On this magnificent day I shall tell you a tale. A tale of magic, romance and tragedy. This story is about Blodeuwedd, a character from the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion being a collection of short stories about Welsh mythology. The story of Blodeuwedd is my personal favourite, simply because of how strange it is. I realised that people outside of Wales probably haven't heard this story, and you're really missing out! So I'm going to tell you the story, the story of Blodeuwedd!
Keep in mind that my writing skills are terrible.
The story begins when three wizards decide that the best gift they can give their friend (who is also a wizard) for his birthday is a wife. Being wizards, they decide to make a woman using magic. They collect the flowers from broom, meadowsweet, and oak, and put it all in a big pile. Using their magic they make the most beautiful woman in the world, and her name is Blodeuwedd. Blodeu meaning 'flowers' and wedd (gwedd) meaning 'face'.
So good old Flowerface meets her new husband and is happy to marry him because she's made of flowers and therefore doesn't have very good thinking skills. Everything is fine and dandy for a good long while, as Blodeuwedd spent most of her time living in the wizard's castle, so she never saw anyone else.
Until one day, while her husband was off somewhere else, a group of hunters approaches the castle. They'd lost their way and had come to the castle to ask for directions. Blodeuwedd invites them in because it's getting dark.
Surprise, surprise she falls in love with the main hunter guy, and he falls for her (because she's the most beautiful woman in the world, duh) and they spend like two days together.
After that, the hunters leave and the wizard arrives home. Blodeuwedd decided that she can't stay with her wizard husband any longer because she doesn't love him and wants to be with the hunter. But, as he is a wizard, she can't just leave, or he'll use his magic on her and curse her or something. So she has to come up with a plan to get him out of the way. Yay, murder!
Blodeuwedd approaches her husband one day, looking sad. He notices this and asks;
"Hey, why are you sad?"
"I am sad because I'm scared you will die"
"Ha ha! I will not die! I'm a wizard and there's only one way to kill a wizard!"
"And what way would that happen to be?" Blodeuwedd replies, not sounding suspicious in the slightest.
Brace yourself, it's a fun one.
"I have to be stood outdoors, but under a roof, with one foot on the edge of a bucket of water and the other stood on the back of a goat. I also must be stood by a specific spot on the bank of a specific river. I also can only be killed by a spear that took a year to build (excluding Sundays) from the other side of said specific river. So you have no reason to worry!"
"Okay I will make sure that never happens!"
Then she heads straight off to write a letter to the hunter to start making the spear. So he does.
A year later she's told that the spear is ready so she goes to her husband:
"Hey, you know how a year ago I was worried you were going to die?"
"Well I was wondering if you could show me exactly how that whole death situation looks so that I can avoid it happening in the future?"
And so the idiot wizard and his wife head out to this specific river and they set this whole thing up. Little does the wizard know that the hunter is on the other side of the river, with the spear in hand.
Once the wizard is stood with one foot on the back of a goat, one on the edge of a bucket of water, beneath a roof, Blodeuwedd signals to the hunter to throw the spear. He throws the spear and it hits, but when it does, instead of dying the wizard turns into an eagle and flies away. Blodeuwedd knows that he's going to tell his wizard friends about this, so she and her boyfriend flee the scene. But the wizards eventually find them.
When they find them, they push the hunter into a lake and he drowns. But instead of killing Blodeuwedd, they use their magic to turn Blodeuwedd into a white owl. Their reasoning being that when she was a human everyone thought she was super beautiful and because she's made of flowers she really likes the sun, but now she's an owl she can only come out at night and also all the animals are afraid of her.
And that's the story of Blodeuwedd!
Well, wasn't that fun?