Arthur's Three Great Queens
- Gwenhwyfar daughter of (Cywryd) Gwent,
- and Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gwythyr son of Greidiawl,
- and Gwenhwyfar daughter of Gogfran the Giant.
There has long been a tradition of the Goddess of Sovereignty
--wife of Llyr
) being a trinity: for instance, in Irish myth, there is Eriu
, and Banbha
, who are triplet sisters and queens of Ireland
; the three Brigit
s; the Morrighan
, who is Babdh
, and Nemain
; and so on. Now, "Morrighan
" means "Great Queen" or "Phantom Queen"; "Rhiannon
" is the Welsh for "Great Queen," and she appears in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi
, and "Gwenhwyfar" is thought to come from "White Phantom," cognate to the Irish figure Findabar
, daughter of Mebd
It is safe to assume, then, that Gwenhwyfar is a manifestation of this trinitarian goddess of sovereingty. Moreover, in some romances, it is said that there are at least two Gueneveres--the true one, and her evil twin, who locks the true one away, but is later murdered, leaving the true Guenevere to be restored.
The father of the third Gwenhwyfar--Gogfran Gawr--is thought to be a version of Bran/Bendigedfran, since his name can be translated as Bran the Giant, and Bran is described as being a giant.
Back to the Welsh Triads