The Vulgate Lancelot informs the reader that, back "in the time of Virgil", Diana had been a Queen of Sicily that was considered a goddess by her subjects. Modern retellings often omit that episode. When Uther was near death, Merlin arranged for the Sword-in-the-Stone contest so that Arthur could withdraw the sword from the stone and be recognized as the next king. Merlin Emrys was brought forward. A number of locations are traditionally associated with the Lady of the Lake's abode. Even though "Nymue", with the m, appears only in the Caxton text, Nimue is perhaps the most common form of the name of the character as this was the only version of Le Morte d'Arthur published until 1947. Jarman, A. O. H., "Hwimleian, Chwibleian", Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 16 (1954–1956) 72–76. ", "Folklore of the Welsh Lakes: The Legend and Legacy of the Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach", "How Netflix's 'Cursed' Twists the Ancient Arthurian Stories of Nimue, The Lady of the Lake", "Journey to Avalon: The Final Discovery of King Arthur", "Brocéliande dans le Lancelot-Graal - Encyclopédie de Brocéliande", "A Comparison of Celtic Myth and Arthurian Romance", "Milla Jovovich To Play Blood Queen In 'Hellboy' Reboot", "Château & lac de Comper - site légendaire Brocéliande", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lady_of_the_Lake&oldid=999807792, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Cornish-language text, Articles containing Italian-language text, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The Post-Vulgate rewrite also describes how Diana had killed her partner Faunus to be with a man named Felix, but then she was herself killed by her lover at that lake, which came to be called the Lake of Diana (Lac Diane). Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in Arthurian legend. Monmouth based his Merlin on a legend who was called Myrddin. Knowing that Merlin could take her unwillingly, she made him swear that he would use no magic to make her lay with him. Merlin during his lifetime turned his back on evil and dark forces to turn to the power of light and goodness. Nimue talks Vortigern into setting Merlin free and she and the wizard go away together and live happily for a while. See more ideas about merlin, arthurian, fantasy art. The all-mighty wizard Merlin could not help but become enchanted by Nimue, who keeps Merlin away from King Arthur, replacing Merlin and becoming Arthur’s on-call magician.  Others have linked the name "Nymenche" with the Irish mythology's figure Niamh (an otherworldly woman from the legend of Tír na nÓg), and the name "Niniane" with either the Welsh mythology's figure Rhiannon (another otherworldly woman of a Celtic myth), the 5th-century saint Ninian, or the river Ninian.. They play pivotal roles in many stories, including providing Arthur with the sword Excalibur, eliminating Merlin, raising Lancelot after the death of his father, and helping to take the dying Arthur to Avalon. Arthur gives the Lady a rich burial, has her slayer banished, and allows Sir Launcenor of Ireland to go after him to avenge this disgrace. And I vow on this day that the Fey will live free again!" " The Livre d'Artus has Niniane leave Merlin for another lover (the evil king Brandin of the Isles, whom she teaches some magic that he then applies to his terrible castle Dolorous Gard); she is never actually molested by Merlin and rids herself of him only as a precaution.  The most primitive French form might be Niniane. Nimue is portrayed differently in various versions of the legend Credit: 2020 Netflix, Inc. French tales make her the evil arch-nemesis of King Arthur. The two dragons began to combat. This is translated as "Our Lady of the Lake", making reference to Mary, mother of Jesus as the Lady of the Lake, evidencing fusion between Arthurian legend and middle-Christian history.. Hence, Merlin became an important figure in the reign of three later kings (Aurelius, Uther, and Arthur). Long ago in a cave obscured by the mists of time, Nimue, a powerful sorceress and Merlin’s beloved, took the energy of their passion and wove it into a potent love spell. A child, Arthur, was born of this union and Merlin took the child away. He was once the court magician to King Arthur. His legend probably originated in the 500's and was embellished through time.  Possible prototypes include Guendoloena and Ganieda, respectively Merlin's one-time wife and his sister from Geoffrey's work, besides the Roman goddess of the hunt and the nature, Diana, the spiritual descent from whom is actually explicitly stated within the French prose narratives.  