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Myths and Legends

Jason Weiser tells stories from myths, legends, and folklore that have shaped cultures throughout history. Some, like the stories of Aladdin, King Arthur, and Hercules are stories you think you know, but with surprising origins. Others are stories you might not have heard, but really should. All the stories are sourced from world folklore, but retold for modern ears. These are stories of wizards, knights, Vikings, dragons, princesses, and kings from the time when the world beyond the map was a dangerous and wonderful place.
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Now displaying: 2017
May 17, 2017

Don't, under any circumstances, trust the Midas touch. The king of unforced errors, Midas is a well-known figure in mythology mainly because of horrible decision making and lack of foresight. They say any publicity is good publicity, and I hope that is the case for Midas, who took a bad choice and used it to propel himself to everlasting notoriety.

Mouse bears. The creatures this week are mouse bears. They have the ferocity of bears and the ability to sneak into your cupboards like mice. Needless to say, they're super annoying.

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Sponsors!

Loot Crate: May's theme is Guardians, with stuff from Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Star Wars, Destiny, and Goonies. Go to http://www.lootcrate.com/legends and use code LEGENDS to get $3 off any new subscription today.

Blue Apron: Like fresh, great quality ingredients and fun recipes and not having to go anywhere for fresh, great quality ingredients and fun recipes? Blue Apron is your thing. Check out http://www.blueapron.com/legends code LEGENDS to get your first three meals free, with free shipping.

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Music:

“Bitter Roll” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Floating Whist” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Glass Runner” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Lead Shroud” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Pacing” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Sylvestor” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Town Market” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Bagd” by Podington Bear
 
“Breadtime” by by Podington Bear
 
“Many Hands” by Podington Bear
 
“Swimmy” by Podington Bear
May 10, 2017

Wrapping up this two-part series on Morgan le Fay, we'll see her devious schemes within schemes come to fruition with one aim in mind: killing King Arthur and seizing the throne for herself.

The creature this week is fish man, from Spain. He's kind of like a superhero if all superheroes did was lay around and drink wine at their parents' house.

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Sponsors:

Hey, so Mother's Day is this weekend. As in three days from today. Still looking for something? You can show your mom you're thinking about her and you don't even have to look up from your phone. She doesn't have to know how easy it is and that it took basically no time. We won't tell her. We probably don't even know her. Unless this is Mike, in which case, hi Mike!

There are two excellent options:

Shari's Berries. Super easy. You know why? Because they somehow got the domain http://berries.com. They're delicious and they look fantastic. I got them for my mom on her birthday and my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. You can get her huge, freshly dipped berries starting at $19.99 plus shipping, and you can double the berries for $10. Just go to berries.com and use the code MAL when you click on the mic.

Or maybe flowers are your thing. Aren't you glad you listen to this podcast? We have you covered there, too. ProFlowers cracked the code on sending people fresh, beautiful flowers. Ours have been going strong for over a week - way longer than flowers from a supermarket or florist AND I am just realizing I forgot to change the water after three days like I was supposed to. They're that good. Check out http://proflowers.com and use the code MAL. 

Both are so easy, that in the time you took reading this you could have Mother's Day wrapped up. We're just looking out for you. Also please don't forget to use code MAL it keeps the lights on.

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Music:

“Lamplist” by Blue Dot Sessions

“One Needle” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Parissi” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Tuck and Point” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar
 
“60s Quiz Show” by Podington Bear
 
“A1 Rogue” by Podington Bear
 
“All The Colors In The World” by Podington Bear
 
“Canoe” by Podington Bear
 
“Climbing the Mountain” by Podington Bear
 
“Dulcet” by Podington Bear
 
“Loam” by Podington Bear
 
“Modest House” by Podington Bear
 
“Rythn” by Podington Bear
 
May 3, 2017

Sorceress. Confidant. Traitor. Sister.

All of those words describe Morgan Le Fay, King Arthur's half-sister. She is by far the most complex character I've come across in the Arthurian legends, but she's constantly portrayed in the medieval and early modern texts as a one-note traitorous baddy who is evil because she's an evil sorceress and evil sorceresses are evil. If you're familiar with the legends, you're going to see a Morgan you've never seen before. If you're not, get ready to meet one of the most interesting, tragic figures you'll come across.

Sponsors:

The Great Courses Plus: Go to http://thegreatcoursesplus.com/myths to get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus, and while you’re there, check out the course “Fundamentals of Photography."

