Ygraine, Ygerna, Eigyr - The Lady Igraine remains on of the most fascinating but mysterious characters in Arthurian Legend. There is little reference to her other than the role she played in the coming of Arthur, however, all accounts, no matter by whom written, have remained virtually the same. This leads most to believe that the Lady Igraine is one of the few characters in the legend that was an actual person whos history is documented well.
Igraine's lineage is strong and there has been little arguement as to the truth. She is decendant from Joseph of Arimathea (who was said to have captured the blood of Christ in the Holy Grail). This made an interesting choice for mother of Arthur who would eventually quest after the Grail itself to restore his kingdom. It was possible that Igraine's bloodline was necessary for sucess in this venture; therefore being chosen specifically to birth Arthur. She was the daughter of Amlawdd although her mother was never mentioned.Igraine is most noted as the mother of King Arthur. She was the Lady Igraine while married to the Gorlois, Duke of Tintagel (pronounced tin-ta-jel). From that union, she mothered the Ladies Morgawse, Morgan, and Elaine. Notably the most beautiful woman in the kingdom, she was coveted by King Uther Pendragon who led an attack against Tintagel to have her. Merlin enchanted Uther to become the outward guise of the Duke so he could rape Igraine. From the union came Arthur; with a mix of Pendragon and Arimathea blood. The Duke died while in battle against Uther's armies and Uther took Igraine as his wife; thus she became the Queen Igraine.
The only notable disagreement between scholars was the nature of the relationship between Uther and Igraine. Some say she hated Uther for killing her husband and decieving her with magick. The only child to be born of the unions was Arthur. Yet other scholars insist that Igraine took on her role as Queen willingly and produced not only Arthur with Uther but a daughter named Anne.
After the birth of Arthur and the theft of him by Merlin, Uther died. After that, little is known about Igraine other than the fact that she retired to a nunnery and died in cloister.
According to Marion Zimmer Bradley, Igraine was a Priestess of the Goddess and the granddaughter of Merlin; therefore adding the blood of Merlin to Arthur. She was said to have understood her destiny and willingly bred with Uther to produce Arthur.