BUT THAT IS ANOTHER HISTORY THE WITCHER and the MEDIEVAL BESTIARY (part 1) Today I want to bring you a different video. I wanted to talk about European medieval mythology … and of bestiaries and rare creatures, and just, about a month ago, I started playing the game of The Witcher 3 … and one of the things that I liked the most was its huge catalog of beasts to hunt. And many of them are, or are based, on real myths and legends. Well, real in the sense that they are not part of a contemporary fiction product, you understand me. Well, that. The idea in the next videos will be to see the bestiary of The Witcher and comment on where these creatures come from and with what myths and cultures they are related. We start with the … DRACONIDS Dragons exist in many cultures around the world. Dragons there are many types, but originally there are two. On the one hand, there would be the western dragon, emerged in Greece and the Middle East. The origin of this type of dragon is associated with the snake. The different myths and legends related to this reptile, over time, were giving more and more qualities, such as gigantic size, legs with claws, wings like bats and the power to spit fire. Possibly these characteristics were introduced by the discovery of dinosaur fossil bones, which at that time, our ancestors would have no idea what that painted there. The European dragons had 4 legs, but if the front ones were wings, this type of dragon was called Wyvern, or guiverno, and this is one of the animals that come out in The Witcher. This type of dragon appeared on the flags and banners of the Wessex Kingdom, for example. And if it does not have any legs but wings, it is called Amphiptera. Perhaps the first western dragon is Apophis, the snake of the underworld of Egyptian mythology that sought to break the maat, or cosmic order, trying to destroy the sunboat on which the sun god Ra was going. For the ancient Egyptians the existence of this evil was necessary for the good to be possible. We also found dragons in ancient Babylon. In the sacred book of Enuma Elish, dated 1200 BC, we are told about the creation of the world according to these people. The creator gods were Apsu and Tiamat, his wife, represented as a snake or dragon. They had many children, the young gods, and one of them, Ea, decided to charge Apsu. Tiamat got fat and began a war against these new gods, who were led by Ea’s son, Marduk, whom they promised to make supreme god if he won. The side of Tiamat was led by Kingu, who after being defeated by Marduk, human beings were born from his blood. And with the body of Tiamat, Marduk created the sky, the earth and with his tears the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. And of course, he ended up founding Babylon. Greek mythology is full of dragons. There is a lot. We could start with Python. This was a snake created by the goddess Gea who guarded a cave where the oracle of Delphi was located. The god Apollo sought the power of the oracle to see the future, and therefore he faced and won Python … and hence those who see the future are called pythonesses. Then we have Ladón, a 100-headed being who guarded the Garden of the Hesperides, with golden apples that gave immortality. And as I told in the Greek mythology videos, he was killed by Heracles in one of his tests. Another was the Dragon of the Liquid, the guardian of the golden fleece that Jason and the Argonauts had to get in order to become the throne of Yolco. There would also be Typhoon … Lamia, which would evolve in what vampires are, in another video we will see … the Hydra of Lerna, that a hydra is basically a dragon but with many heads … and finally there are the basilisks. In the game the basilisks look like this. “Horrifying, psychedelic and spooky” It was said of them that they were born from an egg of a chicken hatched by a toad or by a snake. And on top of their head they had like a crest or a miter. According to medieval legends, he was very poisonous, and among his weaknesses was the crow’s song, which terrified him. Or if he looked in a mirror, he glowered with his lethal, very grumpy roll look. It is also that the very nice bug was not. In the video game there is a very similar creature called Gallotriz, which becomes what in the Middle Ages was known as Cocatriz. It was like a basilisk, but it was born from a reptile or toad egg hatched by a rooster or chicken. Weasels were said to be the only animals immune to their mortal gaze. “I just found an animal. Somebody tell me what animal this is.” “Look. It’s weird. I found it. I thought it was a duck. See his legs, accept me.” “Eh, still fucking, don’t be pecking at me.” “Ahhh, it stung me, I crap on your mother click” “See, it is itching” “Culero, ahhhhhh” “Fucking, let go of my cock” As you can see, since its origin, in many legends the Dragon is seen as a guardian who guards a sacred place, a treasure or a princess