Loot Crate: Here's the link for the Groot I was talking about. This 22" figure will be in the one mega crate sent out to a lucky subscriber. The rest of us will have to settle for a bunch of cool pop culture stuff worth twice what we paid for it. Darn. Check out http://www.lootcrate.com/legends code LEGENDS for $3 off any new subscription.

Music:

“Malachite” by Andy G. Cohen
 
“Watching from Red Hill” by Artofescapism
 
“Disinter” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“The Face of the Thrush” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Take Me Higher” by Jahzzar
 
“Snowmen” by Kai Engel
 
“Even when we fall” by Philipp Weigl
 
“The Scent of Cedars” by Philipp Weigl
 
“60s Quiz Show” by Podington Bear
 
“Fits” by Podington Bear
 
“Pop Brasilia” by Podington Bear
 
“Seventh Hill” by Podington Bear
 
“Starday” by Podington Bear
 
“Toboggan (Smooth Run)” by Podington Bear
 
“Trader Ho Hey” by Podington Bear
Apr 26, 2017

I wanted to name this episode "it's not easy being green," but it really is. The Green Knight had his head chopped off last episode...but still carried it out of the most uncomfortable Christmas dinner ever. Really, it's not easy being Gawain, who has to go present his neck in payment. Except it really is easy being Gawain. Most of this episode will consist of him sleeping until noon in a fancy castle. But he still has that date with destiny on New Year's Day...and by "destiny" I mean a hairy green gentleman who is really good at pole vaulting.

If you disrespect the hobbies of the creatures this week, they will make your life mildly uncomfortable for like an evening. You've been warned.

Sponsors:

Check out http://www.blueapron.com/legends to try the #1 food and recipe delivery service. Be sure to use LEGENDS to get your first three meals free!

Texture is pretty great. You can read over 200 magazines all for the price of subscriptions to 2-3 magazines. It's a great deal and an even better app, and you can try it for two weeks for free at http://www.texture.com/myths

Music:

“A Perceptible shift” by Andy G. Cohen
 
“Monkeybars” by Andy G. Cohen
 
“Curious Case” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Felt Lining” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“PolyCoat” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Tiny Putty” by Blue Dot Sessions
 
“Chance” by Kai Engel
 
“Run” by Katie Engel
 
“Scenery” by Kai Engel
 
“Love Wins” by Lee Rosevere
 
“Bloomer” by Podington Bear
 
“Dark Disco” by Podington Bear
 
“Funk” by Podington Bear
 
“Guestlist” by Podington Bear
 
“Little Black Cloud” by Podington Bear
 
“We Make a Good Team” by Podington Bear
 
“Wednesday Night Flavor” by Podington Bear
Apr 19, 2017

You probably had to read the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in high school. I know I did, and it's a great story. There are beheadings, green guys, confusing interactions with ladies. It might be one of the most violent non-Die Hard Christmas stories. Anyway, everyone knows that. You probably don't know the story I'll tell today. It's of how Gawain grew into the paragon of virtue he's known as in the legends. It involves, of course, dog parties, inept knights, and the most grotesque piece of neckwear we will ever talk about on this podcast.

The creature is a bunch of tiny guys who want to hang out in your room and dance, as long as you're cool with it. Just kidding - they don't care if you're cool with it.

 

Music:

"Quiet Still"

"Plaque"

"Pick up the Tempo"

"Marble Transit"

"Chapel Bottom"

"Drifting Spade"

by Blue Dot Sessions

 

"Flapjacks"

"Bumble"

"Mutinee"

"Springtime"

by Podington Bear

Apr 12, 2017

You know how to make your stories completely resistant to any ridicule from a future podcaster? Make them as ridiculous as possible. The stories of Paul Bunyan arose from the camps of lumberjacks in the US in the 1880s, but he spread to be a nationwide symbol of American strength and a pioneer spirit. Except that a lot of what we know about Paul Bunyan might actually not be folklore, but stories made up to sell stuff. Also, if someone tells you to put something up your nose that feels like bees and lightning, just say no.

Sponsors:

Loot Crate this month looks amazing. Batman, Jessica Jones, Stranger Things, and X-files are all fantastic franchises, and I'm super excited for it. You should check it out, too. You can get $3 off your first month by going to http://www.lootcrate.com/legends and entering the promo code "LEGENDS"

The Great Courses Plus: Text MYTHS to 86329 to get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus, and while you’re there, check out the course “Great Mythologies of the World”.  (Standard message and data rates apply.)

