|Also Known As:||Lady Vivienne|
|Family:|| Gorlois (husband) † |
Morgause (daughter) †
Morgana (daughter) †
|Affiliation:|| Uther Pendragon † |
|List of Appearances:||The Crystal Cave (mentioned only)|
Vivienne was the wife of Gorlois and the mother of Morgause and Morgana. When her husband Gorlois was away on the Northern Plains, Vivienne had a brief affair with Uther Pendragon, which resulted in the birth of Morgana. She probably made Gorlois believe that he was the father of her second child and it is likely that he never found out about his wife's affair. Presumably, Vivienne had magical powers, a trait she passed on to her daughters.
Due to an unknown reason, Gaius was asked to smuggle Morgause out of Camelot shortly after her birth and Uther was led to believe that Morgause had died, also due to an unknown reason. Before they were separated, Vivienne gave her older daughter a healing bracelet that was forged on the Isle of the Blessed, which Morgause would eventually pass on to her half-sister, Morgana.
It remains unknown what happened to Vivienne after Morgana's birth. As Morgana has spoken only of Gorlois and has not referred to her mother, Vivienne may have died before her husband. However, it is unknown if Uther included Vivienne in his purge of magic that he started several years later when Arthur was born. It is possible that Vivienne is still alive and either went into hiding or left Camelot after Gorlois died.
- It is unknown what happened to Morgana’s mother
- King Mark is also sometimes credited as the one who sends the passionate and evil witch, Vivienne, to Arthur’s court to undermine his influence. Vivienne spreads vicious rumours about Arthur, teases and seduces Merlin - leading to his disappearance from Camelot (often she’s said to entrap Merlin in a cave or tree).
In the LegendEdit
Vivienne, spelled Viviene, is one of the names for the Lady of the Lake. Also known as Nimueh or Ninane, she is the one who gives Excalibur to Arthur, steals the infant Lancelot, and traps Merlin in a tree. Vivienne was the daughter of Dyonas, who had married the niece of the Duke of Burgoyne. Dyonas was the godson of Diana, the goddess of the woods. Her father had served the Duke of Burgundy as vavasor, and was given the Forest of Briosque. The other part of forest belonged to King Ban, which he won through serving the king as a knight.
Her lake seemed to be located in Little Britain (another name for Brittany) in the Forest of Briosque. The lake was known as the Lake of Diana, named after the Roman goddess of the chase, hunting, woods, and the moon. Vivienne was only 12 years old when she first met Merlin in this forest. Even at this young age, Merlin had fallen into her charm, which he found irresistible. Merlin taught her some of his magic in return for her love, before he departed from her.
Vivienne would meet Merlin again, as an adult.
Vivienne was the huntress and the daughter of the King of Northumbria in Brittany, not Britain. Shortly after the wedding of Arthur and Guinevere, Vivienne owned a brachet (hound) and she was hunting the white hart. Her hound was stolen and she was abducted. Merlin sent three knights on the Quest of the White Hart,where Gwaine had to fetch the hart, Tor had to retrieve the hound, and Pellinor had to rescue the abducted huntress (Vivienne).
Again, Merlin, the great wizard and prophet, couldn't resist Vivienne's beauty and followed her everywhere. She again promised her love to him, in return for Merlin to teach her everything about magic. Before she lured Merlin to his death, the great wizard had built her a hidden domain and palace near the Lake. With his magic, he hid her home so that anyone who went by would only see a lake instead of her home.
When Vivienne decided to return home, Merlin decided to accompany her, hoping to seduce the Lady of the Lake. Though Merlin knew that his end was near, he could not control his passion or lust for Vivienne. On their journey, Merlin and Vivienne met King Ban, his wife Helen (Elaine), and the infant Lancelot, who was then named Galahad. Merlin told her that this baby would grow up to become the greatest knight in the world.
By the time they reached her home, Vivienne decided to get rid of Merlin, enticing the sorcerer to teach her his magic, which she would use to trap the wizard. When they entered the forest of Broceliande, Vivienne was tired of Merlin's company. She used the magic she learned from him to entomb the sorcerer in rock.
Gwaine learned of Merlin's fate and he returned to Arthur with the news.
Arthur lost his mentor and chief adviser. However, Vivienne took over Merlin's role as the king's magical adviser. Vivienne had also foiled several plots of Morgan le Fay to kill her half-brother, King Arthur.
Morgan le Fay stole Excalibur from her brother and gave the magical sword to her lover, Accolon of Gaul. As Arthur was losing his duel with Accolon, Vivienne rescued the king by using her magic to knock Excalibur out of Accolon's hand.
Later, when Arthur returned to Camelot, Morgan sent one of her damsels, carrying a beautiful mantle (robe) to her half-brother as token of peace. Vivienne, suspecting treachery from Morgan, advised the king not to wear the robe. Arthur forced Morgan's attendant to wear the robe instead. The damsel died when the mantle was placed on her shoulders, instantly burnt to a crisp.
Vivienne was responsible for raising Lancelot after the death of his father, King Ban of Banoic. Lancelot did not know his own name nor those of his parents, because Vivienne did not reveal it while he was living with her. Vivienne revealed only that he would find his real name when he became the best knight in the world. Vivienne taught Lancelot about courtly love and the duties of a true knight. It was she who sent him to Arthur, to be knighted, and there the young Lancelot fell instantly in love with Arthur's beautiful queen- Guinevere. Vivienne helped Lancelot several times either by herself or by sending one or more of the damsels who served her to his aid. She knew of her foster son's love for the queen.
Vivienne gave Queen Guinevere a magical split shield. One half of the shield depicted a knight and woman kissing, their lips not touching one another because of the split in the shield. Once Lancelot and Guinevere consummated their passion, the shield was made whole.
Vivienne was one of four ladies who took the dying Arthur on a boat to be healed in Avalon after the Battle of Camlann.