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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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Feb 17, 2016

In this famous story from Greek Mythology, we'll meet Cupid (not a baby), as he accidentally nicks himself with his own arrow. In a podcast episode that is  like the movie "Mean Girls" with a trip to the Greek underworld, you'll see why it is against the law to harbor someone who's prettier than a goddess.

The creature of the week is a forest creature that operates on a very annoying wood chip economy.

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The bag of dirt

Music:

"Sonar Despierto" by Zifhang

"Sidecar" by Podington Bear

"The Vault" by Trigg & Gusset

"The Coil Winds" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Transmogrify" by Podington Bear

"Here is Now" by Ketsa

"Trellis" by Podington Bear

Feb 10, 2016

A double-sized episode with the whole epic and slightly-ridiculous story of a cattle raid that ended up taking way longer than it should have. It involves a young man hulking out numerous times, several creative ways to kill your opponent in single combat, and a fight to the death between best friends. Also, you'll see why you shouldn't bring your squirrel to an active war zone.

The creature of the week is a scary, hairy little zombie who, like Jack Frost, will nibble at your toes. Unlike Jack Frost, though, he will bite them clean off.

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Music:

"As Dust Gathers" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Rally" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Catching Feathers" by Ketsa

"Burn" by Massimo Ruberti

"Play Pelagic" by Little Glass Men

"Beautiful Rain" by Ketsa

"Dubrelli" by Synapsis

"Journey Near Complete" by Ketsa

Feb 3, 2016

Queen Medb, King Ailil, and Fergus make their way into Ulster while the army is crippled by feeling as if they are going into labor. Only one man, barely out of childhood himself, can stand against the invaders and protect his people until they are able to rise. That man is Cu Chulainn. This week, we learn the origin story of this Irish superhero (he's kind of literally a superhero, too. He can hulk out.), including how he got his name, which basically means dog.

The creature of the week is one that will, unsurprisingly, drag you into the river and kill you. What is surprising, though, is the party that happens in your village when you kick it out.

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Music:

"Hiroko Life" by Whodiniz

"Brick Wall (Instrumental)" by Simon Panrucker

"Venus in Furz" by Steve Combs

"Contrarian" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Invitation to the Voyage" by Julia Kent

 

Jan 27, 2016

Starting an epic string of legends from Celtic folkore. We're back in the time of kings, princesses, and intrigue. You'll see how you can steal a kingdom with fancy accounting, curse a nation because of a careless comment, and start a war to prove to your spouse how rich you are.

The creature of the week is the monaciello from Naples, Italy. When he's not helping you, he's stealing your clothes...off your body...

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Really excellent source for the today's stories

my e-mail: Jason@mythpodcast.com

Music:

"Turning" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Something for Nothing" by Ketsa

"Flag of No Country" Julia Kent

"Swan's Melody" by REW<<

"Passageways to Happier Hours" by REW<<

"Thaw (Outro)" by Kai Engel

Jan 20, 2016

It's the original story of the Snow Queen, more commonly known as the source material for the hyper-popular Disney movie named "Frozen". The original, though, is incredibly different, and contains much more violence, kidnapping, and weirdness than the adaptation.

On the creature of the week, you'll see why you shouldn't get drunk and take walks by the river

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Music

"Get Far" by Muddy Wires

"Threadbare Cashmere" by REW<<

"A Leaf in the Wind" by Coldnoise

"Morbid Imagination" by Kai Engel

"Baroque" by Jon Watts

"Snowfall" by Kai Engel

"Headlights/Mountain Road" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Tar and Spackle" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Wisteria" by Blue Dot Sessions

Jan 13, 2016

This week, it's a horror story from Korean folklore. A little girl gets lost in the forest, and then a strange problem begins tearing her family apart.

Then, on the creature of the week, you'll see how buying sunglasses for the guard might help you rob a temple.

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Music:

"When the Guests have Left" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Vindicta (Lost Radio Reshape)" by Astral & Shit

"Moon" by Massimo Ruberti

"Fleeting" by Coldnoise

"Spell" by Rolemusic

"January" by Kai Engel

"Midnight" by Ketsa

Jan 6, 2016

The first episode of much-requested Native American folklore has giants, ghosts, anthropomorphic coyotes, jilted lovers, and the reason for why the tick got so flat. Because you've always wondered how the wood tick got to be so flat.

On the creature of the week, it's an animal from Australian folklore who is lurking in stagnant water, just waiting to give you a deadly hug.

