North Wales is ruled by Math, son of Mathonwy.
Aranrhod gives birth to two sons. One, Dylan, immediately takes to
the sea. The other becomes named
Lleu Llaw Gyffes
(Bright, with a Skilful Hand).
mother Aranrhod refuses him permission to marry any mortal woman, Lleuís
uncles Math and Gwydion fashioned a bride for him out of nine types of
flowers (broom, meadowsweet, oak blossom, primrose, cockle, bean, nettle,
chestnut and hawthorn), and produced the loveliest woman ever seen, the
The two married and lived contentedly,
until one day when Lleu left his wife alone while he went to visit Math.
that a stag hunt passed by the castle and Blodeuwedd sent a messenger
offering the party hospitality for the night. But as soon as she beheld its
leader Gronw Pebyr, from Caer Gai by Bala, she fell in love with him. It
wasn't long before they declared their desire to be together and decided
that the only way was to murder Lleu.
This was not to be straightforward - due to his magical
killed neither by day nor by night,
neither riding or walking,
neither in water nor out of water,
neither clothed or naked,
and neither indoors or out of doors! Furthermore,
he could only be killed by a weapon which has taken a
year to make and not lawfully.
got Lleu to reveal that he could only be
killed at twilight, when on the bank of a river,
with one foot on the back of a he-goat and the other on the rim of a bath,
wearing a fishing net, under a canopy. The spear needed to kill him would have to take a year to
make, working only on Sundays.
Gronw set to work, and
working only on Sundays
spent a whole year making a spear. A year later
when the spear was made, Blodeuwedd tricked Lleu into demonstrating
to her how his death could be possible.
When he showed her Gronw emerged from
nearby trees and hurled the
spear at him, hitting him in the thigh.
immediately turned into an eagle and flew away, but later was magically
transformed back into human shape and nursed back to health.
later Blodeuwedd the Flower Maiden was caught by Gwydion and
as punishment he changed her into an
not dare to show your face in the light of day ever again.
And you will
not lose your name - that will always be
Gronw escapes to Penllyn and sends emissaries to Lleu to beg of his
forgiveness. Lleu refuses, demanding that Gronw must stand on the bank of
the River Cynfael and receive a blow from his spear. Gronw desperately asks
if anyone will take the spear in his place, but his men refuse his plea.
Eventually, Gronw agrees to receive the blow, but
(since this was due to the wiles of a woman) on the
condition that Lleu gives him a chance by allowing him
to place a stone between
himself and the throw of the spear.
him to do so, but throws the spear with such strength that it pierces
throught the stone, killing his rival.
re-established himself in his castle, and the stone, pierced with the hole,
was left standing by the River Cynfael as a reminder to his enemies of the
fates of his rival and the Bride of Flowers.
It is said
in the form of an owl, Blodeuwedd still mourns for her one true lost love,
and can be heard calling for him at night around