran, Bendigeidfran, Bendigeidfran, Bran, Bendigert Bran, Bendigert Bran or Bran.

Nearby Myths