The Mabinogion is a cavalcade of consonants

I want to take this time to say
To my good friend Andrew “D is for douchebag” Gable
That I am very grateful to him
For recommending this myth
(the last 3 myths were all recommendations
you guys are on a roll)
but dear god this myth is a clusterfuck
and I hate you so much
your name will rot in hell for eternity

SO THE MYTH
Alright so there’s this king right
His name is an unpronounceable string of consonants
Just like every other welsh name
I’m not even going to bother looking his up though
And painfully transcribing it here
Because he’s not that important
And neither is his wife Goleuddydd
But I needed to give you an example
of the kind of shit I am dealing with
anyway basically what happens is they have a kid
Kilhwch
Who actually is pretty important
Even though the consonant to vowel ratio in his name
Is SIX TO ONE
Ok but then Goleuddydd dies
and she is like hey husband I know you’re gonna marry some other chick
but at least wait until brambles start growing on my grave first ok
also no cheating
you can’t just plant brambles there or fail to take care of the grave
they have to be for serious brambles
and the king is like OH YEAH TOTALLY
OOPS DID YOU DIE JUST NOW?
HMM LOOKS LIKE BRAMBLES ARE GROWING ON YOUR GRAVE
WIFETIME!

(actually to be fair he does wait 7 years
but he specifically doesn’t have anyone tend to the grave
and he like rides by the graveyard every day
to check if any brambles are growing yet)

So he’s like hm who should I marry
Oh this other king has a wife I like
How bout I take her
So he goes and murders the king and sacks his kingdom
And takes his wife
And his wife’s daughter
And then he is like hey new wife this is my son Kilhwch
And his wife is like oh good
Hey little boy wanna marry my daughter
And Kilhwch is like I’M LIKE TWELVE GODDAMN YEARS OLD WOMAN
GIMME A MINUTE TO LET MY BALLS DROP
And the chick is like fine asshole
I hereby declare
That you are only allowed to marry this chick Olwyn
Daughter of professional huge asshole Yspadadden Penkawr
And Kilhwch is like SWEET I LOVE OBSTACLES
Oh shit wait how am I going to pull this shit off

But luckily
Kilhwch’s cousin
Is KING MOTHERFUCKING ARTHUR
FOR WHOM NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
And right now
The dude is doling out favors like a mortally wounded piñata
All you gotta do is show up
And ask him to cut your hair
And BOOM
INSTANT BOON

So Kilhwch shows up at arthur’s place
And the porter is like no you can’t come in
And Kilhwch is like if you don’t let me in I’ll scream so loud
Your wife will have an abortion
And the porter is like lemme go talk to my boss
Hey boss
I just saw THE MOST HONORABLE MAN POSSIBLE OUTSIDE
And Arthur is like HOLY SHIT THAT IS HIGH PRAISE
GET THAT MOTHERFUCKER IN HERE
And kilhwch rides in on his horse like sup
I have all this hair and I need it cut
Can we make this happen
And Arthur is like YESSSSSSSSS

So while Arthur is making Kilhwch look all pretty and shit
He is like ok so while I’m cutting your hair
Are there any boons I can get you
And Kilhwch is like yeah as a matter of fact
I’m tryna marry this chick Olwyn
But I can’t find her and am too lazy to try
So how about you get her for me
I also need that exact same boon
From all of your men
Except in the original text
He does not say it like that
He specifically names
EACH AND EVERY ONE OF ARTHURS’ MEN
COMPLETE WITH GENEOLOGY
AND FUN FACTS
Some of the facts are actually pretty fun
Like did you know
That no one struck Morvan son of Tegid in battle
Because he was so butt ugly everyone thought he was a demon?
Seriously there are all kinds of motherfuckers in this court
Like the chief leaper of Ireland
And a dude whose specialty is ruining barns
And a guy who is dead already and I don’t know why he’s on the list
BUT WHAT THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON
ARE SHITTY UNPRONOUNCABLE NAMES

Here is a brief workshop on welsh naming conventions:

