Real Name: Gwynn fab Donn
Occupation: Chieftain of the Gods of Gaul, Tutelary god of Gwynedd
Legal Status: Citizen of Avalon
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Gwydion except as a mythological character.
Other Aliases: None known
Place of Birth:
somewhere along the Danube River in modern France
somewhere along the Danube River in modern France
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Elathan (father), Gaea (mother, alias Danu), Cernunnos, Lugh II, Dylan (sons), Arianrhod (sister/wife), Niamh (grand-daughter, aka The Lady of the Lake), The Dagda, Llyr , Amaethon (brothers), Penardun (sister, deceased), Mider, Bodb, Oenghus, Oghma, Manannan (nephews), Andraste, Branwen, Brigid, Epona (nieces)
Group Affiliations: The Gods of Gaul, ally of the Gods of Eire (the Tuatha de Danaan)
Base of Operations:
Avalon, formerly Dinas Dinnllev in Wales
Avalon, formerly Dinas Dinnllev in Wales
First Appearance: Gwydion has yet to appear in the Marvel or DC Universes.
History: Gwydion is a member of of the extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Tuatha de Danaan who were worshipped as gods by the Ancient Celts, Britons and Gaels. Danu was the ancient name of Gaea, the primeval earth-goddess. It is possible the Danaans might be descendants of the Fomore, the ancient primeval spirits of Eire (Ancient Ireland), who were worshipped as gods by the Fir Bholg tribes that ruled Eire. The Fomore, however, became corrupt, and Gaea, who had been taken as a wife by Elathan, one of the Fomorian Chieftains, departed Eire with Elathan's children, determined to raise them under her positive tutelage to be eternal enemies of the Fomore.
As adults, Gwydion and the Danaans challenged Elathan over worship rites from Eire and eventually ousted them from Earth after several battles. Gwydion's brother, known as the Dagda, became ruler of the Celtic Gods afterward, while Gwydion became became Chieftain of the gods ruled in Gaul. Although known collectively as the Tuatha de Danaan, the Gods of Gaul and Eire at oft times showed signs of dissension to each other. The Milesian tribes that had been exiled to Gaul from Eire by the Fomore millennia earlier revered Gwydion as one of their patron gods, and laid claim to Eire around the Eighteenth Century BC. They laid siege to Eire invoking the name of Milesius, their eponymous ancestor who had laid claim to Eire before the Fomore. Although the Milesians conquered Eire, Gwydion and the Dagda formed a truce to never raise in hostility over the other again and the Tuatha de Danaan were driven from earth for the other-dimensional realm of Otherworld whose paths of access were hidden underground along the ley lines of Ireland. In later myths, it was claimed that the Celtic Gods were driven underground.
Gwydion took his sister, Arianrhod, to be his wife, but she
concealed the birth of her two sons from him. Gwydion's son, Dylan (aka Dyonas),
became a god of the sea, but Arianrhod refused to name his other son, cursing
him that he could only be named by herself and no other. She
kept the identity of both sons from Gwydion for several years.
Gwydion's brother, Amaethon (in some accounts, it is Gilfaethwy, possibly they are the same brother), had fallen in love with the mortal female, Goewin, from the court of Math fab Mathonwy of Gwynedd in Western Briton. Gwydion, however, used mystical deceit and subterfuge to spirit Goewin from Math for his brother. Knowing of the herd of mystical swine give to King Pryderi of Dyfed by the god Arawn, Gwydion promised them to Math in exchange for Goewin. He then disguised himself as a bard and secretly infiltrated a retinue of travelers to Dyfed where he was hospitably received by Pryderi. Gwydion promised a fair exchange in favor of the swine by the next morning and created secretly by magic twelve magnificent stallions, twelve greyhounds with gold collars and twelve golden shields. Pryderi was shown the magically created animals and shields after consulting his lords and gave up his swine as Gwydion quickly departed Eire. Gwydion knew his spells were illusory and two days after his departure, the enchantment wore off and Pryderi was left with nothing. Math surrendered Goewin to Gwydion upon receiving the stolen swine. Both brothers took turns ravishing Goewin as Pryderi raised an army against Math at Maen Tyriawg (modern Maentwrog, Wales). According to legend, it was Gwydion who cast the final blow that slew Pryderi.
Although his acquisition should have placed Gwydion in high favor with Math, his behavior with Goewin lead to him and Amaethon to being humiliated. Math called upon Arianrhod, Queen of the Gods and wife of Gwydion, for punishment, and Gwydion and Amaethon were exiled to earth in the form of deer for three years. When Gwydion regained his true form and godhood after three years, he supposedly brought a son sired from an actual deer during his time on earth. Possibly, this son became the god known as Cernunnos, but this is unconfirmed. As an adult, he became possibly one of the most revered and favored gods in the Celtic Pantheon.
The position of foot holder to Math, however, still remained vacant, and Gwydion once again showed off his wiles and nature to fill the position. He recommended his wife Arianrhod to the position, which required a virgin, but in mystically proving that she was still a virgin, it was discovered that Arianrhod had secretly given birth to Gwydion's son some years before. (According to legend, Arianrhod "dropped" both children while stepping over a wand. Afterward, it became superstition that whenever a girl stepped over a broom, she would be a mother before she was a wife.)
Gwydion adopted the boys in secret and broke the curse on his unnamed son by waiting four years and then disguising himself and the boy to approach his wife. When Gwydion asked Arianrhod in this ruse for a worthy name for his son, she named him Lleu Llaw Gyffes (although he later became known as Lugh, after the Celtic hero.). Gwydion then revealed his true form and that of his son. Enraged, Arianrhod cursed her son once more that he would never bear arms. Gwydion broke this curse by falsifying an attack on Arianrhod's castle, and she hurried armed her son to defend her. Realizing she had been tricked once more, she cursed Lleu Llaw Gyffes that he would never have a mortal wife. Gwydion broke this curse as well by recruiting King Math fab Mathonwy. He promised Math's daughter, Blodeuwedd, to Lleu Llaw Gyffes and disguised her by mystically imbuing her with godhood from the flowers of oak, broom and meadowsweet. (According to later legends, she was actually created from these items.) Blodeuwedd, however, proved unfaithful to to Lleu Llaw Gyffes and even gave his enemies the secret to his weakness. Gwydion later turned her to an owl for her unfaithfulness.
In later years, Gwydion was attributed for guiding the hero,
Talesin, son of the goddess, Cerridwen, into his destiny. His later exploits are
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 345 lbs.
Hair: White, formerly Brown
Strength Level: Gwydion possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) somewhere around 3o tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers: Gwydion possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Celtic gods. Like all Celtic gods, he is extremely long-lived, but he not not immortal like the Olympian Gods. He has not aged very slowly since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Llyr or the Dagda or for a number of Celtic gods of equal power working together to revive him. Gwydion also possesses superhuman strength and his Danaan metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Danaan flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the superhuman strength and weight of the Tuatha de Danaan.)
Gwydion also has the ability to tap into and manipulate
magical energies, but he is obviously no where as powerful as the
Dagda or Llyr.
It is known that he could create and conjure mystical copies of living things such as horses and
dogs out of nothing, but these creations usually vanished into nothingness after
some time, usually around two days. He could cast illusions with which to
mask his appearance, even before other gods. He could also cast spells to turn others into animals like
owls, or to imbue objects or living things with mystical attributes or to
augment the mystical properties of physical objects.
Comments: So far, Gwydion has not been seen in modern media, but he is possibly behind the scenes when the Danaans helped to defend Asgard in the Marvel Universe.
Clarifications: Gwydion is not to be confused with:
Last updated: 10/14/06
Back to Main Page