Annowre the Sorceress
Arthurian Literary Character
Annowre was a sorceress who fell in love with King Arthur. She enticed him to her home, a large tower in the Perilous Forest, but he refused to make love to her; so she turned on the monarch and plotted his death. In the hope that he might be slain, she enchanted Arthur so that he rode into her dangerous forest every day to be challenged by unscrupulous knights. The Lady of the Lake learnt of her plans though and raced to the King’s aid. She called upon Sir Tristram to aid her and the two arrived at the tower just as two knights had wrestled Arthur to the ground. Annowre was poised to chop off the King’s head, but Tristram rushed up, killed the knights and freed the King. Arthur then pursued Annowre and sliced her head off.
The character of Annowre probably grew out of the Celtic goddess, Anu. The proliferation of head severing is probably significant within her worship.
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