Swan Knight

European - Son of Oriant and Beatrix. Brother of Oriant. Father of Ida. Six boys and a girl were born to Beatrix but were taken by Oriant's mother, Matabrune, who gave them to her servant, Marcon, with instructions to have them destroyed, replacing the children with seven puppies. Unable to kill them, Marcon abandoned the children in a wood where they were found and reared by a hermit. Oriant refused to believe his wife guilty of adultery and put her in prison rather than sending her to the stake. Another servant, Maquares, later found the children, recognising them by the silver necklets which had been round their necks at birth. On the orders of Matabrune, he took the necklets from six of the children who immediately turned into swans and flew off. The seventh child, a boy, was away at the time and was saved from this fate. The necklets were to be melted and made into goblets but the silversmith made two goblets from one necklet and kept the other five. Sixteen years later, Matabrune persuaded Oriant to put his wife to the stake but the remaining son, who had been baptised as Elias in the meantime, defeated a champion appointed by Matabrune and saved his mother's life. At the same time, the children who had been turned into swans regained their human form - except for the boy whose necklet had been melted down. Elias took up the cause of the Duchess of Bouillon, killing and decapitating the usurper Reinier and marrying the duchess's daughter, Beatrix, whom he instructed never to ask about his real identity. En route to their new home, they were attacked by Saxons. Galien, leader of the escort was killed but the Saxons were defeated and the party reached Bouillon safely. Seven years later, Beatrix asked the forbidden question and Elias left her, travelling in a boat drawn by the remaining swan-brother who was later restored to human form in a ritual involving the two goblets made from his necklet. On the death of his father, Elias succeeded to the throne of Illefort but later abdicated in favour of his brother, Oriant, and became a monk. In a separate German tradition, the Swan Knight was Lohengrin. Sometimes referred to as Swan Knight, Knight of the Swan, Knight of the Swan, Lohengrin, Elias, Elias, Helias, Helyas, Thunderer or Ylyas.

Nearby Myths