Music:

"Nothing will grow here"

"Wake up, heroic figure"

"Fight the apocalypse but before a quick nap"

"STOP TALKING AND MOVING"

by Komiku

 

"Goodnight Esme"

"Three Kites Circling"

by Axletree

Apr 5, 2017

The story of Oedipus is fun until it isn't. I've met people with varying degrees of familiarity with the story. Some are familiar only with the central premise of the story, while others' knowledge only extends to a certain disgusting little complex popularized by a similarly-disgusting Viennese psychologist. Regardless, the story of Oedipus is a fascinating commentary on fate, our willing blindness to uncomfortable truths, and why you should, under no circumstances, talk to prophets. Seriously, they will mess up your life.

The creature this week is the Tanuki from Japan, with two big surprises for you.

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Sponsors:

Loot Crate this month looks amazing. Batman, Jessica Jones, Stranger Things, and X-files are all fantastic franchises, and I'm super excited for it. You should check it out, too. You can get __ off your first month by going to http://www.lootcrate.com/legends and entering the promo code "LEGENDS"

Casper is, hands down, the best mattress I've ever slept on. To try it risk-free for 100 nights with free shipping and free returns in the US and Canada, go to http://www.casper.com/legends and enter the code "LEGENDS" at check out.

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Music:

"Skeptic"

"Modest House"

"In My Head"

"A1 Rogue"

by Podington Bear

 

"Readers Do You Read"

"Wonder Cycle"

"Everybody's Got Problems that Aren't Mine"

by Chris Zabriskie

 

"Seeker" by Kai Engel

"Mogul" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Plaster Combo" by Blue Dot Sessions

Mar 22, 2017

The story of the frog prince is well known - a beautiful princess meets a frog, kisses him, and he turns out to be a prince. Except, in the earliest version, it doesn't go like that at all. I won't spoil it, but the original frog prince is extremely bizarre, and I had the most fun writing it of any episode so far.

The second story is of a frog princess, from Russian folklore, and not only is it a great story in its own right, with a stupid king and a ridiculous dating service, but we'll catch back up with our favorite witch living in a house on chicken legs and a certain deathless sorcerer early in his career.

The creature of the week shoots hail out of its ears and kills anyone it sees...unless you're carrying a sack of llama fat.

Sponsors:

The Great Courses Plus: Text MYTHS to 86329 to get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus, and while you’re there, check out the course “Great Mythologies of the World”.  (Standard message and data rates apply.)

Stamps.com is AMAZING. I'm not joking. They make my life over at bardic.fm infinitely easier. If you want to make your life better, go to stamps.com and use the code LEGENDS.

Music:

"The Spinnet"

"The Silver Hatch"

"The Shoes they Wear"

"Filing Away"

"Decompression"

and "Brass Buttons" are all by Blue Dot Session


"Vanagon"

"Submerging Blue-Black"

"Trailways A"

"Smolder"

"Sensitive"

"Running on Empty"

and "Down and Around" are all by Podington Bear

"Final Sacrifice" by Visager

"Independent Film" by Steve Combs

Mar 15, 2017

The story of Puss is Boots is that of a cat who wears boots and talks. The character of the cat has somehow gone on to be voiced by Antonio Banderas, take part in a one really successful franchise, spin off into its own movie AND Netflix series. The 2011 movie alone went on to gross, and I'm not making this up, over half a billion dollars worldwide. The original is something you haven't heard before, and has ogre fights, a cat con artist, and dating advice from the Myths and Legends Podcast.*

The creature this week has the boring job of constantly trying to destroy the universe, but hey, it gets two weeks paid vacation a year.

Sponsors!

Text MYTHS to 86329 to get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus, and while you’re there, check out the course “Great Mythologies of the World”.  (Standard message and data rates apply.) 

Audible is pretty awesome. Go to http://www.audible.com/myths to get started today. Here's the link to Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology

 

*Taking dating advice from the Myths and Legends Podcast is generally not advised.

Mar 8, 2017

Quite possibly the last episode on Norse mythology before we start on the epic showdown that is Ragnarok, this story has Thor earning a ridiculous facial feature and wetting himself in terror. Also, you shouldn't follow Loki into the wilderness, no matter how good the party he is telling you about sounds, and we'll learn how far is too far when it comes to idle, drunken boasts in the halls of the gods.

The creature is a sweet little flaming chicken who will steal for you and not feel bad about it at all. Oh, you have some moral issues with stealing? Well, the flaming chicken doesn't have moral issues with burning your house to the ground, so you might want to keep your compunctions to yourself.

