For other uses, see Aramis (disambiguation).
D'Artagnan Romances character
First appearance The Three Musketeers
Last appearance The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later
Created by Alexandre Dumas, père
Gender Male
Occupation Musketeer, priest, bishop, plotter
Nationality French

René d'Herblay, alias Aramis, is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, père. He and the other two musketeers, Athos and Porthos, are friends of the novels' protagonist, d'Artagnan.[1]

The fictional Aramis is loosely based on the historical musketeer Henri d'Aramitz.

Aramis loves and courts women, which fits well with the opinions of the time regarding Jesuits and abbots. He is portrayed as constantly ambitious and unsatisfied: as a musketeer, he yearns to become an abbé; but when an abbé he wishes for the life of the soldier. In the books it is revealed he became a musketeer because of a woman and his arrogance: as a young man whose ambition was to become an abbé, he had the misfortune to be caught and thrown out of a house, while (innocently or not) reading to a young woman. For a year, he practiced fencing, every day with the best master swordsman in town to get his revenge. By the time he came back to confront the man who had mistreated him, he had become such an expert swordsman that the fight only lasted a couple of seconds. Because duels were forbidden by royal edict and Aramis was a novice, he had to disappear and adopt a very low profile, which led him to enlist in the Musketeers Corps. There he met Athos and Porthos, and later d'Artagnan. Together they worked to bring peace to the King's court, and to keep the Queen's affair with the Duke of Buckingham from being revealed by Cardinal Richelieu.

Aramis seems to succeed in much, but it is only a result of his Machiavellian plans and his audacity; every step forward must be used to climb to even greater power. This characteristic leads to his nomination as Superior General of the Jesuits, which is precisely what saves his life, at the end of Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, after he is betrayed by Nicolas Fouquet.

Despite his attitude, Aramis holds very firmly to the sacred concept of friendship: in fact, the only wrong moves Aramis ever made were done when he refused to harm a friend (or a friend's feelings). In Twenty Years After, he followed Athos's pleas to spare Mordaunt, while he was holding him at gunpoint and, in Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, he refused to suppress d'Artagnan, when he discovered the truth about Belle-Ile-En-Mer. Aramis even tells Porthos the true identity of the man in the iron mask, despite fearing that Porthos would kill the man. Friendship is so important to Aramis that, at the end of Le Vicomte De Bragelonne, it is strongly implied that he cried - for the first and only time in his entire life - after causing the death of one of his friends.


Aramis' political intrigues are matched by (and usually connected with) his amorous intrigues, as Dumas casts him in the role of the lover of politically powerful women of his time. In The Three Musketeers ca. 1627, he is the lover of the Duchesse de Chevreuse, the confidant of the queen (and is largely dependent on gold from her to survive, as military pay was low and infrequent), while in Twenty Years After he is the lover of the Duchesse de Longueville (and, it is broadly implied, the father of her son).

Use of first name

In contrast to the other musketeers, Aramis is referred to by his first name twice by Dumas: he is christened René. We hear this name when d'Artagnan stumbles upon him and his mistress in the second book (in the chapter: Les Deux Gaspard), and again when Bazin is talking about Aramis in the third. In Twenty Years After he is a Jesuit known as the Abbé d'Herblay (but prefers to go by the title of Chevalier d'Herblay). In The Vicomte de Bragelonne he is the Bishop of Vannes, a title given to him by Nicolas Fouquet and later he became the Superior General of the Jesuits. When he comes back from exile, he is a Spanish noble and ambassador known as Duke of Alameda.

In film and television

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aramis.

Actors who have played Aramis on screen include:


  1. "The Social Psychology of Communication". Retrieved 16 February 2015.
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