Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Crackin' the Kraken

The Kraken is a fearsome beast. Yikes! Just look at that shot from Clash of the Titans (the remake). From Encyclopedia Mythica we learn that the Kraken isn’t a Greek myth at all. The good old Vikings claim the Kraken as their own.

In Norwegian sea folklore, the Kraken is an enormous sea monster which would sometimes attack ships and feed upon the sailors. It was supposed to be capable of dragging down the largest ships and when submerging could suck down a vessel by the whirlpool it created. It is part octopus and part crab, although others refer to it as a giant squid or cuttlefish.

To find something like the Kraken in Grecian myth, you have to look at Ceto the Sea Serpent. In the legend of Perseus, Andromeda is chained to a rock to be fed to a sea monster. Not the Kraken. A sea monster.

Okay, kids. Have we got it straight now? However, what do we care where any legend begins or ends. We mash up myth, legend, and folklore to our heart’s content.

My Mashup

I’ve got two here. I already talked about Ceto the Sea Serpent who helped Katya the hemi-witch in book 2 of my series, The Witches of Galdorheim (not yet published). Ceto is more likely the culprit intent on eating Andromeda. But in my book, she’s one of the good guys.

I use the Kraken by name in The Seven Adventures of Cadida. The story (Cadida and the Sea Beast - In Over Her Head) is the last in that book and has Cadida hooking up with a merboy, Dolph, who turns out to be the son of Poseidon. He was cast onto dry land by his evil uncle (who wants the throne, duh). Cadida, with the help of her genie and demon buddy, Poltrice, take the lost merboy back out to sea.

The little dhou they’re sailing is smashed to bits by a big, bad sea monster. Poor Dolph goes down with the ship and the others believe he’s lost. But, lo! He comes up out of the waves riding the Kraken like a bronco. Once the beast recognized him as Prince Dolph, he was as tame as a merboy’s pet could be.

So, watch your sea monsters! If you knowingly and with malice aforethought decide to mash your myths, then peace be with you. But if you know not from whence your myth has come, you’ll have some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy.

1 comment:

  1. Now that's one scary picture. lol

    Great info. Learn something new every time I log on here (even if it takes me a while in between ; )