Skip to Content

Creatures and Characters in Welsh Mythology

Welsh mythology is rich with fascinating creatures and characters that have captured the imaginations of people for centuries. From dragons and giants to fairies and witches, Welsh mythology is full of diverse and intriguing figures that have become a part of popular culture across the world. These mythical beings have been the subject of countless stories, poems, and songs, and continue to inspire new works of art and literature to this day.

One of the most iconic creatures in Welsh mythology is the dragon, which is often associated with the country itself. In Welsh mythology, dragons are powerful and intelligent creatures that are often depicted as guardians of treasure or symbols of royalty. Another popular figure in Welsh mythology is the fairy, which is known for its mischievous nature and magical powers. Fairies are often depicted as small, beautiful beings that live in the forests and meadows of Wales, and are said to have the ability to grant wishes and cast spells.

Overall, the creatures and characters in Welsh mythology offer a glimpse into a rich and fascinating culture that has captivated people for centuries. Whether you are a fan of fantasy literature or simply interested in learning more about Welsh history and culture, the creatures and characters of Welsh mythology are sure to capture your imagination and leave you wanting more.

The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion is a collection of Welsh prose stories that belong to the Matter of Britain. These stories were compiled in Middle Welsh in the 12th-13th centuries from earlier oral traditions. The tales are filled with magical and mythical creatures and characters that are central to Welsh mythology.

Pwyll Prince of Dyfed

Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed is the protagonist of the first branch of the Mabinogion. The story introduces us to Pwyll, the prince of Dyfed, and his adventures in the magical realm of Annwn. Pwyll’s story begins with a chance encounter with Arawn, the king of Annwn, which leads to a series of trials, tests, and transformations.

Branwen Daughter of Llŷr

Branwen Daughter of Llŷr is the central figure in the second branch of the Mabinogion. She is the daughter of Llŷr and the sister of Bran the Blessed. The story follows Branwen’s tragic tale of marriage, betrayal, and war.

Manawydan Son of Llŷr

Manawydan Son of Llŷr is the protagonist of the third branch of the Mabinogion. He is the brother of Branwen and Bran the Blessed. The story follows Manawydan’s adventures in the aftermath of the war between Wales and Ireland.

Math Son of Mathonwy

Math Son of Mathonwy is the central character in the fourth branch of the Mabinogion. He is a powerful wizard and the king of Gwynedd. The story follows Math’s attempt to find a successor and his relationship with his nephew, Gwydion.

Overall, the Mabinogion provides a fascinating insight into Welsh mythology and the magical creatures and characters that feature in it. From kings and princes to wizards and mythical beasts, the tales are filled with adventure, magic, and tragedy.

Legendary Creatures

Welsh mythology is rich in legendary creatures that have captured the imagination of people for centuries. Here are some of the most well-known and intriguing creatures from Welsh mythology.


Dragons are a popular mythical creature in many cultures, and Welsh mythology is no exception. In Welsh mythology, dragons are often associated with water and are seen as powerful and wise creatures. The most famous Welsh dragon is probably Y Ddraig Goch, or the Red Dragon, which appears on the Welsh flag.

Cwn Annwn

Cwn Annwn, also known as the Hounds of Annwn, are a group of supernatural dogs that are said to roam the Welsh countryside. According to legend, these dogs were sent by the god Arawn to collect the souls of the dead and take them to the Otherworld.

Arawn and Other Deities

Arawn is a god of the underworld in Welsh mythology, and is often associated with death and the afterlife. He is said to rule over Annwn, the Welsh Otherworld. Other deities in Welsh mythology include Rhiannon, a goddess of horses and fertility, and Math, a god of magic and sorcery.

Overall, Welsh mythology is full of fascinating and mysterious creatures and characters that continue to captivate people to this day.

Arthurian Legends

Welsh mythology is not complete without mentioning the Arthurian Legends. These legends feature many characters, including the Knights of the Round Table and members of King Arthur’s family. Their names often differ from version to version and from language to language.


One of the most famous characters in Welsh mythology is Merlin. He was a wizard who served as King Arthur’s advisor and mentor. Merlin was known for his magical powers and ability to see the future. He was said to have been born of a human mother and an incubus, a demon who takes male form to have intercourse with women. Merlin was also credited with creating Stonehenge.