that needs to be demoted by the knight on duty. We already saw it in the videos of Norse-Germanic mythology with Nidhogg, the dragon that wants to tear down the Yggdrasil tree devouring its roots. Or to Jormundgander, the gigantic snake daughter of Loki that surrounded the seas of Midgard and that bit its tail how long it was. In the Ragnarok, or end of the Nordic world, the god Thor managed to end it with an epic hammer in his cocorota, but our dear god of thunder ended up poisoned by his poisonous saliva and fell dead shortly after. The snake symbol that bites its tail is sometimes known as the Uróboros, or Uroboros. It symbolized the eternal cycle of things, and although it already existed since Ancient Egypt, it seems that the Europeans knew it through this Ragnarok, because after the end of the world, a new one would be born and thus for all eternity. Also in Beowulf we have a confrontation with a dragon, which ends with the death of the hero and also with that of the dragon. But without a doubt, the most classic myth is that of the Volsunga Saga, the oldest version of the well-known Song of the Nibelungs. In this Volsunga Saga we have Loki killing an otter who was an uncle in disguise, and when the father of the otter, Hreidmar, finds out … he forces him to pay a good sum of gold. Loki decided to steal it from a dwarf named Andvari, a Nibelungo who was transformed into a fish, but apart from all the treasure, he was also forced to hand over his favorite ring, and so he cursed it. Hreidmar, the father of the dead child dressed as an otter, had two more children: Fafnir and Regin. Fafnir began to have strange dreams and charged the father, stole all the treasure, took it to a cave and it was there that it was transformed into a dragon, it is assumed that due to the curse. “My treasure” The remaining brother, Regin, was the one who sent the hero Sigurd, or Sigfrido, to end the monster. He succeeded, and Regin drank his blood and made Siegfried cook his heart, since they said it was magical and gave super powers. But this one was also impregnated with the magical blood of the dragon, and that allowed him to talk to the little birds, who chivated him that Regis sought to betray him, for the cursed gold was clouding his mind, and of course Sigurd charges him and takes the treasure. And then more things happen … but I tell that in the Nordic Mythology video. On the other hand, in the Arthurian cycle we would have a king named Uther Pendragon, who is supposed to have his name coming from defeating one of these monsters. In fact, in England these fantasy beings began to be used a lot in the banners. And the myths of Judeo-Christian tradition could not be lacking. In Isaiah’s book we find Leviathan, a huge sea monster associated with evil and that would come from the Lotan of Ugaritic mythology and Canaanite traditions. With the passage of time, the term Leviathan was used generically for any sea monster, including Moby Dick and whatever appeared. Following the same path, the archangel Saint Michael fighting the dragon in the Apocalypse represented the fight against the beast of hell, Satan, and more specifically against sin. And another important Christian legend is that of St. George and the dragon. This legend emerged around 300 in the Roman province of Palestine, where a guy named Jorge de Cappadocia was a Roman soldier … and ended up being part of the personal guard of Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia. This emperor harshly persecuted Christians throughout the empire. Jorge confessed that he was a Christian and ended up being tortured to death. “There is no pain” It is not known if this was real, but soon after he became a martyr and saint thanks to Emperor Constantine I … and Jorge’s hometown, Diospolis called in those years and now Lod, in Israel, was an important place of worship and pilgrimage. There was a church that was destroyed and rebuilt many times during the Crusades. There is currently a new church where his grave is. Now … when was a dragon added to the story? It happened during the Middle Ages from fairy tales with princesses and dragons, and they also had something to do with the crusaders who returned from the Holy Land. Then in the thirteenth century everything was mixed in the Golden Legend book, which talked about the lives of many saints. Legend has it that a dragon made its nest right in a fountain that provided drinking water to a city, and its inhabitants decided every day to offer a human sacrifice to set aside for a while. One of those days it was the turn of a local princess. And when he was about to be devoured, St. George arrives and destroys the dragon with his sword. Thanks to this, the inhabitants of the city abandoned paganism and converted to Christianity. St. George named the country of Georgia, and it became very popular in many places in Europe. The King of England Edward III founded the