Rhiannon

Welsh - A moon-goddess and goddess of the dawn. Daughter of Hefydd Hen. Wife of Pwyll. Mother of Pryderi. A mysterious lady who appeared riding a white mare in front of Pwyll's court. Though she rode at what seemed a canter, none of Arthur's riders could overtake her. She asked for help to prevent her forced marriage to Gwawl, a man she did not love and Pwyll married her himself. Soon after their first son was born, it disappeared and the nurses, fearing the wrath of the parents, said that Rhiannon had eaten the baby, putting bones beside the bed and smearing the sheets with blood as Rhiannon slept, as proof of her crime. She was condemned for a whole year to carry all visitors to the castle on her back. The baby, who had been left on the doorstep of the farmer Teirnyon, was later returned to its parents and was called Pryderi. After Pwyll's death, Pryderi introduced his mother to Manawydan and they married. When all living things disappeared from Wales, she and her husband, together with Pryderi and his wife Cigfa, travelled to England but, having roused the enmity of the local tradesmen whose work they were taking, they returned to Wales. She and Pryderi were mysteriously spirited away and Manawydan's farm was overrun by a plague of mice. He was about to hang the largest of the mice when a bishop claimed her as his wife and offered a large ransom. He was the magician Llwyd who had put a spell on the countryside to avenge Rhiannon's earlier rejection of Gwawl. When his wife was restored to human form, Llwyd lifted the spell, Rhiannon and Pryderi reappeared and things then returned to normal. She owned some singing birds, capable of waking the dead or lulling the living to sleep which Ysbaddaden required Culhwch to get in his quest for the hand of Olwen. In some accounts, Rhiannon is identified with Nimue. At times, referred to as Rhiannon, Great Queen, Great Queen, Rigantona, Rigantona, Rig Antona, Celtic Epona, Celtic Epona, Hippona, Epona, Epona, The Divine Horse, The Great Mare, Greek Hippona, Irish Edain, Roman Augusta or Welsh Rhiannon.

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