‘Myths and Legends’
Episode 1A, 1B, & 1C
This week on the Myths and Legends podcast, I’ll introduce the show and discuss what it’ll be about. Then, we’ll star right in on the story of Yvain, a knight of King Arthur’s court who’ll show that being a huge jerk to nearly everyone you’ll get everything you can ever want, throw it all away, and get it all again!
I know a lot about King Arthur, I live in England after all, but I hadn’t heard of this particular story before. Whether you believe that King Arthur and Camelot were real or not, you can appreciate the magical and mystical elements that go hand in hand with the human population, and how a great kingdom was born.
It was of no surprise to me that Yvain was tempted by a magical adventure by the hands of a peasant – who was most likely not a peasant but an essential character – and that he persevered with the quest without thinking things through or thinking at all really. His is a character we must learn from less we make the same mistakes.
Hidden Folk of Iceland – People seriously build houses for them and Icelander’s have even built tiny churches for them. At Christmas it is said they break into houses and party and on New Year’s they move. They will try to trick you with gifts at crossroads. ¼ of Icelander’s in 1970s said that the Hidden Folk existed.
Ok, the above was what I got from this week’s mythological creature and I don’t feel like I got nearly enough information to correctly imagine this creature or know exactly what it is about but it was fun to learn about something new and to think about how magic creatures vary depending on different cultures.
I feel like King Arthur stories fall into two categories, heroic or moral. This is definitely a moral story about Yvain’s rise and fall, and how actions have consequences. In this part of the story, we see how Yvain recovers from his fight with the mystery knight and how a plan forms in his head to get what he desires. I found it interesting that in his choices he is unknowingly manipulated by one woman while forcing another woman under his control.
I get the feeling that while the story is about Yvain, it is the female characters that are of importance here. I’ve got a snuggle-bun dog curled up next to me and he agrees that Yvain is dodgy!
I am sure it will all come right in the end. It is interesting how Yvain’s interactions with Kay – whom he wanted to best – became secondary to the story and fell short of what I expected to be a climactic moment.
Mythical Creature – Changeling: A changeling isn’t really a creature but was when a troll, fairy or other creature swapped out the human baby for their own sickly one. In medieval times, this was a common myth and the reasons behind it were either to raise the human baby into a slave or because they just preferred to have human babies. To stop this from happening, you could put iron close to your baby because in most folklore, mythological creatures are afraid of iron.
I know a lot about changelings, it’s definitely a topic that has come up frequently in books and cultural literature. The reason for changelings always differs and I’ve begun to realise that it changes from culture to culture. In some places it is regarded as a wonderful thing and in other places it is a tragedy and a terrible loss to discover the change.
The idea of changeling’s definitely originated from something very real, even if that reason has been lost to time and different stories.
I mean, for all that happens to Yvain, he certainly keeps clinging onto the roundabout! He bounces back so effectively, it’s almost easy to overlook the female characters who are essential to his rise and fall in the story. I wasn’t surprised to see a recurring female character return in this last part of the story, nor was I surprised that Yvain still had the same attitude and didn’t seem to have learned much from his ordeals.
This myth/legend is full of inconsistencies and accounts that seem to come to nothing. How Yvain comes to a castle to defeat some demons, just seems to follow the chaos of Yvain’s story. Yvain allows his lion to be locked up and face the demons himself, without the proper tools to beat them but his lion is smart, and hearing his master in trouble, he escapes and jumps one of the demons. There is no negative consequences to the lions involvement here which, considering how little the Lord wanted the lion in the fight, didn’t make much sense.
Yvain goes off to fight for the younger daughter, but it turns out he’s fighting King Arthur and in classic anti-climactic nature, they realise they’re friends and move on. This part is drawn out and rather confusing.
Finally, Yvain returns to his castle and wife, and returns to the fountain that needs to be protected. Lunette – Yvain’s maid – basically fixes all problems with her supply of never-ending magical trinkets and holy relics and once again tricks her Lady into a scenario that she can’t escape from.
Yvain did change a little bit in this third part of the story. It was here that I saw the biggest change in Yvain’s character. From the person he was at the beginning, to where he has come to know showed growth in his character. His Lady has no choice but to take Yvain back because she swore on a holy trinket and the story ends there, somewhat happily.
Honestly, this was a difficult follow because the plot continued to shift dramatically, and often didn’t make any sense at all.
I am surprised that I managed to retain the information of this story long enough to tell other people about it but I do feel like I lost an hour of my life I’m not going to get back.