Heveydd Hen

In the first branch of the Mabinogi, “Pwyll Pendefig Dyfed,” Hefeydd Hen also known as Heyfedd the Old or Hefaidd Hen is identified as Rhiannon’s father. he is presumably a Lord of Annwn.

‘He (Pwyll) set off for the court of Hyfaidd Hen, and he came to the court and they welcomed him, and there was a gathering and rejoicing and great preparations waiting for him, and all the the wealth of the court was placed at his disposal. The hall was prepared, and they went to the tables. This is how they sat: Hyfaidd Hen on one side of Pwyll, and Rhiannon on the other; after that each according to his rank. They ate and caroused and conversed.’

The First Branch of the Mabinogi: Pwyll Pendeuc Dyfed

“I am Rhiannon, the daughter of Heveydd Hen, and they sought to give me to a husband against my will. But no husband would I have, and that because of my love for thee, neither will I yet have one unless thou reject me. And hither have I come to hear thy answer.”

The First Branch of the Mabinogi: Pwyll Pendeuc Dyfed

As per the legend, Hefeydd Hen initially intended to marry Rhiannon against her wishes to Gwawl, son of Clud. However, Rhiannon encountered Pwyll at the Mound of Arberth and planned to wed him at her father’s court after a year and a day. This arrangement was disrupted by Gwawl and his followers, leading to Rhiannon being promised to Gwawl instead. Subsequently, Pwyll, disguised as a beggar, went to Hefeydd’s court, where he managed to outwit and defeat Gwawl, compelling Hefeydd to consent to Rhiannon’s marriage to Pwyll.

Hyfaidd Hir (Hyfaidd the Long)

Hyfaidd Hir is probably a different person. Heyfedd Hir, with “Hir” signifying ‘long’ or a sense of extended time in Welsh, is noted as one of the Seven Knights assigned to govern the Island of Britain while Bran embarked on a rescue mission for his sister in the second branch of the Mabinogi.

And for this reason were the seven knights placed in the town. Now the names of these seven were, Caradawc the son of Bran, and Heveydd Hir, and Unic Glew Ysgwyd, and Iddic the son of Anarawc Gwalltgrwn, and Fodor the son of Ervyll, and Gwlch Minascwrn, and Llassar the son of Llaesar Llaesgygwyd, and Pendaran Dyved as a young page with them. And these abode as seven ministers to take charge of this island; and Caradawc the son of Bran was the chief amongst them.

The Second Branch of the Mabinogi: Branwen Daughter of Llyr

The same title, “Hir,” is used to describe several individuals in the 6th-century epic, “Y Gododdin.”

Diademed, to the fore, armed for conflict,
Before his death, fierce man in a fray,
Champion charging at the head of hosts,
Five companies fell before his blades.
Of Deifr’s and Brennych’s men two thousand
Sank to their doom in a single hour.
Before the marriage-feast, meat for wolves.
Before the altar, tid-bit for crows.
Before his burial, the blood-soaked field.
For mead in the hall, a hundred hosts.
While song lasts, Hyfaidd Hir will be praised.

Y Gododdin