Order of the Garter in 1348, and named St. George as his patron saint, and in fact, the flag of England is the Cross of St. George, very similar to that of the Georgians. And of course, we must mention the Kingdom of Aragon. The term “Aragon” is not known where it comes from, but it seems to have nothing to do with dragon. From the year 1000 or so there are many Aragonese kings who claimed to have been helped in some battle for the spirit of St. George, as in the Battle of Alcoraz in 1096, but it was not until Juan II, by the fifteenth century, when he became an official patron of the Aragonese Crown, which included Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. From Asturian mythology we have the Cuélebre, who kept treasures; and in the Basque Country there is the Herensuge, who ate the cows and lived in the town of Mondragón, whose name is believed to come from that, the dragon mountain. In The Witcher appear more draconids. The Skinks are this kind of dragon without eyes whose name comes from these lizards, but that’s where the whole relationship ends. The truth is that they look more like the tremor gravoids of Tremors 3. -What is that?
–You shut up, pussy. “What a plague” They are an invention, like the Colihendidos, which are similar, smaller and with a huge horn on the head. Changing the continent, we would have the Chinese dragon. According to the tradition of the Chinese of ancient times, this being was more like a snake and floated in the air, although they did not usually have wings, it was like magic. In fact, it is very similar to some dragons of Pre-Columbian America, such as Quetzalcoatl, the feathered Serpent god of life, light, fertility and wisdom; Amaru, of the Inca and Aymara tradition, associated with water and wisdom; or the legend of TrenTren Vilú and Cai Cai Vilú de los Mapuches. Also the Native Americans of Mississippi culture seem to have a dragon being named Piasa, but almost nothing is known about him. Like many of the aforementioned, Chinese dragons were closely related to water, and they were said to be in charge of many meteorological phenomena … and if there was drought or flooding, the ancient Chinese tribes did rituals to please the dragon of their region. It was said that there were 4 dragon kings, who lived in glass palaces under the sea. But in general, these dragons were wise and benevolent beings, unlike in medieval Europe, and a symbol of good fortune. As I told in the episodes of the History of China, the legend tells us that thousands of years ago the period known as the August 3 and the 5 emperors took place. Here it is assumed that these 7 mythological characters were the ones who founded the Chinese civilization. Possibly these people were tribal chiefs of about 3000 BC who unified some tribes until they reached the 1st Dynasty, the Xia Dynasty. In any case, the names of these 7 characters change depending on the version of the story, but already in this remote time we would find dragons. We should first talk about Fuxi and Nüwa, who were represented as half man half snake, they were not really dragons but there. They were more like the Hindu Nagas. The fact is that one day they left a river and, among other things, Fuxi taught the first Chinese writing, fishing and hunting. Another being with draconic airs was Gonggong, but this caused flooding the very joputa. And he had a friend of chaos called Xiangliu, a 9-headed dragon monster who loved destruction who was killed by Yu the Great, founder of the first Chinese dynasty. Another of these god emperors was the Yellow Emperor, or Huang Di. It is thought that it was a humanization or assimilation of the Chinese god Shangdi by the Zhou Dynasty. The fact is that this ruler is credited with teaching the sedentary tribes, the construction of houses and the domestication of animals … as well as the calendar, medicine and a thousand other moves. At the end of his days, the clouds opened and a yellow dragon named Huanglong came down from the sky to make him a god. From that moment, the representations of the dragons in the different Chinese dynasties did not cease, especially after the Han took power … and their image was so associated with the emperors that no one else could use it. And other neighboring countries like Korea or Japan also included these creatures in their myths. Highlights Yamata no Orochi, an 8-headed, 8-tailed dragon who was killed by Susanoo, a kind of eastern St. George who drunk the monster with sake to save the life of a princess. And here the video today. In the following I will talk about insectoids, ogroids, constructs, spectra and vampires. If you are interested in ancient history and the origin of many myths and legends, you have my book Empires and Swords on Amazon. And if you like to investigate the script failures of famous movie sagas, there are also Screen Holes. Do not forget to subscribe and see you in the next video.