herne-the-hunter

au where arthur is some kind of forest spirit and alfred is a prince

not sure where this is going but i like it

dankatty  asked:

Hi Cassie! I can't wait for LoS to come out! I really like Gwyn the Hunter so I wanted to ask you: are we going to get to know more about him, about his story and about the Wild Hunt? I'm really curious about him! And secondly, is he going to appear more in the other TDA books? Thank you so much for creating such an amazing world!!!

Gwyn, huh? That’s cool — Gwyn is a folkloric character “Gwyn is often associated with the Wild Hunt, in a role akin to Woden or Herne the Hunter. Some traditions name Gwyn’s chief huntsman as Iolo ap Huw, who, every Halloween, “may be found cheering Cŵn Annwn over Cader Idris”. —Wikipedia (Clockwork fans will remember Cader Idris!) I’ve always loved the Wild Hunt and knew I wanted them in TDA ever since I was writing CoLS and introduced the Blackthorns, and Gwyn, their enigmatic leader, was a fun character to write.

Writing a folkloric character is often enjoyable because you have the opportunity to humanize them. This is Gwyn asking someone on a date:

“I would that you would meet me, formally, that I might court you,” said Gwyn. His large hands moved aimlessly at his sides — he was nervous, actually nervous. “We could together slay a frost giant, or devour a deer.”

herne the hunter

THE WILD HUNT: ENGLISH STYLE

IN ENGLAND, THE WILD HUNT IS A FUCKING MASSIVE SWARM OF GIANT MURDER-HOUNDS AND A GANG OF GHOSTS ON HORSES. THIS ONE IS ON THE FUCKING GROUND, THOUGH, SO THERE’S A SIGNIFICANT CHANCE OF BEING TRAMPLED TO DEATH BY ANGRY GHOSTS. 

THE LEADER OF THE ANGRY GHOSTS IS HERNE THE HUNTER, A FUCKING MASSIVE DUDE WITH DEER HORNS. OR IT MIGHT BE KING ARTHUR IN A REALLY FUCKING STUPID HAT. NOBODY FUCKING KNOWS. 

THERE DOESN’T SEEM TO BE ANY POINT TO THIS SHIT, IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF GHOSTS FUCKING AROUND.

If I were forced to pick the best Pagan-themed television show, it would have to be “Robin of Sherwood.” Created by Richard Carpenter, it showcased a mystical and occult-drenched version of the mythos, complete with Herne the Hunter as patron of Robin Hood. The show was filled with magicians, witches, and a near-fictional mythic Britain. It quietly, tacitly, endorsed the idea of the “good Pagan” (tied to the land) who fought against evil-doers and corrupt church officials. Further, unlike some more modern shows with occult/Pagan themes,  it never nudge-nudge, wink-winked at the magical bits, even when the special effects and costumes could have been better. 

Considering the popularity of Game of Thrones, and the coming adaptation of American Gods, I think we’re well overdue for a rebooted Robin of Sherwood on cable (not to diss the 2006 Robin Hood series, which I thought was fine, but not nearly as good). I think it has all the elements to be a smashing success, if done right. 

Herne the Hunter

This legend dates back to the reign of Richard II (1377 - 99) when a man named Herne was keeper of the royal domain known as the Great Park at Windsor.
Hunting with the King one day Herne saved his master’s life when he was attacked by a wounded stag - but in so doing Herne was injured by the animal’s antlers.  He seemed to be fatally wounded. 
At that moment a mysterious stranger walked out of the trees and told the King that if he agreed to his magical treatment he could save Herne’s life.
The King gave his assent and the stranger, a wizard who lived alone in the forest, removed the stag’s antlers, bandaged them to Herne’s head and said he must be taken to his hut to recover.
 
Before Herne was moved the King promised him that as soon as he was well again he would be appointed head huntsman.
 The royal huntsmen were determined that their order of promotion should not be altered to suit Herne and when they reached the forest hut they threatened the wizard with death if he allowed Herne to recover.
The wizard replied that Herne was under his protection and he would not harm him, but if they dared to risk Herne’s curse he would ensure that he did not remain a hunt leader for long.
 
When Herne returned to Windsor Castle to take charge of the hunting his memory failed him as far as the Great Park was concerned. 
It was as though he had completely forgotten the geography of the forest and it’s deer tracks and thus each hunt he led was a failure.  Finally the King lost his temper and dismissed him.
Herne committed suicide the same night, hanging himself from the branch of a huge Oak tree which was known as Herne’s Oak until 1863 when it was blown down during a gale.
 
A hunter found the body but when he returned to the spot with his fellow huntsmen it had vanished.  From then on the memory failure that had befallen Herne afflicted them and soon the King was so angered by their seeming ineptitude that they too were in danger of dismissal.
In desperation they sought the wizard, who told them that until they made atonement to Herne’s earthbound spirit they would have no luck with the chase.

Following his instructions they congregated at Herne’s Oak after nightfall.  At midnight the phantom of Herne, complete with antlers, appeared.
Leaping onto a ghostly horse, he commanded them to follow him through the forest.  For the rest of the night the wild hunt combed Windsor Great Park for deer and was so successful that when next the King went hunting he did not glimpse a single animal.
 
Finally he forced the truth from his huntsmen and that night went to the Oak where the Phantom duly appeared.  The ghost promised the King that if those who had betrayed him were punished, he would cease to haunt the forest for as long as he reigned.
The King agreed and next morning ordered the conspirators to be hanged, after which he had no more trouble in finding game.
 
Following King Richard’s deposition in 1399 and his subsequent murder, the ghost of Herne was seen again in the Great Park and a story circulated that whenever England was faced with troubled times the spectral hunter would appear.
When Herne’s Oak was blown down Queen Victoria ordered that a new one should be planted in its place to keep the tradition alive.  Herne appears in Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and in Harrison Ainsworth’s novel “Windsor Castle”.

(Alexander, Marc. “Herne the Hunter”.The Sutton Companion to British Folklore, Myths & Legends. Thrupp: Sutton Publishing, 2002. Print.)