Rhiannon gave birth to a son after three years of their rule; however, on the night of the birth, the child disappeared while in the care of six of Rhiannon's ladies-in-waiting. They feared that they would be put to death, and to avoid any blame, smeared blood from a puppy on the sleeping Rhiannon, and lay its bones around her bed. Pwyll imposed a penance on Rhiannon for her crime, to remain in the court of Arberth for seven years, and to sit every day near a horse-block outside the gate telling her story to all that passed. In addition, she was to carry any willing guest to the court on her back.
The child appeared outside a stable of King Teyrnon, whose mares had just given birth but the foals had disappeared. Teyrnon had been watching his stables when he saw a mysterious beast coming to take the foal; Teyrnon stopped the beast by cutting off its arm at the elbow, and found the child outside the stable. He and his wife adopted him. The child grew to adulthood in only seven years and was given the foal which had led Teyrnon to the stable. Teyrnon realized who the child was and returned him to Pwyll and Rhiannon, who named him Pryderi (care).
Pryderi married Cigfa and became King of Dyfed after his father died. He then invited Manawydan (his stepfather) to live with him in Dyfed. Soon, Dyfed turned into a barren wasteland and only Rhiannon, Pryderi, Cigfa and Manawydan survived. Manawydan and Pryderi, while out hunting, saw a white boar which they followed. Pryderi and his mother, Rhiannon, touched a golden bowl that the boar led them to and became enchanted. Manawydan and Cigfa were unable to help them until they captured a mouse which was actually the wife of Llwyd, Rhiannon's enemy (seeking revenge for her treatment of Gwawl), and the spell was lifted.
The name appears to be derived from the Proto-Celtic root *rīganī meaning 'queen' in combination with the augmentive suffix -on. The Romano-British form of this name, if it had existed at that stage, would likely have been *Rīgantonā. This is supported by a number of academic authors.
According to Professor Proinsias Mac Cana of University College Dublin and Visiting Professor of Celtic Studies at Harvard University Rhiannon derives ‘from *Rīgantonā Divine Queen’. Dr Anne Ross gives Rhiannon’s derivation as, ‘Welsh Riannon from Rigantona, great queen’ . Professor Miranda Green of the University of Wales gives two meanings, combining the above derivations: ‘Her name may derive from that of a pagan goddess Rigantona (“Great – or Sacred – Queen”)’.
In answer the question, ‘Who was Rhiannon?’, Proinsias Mac Cana states: ‘[Rhiannon] reincarnates the goddess of sovereignty who, in taking to her a spouse, thereby ordained him legitimate king of the territory which she personified’ . According to Professor Green, ‘Rhiannon conforms to two archetypes of myth ... a gracious, bountiful queen-goddess’ .
Rhiannon is also the name given to asteroid 16912.
INCHESTER -- Rhiannon Smith may have been located, but the next chapter of her disappearance has already [Derived Headline]
Oct 22, 2010; By JASON SIEDZIK Register Citizen Staff WINCHESTER -- rhiannon Smith may have been located, but the next chapter of her...