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Manawydan fab Llyr: The Third Branch of the Mabinogi

Manawydan fab Llyr: The Third Branch of the Mabinogi

Manawydan fab Llyr: The Third Branch of the Mabinogi

This is my favorite part of the Welsh folktale The Mabinogion.  This has the most magic in it and the most allusions to the Otherrealm.

This one is quite a bit longer than the others, too long for me to post here - so I'll just link it here: http://www.mabinogi.net/manawydan.htm if you're interested in reading the whole thing.  

To make a long, long tale as short as possible I can summarize it thus:   King of Dyfed Manawydan and Rhiannon hook up through her son, Pryderi (who is married).   Through some magic and enchantment they end up as the only four people in Wales, roaming and lost.  They spend some time in England before going back to Wales and finally, Manawydan meets the Enchanter who cast the spells on Wales.  Through some clever wordsmithing he gets the Magician to dispel the enchantments on Wales and all is back to normal.  Huzzah!

I left out tons of the story -- I realized as I was writing it that I was just basically telling the whole thing.  Really -- it's excellent and interesting and makes perfect sense when you read it that it came out of oral tradition.  There is a lot of repetition in the story.  

There is a magic enchantment mist, a white boar, magic fountain and cup and castle and magician and polymorphing.    Reading it hearkened so many stories and tales that I've read and I clucked a knowing tongue at a few places were I know Tolkien paid homage to.   I could certainly imaging telling this tale over a fire to keep a chilly night at bay and to regale my listeners with the amazing and magical tale.

©Jennifer Bailey, 2011, Sychnant Pass, Conwy, Wales

©Jennifer Bailey, 2011, Sychnant Pass, Conwy, Wales

Grays Court Inn - York

Grays Court Inn - York

Branwen ferch Lyr

Branwen ferch Lyr