René d'Herblay 'Aramis' is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, père. He and the other two musketeers Athos and Porthos are friends of the novel's protagonist, d'Artagnan.

The fictional Aramis is loosely based on the historical musketeer Henri d'Aramitz whose name comes from the French village now named Aramits.


Aramis loves intrigues and women, which fits well with the opinions of the time regarding Jesuits and abbots. As a musketeer, his great ambition was to become an abbé; as an abbé he wishes for the life of the soldier.

Aramis seems to be followed by luck, but it is never enough; every step forward must be used to climb to even greater power. This characteristic leads to his nomination as Superior General of the Jesuits, which is precisely what saves his life, at the end of Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, after he is betrayed by Nicolas Fouquet.

Despite his Machiavellian attitude, Aramis holds very firmly to the sacred concept of friendship. In fact, the only wrong moves Aramis has ever made were done when he refused to harm a friend (or a friend's feelings). In Twenty Years After, he followed Athos's pleas to spare Mordaunt, while he was holding him at gunpoint and, in Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, he refused to suppress d'Artagnan, when he discovered the truth about Belle-Ile-En-Mer, and he let Fouquet betray him, instead of assassinating him. Aramis even tells the truth to Porthos about the man in the iron mask's real identity, despite fearing that Porthos would kill him. Friendship is so important to Aramis that it is strongly implied, at the end of Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, that he cried (for the first time in his entire life) when one of his friends died. Later, he explicitely told someone that he considered him a true friend.

At the time of the Three Musketeers, ca. 1627, Aramis was largely dependent on gold from wealthy mistresses to survive, as military pay was low and infrequent.

Use of first name

In contrast to the other musketeers, Aramis is referred to by his first name twice by Dumas: he is christened René. We hear this name when d'Artagnan stumbles upon him and his mistress in the second book (in the chapter: Les Deux Gaspard), and again when Bazin is talking about Aramis in the third. In Twenty Years After he is a Jesuit known as the Abbé d'Herblay as well as Chevalier d'Herblay. In The Vicomte de Bragelonne he is known as the Bishop of Vannes, a title given to him by Nicolas Fouquet and later he became the Superior General of the Jesuits. When he comes back from exile, he is a Spanish noble and known as Duke of Alameda.

In film and television

Actors who have played Aramis on screen include:

In anime

  • In the anime version, Aramis is a woman who cross-dressed into a man in order to become a musketeer. Aramis' love of the arts in the original novel influenced the producers of the Japanese cartoon series to change the character's gender. In addition, it added a romantic angle within the series.

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