Sponsors:

Check out http://www.blueapron.com/legends to get excellent, fresh, pre-portioned ingredients shipped to your home alongside recipes to turn them into amazing meals. Don't forget code LEGENDS.

For a new sponsor this time, we have The Great Courses Plus! Text MYTHS to 86329 to get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus, and while you’re there, check out the course “Great Mythologies of the World”.  (Standard message and data rates apply.) 

Music:

"Tiny Spoons" by Podington Bear

"Swapping Tubes" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Sreda Vniecaps" by Rolemusic

"Patched In" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Neil Takes Two" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Moonglow" by Podington Bear

"Firefly" by Podington Bear

"Fantasy" by Podington Bear

"Arame" by Blue Dot Sessions

"A Thought" by Podington Bear

"The Final Road" by Visager

Mar 1, 2017

According to folklore, King Solomon had a ring. Given to him by God, it allowed him control demons...but it also had some other powers unknown to Solomon, powers that make it essential for fighting dragons, escaping witches, and taking nice Sunday afternoon flights through the country. 

The creature is a shaggy, mostly-kind monster who is really great at walking on hillsides and really terrible at helping you hang pictures.

Sponsor:

Loot Crate: check out http://www.lootcrate.com/legends (Code: LEGENDS) for this month's Primal crate, with stuff from Overwatch, Wolverine, Jurassic World, and Predator

 

Feb 22, 2017

There has been a menace sleeping in Beowulf's homeland since he was born. It has lived for centuries, and it is strong and dangerous, while Beowulf has lived for only eighty years, and is weakening. Yet, their paths draw them inexorably toward one another in a battle that will live on in legend, but might destroy them both. 

The creature this week is why you should keep a giant vat of moonshine in your backyard.

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Career Day:

Career Day on iTunes: http://itunes.careerdayshow.com

Career Day everywhere else: http://www.careerdayshow.com

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Sponsors: 

http://www.stamps.com, and don't forget to use the code LEGENDS. Seriously, if you need stamps or postage for any reason, check out this site. They have made the Myths and Legends store possible.

As always, http://www.blueapron.com/legends is amazing. Use the code LEGENDS for your first three meals free with free shipping.

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"Another Beek Beep Beer Please" by Rolemusic

"The Dirty" by Podington Bear

"Bass Rider" by Podington Bear

"Moonsea" by Jelsonic

"Jettisoned" by Podington Bear

"Ice Cave" by Visager

"Wipe my Face Away" by Keshco

Feb 15, 2017

It's round two for everyone's favorite (only?) Geatish hero, as he bravely takes on...his former adversary's mother. Really, it's way more interesting than it sounds. Also she's not Angelina Jolie, but a terrifying, demonic swamp hag.

The creature this week is so cute you won't even mind that it watches you sleep.

The Bogey Man: http://amzn.eu/8FZRv67

Our awesome sponsors:

http://www.lootcrate.com/legends code "LEGENDS" for awesome geek and gamer gear.

http://www.casper.com/legends code "LEGENDS" for $50 off any new mattress

 

"Lights out" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Dark Sanctum (Boss Fight)" by Visager

"Pho" by Jahzzar

"Sunset at Goat Fell" by Graham Bole

"But Enough about Me Bill Paxton" by Chris Zabriskie

"Wrong Dreams" by Gumbel

"The Secret to Growing Up" by Lee Rosevere

"What does Anybody Know About Anything" by Chris Zabriskie

 

Feb 8, 2017

You know the story of Beowulf. I don't need to do this. But really, there's mead. There's Grendel. There are mead-fueled fights with Grendel. It's just a fun, (kind of) light re-telling of the classic story, minus all the yelling, Angelina Jolie, and eye explosions of the 2007 movie.

The creature this week is why you have that perpetual sun burn. And vampire fingers.

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Career Day this week: http://itunes.careerdayshow.com or just http://careerdayshow.com

Blue Apron: http://www.blueapron.com/legends

MVMT watches: http://www.MVMTwatches.com/myths

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Music:

"The Telling" by Blue Dot Sessions

"The Last Whale" by Jelsonic

"Stipple" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Our Quiet Company" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Forecasting" by Podington Bear

"Dunes" by Podington Bear

"Coronea" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Dark Sanctum (Boss Fight)" by Visager

"Title Theme" by Visager

 

Feb 1, 2017

Many connected stories from Greek mythology. We'll start with story of Hades and Persephone, and learn why she's always hanging around the underworld (hint: it's not because she wants to). Then, I'll tell the story of the curse of the house of Atreus, starting with Tantalus and his questionable food choices. It's a long, dark episode, so get ready.

