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- Hen, according to legend, he was first king of Dyfed and tried to force her to marry against her will to Gwawl. She met Pwyll of Dyfed and fell in love, planning to marry in one year and one day at his court on his estate. In accordance with the plan, they tried to marry but were thwarted by Clud and his son Gwawl. They put the wedding off for a further year. Pwyll and Rhiannon then went to Hefeydd’s court; he dressed as a beggar, asking for food. By a trick, Gwawl was captured and killed and Hefeydd was forced to allow Rhiannon to marry Pwyll in his court and then let her to return to Arberth.
According to mythology, the meaning of the name is `Mythical father of Rhiannon` and does not appear anywhere else. He is listed as Lord of the “Kingdom of the Immortals”. “Hen” represents status and wisdom.
His surroundings are equally impressive:
“Never had any one of them seen the equal of the palace of Hefeydd, either for loftiness, or for beauty, or for immense, impregnable strength. There were seven wide, stone-paved ramparts; on the smallest of them, seven hosts, equal in size to the complete hosting of the men of the Island of the Mighty, might have waged wild, free, indiscriminate warfare, with ground for chariots, and room for archery, and no discomfort or crowding. On each of the ramparts was encamped a company of seven score and seven giants; the least of them wore the torque and breastplate of a king, and was of such strength that he would have made little of breaking the bole of a well-grown oak-tree across his knees. There were seven immense gates of granite; and seven watchdogs guarding them: seven lean, eager wolves would easily have been vanquished in the conflict by even the feeblest and puniest of those dogs. Between each of the gates there were seven flights of seven score stairs, the smallest step of them high-treading for a giant. On the seven towers -- and the least of them as high as the Crag of Gwern Abwy in the ancient days --were seven spears raised, with seven sun-bright beautiful banners of silk and linen, adorned with dragons of supreme beauty. Beautiful was the place, truly; and if beautiful, strong; and if strong, kindly and hospitable”. (The Mabinogion)
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