WTF Mabinogion, Why You So Weird?
What the hell did I just read? No, seriously, what the hell was that all about? Pryderi gives his mother, Rhiannon to Manawydan… because loyalty?? Not sure. But Rhiannon seems ok with this. So tra la la, all is well until BOOM! A curse descends on the land, and all the crops and critters are lost. Rhiannon, Manawydan, Pryderi, and Pryderi’s wife Cigfa seem to be the only people living in this desolate land. So Manawydan and Pryderi decide to hunt and fish for a while. Somehow, this life becomes tiresome, and they decide to move to London and open a saddle shop. Sure, why not, two crazy kids in the big city with a dream to make the best damn saddles around. Of course, when the other saddle makers find out how awesome Manawydan and Pryderi’s Saddle Emporium is they take the logical course of action and decide to create a better product at a reasonable price to encourage a healthy and competitive market. No wait, they decide to try and KILL them. A reasonable response, don’t you think? Pryderi wants to kill them in retaliation, Manawydan says, no, let’s go into business making shields. So they do, and Manawydan and Pryderi’s Saddle Shield Emporium is a big hit. Then the other shield makers get their knickers in a twist and decide to get stabby. Pryderi wants to kill them, Manawydan says, no, let’s going to business making shoes. Thus, Manawydan and Pryderi’s Saddle Shield Shoe Emporium is born. Oddly enough, in spite of Manawydan prediction that shoemakers are yella’ bellied, they get homicidal at their success as well. Why these guys didn’t just open up Manawydan and Pryderi’s Saddle Shield Shoe Pointy Things & Seige Weapon Emporium in the first place is beyond me. Somehow, the shoemakers are the final straw, and Manawydan and Pryderi head home. One day, they are out hunting when a white boar appears and leads them to fort or caer. The dogs chase the boar into the fort, and Pryderi decides to go in after his dogs. Inside he finds a golden bowl that freezes him in place as soon as he touches it. Manawydan, like the mensch he is, waits until sundown and then just leaves without Pryderi. When Rhiannon asks where her son is, Manawydan shrugs and says, “Dunno. Somewhere.” Rhiannon is annoyed at his slacker attitude, and goes in search of Pryderi herself, only to fall victim to the same fate when she finds him. Perhaps if they had had some OSHA training at the castle, she would have known to knock him away with a stick, rather than grab it herself. Cigfa sees that only she and Manawydan are left, and she is distraught. Manawydan basically promises not to rape her (I think) and then says, “Hey, you know what we should do?” to which, Cigfa should have replied, “Go in search of our missing mates in the exact place we know they are?”. “Naaaah,” says Manawydan, “Let’s go to London and become shoemakers!” (I somehow missed the fact that the caer had vanished when I first read this… but still). “ Wait,” says Cigfa, “didn’t you and my husband try that and it ended up with hoards of wrathful cobblers chasing you with torches and pitchforks?” “Shhhhh, let’s not speak of such trivial things.”, said Manawydan the sub-genius. Off they went, and Manawydan and Pryderi’s Cigfa’s Saddle Shield Shoe Pointy Things & Seige Weapon Shoes Again Emporium is open for business. Of course, after a year of this the shoemakers once again go on a rampage. And Manawydan and Cigfa head back to their empty kingdom. This time, he plants some wheat. Just as he is about to harvest it, some magical mice destroy his crops. So he captures one in a glove and plans on executing it for it’s crimes. After a dude begs him repeatedly and in different disguises not to kill it, he finally asks they guy why he wants this mouse so badly. Guy admits it’s his wife, and that he had cursed the land in retaliation for Gwawl being subjected to Badger-in-a-Bag two stories ago. Manawydan negotiates the freeing of Pryderi and Rhiannon, as well as the restoration of his land. Then dude tells them that Pryderi and Rhiannon were held in place by door knockers and ass collars. Then I just “noped” outta there, cuz this shit be cray cray.
(I wrote this before reading the 4th branch because I was running out of time. Now I wish I had written about the 4th branch instead of this nutso thing)