Monday, June 29, 2009

The Mabinogion

Some Uni work from the end of last year.. we were asked to create double-page spreads for an adaptation of the Mabinogion, aimed at children. My pieces weren't that successful but I kinda like 'em. The Mabinogion itself was a pretty shocking read. Very violent, ethically-dubious stories, perhaps a manual for hooligans of ages past. The lion is a friendly one, that collects firewood for an aggressive, meat-head knight with a brain the size of a pea. The pig is a boar called Truith. In his story, a knight decides that he fancies this maiden, who happens to be the daughter of some bad-ass ogre (forgive me if I forget details, names). The dad, taking one look at this hopeless moron, declares that he must complete many, many impossible tasks before he will be granted the maiden's hand. Sadly, if predictably, the knight, not getting the message, attempts and successfully manages to accomplish these tasks. One of which is to steal some "precious things" - a comb, scissors and such vanity products - from the boar. Now, ordinarily, this boar just hangs out in the woods, living a peaceful life, relaxing with his lady-friends. But the knight forces him to fight, to protect his belongings, and his friends, and a lot of people, and boars, end up dead. The knight, the "hero", triumphs. It's pretty messed up. A really sad story, and (unintentional) warning of the dangers of unchecked egomania. Knights were actually total twerps, who would have guessed?

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