Random Welsh Mythness- Morfran Picture

Hooray, a character from my homeland's mythos! (there are a lot of crazy ones believe me)

Okay, as a run down, this guy is a minor character in the origin story of Wales's most famed folk hero. (But the one that got less well remembered in comparison to Merlin and such) Starting from the top!

We have a tale of a bard/wizard/allround awesome at everything mary sue guy called Taliesin. So awesome that there's even records of him actually existing! (Although its likely the mythos version sprung up around him, rather than he actually was a super wizard. We can at least confirm there was a bard with that name who's associated with the tale.) Now, as for his mythical origin story..

Once there was an enchantress named Ceridwen. She was of great power and had a beautiful daughter, but was cursed with an uncommonly hideous son (which is Morfran). However, Ceridwen decided to brew a potion of Awen (inspiration/muse) in order to grant her son great wisdom that would unsure him a better standing in life despite his disadvantage. She set her two vassals, Morda the blind man (who is of absolutely no importance to the story at all) and Gwion Bach the young servant boy (who is very important) to tend to the stove for a year and a day until it was ready.
At the end of this time, the first drops drunk would grant unparalleled insight into the world, while the rest would be worthless poison. Gwion Bach, being an utter retard, spilt some of the potion on his hand while stirring, and licked his fingers. Having become amazingly smart, he realized he was completely fucked and tried to leg it before Ceridwen killed him.
They had a trippy chase scene in which they changed into various animals to try and one-up each other (like the one merlin does in the disney version of the sword in the stone), but Gwion Bach eventually got tired and turned into a grain of rice, and so Ceridwen ate him.
Of course, this being the weirdness of Welsh myth, the witch became pregnant and gave birth to his reincarnation. Knowing it was Gwion, she tried to kill him, but was overcome by either motherly feelings for her offspring, or in the more mary sue-ish retellings 'he was just too beautiful'. So she tied him in a bag and threw him in the river, so that she wouldn't be responsible personally for his death, or else he'd be someone else's problem if he got found.
And then of course he did get found instead of drowning, and ended up with a spangly bardic career and all, blablabla we know the rest. His new papa, Elffin, named him Taliesin ('shiny eyebrows', no seriously) cos apparantly his forehead was really big and impressive and it was the first thing he noticed.

Buuuuut... lets check out this story again from a different angle, shall we?

Morfran the hideously ugly son. Described as being demonlike and deformed. Does he look particularly hideous up there? Aside from the horns and the funky eye, not so bad that you'd avert your eyes or anything.
You see, the sole defining feature that was ever said about Morfran's unappealing appearance... was that he was black.
You can see why we don't talk about this myth so much anymore, no?

Look, all things considered, this was from back in a time when black people hadn't been seen on the shores of our country yet, and indeed no-one could imagine that really we all came from Africa originally, it's all controlled by a pigment called melonin, etc. These were times when the idea of a black person as we know it was a wild flight of fancy, and of course everyone knows what colour demons and monsters are in all those old pictures...
But it honestly doesn't excuse this sort of crap. They go on and on about the horrificness of such a man with 'coal black skin' despite it being THE ONLY THING THEY SAY IS WRONG WITH HIM, and later stories decide to change his name to the repugnant moniker Afagddu ('pitch black/utter darkness'), which is even worse nowadays just for the fact that it's pronounced 'a fag thee'.
Continue Reading: The Muses