Myths and Legends

Jason Weiser, Carissa Weiser / Bardic

+252 FANS

Jason Weiser tells stories from myths, legends, and folklore that have shaped cultures throughout history. Some, like the stories of Aladdin, King Arthur, and Hercules are stories you think you know, but with surprising origins. Others are stories yo...Show More

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85A-Slavic Folklore: For the Right Reasons

32:22 | Oct 4th, 2017

The story of a sleazy dwarf, a helpful horse, and all-you-can-eat cake

71A-Sinbad the Sailor: Venture

35:00 | May 31st, 2017

Sinbad (no, not that Sinbad) is probably the 3rd most famous story from a collection titled "One Thousand and One Nights". It's a story of loss, hardship, and redemption...and then partying so hard that you forget all that loss, hardship, and redempt...Show More

3A-Vikings: The Norse and the Furious, Bredi’s Drift

30:00 | Jun 3rd, 2015

Swords, dragons, werewolves, Vikings, betrayal, and revenge are all hallmarks of the thrilling, yet little known, Saga of the Volsungs, the story of an ill-fated medieval Nordic family. One of J.R.R. Tolkien's first Nordic reads, it's a tale of honor...Show More

1C-Knights of the Round Table: The Lion Knight Rises

32:14 | May 13th, 2015

In this episode, you'll see that you should definitely interfere if you see two apex predators fighting to the death in the wilderness. We'll finish the story of Yvain, a knight of King Arthur's court, as he (mostly) sees the error in his ways and (m...Show More

141A-Robin Hood: Merry

34:28 | Apr 17th

The beginning of Robin Hood's epic tale

140-La Llorona: No Way Out

32:17 | Apr 10th

If you hear her weeping, it might already be too late. This week, it's a deep dive into the stories behind La Llorona, the weeping woman from Latin American folklore.

139B-Irish Legends: Evitable

39:57 | Apr 3rd

Where we left off, Cú Chulainn was getting dung smeared in his face by a stronger, magical king. None of that matters, because Cú Chulainn won. Of course he did. He's Cú Chulainn. Today's story picks up years later. As it turns out, killing people in...Show More

139A-Irish Legends: The Hound

34:44 | Mar 27th

Cú Chulainn goes to fairyland to fight a demon horde.

138-Knights of the Round Table: Carl

33:12 | Mar 20th

Gawain and Kay take a road trip together and stay with a guy named Carl

136-Pecos Bill: To the Moon and Back

39:23 | Mar 6th

It’s the long awaited, frequently requested return of Pecos Bill, and we’ll see the aftermath of the incident with the twister, watch him pitch the devil as an investor in his new startup, and fall in love...all while thinking that he’s secretly a co...Show More

135C-Tristan and Isolde: Homecoming

51:00 | Feb 27th

Tristan and Isolde have been caught, and they now face the consequences of their actions

135B-Tristan and Isolde: Secrets

39:41 | Feb 20th

The love potion makes everyone's lives more complicated

135A-Tristan and Isolde: Matchmaker

37:41 | Feb 13th

Dragon fights, love and betrayal, and wine on a boat: the story of Tristan and Isolde is here.

134-Grimm: Thirsty

38:11 | Feb 6th

The story of the goose girl from the Grimm brothers

133-Filipino folklore: Monkey Business

33:45 | Jan 23rd

The surprisingly brutal story of Monkey and Turtle

132B-Trojan War: Some Foolish Thing

37:44 | Jan 16th

Paris meets Helen, and the fates of thousands are sealed

132A-Trojan War: The Wars to Come

36:42 | Jan 9th

The Trojan War started long before the Greeks sailed east.

130C-Jungle Book: An Old War

33:02 | Dec 19th, 2018

Mowgli is in hiding after the showdown at Council Rock, but Shere Khan is coming.

130B-Jungle Book: The Strength of the Pack

32:49 | Dec 12th, 2018

Mowgli and his friends fight for their lives

130A-Jungle Book: Welcome to the Jungle

36:29 | Dec 5th, 2018

A child is rescued, and he changes the jungle forever

129B-Persian mythology: Champions

38:32 | Nov 28th, 2018

Rostam searches for his king in the land of demons

128-Irish folklore: Give Him the Finger

41:32 | Nov 14th, 2018

A genre savvy queen, brave heroes, and very drunk giants

127-Finnish Mythology: The Boy who Lived

40:42 | Nov 7th, 2018

We're in Finland for a very dark, very cold story.

126-Wendigo: Hunger

33:51 | Oct 31st, 2018

The legend of the wendigo from Native American folklore

125-Norse Mythology: Bound

37:05 | Oct 24th, 2018

There's trouble in Asgard, and Loki is on the case.

124-Greek Mythology: The Fall

44:09 | Oct 17th, 2018

The Centauromachy and Theseus in the Underworld

123-Dark Tower: Directions

34:05 | Oct 10th, 2018

A game turns dark as a child disappears. Her brothers will need to follow her to the dark tower.

122-Indian Folklore: Let it Be

32:53 | Oct 3rd, 2018

A king really doesn't like a prophecy about his family, so he takes fate into his own hands. It goes about as well as you'd think

121-Grimm Brothers: King of the Mountain

37:31 | Sep 26th, 2018

A merchant makes a deal...and things take a dark turn.

118-Jewish Folklore: The Eyrie

34:53 | Aug 29th, 2018

The story of a king who really doesn't want to work...and an ancient secret that's been hidden away.

117-Romanian Folklore: What did it Cost?

38:37 | Aug 22nd, 2018

A father makes a promise he can't keep. It's kind of not his fault, though. Being a new parent is super tiring.

116B-Mexican Legends: Outlaw Country

36:09 | Aug 15th, 2018

Joaquin Murrieta thinks he is unstoppable. He's not wrong.