The 13th/14th-century English poem Of Arthour and of Merlin casts Morgan in the role of the Lady of the Lake, residing near a town named Ninniane. Thereafter she was an ally of King Arthur's. Some examples of such 20th and 21st century works are listed below. Merlin's mother's name was Aldan, and his father was supposedly a devil. She is later suddenly beheaded by Sir Balin as a result of a kin feud between them (she blames him for the death of her brother, while he blames her for the death of his mother, who had been burned at the stake, as well as for how, he says, "by enchantment and sorcery she has been the destroyer of many good knights") and a dispute over an enchanted sword. Nimue is a witch and priestess who lives on Avalon with Vivian. He was so in love with her that he was constantly at her side.  In the 14th-century French prose romance Perceforest, a lengthy prequel to the Arthurian legend in a more fantasy manner than the chronicles, the figures of the Lady of the Lake and of the enchantress Sebile have been merged to create the character of Sebile of the Castle of the Lake, an ancestor of Arthur. In my future blogs I’ll look at Avalon and Merlin, but I think the very next exploration of the Arthur legends should be about the man himself, King Arthur. Here, she is given the name Viviane (or similar) and a human origin.  The first time the character named Nimue appears is at the wedding of Arthur and Guinevere, as the young huntress rescued by Pellinore. She is initially known as the beautiful 12-years-old Damsel Huntress in her introductory episode, in which she serves the role of a damsel in distress in the quest of three knights sent by Merlin to rescue her from kidnapping. She is tired of his sexual advances, and afraid of his power as "a devil's son", so she does not have much of a choice but to ultimately get rid of him. “Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini.”, Hodges, Kenneth. The Trope Namer and probable Trope Maker is the Arthurian Mythos, where Merlin had a habit of teaching magic to younger women. Today the Lady of the Lake is best known as either Nimuë (Nimue), or several scribal variants of Ninianne and Viviane. There seems to be more than one "Lady of the Lake", but in Malory's Morte d'Arthur, Nimue is responsible for Merlin's downfall. Merlin supposedly moved Stonehenge for two reasons. , The second Lady of the Lake is sometimes referred to by her title and sometimes referred to by name. In the Prophéties de Merlin, she is proud of how Merlin had never taken her virginity, unlike what happened with his other students, and is especially cruel in the way she disposes of him; she then takes Tristan's brother Meliadus the Younger as her actual lover. Merlin made his first appearance in literature in the early 12th Century in Prophecies of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth. In some cases, it is also uncertain whether Morgan le Fay and the Lady of the Lake are identical or separate characters. Some versions cast Nimue as Merlin's enemy and ultimate doom while separating her from the Lady who gives Arthur his sword; other versions combine the … Nimue (named Nynyve in the original Winchester Manuscript), whom Malory describes as the "chief Lady of the Lake", plays a pivotal role in the Arthurian court throughout his story. Ford, Patrick K., "The Death of Merlin in the Chronicle of Elis Gruffudd", Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol 7 (1976), University of California Press, pp. She furthermore personally arrives to restore Lancelot to sanity during some of his recurring fits of madness. When Uther became king, Merlin arranged for him to seduce Igraine by making Uther magically take on the appearance of her husband, Gorlois. When Merlin was young, Vortigen, the King of Britain wanted to build a tower near Mount Snowdonia in Wales. In almost all versions of Arthurian legend, Nimue is the architect of Merlin’s downfall. He too splits her into two characters; Viviane is a deceitful villain who ensnares Merlin, while the Lady of the Lake is a benevolent figure who raises Lancelot and gives Arthur his sword. He decides to do nothing for his situation other than to continue to teach her his secrets until she takes the opportunity to entrap and entomb him within a tree, underneath a large stone, or inside a cave or a tomb, depending on the version of this story.  