Who Was Uther Pendragon and Why Did Gorlois Send Ygraine To Tintagel Castle In the Arthurian Legend?

Uther Pendragon was ruler of England and the father of King Arthur.

At Uther’s coronation ceremony, he fell in love with Ygraine, the wife of Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall.

His flirtation was so obvious that Gorlois left the coronation in a rage and prepared for war against Uther. Gorlois sent Ygraine to Tintagel, a castle that was invulnerable to attack.

Uther turned to his magician, Merlin, for help to get into Tintagel.

Merlin had the ability to see events in the future, and he knew that Uther and Ygraine would conceive England’s greatest king, Arthur. With magic spells, Merlin made Uther look like Gorlois.

Thus disguised, Uther slipped into Tintagel and spent the night with Ygraine.

That night, Gorlois died in a battle with Uther’s army.

When Arthur was born, Uther handed the baby to Merlin, who left him with the knight Sir Ector to be raised as any other child.