116A-Mexican Legends: Alta California

43:35 | Aug 8th, 2018

The legend of the famous wild west outlaw, Joaquin Murrieta

114B-Indian Stories: Heavy

37:14 | Jul 25th, 2018

The world has been quiet for centuries, but everyone knows that they will return. The demon kings. An ancient evil destined to be reborn a third and final time.

113-Armenian folklore: Occupational Hazard

42:00 | Jul 11th, 2018

The story of the a prince whose life is too awesome

112B-Pinocchio: Nosey

36:07 | Jun 20th, 2018

Pinocchio part two, in which a lot of stuff happens to our little buddy, starting with him coming back to life.

112A-Pinocchio: No Strings Attached

43:02 | Jun 13th, 2018

The amazingly brutal original story of Pinocchio

111-Thumbelina: Sweet Summer Child

38:54 | Jun 6th, 2018

A fairy tale for children about a girl being born from a flower and trying to find love manages to contain kidnapping, death threats, crushing nihilism, and sleazy moles.

110-Viking Myths: Alone

44:09 | May 30th, 2018

Odin. Jotunheim. Shin Tinder. We're back in Norse mythology with the legendary story of Hadingus

109-Athens: Home

54:19 | May 23rd, 2018

The royal family of Athens. Dragon kings, bird princesses, and everything in between.

108-Tom Thumb: Thumbs Up

35:00 | May 16th, 2018

The story of a guy named Tom...who is as big as a thumb.

107B-Golem: To Dust You Shall Return

35:07 | May 9th, 2018

The golem of Prague and the Maharal's final blood libel

Bonus-U.S. Folklore: Gaslighting

08:47 | May 5th, 2018

A bonus story this week from the southern United States. Thank you for helping Myths and Legends win a Webby!

107A-Golem: Guardian

35:41 | May 2nd, 2018

The Golem of Prague, from Jewish legend.

106B-African Legends: Bad Move

34:21 | Apr 18th, 2018

Djata's life continues being difficult while a new evil rises in the north

106A-African Legends: Long Live the King

36:34 | Apr 11th, 2018

The story of Sundiata, the first ruler of the Mali empire

105B-Reynard: Ferocious Mr. Fox

33:41 | Apr 4th, 2018

Reynard the fox continues to make terrible, or brilliant, choices

105A-Reynard: Fox on the Run

37:58 | Mar 28th, 2018

The animal kingdom is a horrible, horrible place.

104-Egyptian Mythology: The First Avenger

34:43 | Mar 21st, 2018

The battles of Horus and Set rage for 90 years along the Nile.

103-Middle Eastern Folklore: Shipshape

33:12 | Mar 14th, 2018

A story of witches, genies, male models, and angry cats

102-Charlemagne: Honor Among Thieves

32:00 | Mar 7th, 2018

The Holy Roman Emperor is on a mission from steal a bunch of stuff from his neighbor

101-Fairy Tales: Three Dog Night

33:16 | Feb 28th, 2018

Stories of money problems from Denmark and Vietnam

100B-Knights of the Round Table: Family Reunion

50:58 | Feb 21st, 2018

Things get weird on Yvain and Gawain's quest...well, weirder than usual.

100A-Knights of the Round Table: Buddy System

32:46 | Feb 14th, 2018

Sir Yvain and Sir Gawain go on a road trip (i.e. forced exile)

99-William Tell: One Shot

34:00 | Feb 7th, 2018

William Tell is so much more than an arrow and an Apple

98-Native American History: Runner in the Night

31:30 | Jan 31st, 2018

The true story of Gouyen, an Apache woman who would go to any lengths to bring her husband's killer to justice

97-Jack and the Beanstalk: Sleeping Giant

38:58 | Jan 24th, 2018

Two Jacks that kill giants, but in very different ways

96-Russian Folklore: Cold as Ice

36:00 | Jan 17th, 2018

The Snow Maiden from Russian folklore and The Snow Child from European folklore. A lot of snow this week. It's really cold here.

95B-Irish Legends: Finn the Human

40:03 | Jan 10th, 2018

A giant otherworldly monster that shoots fire from its mouth. The treacherous chief that killed his father. A super-smart fish dinner. We're wrapping up the first part of the legend of Finn MacCool

95A-Irish legends: Wanted

35:06 | Jan 3rd, 2018

The story of Finn MacCool, a legendary Irish warrior

Bonus-The Time Machine: Inspector Spacetime

44:03 | Dec 29th, 2017

Since we're off this week, it's a bonus episode from our other podcast, Fictional.

93B-Theseus: Love and War

36:30 | Dec 13th, 2017

Theseus and the Amazons and the story of Hippolytus

93A-Amazons: Wonder Women

37:19 | Dec 6th, 2017

Zeus v. Typhon and the beginning of Theseus and the Amazons

92-Greek Myths: Gigantic

37:56 | Nov 29th, 2017

The Gigantomachy - the war with the giants in Greek mythology

91-Greek Myths: Fatherhood

35:15 | Nov 22nd, 2017

The stories of Helios and Phaethon and that of the giant brothers, both from Greek mythology

90-Viking Legends: Mighty

41:41 | Nov 15th, 2017

The story of Thorstein Mansion-Might, the Viking who was bigger than doors.

89-Maui: The Mauiest Maui

34:31 | Nov 8th, 2017

Maui, as depicted in Maori folklore

86-Grimm: Clever

35:39 | Oct 18th, 2017

The story of Clever Hans being clever and the miller's boy and the cat from the Grimm brothers.

