Sir Wilfred, knight of Ivanhoe, is the disinherited son of Cedric of Rotherwood. He is first introduced as a pilgrim, in which guise he enters his father's hall, where he meets Rowena. He next appears as Desdichado, the “Disinherited Knight,” in the grand tournament where he vanquishes all opponents. At the intercession of King Richard he is reconciled to his father, and ultimately marries Rowena, his father's ward. Rebecca, the Jew's daughter, to whom he had shown many acts of kindness, was in love with him.
Sir Walter Scott took the name from the village of Ivanhoe, or Ivinghoe, in Bucks, a line in a old rhymed proverb—“Tring, King, and Ivanhoe”—having attracted his attention.