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Music:

"Hiroko Dream" by Whodiniz

"The Soft Glow of Christmas Lights" by Will Bangs

"Jenny Slate" by Steve Combs

"Brought" by Ketsa

"December" by Kai Engel

"Parade Shoes" by Blue Dot Sessions

Dec 23, 2015

The story behind the transition from Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus is one that includes murder, priest-punching, and ominous, demonic-looking companions. This episode looks at the legends behind an austere bishop who has been transformed into a magical, portly elf.

**Note: as I say in the show, this episode is not for young children. The story of St. Nick includes grisly murders and mentions of prostitution. Listener discretion is advised.**

The creature of the week is another sort of Santa from Spain who, in the old days, eschewed the coal for bad children for a long, deadly scythe.

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Krampus pictures

The History of Rome

Music

"The Krampus Song" by J Dobbs Rosa (J. Dobbs Rosa on Twitter)

"Threads and Veils" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Lathe" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Sirius" by Sergey Cheremisinov

"Cheap Suit" by Jason Staczek

"Dune" by Filip Roter

"Sorcery" by Bog

"Christmas Lights" by Patrick Poe

"Fledgling" by Psychadelik Pedestrian

 

 

Dec 16, 2015

The final chapter in the story of Theseus, the Minotaur, and all the other people that have gotten swept up in this drama spanning decades. We'll learn exactly what the Delphic Oracle meant by her prophecy, and how you can use a spool of thread to kill a giant monster.

On the creature of the week, it's a very literal tiny dancer.

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Music:

"Comfort in Uncertainty" by bbatv

"Great is the Contessa" by Blue Dot Sessions

"The Big Out There" by Krackatoa

"Hiroko in Deep" by Whodiniz

"When it Gets Dark at 4PM" by Will Bangs

"Reverie" by WVTM

Dec 9, 2015

The story of Daedalus and Icarus is much more than just Icarus flying too close to the sun. Daedalus, the inventor, is directly responsible for the labyrinth and the Minotaur. He's a man whose will to survive and desire for significance drives him to make magnificent things, which only bring death, destruction, and tragedy for him and everyone around him.

On the creature of the week, you'll learn how you can keep a Russian forest-dweller from playing pranks on you. All you have to do is burn his entire forest to the ground.

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Music:

"The Tide" by Alex Finch

"Cab Ride" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Mosic" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Lights Out" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Avec Toi" by Dana Boul

"Endless" by Dana Boul

"Last Straws for Sale (Instrumental)" by Lisa Germano

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

 

Dec 2, 2015

We have all heard the story of Theseus fighting that monstrous half-bull, half-man beast known as the Minotaur, but the original story starts years earlier. It involves tensions between two kingdoms, a deadly poetry slam, and dumb bandits.

The creature of the week is a small chicken that will give you lots of gold...if you can keep it from sitting on you in the middle of the night and giving you nightmares.

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Music:

"Cold, Heat, Dust and Dew" by Curious Inversions

"The Shoes they Wear" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Empty Trees" by Ketsa

"Diversity" by Ketsa

"Here is Now" by Ketsa

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

 

Nov 25, 2015

An episode of entirely listener-submitted stories! The main story is from South Africa and tells of how a mountain peak got its name from a deadly competition. Deadly because of the cancer risk, but also...well, you'll see.

Then, on the creature of the week, you'll see which household items can repel this ferocious beast and that, wow, koalas make terrifying sounds.

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Music:

"Always The Teasmade, Never The Tease" by Doctor Turtle

"Hammer and Damper" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Dub01" by Robodub

"Death on the Battlefield" by Rolemusic

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

 

Nov 18, 2015

The story of a young woman, her magic doll, and a witch who may be the most terrifying - or the most ridiculous - person you've ever seen. You'll also see that you should definitely not trust a gift from a witch. Especially if that gift is a human skull...that's on fire.

On the creature of the week, if your date has goat hooves it probably will not go well.

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Nov 11, 2015

In this Russian Fairy Tale from the same collections as the stories of Koschei the Deathless, we find a prince who goes on a quest for the firebird. This leads us into a Russian nesting quest situation, where he ends up on a quest-within-a-quest-within-a-quest. We'll also follow his doofus brothers, who decide that taking an extended camping trip getting drunk in their silk party tents is much better than questing.

On the creature of the week, it's a large horse-headed monster who will push you down or trample you...all while giggling like a child.

