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Blodeuwedd is a mythical creature in Welsh mythology. She is known for being the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, a hero of Welsh folklore. According to legend, Blodeuwedd was created from flowers as a wife for Lleu, but she eventually betrayed him and was turned into an owl as punishment.

Blodeuwedd’s story is told in the fourth branch of the Mabinogi, a collection of Welsh tales. Her name means “flower-face” in Welsh, which reflects her origin as a creature made of flowers. Blodeuwedd is often seen as a symbol of beauty and betrayal, and her story has been interpreted in many different ways over the years.

Origin in Welsh Mythology

Blodeuwedd is a character from Welsh mythology and is known as a woman made of flowers. According to the Welsh tales called the Mabinogion, Blodeuwedd was created by the magician Gwydion to be the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

The story goes that Lleu’s mother, Arianrhod, had cursed him to never have a human wife. Gwydion then created Blodeuwedd from flowers, and she became Lleu’s wife. However, Blodeuwedd later conspired with her lover, Gronw, to kill Lleu.

As punishment for her betrayal, Blodeuwedd was transformed into an owl. The name Blodeuwedd means “flower face” or “flower aspect” in Welsh. The story of Blodeuwedd is often seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of betrayal and the consequences of going against one’s fate.

Tale of Blodeuwedd in the Mabinogi

Blodeuwedd’s story is told in the fourth branch of the Mabinogi, ‘Math fab Mathonwy’ (Math, son of Mathonwy). According to the myth, Blodeuwedd was created by Gwydion and Math from flowers, as a wife for Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

Arianrhod, Lleu’s mother, placed a ‘tynged’ (fate) on him, that he could never marry a human woman. However, Lleu had an uncle named Gwydion, a legendary wizard, who helped him trick Arianrhod into giving him a name and weapons.

Blodeuwedd later meets Gronw, and together they plot to kill Lleu. Blodeuwedd tricks Lleu into revealing how he could be killed, and Gronw throws a spear at him. However, Lleu transforms into an eagle and flies away.

Gwydion eventually finds Lleu and nurses him back to health. Together, they seek revenge on Gronw and Blodeuwedd. Blodeuwedd is turned into an owl as punishment for her betrayal, and Gronw is killed by Lleu.

Overall, the tale of Blodeuwedd in the Mabinogi is a tragic story of betrayal and revenge. It teaches us about the consequences of our actions and the importance of loyalty and trust in relationships.

Symbolism and Themes

Representation of Femininity

Blodeuwedd, as a representation of femininity, is often associated with the natural world. Her creation from flowers and her association with the owl, a symbol of wisdom and mystery, emphasizes the connection between femininity and nature. She is also a symbol of the power of women, as she is able to act independently and make her own decisions, despite the consequences.

Cycle of Life and Death

The story of Blodeuwedd is a reflection of the cycle of life and death. Her creation from flowers and her eventual transformation into an owl represents the natural process of birth, growth, and decay. Her transformation also serves as a reminder that all living things must eventually die, and that death is a necessary part of the cycle of life.

Transformation and Identity

Blodeuwedd’s transformation from a flower maiden to an owl emphasizes the theme of transformation and identity. Her transformation represents the idea that people can change and evolve over time, and that one’s identity is not fixed. This theme is also reflected in the story of her husband, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, who is able to transform into various animals. Together, Blodeuwedd and Lleu Llaw Gyffes represent the idea that identity is fluid and can change over time.

Cultural Impact


Blodeuwedd has had a significant impact on Welsh literature. She is a prominent character in the Welsh collection of stories called the Mabinogion. In the story, she is created from flowers and is married to Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Her character is complex and multifaceted, as she is both a victim and a perpetrator. Blodeuwedd’s story has inspired many writers, including Alan Garner, who wrote the novel The Owl Service, which is based on the story of Blodeuwedd.

Modern Interpretations

Blodeuwedd’s story has also been interpreted in modern literature and art. In recent years, she has become a symbol of female empowerment and independence. Her story is often used to explore themes of identity, gender, and power. Blodeuwedd is also a popular subject for artists and illustrators, who have created many different interpretations of her character.