Step one: pick exactly one vowel
Step two: pick seven or eight consonants worth at least 4 points each in scrabble
Step three: Add a w
You know what
Fuck it
Add twelve of those little fuckers
Step four: wonder where you went wrong in your life

Seriously
Like this list goes on for PAGES and PAGES
An incomprehensible alphabet soup of pain and regret
But anyway back to the story

So Arthur is like hm
Never heard of Olwyn
But hold on let me spend a year sending messengers everywhere
And then he sends messengers everywhere
And a year later NONE OF THEM HAVE FOUND OLWYN
So Kilhwch is getting pretty pissed
He is like I did not come here and demand favors from you
Just to have you not grant me those favors
And Arthur is like whoa whoa chill out
I’ll send some of my best dudes out with you
And you can find this chick and we’ll be cool
Here
Take Kai
He doesn’t need to sleep and he can breathe underwater
Also he is waterproof
And has all the powers of apache chief from the justice league
Also you can have Bedwyr
He only has one hand but he’s a plucky underdog with something to prove
Also here’s a dude who speaks every language
And some other dudes who will pretty much never be mentioned again
Also Menw
Resident illusionist and deus ex machina

So the merry band sets out to go fuck up some shit
And they find a castle
And in front of the castle is a sheperd with a big dog
He’s a huge asshole and they happen to know this
But it’s okay because Menw enchants the dog so it won’t attack them
And then they walk up to him like hey sup
Whose castle is this
And he is like it is the castle of Yspadadden Penkawr
Can’t you tell
Then for some reason he invites them over to his house

So they all go sleep in his house
And they meet his wife
And Kilhwch is like hey do you know Olwyn
I’m tryna get up on that
Can you summon her over here for me
And the wife is like sure
Hey Olwyn
And olwyn is like what
And Kilhwch is like marry me
And Olwyn is like I’d love to
Except it’s kind of my dad’s decision
And if I ever get married he’ll die
So he tends to make it kind of hard on my suitors
But as long as you go do whatever he asks you to do
We can start bangin’ straightaway

So the next day Kilhwch and crew go see Yspadadden
Like hey daughter please
And Yspadadden is like sure no problem
Lemme just throw this poison spike at you first
And Bedwyr catches it and throws it at Yspadadden’s knee
And Yspadadden is like damn that hurt you are so fucking rude
So then they come back the next day
And basically the same thing happens
Except Menw catches the dart
And throws it through Yspadadden’s chest
And Yspadadden is like dammit ow you rude bastard
And then this happens AGAIN THE NEXT DAY
Except Kilhwch catches it
And throws it through Yspadadden’s EYE
And yspadadden is like JESUS THAT HURTS
YOU WOULD MAKE A TERRIBLE SON IN LAW
BUT I AM OUT OF DARTS NOW
SO WHAT DO YOU WANT
And Kilhwch is like I said daughter plz
And Yspadadden is like o sure no problem
Just do me a favor first
All you gotta do
Is plow that field over there
And have it sprout
By the end of today

Now guys
Are you thinking what I’m thinking at this point?
That this sounds suspiciously like the story
Of Jason and the Argonauts?
Well fear not
Because when Kilhwch is like psh no problem
Yspadadden proceeds to add
THIRTY NINE COMPLICATIONS
Or roughly that many
I kind of lost track when I got mired in this THICK LAKE OF BULLSHIT
You know what I think happened?
I think whoever wrote this
Just had a WHOLE BUNCH OF REALLY GREAT STORY IDEAS
But NOT A LOT OF TIME
And so he was like lemme use some of my trademark welsh efficiency
And even more of my trademark welsh CRAZY
And just ramrod these storychunks together into a reconstituted legend patty
Then forcefeed it to the poor bastards tasked with reading this shit
So I’m going to spare you what I had to go through
And basically just break this shit down for you
Because if I told you all the tomfoolery Kilhwch is expected to accomplish
You would not remember it
And you would hate me as much as I hate the guy who requested this myth

