This page concerns the chapter in The High King. It contains the prophecy selected by the oracular pig Hen Wen, but for a more detailed page dedicated to the fulfillment of that oracular pronouncement, please see Hen Wen's Prophecy.

The Prophecy is the third chapter of The High King. Here the rarely glimpsed powers of an enchanted animal provide frustratingly vague clues as to what lies ahead for the protagonists. The hero -- now an adult -- is able to convince an important elder to accept his help, and the journey begins.

This page contains spoilers. If you do not wish to be spoiled, do not read further.
Dyrnwyn Ancient7


Taran asked Gwydion to let him overtake the fled Achren, but the Prince of Don dared not delay his quest to retrieve the stolen sword Dyrnwyn. Gwydion asked Dallben to reveal what Hen Wen had told through the Letter Sticks. Thus Dallben revealed the prophecy:

"Ask, sooner, mute stone to speak and voiceless rock to speak. Quenched will be Dyrnwyn's flame; Vanished, its power. Night turn to noon And rivers burn with frozen fire Ere Dyrnwyn be regained."


The oracular pronouncement was vague, yet dire, hinting at dark fate and impossible events. Worse, the third stick had been destroyed before Hen could complete her message. Gwydion decided his quest to seek the blade in the Land of Death was still more urgent. Taran and Fflewddur wished to accompany him, but Gwydion declined to put their lives at risk. Taran offered to send Kaw to scout ahead to Annuvin; Gwydion accepted and asked that the crow meet him at the half-way point, at Caer Cadarn. Taran offered to ride that far with Gwydion, to protect him against the Huntsmen of Annuvin who might sill have been abroad. Princess Eilonwy declared she would not insist on coming, but suggested she might go picking wildflowers -- hard to find in winter -- and "by accident" catch up with the party. Gwydion consented to allow all who wish to come with him as far as Smoit's castle.

Taran sent Kaw on with a mission the usually mischievous crow accepted with seriousness. The Companions rode out after Coll rummaged in the farm buildings for weapons, which he had been using as farm implements. At camp that night, Eilonwy expressed her approval of sleeping once again on
"comfortable" roots and rocks; Taran and Rhun discussed the King of Mona's failed sea wall; while Gurgi lamented his lack of understanding of such matters. Gwydion cautioned them to silence, and warned Rhun of the Huntsmen's powers and those of the Cauldron-Born. Briefly the Prince spoke of Dyrnwyn's loss mirroring the stark prophecy ("Quenched will be Dyrnwyn's flame...."), which led to talk of Arawn's treasure hoard. This mention of riches prompted Glew to change his mind and accompany the companions, and to "forgive" their supposed slights against him.
The High King
1. Homecomings | 2. The Letter Sticks | 3. The Prophecy | 4. King Smoit's Castle | 5. The Watcher | 6. A Clutch of Eggs | 7. The King of Mona | 8. The Messengers | 9. The Banner | 10. The Coming of Pryderi | 11. The Fortress | 12. The Red Fallows | 13. Darkness | 14. Daylight | 15. The River of Ice | 16. The Enchanter | 17. The Snowstorm | 18. Mount Dragon | 19. The Death-Lord | 20. The Gift | 21. Farewells
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