85B-Slavic Folklore: Hold on to Your Hat

35:23 | Oct 11th, 2017

The conclusion of the dwarf with the long beard

84-Famous Fairy Tales: Rule of Three

35:02 | Sep 27th, 2017

The three bears, the three little pigs, and an especially deranged version of Cinderella

83-Tale of Tales: Skin Deep

42:31 | Sep 20th, 2017

Two fairly strange (even by fairy tale standards) stories from medieval Italy.

82B-Arabian Nights: Show Me What You Got

34:32 | Sep 13th, 2017

Scheherazade keeps telling stories like her life depends on it. Because her life literally depends on it.

82A-Arabian Nights: I'll Most Likely Kill You in the Morning

31:13 | Sep 6th, 2017

The unbelievable beginning to "One Thousand and One Nights"

81-Trolls: Breakups

33:32 | Aug 30th, 2017

A story from Scandinavian folklore about trolls


36:23 | Aug 23rd, 2017

Perseus faces (but doesn't face) Medusa and finds Andromeda chained to a rock

80A-Medusa: Golden Child

34:34 | Aug 16th, 2017

Perseus starts on the quest to slay Medusa...and it's weird.

79-Odin: The War to Begin all Wars

39:53 | Aug 9th, 2017

We're back in Norse mythology with stories of a war between the gods and Odin and the runes.

78-Egyptian Mythology: The Master Namer

34:16 | Aug 2nd, 2017

Starting at the beginning of the universe and going to the beginning of the epic and mildly disturbing battles between Set and his nephew Horus

77-Romanian Folklore: Mrs. Piggy

37:15 | Jul 26th, 2017

A story from Romanian folklore about a (kind of) terrible prophecy, a (definitely) enchanted pig, and how far people will go for love.

76-Greek Myths: Lioness

40:20 | Jul 19th, 2017

The story of Atalanta is one of the woman who just couldn't be stopped...and of a world that had a big, big problem with that. Giant monster fights, meddling gods, and well-known heroes make an appearance in the story of a heroine who just can't be k...Show More

75-Pecos Bill: Rider on the Storm

34:32 | Jul 12th, 2017

The story of Pecos Bill is that of a true American Hero...who spends half the story naked and who legitimately thinks he is actually a coyote. But don't tell him that. He's cool and won't hurt you, but you'll get into a long discussion and won't actu...Show More

74-Japanese Folklore: Do You Really Want to Live Forever?

29:53 | Jul 5th, 2017

The story of Sentaro the millionaire* is about a man with a dream. Well, not really a dream, but a deep, abiding fear of death. Soon, he becomes so obsessed with avoiding the inevitable that it leads him on a journey across Japan and later the world ...Show More

73-Japanese Folklore: I will find you

43:41 | Jun 28th, 2017

A young woman's father is taken, and she decided to go to the edges of the known world to get him back, to a faraway island harboring a dark and terrible secret. The creature this week is skunk ape! He's 0% skunk, 0% ape, and 100% into stealing your ...Show More

72-Kelpie: Party Horse

39:54 | Jun 21st, 2017

A sea horse (but not that type of sea horse) that haunts the coasts of Scotland, the kelpie is a legendary cryptid that represents the dangerous unknown of the well as new guys stopping by your village for the sole purpose of picking up wo...Show More

71C-Sinbad: There and Back and There and Back Again

45:34 | Jun 14th, 2017

If you've ever wondered about giving that strange old man a piggy-back ride in the woods, the philosophical nuances of way too much grave robbing, or how many people are necessary to take down a four-story-tall baby bird, well, then this is the episo...Show More

71B-Sinbad: Snake Eyes

38:09 | Jun 7th, 2017

Whether it's deadly literary references, sticky cows, or extremely inappropriate eulogies, the stories of Sinbad have it long as by "it all" you're looking for a story of how a rich (and, let's face it, not-so-smart) guy for whom everything ...Show More

70-Ugly Duckling: Fowl Play

33:46 | May 24th, 2017

It seems like with a lot of fairy tales someone looked at the original, thought that there was absolutely no way they could tell that to a child, and re-wrote it to get rid of the shocking violence and general terribleness of every creature ever. "Th...Show More

69-Midas: You Got the Touch

37:33 | May 17th, 2017

Don't, under any circumstances, trust the Midas touch. The king of unforced errors, Midas is a well-known figure in mythology mainly because of horrible decision making and lack of foresight. They say any publicity is good publicity, and I hope that ...Show More

68B-Morgan le Fay: Her Majesty

45:22 | May 10th, 2017

Wrapping up this two-part series on Morgan le Fay, we'll see her devious schemes within schemes come to fruition with one aim in mind: killing King Arthur and seizing the throne for herself. The creature this week is fish man, from Spain. He's kind o...Show More

68A-Morgan Le Fay: Get Thee to a Nunnery

34:12 | May 3rd, 2017

Sorceress. Confidant. Traitor. Sister. All of those words describe Morgan Le Fay, King Arthur's half-sister. She is by far the most complex character I've come across in the Arthurian legends, but she's constantly portrayed in the medieval and early ...Show More

67B-Gawain and the Green Knight: Head On

39:50 | Apr 26th, 2017

I wanted to name this episode "it's not easy being green," but it really is. The Green Knight had his head chopped off last episode...but still carried it out of the most uncomfortable Christmas dinner ever. Really, it's not easy being Gawain, who ha...Show More

67A-Gawain: To the Dogs

44:26 | Apr 19th, 2017

You probably had to read the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in high school. I know I did, and it's a great story. There are beheadings, green guys, confusing interactions with ladies. It might be one of the most violent non-Die Hard Christm...Show More

66-Paul Bunyan: Truth in Advertising

33:50 | Apr 12th, 2017

You know how to make your stories completely resistant to any ridicule from a future podcaster? Make them as ridiculous as possible. The stories of Paul Bunyan arose from the camps of lumberjacks in the US in the 1880s, but he spread to be a nationwi...Show More

