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D'Artagnan Romances character
Aramis (silver) rv.png
First appearanceThe Three Musketeers
Last appearance The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later
Created byAlexandre Dumas, père
In-universe information
OccupationMusketeer, priest, bishop, plotter
ReligionRoman Catholic

René d'Herblay, alias Aramis, is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers (1844), Twenty Years After (1845), and The Vicomte de Bragelonne (1847-1850) by Alexandre Dumas, père. He and the other two musketeers, Athos and Porthos, are friends of the novels' protagonist, d'Artagnan.[1]

The fictional Aramis is loosely based on the historical musketeer Henri d'Aramitz.


Aramis loves and courts women, which fits well with the opinions of the time regarding Jesuits and abbots.[citation needed] He is portrayed as constantly ambitious and unsatisfied; as a musketeer, he yearns to become an abbé; but as an abbé, he wishes for the life of the soldier. In The Three Musketeers, it is revealed that he became a musketeer because of a woman and his arrogance; as a young man in training for the priesthood, he had the misfortune to be caught (innocently or not) reading to a young married woman and thrown out of her house. For the next year, he studied fencing with the best swordsman in town to get his revenge. He then challenged the man who had mistreated him to a duel and thanks to his newly learned fencing skills, killed him almost at once. Because duels were forbidden by royal edict and Aramis was a novice, he had to disappear and adopt a very low profile. He enlisted in the Musketeers under the assumed name of "Aramis". There he met Athos, Porthos and later d'Artagnan. Together, they worked to protect the king and to keep the queen's affair with the Duke of Buckingham from being revealed by Cardinal Richelieu.

Aramis meets with great success, thanks to his Machiavellian plans and his audacity. He sees every victory as a step to climb to even greater power. Eventually, he is named Superior General of the Jesuits, which is precisely what saves his life at the end of Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, after he is betrayed by Nicolas Fouquet.

Despite his ruthless personal ambition, Aramis is an extremely loyal friend: in fact, his only mistakes come when he refuses to harm or offend his friends. In Twenty Years After, he follows Athos's pleas to spare the life of the villain Mordaunt, and in Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, he refuses to suppress d'Artagnan's discovery of the truth about Belle-Île-en-Mer. Aramis even tells his friend Porthos the true identity of the Man in the Iron Mask, despite fearing that this will lead Porthos to kill him (Aramis). Friendship is so important to Aramis that, at the end of Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, it is strongly implied that he cries - for the first and only time in his life - after causing the death of one of his friends.


Aramis' political intrigues are matched by (and usually connected with) his amorous intrigues, as Dumas casts him in the role of the lover of politically powerful women of his time. In The Three Musketeers ca. 1627, he is the lover of the Duchesse de Chevreuse, the confidante of the queen. In Twenty Years After he is the lover of the Duchesse de Longueville and, it is broadly implied, the father of her son.


In contrast to the other musketeers, Aramis is twice referred to by his first name René. This first happens when d'Artagnan stumbles upon Aramis and his mistress in the chapter "Les Deux Gaspard" of the second book, and again when Bazin is talking about Aramis in the third book. In Twenty Years After, Aramis is a Jesuit known as the Abbé d'Herblay or Chevalier d'Herblay. In The Vicomte de Bragelonne he is the Bishop of Vannes, a title given to him by Nicolas Fouquet, and later becomes the Superior General of the Jesuits. When he comes back from exile, he is a Spanish noble and ambassador known as Duke of Alameda.

In film and television[edit]

Actors who have played Aramis on screen include:


  1. ^ Hook, Derek; Franks, Bradley; Bauer, Martin W. (23 March 2011). The Social Psychology of Communication. ISBN 9780230312111. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Man in the Iron Mask Part 4 - The Prisoner (1968)". BBC Genome. Retrieved 11 December 2018.