Real Name: Donn mac Midhir (Arawn is his Gaelic name)
Occupation: God of the dead
Legal Status: Citizen of Otherworld
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Arawn except as a mythological deity.
Other Aliases: Asal (Irish name)
Place of Birth:
possibly Momur (Tir na Bhog)
possibly Momur (Tir na Bhog)
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Mider (father), Fuamnach (mother, deceased), Morgen, Gliten, Glitonea, Cliton, Moronoe, Mazoe, Thitis, Tyronoe (daughters), Anpao (possible son), Oenghus, Oghma, Bodb, Diancecht (uncles), Andraste, Brigid, Epona, Eriu, Fodhla, Banbha (aunts), Bres (cousin), Diarmaid (son by Crochnuit),
Group Affiliations: The Tuatha de Danaan, ally of Pwyll
Base of Operations: Anwyn
First Appearance: Thor Annual 10 (behind the scenes)
History: Arawn is a member of an other-dimensional realm of beings known as the Tuatha de Danaan, a race of beings who were worshipped as gods by the Ancient Celts and Gaels of Western Europe. The Tuatha de Danaan are eternal enemies of the Fomore who once ruled Eire and managed to oust them from the island, eventually exiling them to another dimension. Arawn was born as Donn mac Midhir to Mider, god of the underworld of Tir na Bhog, and Fuamnach, the daughter of a Fir Bholg Chieftain once subjugated the the Fomore. Donn mac Midhir was known as Arawn to the Gaels and also by the Welsh tribes of Western Britain. Mider gave him dominion over Anwyn as location for the shades (astral spirits) of the worshippers of the Celtic Gods to retreat after death. Mider took a wife, Ethne, and fathered nine daughters who escorted the spirits of the dead to the afterlife after death. Among the warriors they carried was King Arthur after he died of his wounds in the Battle of Camlann. (His daughter, Morgen, later confused with Morgan Le Fay, the nemesis of King Arthur.)
Despite his role as god of the dead, Arawn visited Earth often to engage in hunting excursion with his prized hounds. He was once a guest of King Duibhne of Eire, seducing his daughter to father Diarmaid O'Duibhne, one of the greatest warriors of the Fianna tribes of Eire. While hunting in Britain, Arawn became close friends of Pwyll, King of Dyfed. While hunting, his dogs had taken down a large stag which Pwyll tried to claim for himself but later confessed was not rightly his. Arawn respected Pwyll for confessing, and Pwyll bravely faced punishment for his momentary hubris. Arawn cast a spell that exchanged both the men's identities and appearances. As Pwyll, Arawn lived on Earth for a while while as Arawn, Pwyll lived in Anywn, the land of the dead.
While he lived on Earth, Arawn guided Dyfed to great prosperity, departing it in greater condition that it was when Pwyll departed. While he lived in Anwyn, Pwyll met Arawn's enemy, Hafgan, possibly one of the Fomore, in battle and shattered his armor and shield, eventually slaying him, an event Arawn was never able to carry out on his own. Pwyll also added Hafgan's land to Arawn's realm, doubling it in size. Under Arawn's likeness, Pwyll also shared Ethne's bed, but he never returned or reciprocated her affection. When Arawn finally reversed their forms once more and returned to Anwyn, he revealed the truth to his wife who confessed that Pwyll was uncommonly chivalrous for not seducing her. Likewise, Pwyll did not take credit for the good Arawn did for Dyfed and honored Arawn. As a result, Arawn and Pwyll became the greatest of friends and great allies. They traded horses, hounds and treasures. When Pwyll fell in love with the maiden Rhiannon (not to be confused with the goddess Rhiannon), Arawn gave him an enchanted sack that could never be completely filled. Pwyll used it to briefly hold Gwawl, another suitor for Rhiannon, captive in order to win the right to claim her as a bride.
Eventually, worship of the Celtic Gods fell out of favor for
Christianity introduced through the British Isles as most of the Tuatha de
Danaan retreated from Earth. Arawn's daughters returned to Earth to claim the
earthly body of King Arthur to carry him to Avalon despite the fact that Arthur
had rejected worship of gods to embrace Christianity. A much more beneficent god
of the dead than his contemporaries, when Hades, the Olympian god
of the dead, came to him to create a secret cabal of underworld-gods, Arawn
turned him away than to be associated with him.
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 475 lbs.
Strength Level: Arawn possesses superhuman strength enabling her to lift (press) 25 tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers: Arawn possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Tuatha de Danaan or Celtic gods. Like all of the Danaans, he is exceptionally long-lived, but he is not immortal like the Olympian gods: he has aged at an exceptionally slow rate 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, her godly life force would enable her 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 the Dagda, Gwydion or Llyr or for a number of Celtic gods of equal power working together to revive him. Arawn 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 Celtic gods.)
Arawn also has the ability to tap into and manipulate the energies of Earth for various powers resembling magic. He can mystically move and levitate matter, mentally control animals such as dogs, horses, cows and pigs and alter his appearance. He can also affect and manipulate the astral energies or "souls" of living things, such as when he exchanged forms with Pwyll. Even while he is in another body, he is in full control of all his godly strength and powers. He can also create enchantments that can increase or enhance the attributes of other objects; he was able to create a cloth sack that could hold as much placed into it without increasing or distorting in size.
Abilities: Arawn is a capable warrior and a hunter
trained in the use of a bow and arrow.
Pets: Arawn owns a team of enchanted white hounds with red ears that can furiously track and take down any prey. Arawn also once owned a herd of pigs that could restore themselves to life after being eaten. Given to him by Bodb Derg, Arawn made them a gift to Pryderi, the son of Pwyll.
Comments: Arawn has not yet appeared in Marvel and DC Comics.
Clarifications: Arawn is not to be confused with:
Last updated: 09/28/08
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