65-Oedipus: Motherboy

43:35 | Apr 5th, 2017

The story of Oedipus is fun until it isn't. I've met people with varying degrees of familiarity with the story. Some are familiar only with the central premise of the story, while others' knowledge only extends to a certain disgusting little complex ...Show More

64-Frog Prince: Warts and All

48:40 | Mar 22nd, 2017

The story of the frog prince is well known - a beautiful princess meets a frog, kisses him, and he turns out to be a prince. Except, in the earliest version, it doesn't go like that at all. I won't spoil it, but the original frog prince is extremely ...Show More

63-Puss in Boots: These Boots

34:35 | Mar 15th, 2017

The story of Puss is Boots is that of a cat who wears boots and talks. The character of the cat has somehow gone on to be voiced by Antonio Banderas, take part in a one really successful franchise, spin off into its own movie AND Netflix series. The ...Show More

62-Thor: Hammer Time

36:42 | Mar 8th, 2017

Quite possibly the last episode on Norse mythology before we start on the epic showdown that is Ragnarok, this story has Thor earning a ridiculous facial feature and wetting himself in terror. Also, you shouldn't follow Loki into the wilderness, no m...Show More

61-Solomon: One Ring

41:48 | Mar 1st, 2017

According to folklore, King Solomon had a ring. Given to him by God, it allowed him control demons...but it also had some other powers unknown to Solomon, powers that make it essential for fighting dragons, escaping witches, and taking nice Sunday af...Show More

60C-Beowulf: Unknowable but Certain

35:41 | Feb 22nd, 2017

There has been a menace sleeping in Beowulf's homeland since he was born. It has lived for centuries, and it is strong and dangerous, while Beowulf has lived for only eighty years, and is weakening. Yet, their paths draw them inexorably toward one an...Show More

60B-Beowulf: The Depths

32:26 | Feb 15th, 2017

It's round two for everyone's favorite (only?) Geatish hero, as he bravely takes on...his former adversary's mother. Really, it's way more interesting than it sounds. Also she's not Angelina Jolie, but a terrifying, demonic swamp hag. The creature th...Show More

60A-Beowulf: I'm Kind of a Big Deal

33:05 | Feb 8th, 2017

You know the story of Beowulf. I don't need to do this. But really, there's mead. There's Grendel. There are mead-fueled fights with Grendel. It's just a fun, (kind of) light re-telling of the classic story, minus all the yelling, Angelina Jolie, and...Show More

59-Greek Myths: The Violence of Our Ancestors

45:14 | Feb 1st, 2017

Many connected stories from Greek mythology. We'll start with story of Hades and Persephone, and learn why she's always hanging around the underworld (hint: it's not because she wants to). Then, I'll tell the story of the curse of the house of Atreus...Show More

58-Native American Folklore: Monster

30:42 | Jan 25th, 2017

The first story today is from the Mi'kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Maliseet people, about all the things that can go wrong when creating the animals and why you shouldn't drink gross monster waste water. The second story is from Cree fokllore, about Monst...Show More

57-Japanese Fairy Tales: Faithful

33:42 | Jan 18th, 2017

This week, there are two stories from Japanese folklore.  The first has to do with  a butterfly that just won't give up trying to land on the face of a dying man. The second is of a monk-in-training who just doesn't want to stop partying. The creatur...Show More

56-Nepali Folklore: Hope You Guess My Name

32:47 | Jan 11th, 2017

A story of a young woman from Nepal who has a (sadly) common problem for folklore, but a very uncommon solution. Also she eats goat vomit. She probably doesn't enjoy it, though. The creature this time is the Habetrot, and she'll make you want to wear...Show More

55-Grimm: My (Bird) Heart Will Go On

30:41 | Jan 4th, 2017

This story from the Grimm brothers has giants, witches, magical animal organs, enchanted produce, and a helpful (and maybe a little homicidal) cloud buddy who just wants to aid you in finding the next steps on the journey that is life. This story is ...Show More

54C-Gilgamesh: Dust

44:59 | Dec 28th, 2016

The end of the saga of Gilgamesh...and possibly the end of Gilgamesh, but not if the demi-god has anything to say about it. After a tragic loss, Gilgamesh goes on a quest to defeat mankind's greatest enemy - death itself, and he learns the secrets of...Show More

54B-Gilgamesh: Huge

33:52 | Dec 21st, 2016

Gilgamesh and his new best friend are heading out on an adventure to fight a firebreathing giant named "Hugeness the Terrible." Also there's a giant deadly bull fight, talk of zombies, some tiny shoes, and light hand-holding. If those things don't ma...Show More

54A-Gilgamesh: Did We Just Become Best Friends?

31:24 | Dec 14th, 2016

The Epic of Gilgamesh is amazing. It is quite possibly the oldest epic we have, and though it only exists in fragments, it tells a surprisingly human story. There are questions of life and death, such as what it all means and why are we here? It delv...Show More

53-African Folklore: Crocodile Tears

36:44 | Dec 7th, 2016

The story of a dragon slayer from South Africa has, of course, dragons, but it also has giant towers, underwater villages, and a frog who is just trying to have a nice dinner with his family without all the insults, thank you very much. The creature ...Show More

52-Greek Mythology: An Eternal Flame

40:20 | Nov 30th, 2016

Two love stories from Greek mythology...because those go so well. The first is the story of Narcissus and Echo, which was doomed from the moment one jumped out of the bushes at the other for a non-consensual hug. The second story is of Orpheus and Eu...Show More

51-Loki: Them Apples

35:56 | Nov 23rd, 2016

Three stories of Loki, the infamous trickster from Norse mythology. Most of his hijinks are light-hearted, and end with him getting his comeuppance, but it comes in the form of being a bridesmaid at Thor's wedding or (as in this episode) an extremely...Show More