The sponsor this week: Imakeokthings

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Music:

"Dew" by Cousin Silas/Black Hill

"Mile Post 1" by Alex Fitch

"Jackbird" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Celeste" by Alex Fitch

"Gondola Blue" by Blue Dot Sessions

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

Nov 4, 2015

The end of the saga of this legendary king has Viking battles, magic cows, and a long con to take over England. Ragnar's poor planning when it comes to cementing his legacy blows up in his face, and we catch up with Aslaug, the daughter of Sigurd and Brynhild, and the atrociously ugly couple that murdered her grandfather.

The creature of the week is a little one-legged boy who grants wishes and has really smelly hair.

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Oct 28, 2015

People throughout history, before they died, have seen something...strange. They have seen ghostly doubles haunting their steps, foretelling their doom. These things are called doppelgängers, and while they mean something different now - basically someone that looks like you - their folklore origins are something far more ominous and sinister. This episode is about the shadowy creatures of ill omen that follow us all, and the famous historical figures that have seen theirs before they met their end.

The creature of the week is an extended, creepy story of a creature from Japanese folklore, and a solitary priest that became lost in the mountains.

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Oct 21, 2015

The tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, legendary Viking king and main character of the History Channel series "Vikings" and the many women in his life you absolutely do not want to mess with. It contains Viking battles, murder, betrayal, and heartbreak, uncommonly-ugly peasants, and, of course, a dragon fight.

For the creature of the week, if anyone in the woods calls to you from a bush asking you to stop what you're doing to play a tickle game, you should probably say no. You should definitely say no if it's this long-fingered creature who will literally tickle you to death.

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A couple pictures of the big harp

Songs:

"This" by Tryad

"Akantha" by Lazath

"Meditation" by Eracilon

"Python" by Rolemusic

"A Trip to Paris" by Peter Perio

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

 

Oct 14, 2015

For over 200 years in western Europe, there was a pervasive belief among large portions of the population that the upper classes in society were hiding something - women horribly cursed with the heads of pigs . Not an insult or a metaphor, no, these were women who were thought literally to be pigs from the neck up. Crowds gathered to harass potential pig-faced women and chase their carriages, and they apparently made appearances at fairs. This is an incredibly bizarre series of events that is all but forgotten in the modern day, but bears were shaved, legacies were tarnished, and there were men from an ocean away proposing marriage to a pig-faced woman.

On the creature of the week, it's a bird who can escape from any predator, but after you hear the route it needs to take, you'll wonder if it shouldn't just let itself get caught.

 

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Pig-faced lady pictures

Songs:

"The Rain" by Carmelo Costanzo

"White City, Black City" by Esther Garcia

"Chaos in the Mouse Kingdom" by DDmyzik

"Quizitive" by Lee Rosevere

"Taking Dark Matter Lightly" by Alan Singley

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

 

Oct 7, 2015

These are two stories from Japanese fairy tales. I don't want to ruin them, so I can't say too much, but they are amazing. One is about a boy who draws pictures of cats, much to the detriment of his job and a ridiculous amount of ancient books. The other story is about a kind fisherman who saves a turtle and has his whole world turned upside down.

On the creature of the week, it's a naked guy who, if he helps you, just thank him and be on your way. Seriously, who cares if he could have cut the grass more? He did it for free, and it's not worth losing your legs over.

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Songs:

"Tech Toys" by Lee Rosevere

"Ending" by Tadd Euro

"Baby Monster" by Music for your Media

"Scary Chimes Loop" by Chrisoph Schade Composer

"All In All (No Voices)" by VYVCH

 

Sep 30, 2015

Finishing up the twelve labors, Hercules fights way, way too many things: a giant boar, a giant bull, vicious birds, man-eating horses, the three-headed hell hound Cerberus, and more, all as penance for his crime.

The creature of the week are invisible weasel brothers that might give you a small cut or two...or might cut off your legs...all without you feeling it.

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That story thing I mentioned

Songs:

"Direct to Video" by Chris Zabriskie

"One Last Sunset" by Alan Singley

"Leafless Quince Tree" by Rolemusic

"Strange Kiss" by Alasdair Cooper

"Tilt" by Avaren

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

 

Sep 23, 2015

The story of Hercules is one part gritty, serious tragedy and two parts over-the-top monster fights. This week, in the origin story of one of the greatest mythological heroes of the western world, we get to see the human side of the demigod before the story goes completely off-the-rails and it's just one big monster fight topping the next. But don't worry, there are also monster fights this episode.

