Monday, May 13, 2013

Monster Madness Day 3


 
Thanks to our lovely hosts Annie Walls, Little Gothic Horrors and Wicked Ways Productions

Everyday I'm featuring one of my favorite monsters and today is werewolves!  Werwolves are such a classic monster it's hard to trace them back to one story or "first" but the first I came across in my research comes to us from the Greeks (our first organized recorders of history). Greek mythology tells the story of Lycaon, a king of Arcadia, who decided to test Zeus by making him a nice meal of a child’s flesh. Zeus, terribly angered by this, punished him by turning him into a wolf. There are several different versions of the story, some of which involve not only Lycaon but also his 50 sons being turned into wolves, but all involve Zeus’ wrath in the form of transformation into a wolf.

 This myth led the citizens of Arcadia to adapt an annual ritual called Lykaia which involved the testing of young adolescent males coming age by the offering of human flesh from a victim of sacrifice. It was said that whoever ate the human meat would turn into a wolf and remain so until they abstained from human flesh for nine years. Although this ritual and the myth it’s based on are presumably metaphorical and not literal the stories of such events tell that people actually turned into wolves. These early rituals and their stories paint the scene for much of the werewolf story common today: nocturnal transformation into a wolf, the consumption of human flesh, and the bestial behavior of werewolves.

In addition to Odin’s story of the Arcadia kingdom there are also reports of men turning into wolves from Virgil, Pliny the Elder and Agriopas. From there, the mythos of the werewolf spread throughout Europe and the world through verbal tradition and mysticism.
 

Perhaps because of how far back their history goes, you can now find them in books, movies, TV shows, songs, art, graphic novels, video games, LARPs and table-tops and just about any other form of media you can think of.  They are a staple of Halloween costumes.  They have a cult following as large and rabid as vampires, zombies, ghosts and the other big contenders for world's most popular monster.  They're big, is what I'm saying.

And, as if all that weren't enough, contemporary werewolves have been joined by a whole host of other weranimals- tigers, leopards, bats, rats, hyenas, even mice.  You name it and there's a were-form of it somewhere in the world of entertainment.

Because of this, it's impossible for me to name a favorite movie or book I've read staring our furry friends.  Suffice it to say that I'm a fan of the genre in general and will contiue to enjoy their exploits in any format they come in.  Rock on, guys!  Ah-oo!

And now, as always, I invite you to hop along and keep the monster lovin' goin'.
1. Annie Walls  16. GingerRead Review  31. Stuff! Also, Things.  
2. Magaly Guerrero  17. Carmen Jenner Author  32. Lexa Cain  
3. Stephen Tremp  18. Book Me!  33. Roland Yeomans  
4. Toni @ My Book Addiction  19. Design du Jour  34. Real Queen of Horror  
5. QueenCicada  20. Not This Time, Nayland Smith  35. Procrastonaut  
6. Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh  21. Shah Wharton  36. Ms Misantropia  
7. Something WicKED this way comes...  22. Tim Brannan, The Other Side  37. Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles  
8. Little Gothic Horrors  23. Holly's Horrorland  38. Dr. Theda  
9. Maynard Morrissey's HORROR MOVIE DIARY  24. Professor Z  39. Jenny's House of Horrors  
10. Kweeny Todd  25. The Beveled Edge  40. TF Walsh  
11. L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge  26. Candilynn Fite  41. It Came From The Man Cave!  
12. The Dark World of MJ Preston  27. Diane Riggins  42. Voodoo Ghoul  
13. Entertaining Interests  28. Lori Parker  43. The Moon is a Dead World  
14. Emily Unraveled  29. Coffintree Hill  44. KristenHead  
15. Unnatural Selections  30. Tasha's Thinkings  45. Memoirs Of A Scream Queen  

9 comments:

  1. Ever since I read about the werewolf in Harry Potter, I somehow like their legend a lot. Great post.

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  2. Werewolves are a great monster! A classic example of unleashing the monster within. They've certainly popped up in a lot of stories, movies, TV shows, etc.

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  3. Such frightening creatures. Seems the 'sexier' in today's terms, the more fierce. But true monsters!

    Although, I do prefer them over the zombie!

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  4. That was really interesting! I vaguely remembered the story from our 8th grade mythology unit, but like so many things I promptly forgot the details after the test.

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  5. I never knew that ancient story - interesting.

    I'm not as fond of werewolves as I am of vampires, but I think my favourite has to be Remus Lupin from Harry Potter. He's so staid and sensible and gentle in his human form, such a contrast from the wild dangerous creature he can become.

    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles

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  6. I didn't know werewolves began with Greek mythology.

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  7. Werewolves are one of my favorites! My fave werewolf is the one on Being Human (BBC version). :)

    MMM on Kristen's blog, Day 3: I'm Sorry, Monsters!

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  8. My favourite werewolf movie is 'An American Werewolf in London'. It's so interesting to think that the werewolf story can be traced all the way back to the ancient world.

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  9. An interesting post Beverly! Thanks

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Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!