50-Dracula: Bad Blood

38:47 | Nov 16th, 2016

Dracula isn't a creature from myths, legends, or folklore. The fictional vampire is a product of Bram Stoker. The name, though, stretches back centuries to a prince who ruled the kingdom called Wallachia, which borders the land with which he's most f...Show More

49-Russian Folklore: I Pity the Fool

38:30 | Nov 9th, 2016

The unexpected story of a fool, an epic quest, and a flying ship. Also, why you should respect your elders, especially if they want to give you a lot of free bread and vodka. The creature is the Lake Worth Monster, from Texas in the US. It is either ...Show More

48-Snow White: Killer Queen

37:46 | Nov 2nd, 2016

The original stories of Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White, despite their Disney adaptations and being fairy tales largely told to children, are incredibly violent and gruesome. They have murder, kidnapping, and, of course, hot dance moves. Bluebe...Show More

47-Urban Legends: In the Dark

29:42 | Oct 26th, 2016

For this Halloween episode, we are doing something different. Instead of diving into the stories of the past, I’m telling stories of the present. Urban legends are a more modern version of folklore where, instead of telling stories of hydras and butt...Show More

46D-Jason and the Argonauts: Scorned

39:11 | Oct 19th, 2016

The end of the story of Jason, Medea, and the Argonauts. Things have been pretty easy for Jason. Medea solved all of his problems before he even knew he had them on the Argo, and her fairly violent murder-by-proxy of Pelias secured Iolcus for Jason's...Show More

46C-Jason and the Argonauts: The Long Way Home

41:44 | Oct 12th, 2016

It finally comes time to fight the dragon, (hopefully) survive the return journey home, and have the showdown with Pelias. This is a big episode. If you've made it this far in the series, though, it probably doesn't matter what I write here, because ...Show More

46B-Jason and the Argonauts: MacGuffin

45:18 | Oct 5th, 2016

The quest for the golden fleece begins for the legendary heroes packed aboard the Argo. We find them making all haste for Colchis...except for all the times they stop to feast...and drink too much...and meet beautiful women...and get in unnecessary b...Show More

46A-Jason and the Argonauts: Some Assembly Required

41:03 | Sep 28th, 2016

The beginning of the story of Jason and his legendary Argonauts doesn't start with Jason, but with Zeus being...well, Zeus, and kidnapping an unsuspecting woman. There is a dragon, a giant bronze robot, and court intrigue, leading to some familiar na...Show More

45-Rumpelstiltskin: Let's Make a Deal

43:23 | Sep 21st, 2016

Three stories of people making deals. The first is from Japanese folklore, and it's about making the most of what you have...even when what you have is a dirty piece of straw and a fly friend. The second story is about a man who made a deal with the ...Show More

44-Saint George: Here Be Dragons

41:49 | Sep 14th, 2016

Three and a half stories of monsters of the ancient world. We meet vile beasts that lurk in the forests, the murky deep, and the wide, desolate places of the world. We meet the baby, the Thor, and the saints that slay them. We meet bears that can be ...Show More

43-Slavic Folklore: The Wasteland

40:43 | Sep 7th, 2016

A story of a super-powered Russian hero fighting the evil, also super-powered villain known as Nightingale the Robber. Nightingale can fly, kill with a scream, and lives in the shadows of his forest. The journey will take our hero from home, through ...Show More

42-Chinese Folklore (Cinderella): You Only Live Thrice

36:02 | Aug 31st, 2016

This week, it's two of the earliest Cinderella stories, one of which is the earliest written version of this type of story, pre-dating European versions by 1000 years. It has evil step-mothers, murderous step-sisters, and helpful cows who will vomit ...Show More

41C-Lancelot: It's Complicated

52:52 | Aug 24th, 2016

It's the conclusion of the Lancelot story, and we'll immediately pick up after last week's fairly cheap cliffhanger ending. He'll finally see the end of his quest... Either by plummeting to the choppy waters below...or by the lions on the other side ...Show More

41B-Lancelot: Promises to Keep

40:21 | Aug 17th, 2016

Things get weird on Lancelot's journey to become a knight of the Round Table...if Merlin trying to pick up a twelve-year-old last week wasn't strange enough. This week has ancient prophecies, a dangerous quest, a father and son stalker duo, kind of t...Show More

41A-Lancelot: The Stolen Child

39:21 | Aug 10th, 2016

We're back in the time of King Arthur, picking up right about where we stopped off last time (though you don't need to have heard last time to listen today). We'll be talking about the story of Lancelot - where this incredibly important character cam...Show More

40-West African Folklore: Cold-blooded

40:12 | Aug 3rd, 2016

Five stories of a very savvy, completely unscrupulous turtle from Nigeria. He's a trickster we've met before, but he has an entire episode of semi-murderous turtle hijinks. Even though turtles are cute and seemingly harmless, they should not be trust...Show More

39-Odin: In the Land of the Blind

41:47 | Jul 27th, 2016

Born in ice and fire, Norse mythology starts violently...and strangely. There's a blood ocean, a giant primeval cow, and some light grandpa murder. Thor and Loki take two kids on a field trip to Jotunheim, where, like any family vacation, Thor gets i...Show More

38B-Korean Literature: Master of Two Worlds

48:22 | Jul 13th, 2016

The Conclusion of the "Story of Hong Gildong" takes us from the household drama of last episode to a story that spans the entirety of the Korean peninsula, with Gildong earning his title of the Korean Robin Hood. It then moves beyond Korea to mythica...Show More

38A-Korean Literature: Crossing the Threshold

36:47 | Jul 6th, 2016

Hong Gildong has been called the Korean Robin Hood, but really oversimplifies the story. It is both an awesome adventure tale with dragons, magic, assassins, demons, bandits, and betrayal, and a complex human drama, where one young man must find and ...Show More