However, Nimue's character is often seen as still very ambigius by other scholars. Merlin was said to be born from an Incubus and a human maiden named Adhan, making him a Cambion(Half-demon, half-human) which is why he has magical powers. This is also the place at where Lancelot du Lac ("of the Lake") is later raised, at first not knowing his real parentage, by Viviane after she is 18 years old. The Vulgate Cycle tells of either a different or the same (that was made explicitly clear only in the later revisions) Lady of the Lake in the Prose Merlin-derived section, which takes place before its main Vulgate Lancelot section but was written later, and links her with the disappearance of Merlin. This takes place during the time when Merlin is still at Arthur's side and before the introduction of Viviane in the story. She became the lover of Sir Pelleas, whom she married. Arthur refuses this request, and Balin swiftly decapitates her instead with his own magic sword (a cursed blade given to him by a mysterious lady from Avalon just a moment earlier) in front of Arthur and then sends off his squire with her severed head, much to the distress and shame of the king. Alfred, Lord Tennyson adapted several stories of the Lady of the Lake for his 1859–1885 poetic cycle Idylls of the King.  The fairy queen character and her paradise island in Lanzelet are reminiscent of Morgen (Morgan) of the Island of Avallon in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini. In the Arthurian legends, Nimue's most prominent role is that of the woman who magically imprisoned Merlin. She then proceeds to perform some of the same actions as the Lady of the Lake of his sources but is different in some ways. Merlin foresaw his own death, but was so smitten with Nimue that he was helpless to avert his own tragic end. Malory does not use Nimue's name for the Lady of the Lake associated with Lancelot, who too goes unnamed and may be considered the third one (it is highly possible that he had only access to the Suite du Merlin part of the Post-Vulgate Cycle as a source). Merlin’s name is derived from the latin ‘Merlinus’ in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s ‘Historia Regum Britanniae’ – “The History of the Kings of Britain” – which he wrote early in the 12th century. For instance, she saves Arthur from a magical attempt on his life made by his sister Morgan le Fay and from the death at the hands of Morgan's lover Accolon as in the Post-Vulgate, and together with Tristan frees Arthur from the lustful sorceress Annowre in a motif taken from the Prose Tristan. ― Nimue to the Fey people[source] Nimue is the protagonist of Cursed. In the film Merlin, Merlin and Nimue fall in love at an early age when Merlin saves Nimue's life. In the Lancelot-Grail (Vulgate) prose cycle, the Lady resides in an enchanted realm, an otherworld the entry to which is disguised as an illusion of a lake (the Post-Vulgate notes it as Merlin's work). Together, they bear the mortally wounded Arthur away to Avalon. The Lancelot-Grail Cycle provides a backstory for the Lady of the Lake, "Viviane", in the Prose Merlin section, which takes place before the Lancelot Proper, though it was written later. This article is about the character Nimue. Real World Background. In Cursed, Merlin (Gustaf Skarsgard) is a powerful druid sorcerer who serves King Uther but comes up against the extremist Red Paladins alongside Nimue, Arthur and Morgana. He educated Arthur and kept him safe. The Vulgate Lancelot explains this by a spell she put "on her groin which, as long as it lasted, prevented anyone from deflowering her and having relations with her. In Malory, she is the companion to a previous lady and takes over in that role. They grow up apart, but never forget one another. Walter Scott wrote an influential poem, The Lady of the Lake, in 1810, drawing on the romance of the legend, but with an entirely different story set around Loch Katrine in the Trossachs of Scotland. Later, the Lady comes to Arthur's court to receive her end of the bargain; she asks for the head of Sir Balin, whom she blames for her brother's death. In the oldest stories his pupil/lover's name was Nynave, (but this is often changed to Nimue and sometimes changed again to other names, with Vivien/Vivianne being the most common) and she eventually betrayed him and bound Merlin in a tree, a rock or a cave, … enchantress and sorceress in Arthurian legend, "Waving her hands and uttering the charm, [she] presently enclosed him fast within the tree.". Here, Nimue is given a look at the past and at Merlin's connection to the sword, leaving her unsure whether to follow her mother's dying instructions. She was born in Dionas' domain of Briosque in the forest Brocéliande, and it was an enchantment of her fairy godmother Diana that caused Viviane to be so alluring to Merlin when she first met him there as a young teenager. The oldest localization of the Lake is in the Lancelot en prose, written around 1230. Sir Thomas Malory in "Le Morte d'Arthur" represents