We'll see that Zeus is essentially the Don Draper of the Greek pantheon, only without all that pesky introspection or likability, and that if your husband cheats on you, you should bring down horrible punishments on everyone but him.

On the creature of the week, it's a grotesque little piggy that just needs a hug.

 

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Music:

"Melancholy" by DDmyzik

"Offerdal" by Simon Mathewson

"Shipwreck in the Pacific Ocean" by Rolemusic

"Scientology and the Masses" by statusq

"Fine without you (Remix)" by Steve Combs

"Something Elated" by Broke for Free

"Wandering" by Steve Combs

 

Sep 16, 2015
Instead of one long story, this week I'm telling four stories about canines from folklore from all around the world. We'll go back to the Norse gods and goddesses where Loki will make more poor choices. Then I'll talk about the legend of the black dog of the UK and Ireland. There's the weird and hilarious story of a little dog that was made king of Denmark, and how the people took it surprisingly seriously. Finally, I'll round out the show with the saddest story about a dog you've ever heard.   Also, I know Fenrir is a wolf and not a dog, but his inclusion will fit with the narrative arc of the show, I promise.   On the creature of the week, it's a tiny, angry old man who lives in an anthill and really, really wants you to stay off his lawn.   Say Hi on Twitter: @Mythpodcast Find the show on iTunes E-mail: Jason@mythpodcast.com My miniature dachshund, Abbie! The dog king riddle   Music: "Living Legends" by False Awakenings "Ambient" by Strange Day "In the End" by The Losers "If There's Time" by Odesza "Something Elated" by Broke for Free "Wandering" by Steve Combs
Sep 9, 2015
A short supplemental on one of the inspirations for Merlin, a man named Myrddin the Wyllt,  a Welsh warrior bard who went insane after seeing his friends die on the battlefield and ran off to a life in the forest. It would have been fine if people didn't keep dragging him back to civilization...or if he had thought at all about what he would do during the winter. You'll see that "insane" in this story is kind of a loose term for "I just want a little 'me' time in the forest." On the creature of the week, you'll meet that thing that yells all night in your kitchen and shatters all your good plates, and I'll guess at what she's doing with all that evil linen thread she's spinning.
Sep 2, 2015
The real story of the Little Mermaid is way more violent and grim than the Disney version, and does not have a happy ending. It's the story of a teenage mermaid who falls in love with a human and makes a deal to get legs, but that's where the similarities end. The original includes bald mermaids, daggers, and a great way to blackmail your kids into being good. If you've ever wanted to know way, way too much detail about a mermaid society, but hate it when your characters have names or plausible motivations, this story is for you. But really, it's very weird, and it makes you wonder why it has not only survived to the modern day, but is incredibly popular and has inspired multiple retellings. In the creature of the week, an ape man you can't hide anything from, but who has an extremely short attention span. Connect with me on twitter: @mythpodcast My e-mail: jason@mythpodcast.com Find the show on iTunes! Songs: “The Temperature of the Air on the Bow of the Kaleetan” by Chris Zabriskie "Hypnic Jerk" by Smith Comma John "La Valse de Marian" by Marian Badoi "Keep on Moving" by Ton "Rewound" by Chris Zabriskie "Archimedes" by Jason Staczek "Something Elated" by Broke for Free "Wandering" by Steve Combs
Aug 26, 2015
Wrapping up this current run of King Arthur episodes, we find a kingdom in shambles. We'll see the final(ish..for now at least) battle between the Saxons and the Britons, and then the rule of King Arthur's uncle and father. Uther then decides to risk this extremely tenuous peace to woo a woman who isn't into him at all. And by woo, I mean declare war against her and her husband and use your fancy magician friend's fancy magic to trick her into...well, you'll see. Then, the sword in the stone! Also, the definitely true origins of Stonehenge! The creature of the week carries an impractically large bowl of blood with him at all times - just sloshing around everywhere he goes - that he will dump on you if he catches you on the road at night. Talk to me on twitter Find the show on iTunes Music: "Reveries" by Eracilon "Gymnopedie" by Erik Satie "Taking Dark Matter Lightly" by Alan Singley "Love and Mystery" by Oursvince "Max Flashback" by Lee Rosevere "Something Elated" by Broke for Free "Wandering" by Steve Combs
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