37-Hercules: The Best at What He Does

45:01 | Jun 29th, 2016

Hercules is as terrible as he is awesome. There are sea monsters, centaurs, people being thrown off of things, Hydra poison, and Hercules making ridiculous choices. Basically, it's everything you could want from a Hercules episode. Oh, and he dies, b...Show More

36B-Pocahontas: Between Two Streams

1:01:14 | Jun 22nd, 2016

An abbreviated history of Pocahontas and John Smith, this episode looks at the conflict largely from the Powhatan side. This isn't the Disney version. It is gritty, dark, violent, and, if Mattaponi oral history is to be trusted, fairly disturbing. St...Show More

36A-Pocahontas: The Empire Business

50:07 | Jun 15th, 2016

The story of Pocahontas and John Smith has turned from compelling historical story of a brave woman who united two warring nations, to a melodramatic, oversimplified love story. In reality, Pocahontas likely never view Smith as more than a friend, si...Show More

35-Beauty and the Beast: Prisoners

51:22 | Jun 8th, 2016

This is not the Beauty and the Beast you've heard. It's not even the story the one you've heard is based on. That one is a super-pared-down version of an 18th century French novella. The original contains way too much description about fairy politics...Show More

34-Greek Mythology: Uphill Battle

44:07 | Jun 1st, 2016

Two stories from Greek Mythology: first, it's the story of Sisyphus, who you might know from his interminable, crushing labor, but who actually really deserved that punishment because of how horrible he was. The second story is of good-guy-Belleropho...Show More

33-Ali Baba: Inheritance

42:46 | May 18th, 2016

As you've probably come to expect, the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, perhaps the second most famous story from One Thousand and One Nights, is much more violent than modern adaptations would have us believe. Medieval Persia was a dangerous...Show More

32-Tricksters: Wager

40:43 | May 11th, 2016

Three stories of tricksters. We have Coyote from Native American mythology giving great gifts and racing a turtle. There's also Anansi the spider-man from West African folklore, who is trying to buy the stories of the world. We also catch up with our...Show More

31B-Viking Sagas: Face-off

58:22 | May 4th, 2016

The conclusion of the Saga of Arrow-Odd, a man who is destined to live 300 years, yet cursed to be killed by his favorite horse. He's watched his friends and brothers die in his struggle with his adversary, the evil half-troll Ogmund, but this battle...Show More

31A-Viking Sagas: Odd Man Out

43:53 | Apr 27th, 2016

The saga of the legendary Viking Arrow-Odd contains trolls, ogres, giants, magic arrows, and a sorceress getting smacked in the nose. The mistakes of one Viking's past...or just a Viking being a Viking, haunt him. There's a dangerous Viking teddy bea...Show More

30-Latin American Folklore: Unbreakable

36:46 | Apr 20th, 2016

A story from Chilean folklore about the smartest woman in the world, her talking shoe, and a prince that deserved a slap on the face. The creatures this week are the abatwa, from South Africa, and you'll learn why ants are the best roommates ever. ...Show More

29-Grimm: Upward Mobility

47:42 | Apr 13th, 2016

Two stories from the Grimm brothers, both of which have people going up, but in different ways. The first is the story of Rapunzel, and the second is about a small tailor who uses one success to face giants, a rampaging boar, and a unicorn when seeki...Show More

28-Prometheus: Adamantine

41:24 | Apr 6th, 2016

The much-requested story of Prometheus, a Titan who was cursed by Zeus to have his liver pecked out every day for defying the Olympian and bringing fire to the earth. We'll also talk about the Titanomachy, the very literal clash of the Titans at the ...Show More

27C-King Arthur: The Errant Knight

51:46 | Apr 5th, 2016

Old foes resurface as Balin, the fugitive knight, flees from King Arthur's court. He'll find himself on a perilous (and, at times, ridiculous) quest, where he'll inadvertently put the events in motion that will start the quest for the Holy Grail. Oh,...Show More

27B-King Arthur: Mayday

43:13 | Mar 23rd, 2016

When we left king Arthur, the monstrous Questing Beast was lumbering toward him. We'll learn all about that beast and the line of kings cursed to hunt it. Then, Merlin shows up with a chilling plan to solve the problem of the child that is destined t...Show More

27A-King Arthur: The Violence Inherent in the System

38:49 | Mar 16th, 2016

The story of the legendary King Arthur, from just after when he pulled the sword from the stone.Though he's in his late-teens or early-twenties, he is not at all taken seriously by his barons or petty kings, who revolt almost immediately. Less than o...Show More

26-Japanese Fairy Tales: Wisdom

36:12 | Mar 9th, 2016

This week: two folktales from Japan. One is about a humble, happy stone cutter who becomes a power-mad, bitter stone cutter. The other is about, surprise surprise, supernatural occurrences at a Buddhist temple in a remote mountain region. The creatu...Show More

25-Dragons: This is Where You Get to Make it Right

31:59 | Mar 2nd, 2016

The story of a famous dragon from the folklore of north east England is filled with knights, curses, and, of course, the need to kill your favorite childhood dog. The story of the Lambton Worm is a quest for redemption where many people die because o...Show More

24-Thor: Whosoever Holds this Hammer

28:40 | Feb 24th, 2016

Norse mythology, like all mythology, is strange. Thor's hammer is gone. It was stolen...or he just left it somewhere and forgot about it. To get it back, though, he's going to have to do something more difficult than fighting legions of giants. He's ...Show More

23-Cupid and Psyche: Burned

37:12 | Feb 17th, 2016

In this famous story from Greek Mythology, we'll meet Cupid (not a baby), as he accidentally nicks himself with his own arrow. In a podcast episode that is  like the movie "Mean Girls" with a trip to the Greek underworld, you'll see why it is against...Show More

