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Hero of the third episode, First Branch; full name Teyrnon Twryf Lliant. As Rhiannon discovers her newborn son has disappeared, far away in Gwent-ys-Coed Teyrnon considers the loss every May Eve of his finest mare’s newborn. He decides to sit vigil this time.

The foal is born, Teyrnon hears a commotion, and sees an enormous claw reaching for the newborn. He slashes the arm off the monster, rushes out but cannot see it in the darkness. He finds a silk wrapped baby instead. This he gives to his wife to foster who is glad of it because she is barren.

The parallel between Rhiannon’s abducted human baby, and the abduction of Teyrnon newborn foals is clear, and commonly traced to Rhiannon as a horse goddess. Teyrnon as horse breeder fits with Giraldus Cambrensis’ historical record observing horse breeding as an excellence tradition of South Wales.

As the foster child grows Teyrnon realises he looks like Pwyll, and they hear the story of the lost baby. He and his wife agree to return the boy to the Dyfed royal family and this results in an even closer alliance than before between the two houses.

Teyrnon is particularly remarked in the First Branch as “the best man in the world” a model of morality. He demonstrates this by his compassion and loyalty to his barren Queen, and his loyalty to Pwyll of Dyfed, with whom he had once worked service.

His name has the suffix -non, indicating divinity. The Teyr- prefix means a ruler, so the name means Divine King. This is a very close parallel to Rhiannon, in its meaning as Divine Queen. They both have similar archaic Celtic deity roots as well: Tigernos, Great Lord and Rigantona, Great Queen.
The connection may suggest Teyrnon as an alternate or earlier consort of Rhiannon. This is further supported by his queen barren status which parallels Rhiannon’s earlier condition. Teyrnon’s queen also notes the connection between the boy and the foal born the same night, and arranges the boy to train with the foal. As an avatar or alternative persona of Rhiannon this would be approariate to her horse nature.

Teyrnon’s full name Teyrnon Twryf Lliant has been interpreted as ‘Turbulent Water’ and connected with the famous Severn Bore, a local phenomenon representing great force and power. A huge tidal wave rushes up the estuary which is one of the biggest tidal bores in the world. See This extraordinary natural event would have been famous in Teyrnon’s day as it is now, and perhaps surfers also rode it then, making it a gathering point.

(First published 25/07/2014: Shan Morgain)

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