Sir Bedivere

Real Name: Bedwyr Bedrydant





Known Relatives:


Base of Operations:

First Appearance: c.400 A.D.

Powers/Abilities: Bedivere was a great knight. If the tale of "Culhwch and Olwen" is taken literally then he was either incredibly skilled with a sword, or perhaps superhumanly fast.

History: Sir Bedivere was known to the Welsh as Bedwyr Bedrydant or "of the Perfect Sinews" and was therefore, presumably, a very muscular man. Along with Sir Kay or Cai Hir (the Tall), he is one of the most ancient warriors associated with King Arthur. He appears in the Mabinogion tale of "Culhwch and Olwen" as the handsomest warrior who ever was at Arthur's Court, "and although he was one-handed no three warriors drew blood in the same field faster than he". In the Life of St. Cadog, he was one of Arthur's entourage sent to pursue King Gwynllyw of Gwynllwg after he had abducted St. Gwladys from her father's court in Brycheiniog. Bedwyr is also recorded in the Black Book of Carmarthen as having fought at the unlocated Battle of Tryfrwyd: "By the hundred they fell before Bedwyr Bedrydant" for "Furious was his nature with shield and sword". Geoffrey of Monmouth named him as Arthur's head butler and Duke of Normandy. He fought the giant of Mont St. Michel and was highly active in the King's continental campaigns, during which he may have been killed. Later literary tradition, particularly voiced by Sir Thomas Malory, makes him Sir Bedivere, the knight who returned Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake after the Battle of Camlann.

Arthur's companion from the earliest traditions. His name is probably best known from the stories of the end of Arthur's life, when Arthur bade him throw Excalibur in the lake. Bedivere could not bring himself to fling the fabled sword into the water, and twice told the King he had done so when he had not. When the King asked him what he had seen, he replied, "Only the water lapping at the banks." Arthur knew from this that he was lying. A third time the King bade him throw the sword into the lake. This time Bedivere complied, and he saw a hand rise from the water and catch the sword. He survived the battle of Camlann, along with his brother.

Comments: His brother was named as Sir Lucan. Bedwyr's early appearance in Arthurian tradition suggests he may well have been a real person. Little is known of his family. He had a daughter named Enefog and a son, Amren. His father was Bedrawt. Bedwyr's Well, the Ffynnon Fedwyr could once be seen in Northern Gwynllwg, and Welsh tradition says he was buried at Alld Tryvan, which would appear to be Din-Dryfan (Dunraven Castle, Morgannwg). Due to Bedwyr's particular association, therefore, with the kingdoms of Morgannwg and Gwynllwg, it is likely that he was a member of the Royal House of Finddu. His recorded father, "Bedrawt" or Pedrod may have been Prince Pedr son of King Glywys Cernyw of Glywysing.

Further details on the Knights can be found here

The text in the history above is copyright of David Nash Ford and is reproduced from


Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

Back to British Historical / Mythical characters

Back to General UK Heroes


All images and characters depicted are copyright their respective holders, and are used above for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.