The Lady of the Lake

Another important character in the Arthurian Legends is the Lady of the Lake. She was a mysterious figure who lived in a lake and was said to have given King Arthur his sword, Excalibur. The Lady of the Lake was also known for her healing powers and was said to have helped many people throughout her life.

Knights of the Round Table

The Knights of the Round Table were a group of knights who served King Arthur. They were known for their bravery and loyalty, and they were said to have been the best knights in the land. Some of the most famous knights included Gawain, Galahad, and Lancelot. The knights rode out from King Arthur’s court at Camelot to do good deeds and perform brave feats.

Overall, the Arthurian Legends are an important part of Welsh mythology. They feature many interesting characters and stories that have captivated people for centuries.

Welsh Fairy Folk

Welsh folklore is rich with tales of fairy folk, who are known as Tylwyth Teg. These winged creatures are believed to inhabit the hills and valleys of Wales, and are said to be the most famous mythological creatures in Welsh history.

Tylwyth Teg

Tylwyth Teg is the Welsh term for fairy folk. They are known for their beauty and magical powers, and are said to be able to grant wishes to those who are kind to them. According to Welsh mythology, they are the descendants of the goddess Don, and are believed to have the power to control the weather.

Gwragedd Annwn

Gwragedd Annwn, or gwraig annwn in singular form, are another type of fairy folk in Welsh mythology. They are beautiful female fairies who live beneath lakes and rivers, and are said to be able to lure humans into their underwater world. They are also known for their ability to heal and bring good luck to those who are kind to them.

Welsh fairy folk play an important role in Welsh mythology, and are still believed in by many people in Wales today. They continue to inspire storytellers and artists alike, and their legacy lives on in the rich cultural heritage of Wales.

Mythical Objects


Dyrnwyn is a powerful sword in Welsh mythology that is said to burst into flames when drawn from its sheath. The sword belonged to Rhydderch Hael, a king of the Britons. According to the legend, Dyrnwyn had the power to destroy anything it touched. It was said that only a brave and pure-hearted person could wield the sword without being consumed by its flames. The sword was also said to be able to provide food for an entire army.

The Cauldron of Rebirth

The Cauldron of Rebirth is a magical object in Welsh mythology that has the power to resurrect the dead. It was owned by the goddess Ceridwen, who used it to brew a potion that would grant wisdom and poetic inspiration to her son, Afagddu. However, the potion was accidentally consumed by Gwion Bach, who gained the knowledge and wisdom intended for Afagddu. In her anger, Ceridwen chased Gwion Bach, and they both transformed into different animals until Gwion Bach finally turned into a grain of wheat and was consumed by Ceridwen. However, Gwion Bach was reborn from the Cauldron of Rebirth and became Taliesin, the greatest bard in Welsh mythology.

These mythical objects play a significant role in Welsh mythology and are an essential part of the stories that have been passed down through generations. The tales of Dyrnwyn and the Cauldron of Rebirth continue to captivate audiences and inspire the imagination.

Historical Legends


The legend of Gelert is a tragic tale of a loyal hound who was mistakenly killed by his own master. According to the legend, Prince Llywelyn the Great owned a greyhound named Gelert who was his favorite hunting companion. One day, the prince returned from a hunting trip to find his infant son’s crib empty and covered in blood. Believing that Gelert had killed his son, the prince drew his sword and killed the dog. However, as he searched further, he found his son alive and unharmed, and discovered the body of a wolf nearby. The prince realized that Gelert had actually saved his son’s life by killing the wolf, and was filled with remorse for his hasty action. He buried Gelert with great honors and erected a tombstone in his memory.

Cantre’r Gwaelod

Cantre’r Gwaelod, also known as the “Sunken Hundred,” is a legendary land that was said to have existed off the coast of Wales. According to the legend, Cantre’r Gwaelod was a fertile and prosperous land that was protected from the sea by a series of dykes and sluice gates. However, one night, the gatekeeper of the land, Seithennin, neglected his duties and allowed the sea to flood the land. The people of Cantre’r Gwaelod were forced to flee, and the land was lost forever beneath the waves. The legend of Cantre’r Gwaelod is said to have originated from the flooding of the low-lying areas along the Welsh coast, and is often associated with tales of lost cities and submerged lands.