So here’s basically what Kilhwch has to do:
CREATE THE ULTIMATE PARTY FOR HIS OWN WEDDING NIGHT
Like he’s got to get a bunch of flax
And kill an evil boar
And get some drink horns
And like a magic comb and scissors for Yspadadden to shave himself with
And all of the dudes necessary to hunt these things
Or just preside over the bullshit
For example the king of france is apparently vital to this operation
Even though his only job is to watch everyone hunt this fucking boar
And after every single ludicrous task Yspadadden mentions
Kilhwch is just like sure
No problem
I got this

But see Kilhwch has a secret
Which is that he has no intention of actually accomplishing this shit himself
He just rolls on over to Arthur’s pad
Like hey dude
Do these things for me
And Arthur is like sure buddy no problem
And he raises the massive army necessary to do these things
And they go gallivanting away on this dumbshit adventure

So the first thing they gotta do is get this sword belonging to this giant
So Kai is like hey giant lemme polish your sword
And the giant is like sure my sword needs polishing
And kai is like whoops I accidentally stabbed you to death
And now I have your sword

Then they gotta find this dude Mabon son of Modron
So they do the only sensible thing
And go ask a bird
Who leads them to a stag
Who leads them to an eagle
Who leads them to a giant salmon
who happens to know where Mabon is
So I guess if you are looking for someone
Just ask pigeons about it and you are guaranteed success

Then they are supposed to find some wolf cubs that used to be people
But when they surround them with their armies
God turns them back into people
So problem solved I guess

Then one dude saves some ants from a fire
And they reward him with a ton of flax
Which was another thing they needed apparently

Oh also they need to make a rope out of this dude’s beard
So they get him drunk
And put him in a hole
And then shave off his beard
And make a rope
And then cut off his face
At which point kai gets sick of this bullshit and quits
BUT THE QUESTS KEEP COMIN’

So then there is just another ream of unpronounceable welsh names
Only these are mainly names of people who get killed during this quest
Also they steal a cauldron from some irish dude
And then it is time for the big kahuna
Twrch Trwyth
Yeah that’s right
NO VOWELS AT ALL
FUCK YOU READERS
IF YOU COUNT Y AS A VOWEL YOU’RE A BAD PERSON
Anyway Twrch is a boar
He is a boar who for some reason carries hair care supplies between his ears
MAGICAL hair care supplies
And he has a bunch of evil pigs that follow him around
And in fact he used to be a king
But he got turned into a boar cause he was a pretty bad dude

So enough backstory
Basically Arthur chases him down with all his dudes for like several years
And there are pages and pages of names of different dudes who got killed
And then Mabon finally shows up
Riding the steed Kilhwch was supposed to get him
Wielding the sword Kilhwch was supposed to get him
All so that Mabon could kill the boar
And then Mabon kills the boar
And they get the scissors from his scalp
And bring them to Yspadadden
Who is like aw god dammit
And shaves his face
And then Kilhwch is like damn right
And murders him
And then marries his daughter
And has the sweetest party ever
And they live happily ever after

So the moral of this story
Is you do not need courage
Or strength
Or cleverness
To accomplish your goals
You need to be related to king Arthur
Because in the end
The real hero
Is nepotism

THE END.

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10 thoughts on “The Mabinogion is a cavalcade of consonants

  1. I know you said you were eventually going to do it anyway, but I'd love to hear your retelling of the Aeneid. I'm reading it for college right now.

  2. I know accuracy is not the point, but w is a vowel in Welsh and y is about three different ones. Also dd is th. I don't know how they ended up with such a weird version of Latin script (I also don't know anything about lingusitics, so that's not surprising).

  3. You should put in other stories from the Mabingoion, Branwen fervh Llyr has brain-squeezing, infanticide, war, talking severed heads, giants, animal mutilation, and walking dead. Everything a myth could want, except incest and rape…

  4. incomprehensible alphabet soup of pain and regret
    ‘Incomprehensible Alphabet Soup of Pain and Regret’ would also be an amazing name for a band; alas, it is far too long.

  5. This is great!! I read all four books of the Mabinogian and yeah, so many freaking consonants. I would love it if you did some of the other stories in the Mabinogian, like Rhiannon’s story or maybe Bran’s (the latter is pretty damn weird).

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