Merlin as being an advisor to King Arthur. The Lady of the Lake began appearing by this title in the French chivalric romances by the early 13th century as the fairy godmother-type foster mother of the hero Lancelot. One of several ladies known as the Lady of the Lake or the Dame du Lac. His usual depiction, based on an amalgamation of historical and legendary figures, was introduced by the 12th-century British author Geoffrey of Monmouth and the translator John of Cornwall. The Story of the Champions of the Round Table, "The Lady of the Lake ~ Other Characters in Arthurian Legend", "Echoes of Legend: Magic as the Bridge Between a Pagan Past and a Christian Future in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur", "Nymue, the Chief Lady of the Lake, in Malory's Le Morte D’arthur. Nimue instead becomes the lover and eventually wife of Pelleas, a gentle young knight whom she then also puts under her protection so "that he was never slain by her days.". She can be also selfish, ruthless, desiring, and capricious. Michelle Ryan played an antagonistic Nimue in the BBC series Merlin (Picture: BBC) Given her role in the mythos, Nimue pops up in pretty much every … Scott's material furnished subject matter for La donna del lago, an 1819 opera by Gioachino Rossini. She refuses to give him her love until he has taught her all his secrets, but when he does, she uses her power to trap him either in the trunk of a tree or beneath a stone, depending on … Digging proved this to be true, and two dragons (one white and one red) emerged. There, she raises Lancelot from his infancy following the death of his father King Ban, teaching Lancelot arts and writing, infusing him with wisdom and courage, and overseeing his training to become an unsurpassed warrior. According to her backstory in the Vulgate Merlin, Viviane was a daughter of the knight Dionas (Dyonas) and a niece of the Duke of Burgundy. Geoffrey based his Merlin partly on on an earlier Welsh literary figure, Myrddin, and partly on the figure of Ambrosius from ‘Historia Brittonum’ written by the 9th century Welsh monk Nennius.  In Le Morte d'Arthur, on the other hand, Nimue is still the one to trap Merlin, but Malory gives her a sympathetic reason: Merlin falls in love with her and will not leave her alone; Malory gives no indication that Nimue loves him back. In Malory's version, Brandin of the Isles, renamed Brian (Bryan), is Nimue's evil cousin rather than her paramour. In some versions of the legend, Nimue traded her love for lessons in sorcery. This is a good place to discover the story, find links for further information and to see how Merlin and Nimue are portrayed in art through the ages. Nimue was one of the three women who took the wounded Arthur away to Avalon following the Battle of Camlann, alongside the Lady of the Lake and Morgana le Fay. Nimueh is based on the Lady of the Lake, alternately known as Nimue, Viviane, Niniane or Nyneve. Nimue accompanied Merlin on a journey so that she might learn his magic. She is a Fey with the power to control plant life around her. You may be looking for the episode "Nimue." In France, Viviane is also connected with Brittany's Paimpont forest, often identified as the Arthurian enchanted forest of Brocéliande, where her lake (that is, the Lake of Diana) is said to be located at the castle Château de Comper.. The French poet Robert Wace (c. 1110-1174 CE) then … The enchanted forest of Brocéliande is noted specifically, which later becomes the place of his imprisonment and/or burial. The legend of Nimue and Merlin is somewhat complicated and, like many details surrounding the characters, tends to change with each retelling. Though her identity may change, her role as a significant figure in the lives of both Arthur and Merlin remains consistent. The legend of Merlin and Nimue is an intriguing tale that entails love, spells, and death told through various stories in literature. For instance, in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin, Malory's source for the earlier parts of Le Morte d'Arthur, the Lady of the Lake traps Merlin in a tomb, which results in his death. As summarized by Amy S. Kaufman. Meanwhile, Merlin remains weakened after taking a hit to the chest from a poisoned arrow in the previous episode. Nimue’s character in Cursed conflates the different versions of the Lady of the Lake, introducing her as a young woman living among the Fey and struggling to control her strange powers.The series and the illustrated novel by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller on which it is based work as an origin story for Nimue. The 15th-century Italian manuscript La Tavola Ritonda (The Round Table) makes