22C-Irish Legends: The Spoils of War

49:24 | Feb 10th, 2016

A double-sized episode with the whole epic and slightly-ridiculous story of a cattle raid that ended up taking way longer than it should have. It involves a young man hulking out numerous times, several creative ways to kill your opponent in single c...Show More

22B-Irish Legends: You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

33:33 | Feb 3rd, 2016

Queen Medb, King Ailil, and Fergus make their way into Ulster while the army is crippled by feeling as if they are going into labor. Only one man, barely out of childhood himself, can stand against the invaders and protect his people until they are a...Show More

22A-Irish Legends (The Tain): Red Ledger

33:36 | Jan 27th, 2016

Starting an epic string of legends from Celtic folkore. We're back in the time of kings, princesses, and intrigue. You'll see how you can steal a kingdom with fancy accounting, curse a nation because of a careless comment, and start a war to prove to...Show More

21-Frozen/The Snow Queen: Fearful Symmetry

40:25 | Jan 20th, 2016

It's the original story of the Snow Queen, more commonly known as the source material for the hyper-popular Disney movie named "Frozen". The original, though, is incredibly different, and contains much more violence, kidnapping, and weirdness than th...Show More

20-Korean Folklore: Prayers

35:46 | Jan 13th, 2016

This week, it's a horror story from Korean folklore. A little girl gets lost in the forest, and then a strange problem begins tearing her family apart. Then, on the creature of the week, you'll see how buying sunglasses for the guard might help you ...Show More

19-Native American Folklore: Skeletons

28:31 | Jan 6th, 2016

The first episode of much-requested Native American folklore has giants, ghosts, anthropomorphic coyotes, jilted lovers, and the reason for why the tick got so flat. Because you've always wondered how the wood tick got to be so flat. On the creature...Show More

18-St. Nick: Rusty Chains and Candy Canes

32:35 | Dec 23rd, 2015

The story behind the transition from Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus is one that includes murder, priest-punching, and ominous, demonic-looking companions. This episode looks at the legends behind an austere bishop who has been transformed into a magic...Show More

17C-Theseus: I Volunteer as Tribute

35:51 | Dec 16th, 2015

The final chapter in the story of Theseus, the Minotaur, and all the other people that have gotten swept up in this drama spanning decades. We'll learn exactly what the Delphic Oracle meant by her prophecy, and how you can use a spool of thread to ki...Show More

17B-Icarus and Daedalus: A Portrait of the Artificer as a Young Man

34:39 | Dec 9th, 2015

The story of Daedalus and Icarus is much more than just Icarus flying too close to the sun. Daedalus, the inventor, is directly responsible for the labyrinth and the Minotaur. He's a man whose will to survive and desire for significance drives him to...Show More

17A-Theseus: It’s Dangerous to go Alone!

28:26 | Dec 2nd, 2015

We have all heard the story of Theseus fighting that monstrous half-bull, half-man beast known as the Minotaur, but the original story starts years earlier. It involves tensions between two kingdoms, a deadly poetry slam, and dumb bandits. The creat...Show More

Listener-Submitted Episode 1 (Jan Van Hunks, Drop Bear)

24:15 | Nov 25th, 2015

An episode of entirely listener-submitted stories! The main story is from South Africa and tells of how a mountain peak got its name from a deadly competition. Deadly because of the cancer risk, but also...well, you'll see. Then, on the creature of ...Show More

16-Russian Fairy Tales: She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

38:29 | Nov 18th, 2015

The story of a young woman, her magic doll, and a witch who may be the most terrifying - or the most ridiculous - person you've ever seen. You'll also see that you should definitely not trust a gift from a witch. Especially if that gift is a human sk...Show More

15-Slavic Folklore: Bad Wolf

41:11 | Nov 11th, 2015

In this Russian Fairy Tale from the same collections as the stories of Koschei the Deathless, we find a prince who goes on a quest for the firebird. This leads us into a Russian nesting quest situation, where he ends up on a quest-within-a-quest-with...Show More

13B-Ragnar Lodbrok: Why’d it have to be Snakes?

37:10 | Nov 4th, 2015

The end of the saga of this legendary king has Viking battles, magic cows, and a long con to take over England. Ragnar's poor planning when it comes to cementing his legacy blows up in his face, and we catch up with Aslaug, the daughter of Sigurd and...Show More

14-Doppelgangers: Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night

37:20 | Oct 28th, 2015

People throughout history, before they died, have seen something...strange. They have seen ghostly doubles haunting their steps, foretelling their doom. These things are called doppelgängers, and while they mean something different now - basically so...Show More

13A-Ragnar Lodbrok: The Beggar King

34:52 | Oct 21st, 2015

The tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, legendary Viking king and main character of the History Channel series "Vikings" and the many women in his life you absolutely do not want to mess with. It contains Viking battles, murder, betrayal, and heartbreak, uncommo...Show More

12-Pig-faced Women: Citation Needed

25:33 | Oct 14th, 2015

For over 200 years in western Europe, there was a pervasive belief among large portions of the population that the upper classes in society were hiding something - women horribly cursed with the heads of pigs . Not an insult or a metaphor, no, these ...Show More

11-Japanese Fairy Tales: Key Details (Urashima Taro, The Boy Who Drew Cats)

34:27 | Oct 7th, 2015

These are two stories from Japanese fairy tales. I don't want to ruin them, so I can't say too much, but they are amazing. One is about a boy who draws pictures of cats, much to the detriment of his job and a ridiculous amount of ancient books. The o...Show More