Blodeuwedd’s influence can also be seen in popular culture. She has been referenced in films, television shows, and video games. Her story has inspired many different interpretations, from dark and twisted to light and whimsical. Blodeuwedd’s legacy continues to inspire writers, artists, and creators around the world.

Artistic Depictions

Blodeuwedd, the flower maiden, has been depicted in various forms of art throughout history. In Welsh literature, she is often portrayed as a tragic figure, cursed to live as an owl for her betrayal of her husband. In Alan Garner’s novel, The Owl Service, the story of Blodeuwedd is an eternal cycle played out each generation in a Welsh valley.

Blodeuwedd has also been depicted in visual art, such as the painting by Jeremy Roberts titled “Blodeuwedd” in the Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection. The painting shows her as a goddess formed from flowers of broom, oak, and meadowsweet.

In addition, Blodeuwedd has been featured in modern fantasy art, often portrayed as a beautiful woman with owl-like features. Some artists have also depicted her as a hybrid creature with the body of a woman and the head of an owl.

Overall, Blodeuwedd’s depiction in art reflects the various interpretations of her character in literature and mythology.

Blodeuwedd in Popular Culture

Blodeuwedd, the Welsh mythical creature, has made appearances in various forms of popular culture. In literature, she has been featured in several books, including “The Mabinogion,” a collection of Welsh myths, and “The Owl Service,” a novel by Alan Garner. Additionally, she has been referenced in various songs, such as “Blodeuwedd” by Damh the Bard.

Blodeuwedd has also made appearances in film and television. In the 1987 film “The Princess Bride,” the character Buttercup is compared to Blodeuwedd by the character Miracle Max. In the television series “Merlin,” Blodeuwedd is portrayed as a villainess who attempts to kill Merlin.

Furthermore, Blodeuwedd has been depicted in various forms of artwork, including paintings and sculptures. One notable example is the sculpture “Blodeuwedd” by Wendy Froud, which depicts the creature as a beautiful woman with owl-like features.

Overall, Blodeuwedd’s presence in popular culture showcases the enduring appeal of Welsh mythology and the fascination with mystical creatures.

Festivals and Celebrations

Blodeuwedd is a Welsh mythological character who has been celebrated in various festivals and events throughout history. One of the most notable celebrations is the Blodeuwedd Festival, which takes place in the town of Llanberis, Wales. This festival is held annually and is dedicated to the goddess Blodeuwedd.

During the festival, there are various activities that take place, including storytelling, music performances, and traditional Welsh dances. The festival also features a parade, where people dress up in costumes and carry flowers to honor Blodeuwedd. The festival is a way to celebrate Welsh culture and mythology, and to pay homage to the goddess.

In addition to the Blodeuwedd Festival, there are other events and celebrations that honor Blodeuwedd throughout Wales. For example, the town of Caernarfon hosts a Blodeuwedd Pageant, which is a reenactment of the story of Blodeuwedd. The pageant includes actors, dancers, and musicians, and is a way to bring the story of Blodeuwedd to life.

Overall, festivals and celebrations dedicated to Blodeuwedd are a way to keep Welsh mythology and culture alive, and to honor the goddess who has played an important role in Welsh folklore.

Comparative Mythology

Blodeuwedd is a fascinating figure in Welsh mythology, and her story has been compared to other mythological tales from around the world. Comparative mythology is the study of myths from different cultures in an attempt to identify shared themes and characteristics.

One such comparison has been made between Blodeuwedd and the Greek myth of Pandora. Both women were created to bring about the downfall of a male figure, and both were punished for their actions. Blodeuwedd was transformed into an owl, while Pandora was given a box that unleashed all the evils of the world.

Another comparison can be made between Blodeuwedd and the Hindu goddess Kali. Both women are associated with death and destruction, and both have been depicted as fierce and powerful figures. In some versions of the Blodeuwedd myth, she is said to have been created from the flowers of the broom plant, which is associated with death and the underworld.

Overall, the study of comparative mythology can help us to better understand the universal themes and motifs that appear in myths from different cultures. By comparing and contrasting these stories, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the human experience and the ways in which we have sought to make sense of the world around us.