Bron (Fisher King)

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Bron, Brons or Hebron is a Fisher King ​ in Robert de Boron ​'s Joseph d'Arimathie (Estoire del Saint Graal) , a work that was written around the end of the 13th century and was the first to connect the Holy Grail ​ with Jesus Christ.[1] ​ Bron also features in the Didot Perceval and Perlesvaus ​. Like many ancient stories, Bron has an historical basis of an existing person, but his history was later embellished through retelling into a allegorical, mythological character with mystical aspects.[3]


Bron is said to be the brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea ​, known as the "Rich Fisher" and a name similar enough to Brân the Blessed ​ to suggest a relationship. According to the legend, Joseph used the Grail to catch Christ's blood before laying him in the tomb, then founds a religious community that travels eventually to Glastonbury ​, United Kingdom ​. Joseph entrusts the Grail to Bron, who founds the line of Grail keepers that eventually includes Alain le Gros ​ and Perceval ​. [1] ​ Bron is married to the sister of Joseph of Arimathea, Enygeus and father of twelve sons.[3]

Bron - family tree (de Boron versio)


Hebron was alternative name, suggested to have been given by Robert de Boron to Bron, as Hebron ​ is a name from the Bible ​ and a place name in Palestine​.


Bron is called the "Rich Fisher" because he catches fish for the followers of Christ to be eaten at the Grail table. Accordingly, the names Fisher King  and Rich Fisher are connected with the words of Jesus "I shall make ye fishers of men", with a rich fisher being one who converts a large number of people.[6] ​After Bron catches the fish, God's messenger calls him the rich Fisher King "because of the fish he caught". Bron then becomes the guardian of the Holy Grail and takes it to the West.[1]

The wounded King passing the guardianship of the Grail


Bron is also known as the Wounded King and suffers from a wound or illness that can only be cured by Perceval asking the Grail question "What troubles you?" . His immaturity causes him to refrain from asking during his first visit, however he proves his worthiness and returns to heal him by asking the question. Bron then passes guardianship of the Grail and title of Fisher King and then dies three days later.[1] ​ The Didot Perceval says that Bron was the grandfather of Perceval and was carried off by angels when he had been cured of an affliction.[3] ​ Alain li Gros, the youngest son of Bron became his successor Fisher King and the Keeper of the Grail until it passed to Alain's son Perceval, the true Grail hero, destined to sit on the Siege Perilous.[4]

Sir Galahad takes the Siege Perilous in a 15th-century illustration
Bron family tree - Didot Perceval version
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