The creature is the Nakki, from Finland, who just wants to drown you and look good while doing it. Is that too much to ask?

The store: http://www.bardic.fm

Loot crate! http://www.lootcrate.com/legends

MVMT watches: http://www.mvmtwatches.com/myths 

Music:

"White Filament" by Blue Dot Sessions

"What it is" by Podington Bear

"Helmer Sprak" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Thoughtful" by Lee Rosevere

"Casual Uncertainties" by Gurdonark

"Aquamarine, My Distant Blue" by Nihilore

"Deserted City" by Kai Engel

"Captain Socrates" by Nihilore

"As Nihilism Gives Way to Existentialism" by Nihilore

 

Jan 25, 2017

The first story today is from the Mi'kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Maliseet people, about all the things that can go wrong when creating the animals and why you shouldn't drink gross monster waste water. The second story is from Cree fokllore, about Monster Skunk farting everyone to death because this is a serious podcast that takes itself very seriously.

The creature is evil. Literally, she is the embodiment of evil from Russian folklore...a little old lady living in the woods.

The Heifer International fundraiser: https://fundraise.heifer.org/mythpodcast

Music:

"Yellow Dust" by Rolemusic

"Straw Fields" by Rolemusic

"Rarified" by Podington Bear

"Mirabelle" by Podington Bear

"Pacing" by Blue Dot Session

"Fragile, Do Not Drop" by Podington Bear

"Call Now" by Podington Bear

"In the Back Room" by Blue Dot Session

"Independent Film" by Steve Combs

"Feather on the Crest" by Blue Dot Sessions

Jan 18, 2017

This week, there are two stories from Japanese folklore.  The first has to do with  a butterfly that just won't give up trying to land on the face of a dying man. The second is of a monk-in-training who just doesn't want to stop partying.

The creature is Hedley Cow, and she will give you hope that that the relationship with your crush might work out...but will leave you standing alone in the swamp.

Sponsors:

Check out http://audible.com/myths for some excellent audiobooks. The one I recommended on today's show was "Mythology" by Edith Hamilton.

Music:

"The Face on the Thrush" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Tendon" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Planting Flags" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Silent Flock" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Orange Juicier" by Podington Bear

"Grey Grey Joe" by Blue Dot Sessions

"A Path Unwinding" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Slow Lights" by Lee Rosevere

"Summer Days" by Kai Engel

Links:

An abridged English version of the Lotus Sutra

The gummy bear anatomy kit

 

Jan 11, 2017

A story of a young woman from Nepal who has a (sadly) common problem for folklore, but a very uncommon solution. Also she eats goat vomit. She probably doesn't enjoy it, though.

The creature this time is the Habetrot, and she'll make you want to wear stone glasses...and them promptly throw them down in horror and run away.

The Myths and Legends store is now up! Check it out at http://www.mythpodcast.com/store

Say hi to me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jasontheweiser

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Check out http://www.blueapron.com/legends to get your first three meals free with free shipping. It is a fantastic service, and I highly recommend it.

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The Heifer International thing:

It's just a little something we wanted to do after learning about the situation in Nepal. If you'd like to donate, we made it super-easy. Just go to http://fundraise.heifer.org/mythpodcastand you'll be redirected to the page.

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Music:

"Springtime" by Podington Bear

"Spring Comes Early" by Podington Bear

"Just Watching" by Podington Bear

"Golden Hour" by Podington Bear

"Clover" by Little Glass Men

"Your Pulse" by Little Glass Men

"A Night to Kill and Die" by Gumbel

Jan 4, 2017

This story from the Grimm brothers has giants, witches, magical animal organs, enchanted produce, and a helpful (and maybe a little homicidal) cloud buddy who just wants to aid you in finding the next steps on the journey that is life. This story is bizarre and wonderful and a testament to the endurance of love and the continuing admonishment to avoid entering spooky castles in dark folklore forests.

The creature this time is from Wales and has to try really, really had to place her one tusk-like vampire tooth in your neck before you wake up.

If you want to say hi, http://www.twitter.com/mythpodcast and http://www.facebook.com/mythpodcast are great places.

We also opened the Myths and Legends store at http://www.mythpodcast.com/store

Music:

"Spins and Never Falls" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Chrome Muffler" by Podington Bear

"Automatic" by Podington Bear

"Am Trans" by Podington Bear

"Pavement Hack" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Intermezzo" by Podington Bear

"Grebe" by Podington Bear

"Giving Tree" by Podington Bear

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