Broceliande: The Niniane Home Page
Welcome to Broceliande

Merlin and Nimue

Teach me all you know and I will consent to anything you desire.

Welcome to my home! I am Niniane, perhaps the most forgotten sorceress who exists. (Weep, weep.) Well, never mind the hysterics. Let me tell you about myself before you get in too deep...

Incidentally, I often go by other names, including Nyneve, Vivian, Viviane, Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, and many, many others. For information as to why I chose this particular name, please check out Niniane's Name Page

I am typically the character, in Arthurian legend, who learns all of the secrets of Merlin before disposing of him. Although Merlin has an infatuation with me, in most stories, I feel less kindly towards him. However, I do feel more kindly towards Arthur and protect him after the death or imprisonment of Merlin. I also dispose of the sorceresses who threaten Arthur with far more ability than Merlin ever did including the likes of Morgan le Fey, Camille, and Hellawas. In some stories, I am also the foster mother of Lancelot and in most I sponser him in Arthur's court.

Do not confuse me, though, with the first Lady of the Lake. Although I am the Lady of the Lake, I am the second. The first, the one who gives Arthur Excaliber, is killed early in Arthurian legend. I however, am the Lady of the Lake who bears Arthur to Avalon and in some stories, receives Excaliber as it is thrown back into the lake. I am also associated with Morgan le Fey, Arthur's dangerous half sister and his other half sister, Margawse.

I come from a rich tradition of history and legend. I am identified with the Roman moon goddess, Diana, of whom I am said to be a follower. I am also identified with various water sprites such as the nereids in Greek mythology. I probably started out as Ganeida, an ancient Welsh Bard's half sister. (The bard just happens to be an early form of Merlin!) Ganeida had all of the powers and knowledge of Merlin and retired with him to a house in the forest. I took my current form in the French Romances in the Suite du Merlin where I imprison Merlin in a tomb and in the Vulgate Cycle where I imprison him in a whitethorn bush. I later go on to Le Morte de Arthur where I imprison Merlin within a cave. I am one of the older characters in Arthurian legend, and appear in almost all forms of it. See more of how I appear in Niniane's Place in Classical and Popular Literature.

Because some of the literature is so wonderful (and short!), I have started a library to keep all of it in. If you have a poem, short story, essay, etc. having to do with Niniane, please, please, please, please, please! give send it to me, and I'll put it up here.

I am also a femme fatal, a deadly, yet beautiful woman. John Keats, a marvelous Romantic poet, wrote a poem usually associated with me called La Belle Dame Sans Merci or "The Beautiful Lady without Pity

Huge amounts of artwork have also been done with me as a subject. Some of my favorites come from the Pre-Raphelite school and are (I think) really worth looking at at my Niniane Pictures Page.

Enjoy! And if you have time, Return to the Ivory Tower: My Main Page

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