the Lady a daughter of Uther Pendragon and a sister to both Morgan and Arthur; here she is a character villainous to the extent that her own brother Arthur swears to burn her. Richard Wilbur referred to Vivien as “a creature to bewitch a sorcerer”, and even though Merlin could foretell and foresee his captivity, he was unable to stop it or overcome his enchantment with Vivien. Other versions have her trapping him in a bush or Hawthorne tree where his voice is sometimes heard. The place where Lancelot is raised is described there as to the north of Trèves-Cunault, on the Loire, in the middle of the (now extinct) forest of Beaufort-en-Vallée (the "Bois en Val" of the book). Related When Arthur became King, Merlin helped him acquire the infamous Round Table and helped Arthur set up his knightly order. … "The characters of the novel" in the various editions of the novel, including London: Macdonald, 1951, p. xvii. Walter Scott wrote an influential poem, The Lady of the Lake, in 1810, drawing on the romance of the legend, but with an entirely different story set around Loch Katrine in the Trossachs of Scotland. After several years, Vortigern captures Merlin, and Nimue finds him in a cell. The two dragons supposedly symbolized the constant fighting between the Saxons and the Britons. There are many variants on her name from text to text — Viviane, Eviene, Niviene; other places she is Nimue or Nina (as in Wordsworth). , After enchanting Merlin, Malory's Nimue replaces him as Arthur's magician aide and trusted adviser. 379–390, . Nimue (also known as Vivien, Eviene, Viviane, Nineve, Nina, Viviene and Niniane) was thought to be a "Lady of the Lake". Further theories connect her to the Welsh lake fairies known as the Gwragedd Annwn (including a Lady of the Lake unrelated to the legend of Arthur), the Romano-British water goddess Coventina (Covienna), and the North Caucasian Satanaya (Satana) from the Nart sagas. Franz Schubert set seven songs from Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake, including the three "Ellen songs" ("Ellens Gesang I", "Ellens Gesang II", and "Ellens Gesang III"), although Schubert's music to Ellen's third song has become far more famous in its later adaptation, known as "Ave Maria". When Nimue and Merlin meet in the fifth episode, she asks the wizard why her mother instructed her to bring him the sword. Franz Schubert set seven songs from Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake, including the three "Ellen songs" ("Ellens Gesang I", "Ellens Gesang II", and "Ellens Gesang III" ), although Schubert's music to Ellen's third songhas … After seeing Nimue ‘die’, Merlin gains possession of the Sword of Power and sees his magical abilities return, which he uses to defeat the Red Paladins and escape with Morgana. Thought Nynyve is sometimes friendly to Arthur and his knights, she is equally liable to act in her own interest. In the Vulgate Merlin, she refuses to give Merlin (who at this time is already old but appears to her in the guise of a handsome young man) her love until he has taught her all his secrets, after which she uses her power to seal him forever, originally either in the trunk of a hawthorn tree or beneath a stone. The second reason was because the stones possessed great powers of healing. Merlin (Welsh: Myrddin, Cornish: Marzhin, Breton: Merzhin) is a mythological figure prominently featured in the legend of King Arthur and best known as an enchanter or wizard. Nimue and Merlin have a very different relationship in the legend. When Arthur himself is in need in Malory's text, some incarnation of the Lady of the Lake, or her magic, or her agent, reaches out to help him. Medieval authors and copyists produced various forms of the latter, including Nimane (Vulgate Merlin, in addition to "Viviane"), Nimanne / Niv[i]en[n]e / Vivienne (Huth Merlin), Vivien, Vivian, Nimiane/Niniame (Arthour and Merlin and Henry Lovelich's English Merlin Continuation), Nymenche (Lancelot Propre), Nin[i]eve (Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin), Niniane (Livre d'Artus), Niviana (Baladro del Sage Merlin), and Ui[n/ui]ane (Estoire de Merlin), among other variations, including alternate spellings with the letter i written as y (such as Nymanne or Nynyane).  Such places within Great Britain include the lakes Dozmary Pool and The Loe in Cornwall, the lakes Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Ogwen in Snowdonia, River Brue's area of Pomparles Bridge in Somerset, and the lake Loch Arthur in Scotland. However, if you believe in Alfred Lord Tennyson's telling of the story, Nimue is more evil, Merlin's entrapment is "voluntary," and the love flows from Merlin to Nimue — not the other way around. Some other authors choose to emphasize a single character. Different sorceresses known as the Lady of the Lake appear concurrently as separate characters in some versions of the legend since at least the Post-Vulgate Cycle and consequently the seminal Le Morte d'Arthur, with the latter describing them as a hierarchical group, while some texts also give this title to either Morgan or her sister. Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his "Idylls of the King :Merlin and Vivien" portrays Merlin as the architect of Camelot.  She is also Morgan's sister in some other Italian texts such as Pulzella Gaia. She met Merlin when she was 16 years of age. In Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation, the first Lady of the Lake remains unnamed besides this epithet. , Arthurian scholar A. O. H. Jarman, following suggestions first made by scholars of the 19th century, proposed that the name "Viviane" used in French Arthurian romances were ultimately derived from (and a corruption of) the Welsh word chwyfleian (also spelled hwimleian, chwibleian, et al. She does this out of cruelty and a hatred of Merlin. Merlin was believed to be a seer or prophet by some, enchanted with magical powers or just a wise man by others. Afterwards, she sends off the young Lancelot to King Arthur's court as the nameless White Knight (a part of her affinity with the color white), but then keeps aiding him in various ways during his early adventures with her magic-item gifts (similar in that to his unnamed fairy protectoress in Chrétien's version, who too gives him a magic ring; the same of another of her magic rings also grants Lancelot's lover Queen Guinevere immunity from Morgan le Fay's power in the Prophéties de Merlin) and through her maidens serving as her agents and messengers. The story does not find connections to its roots until Nimue is entrusted with delivering a sword called the Devil’s Tooth to Merlin – a sorcerer she only knows by way of legend. Though Merlin knows beforehand that this will happen due to his power of foresight, he is unable to counteract her because of the 'truth' this ability of foresight holds. Versions of the Lady (or Ladies) of the Lake appear in many other works of Arthurian fiction, including novels, films, television series, stage musicals, comics, and games.  Furthermore, the fairy from Lanzelet has a son named Mabuz, an Anglo-Norman form of the name of Mabon, the son of Morgan's early Welsh counterpart and reputed progenitor Modron.. Like Cursed, Merlin draws on the famous Arthurian legend to tell its story, and also like Cursed, ... Merlin is Nimue's dad. Jarman, A. O. H., "A Note on the Possible Welsh Derivation of Viviane," Gallica: Essays Presented to J. Heywood Thomas (Cardiff 1969) 1–12. Merlin also received credit for being responsible for the moving of Stonehenge (also called The Giants Ring) from Mount Killaraus in Ireland to its current place in Salisbury Plain. Tatlock, J.S.P. Second, you're not alone in your perverse fantasies! As they traveled, Nimue became more and more afraid of Merlin's advances. One version has Nimue tiring of him and turning one of his own spells against him and seals him in a cave forever. The page quote comes from The Books of Magic, when Tim very briefly meets Merlin while traveling through time with The Phantom Stranger. Merlin (also known as Myrddin, Merlinus) is the great wizard of the Arthurian Legends best known from Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur (1469 CE). Modern authors of Arthurian fiction adapt the Lady of the Lake legend in various ways, often using two or more bearers of the title. All this takes her only a few years in the human world. In an analysis by Kenneth Hodges, Nimue appears through the story as the chivalric code changes, hinting to the reader that something new will happen in order to help the author achieve the wanted interpretation of the Arthurian legend: each time the Lady reappears in Le Morte d'Arthur, it is at a pivotal moment of the episode, establishing the importance of her character within Arthurian literature, as she transcends any notoriety attached to her character by aiding Arthur and other knights to succeed in their endeavours, subtly helping sway the court in the right direction. Nimue. Scott's material furnished subject matter for La donna del lago, an 1819 opera by Gioachino Rossini. The sequence was filmed among the ruins of Waverley Abbey in Surrey, which Milk developed into a larger, grander build of a castle city ruins. The full French name of the University of Notre Dame, founded in 1842, is Notre Dame du Lac.  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