Friday, September 21, 2012

X-FACTOR #244 - Banshees and Morrigans

Okay, so this was an easy one, but Banshee has always been one of my favorite X-men, and I do have a soft spot for Irish mythology.

First of all, even though Sean Cassidy is a sweetheart, the storyteller in me needs to note that the original Banshee is female ('bean' meaning 'woman' in Gaelic, you don't get any more female than that). Since Siryn took over the name, the whole thing got a lot more mythical.

I also want to make a side note on Lost Girl's excellent use of the same mythical creature.

And now, on to the folklore.

Here is what Yeats' folktale collection has to say about the banshee.

And here is some more Irish stories about banshee foretelling death in the family.

And even some more Irish traditions here.

Here is some stories on Appalachian banshees.

As for the Morrigan: I did not approve of her appearance in the comics first, but this issue really came up with an interesting twist on the old tale. That's as far as I go in spoilers. The Morrigan is also one of the mythical characters that survives and even thrives well in modern media. I am once again referring back to Lost Girl as one of the more recent examples.

Now, let's take a look at the classics:

Here is Morrigan in Gods and Fighting Men.

Here is an episode from the legend of Cuchulainn.

You can find a nice portion about the morrigan in this volume of the Enchanted World.

Here is a nice shee-eire page on the Morrigan.

And well, not exactly, tradition, but here is a favorite song of mine from Omnia.

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