10B-Hercules: Labor Intensive

38:10 | Sep 30th, 2015

Finishing up the twelve labors, Hercules fights way, way too many things: a giant boar, a giant bull, vicious birds, man-eating horses, the three-headed hell hound Cerberus, and more, all as penance for his crime. The creature of the week are invisi...Show More

10A-Hercules: Going into Labor

35:41 | Sep 23rd, 2015

The story of Hercules is one part gritty, serious tragedy and two parts over-the-top monster fights. This week, in the origin story of one of the greatest mythological heroes of the western world, we get to see the human side of the demigod before th...Show More

9-Dogs and Wolves: Generations (Fenrir, The Black Dog, Dog King of Denmark, Gelert)

32:50 | Sep 16th, 2015

Instead of one long story, this week I'm telling four stories about canines from folklore from all around the world. We'll go back to the Norse gods and goddesses where Loki will make more poor choices. Then I'll talk about the legend of the black do...Show More

8-Merlin: Call of the Wyllt

13:36 | Sep 9th, 2015

A short supplemental on one of the inspirations for Merlin, a man named Myrddin the Wyllt,  a Welsh warrior bard who went insane after seeing his friends die on the battlefield and ran off to a life in the forest. It would have been fine if people di...Show More

7-Little Mermaid: Cry with the Saints

30:43 | Sep 2nd, 2015

The real story of the Little Mermaid is way more violent and grim than the Disney version, and does not have a happy ending. It's the story of a teenage mermaid who falls in love with a human and makes a deal to get legs, but that's where the similar...Show More

6C-King Arthur: How I Met Your Mother

34:35 | Aug 26th, 2015

Wrapping up this current run of King Arthur episodes, we find a kingdom in shambles. We'll see the final(ish..for now at least) battle between the Saxons and the Britons, and then the rule of King Arthur's uncle and father. Uther then decides to risk...Show More

6B-Merlin: What’s Red, White, and Fighting All Over

30:53 | Aug 19th, 2015

This is where we meet Merlin, a son of a demon who uses his evil powers for good. But he's not yet the bearded sorcerer we all kind of know and love. No, he first enters our story as a serious seven year-old with power over magic, the ability to prop...Show More

6A-King Arthur Prologue: The Once and Really Only that One Time King

31:17 | Aug 12th, 2015

The King Arthur legends don't actually start with Arthur, but with several years of war, intrigue, and betrayal among the Britons, and a slippery earl by the name of Vortigern not-so-subtly engineering the deaths of two kings to become king himself. ...Show More

5B-Slavic Folklore: The First Horcrux

32:17 | Aug 5th, 2015

As it turns out, Koschei the Deathless is very, very hard to kill, a fact one could probably guess from his name. This episode explores his tragic origins, as well as the ludicrously complex way he's hidden his soul (a Russian nesting doll situation ...Show More

5A-Slavic Folklore: Tried and Died

36:56 | Jul 29th, 2015

In this story of a dangerous magician from Russian folklore, you'll learn that you should maybe believe your spouse if she says you definitely don't want to know what's behind that door in the dungeon. It's the bizarre, sad, and kind of hilarious sto...Show More

4-Mulan: A Likely Hero

27:09 | Jul 22nd, 2015

The story of Mulan, the woman who took her aging father's place in the army, does not mean what you think it means. The original character is almost completely awesome and very different from many retellings. Unfortunately, the inspiring central mess...Show More

3E-Vikings: The Debt is Paid

33:54 | Jul 15th, 2015

The final chapter of the Saga of the Volsungs follows Sigurd as he finds that navigating relationships with the in-laws is way, way more hazardous than fighting a dragon. He finds the famliy he never had, but generations of betrayal and murder finall...Show More

3D-Vikings: Blood of the Dragon

28:20 | Jul 1st, 2015

Part four and the penultimate episode in the Saga of the Volsungs, the story of a legendary Norse family finds Sigurd riding with his Vikings in an attempt to reclaim his father's kingdom. Then, there's a fight with the dragon, Fafnir, who is in the ...Show More

3C-Vikings: Renewed shall be Blade that was Broken

27:52 | Jun 24th, 2015

You can clearly see J.R.R. Tolkien's inspiration in this episode, what with that cursed ring finally making an appearance, a legendary sword reforged, and a selfish psychopath of a dragon sitting atop a pile of gold. Loki casually says something when...Show More

3B-Vikings: All that Hate’s Gonna Burn You Up

25:41 | Jun 18th, 2015

The Saga of the Volsungs continues, with a princess held captive by the man who killed her father, and her brother roaming the forest waging a covert guerrilla war...or just robbing people for the fun of it? There are berserker werewolves, magic swor...Show More

2B-Aladdin: A Whole New World of Problems

30:57 | May 27th, 2015

In the conclusion of the original Aladdin story, there's the meteoric rise of Aladdin, who is definitely not using magic to do any of this. Really. Will people just stop asking him that, already? I mean, so what if he made the most magnificent palace...Show More

2A-Aladdin: The Magician’s Nephew

24:08 | May 20th, 2015

The story of a poor man who finds a being of unlimited power, and not only uses it to put food on the table, but goes a little farther to take over the kingdom and become the richest man alive. It's the original story of Aladdin, but it's very diffe...Show More

1B-Knights of the Round Table: You’re So Yvain

17:42 | May 6th, 2015

This week, we're continuing the story of Yvain, a knight of King Arthur's court who we left in a very bad spot. He'll find an ally within the castle walls, get a magic ring, and try to find a way to hold out, since it's only a matter of days until Ar...Show More

1A-Knights of the Round Table: Yvainglory

16:42 | Apr 30th, 2015

This week on the Myths and Legends podcast, I’ll introduce the show and discuss what it’ll be about. Then, we’ll start right in on the story of Yvain, a knight of King Arthur's court who'll show that by being a huge jerk to nearly everyone you'll get...Show More