by Christopher Williams
In the Welsh story of "Math ap Mathonwy", Blodeuwedd is created out of three or nine different flowers (depending on what version you read) to be the perfect wife for Llew Llaw Gyffes. And she remains so until being left alone while her husband decides to visit Math and her magician uncle, Gwydion (Blodeuwedd's creators), who is also the son of Don (an ancient Welsh Goddess).
During this time, a young hunter, Gronw Pebyr, the Lord of Penllyn, passes Blodeuwedd's castle while hunting a stag. The two fall in love and the only way they can be together is for Llew to be killed. However, Llew is the magical son of Arianhrod (another powerful Welsh Goddess and sister of Gwydion), which means he can only be killed if he is "struck by spear one year in the making, not within a house or without and not on horseback or on foot".
A year later, Blodeuwedd askes Llew to demonstrate how he could be killed her. So he stands on a bath in a roofed cauldron by the side of a river, with one foot on a goat's back and the other in the edge of the cauldron. Gronw seizes the opportunity and strikes him down with a spear that he had secretively been making for a year.
|Blodeuwedd in Bloom |
by Selina Fenech-Selina
Llew is wounded and turns into an eagle that flies away. Gwyidon eventually finds him pearched in a tree above a pigsty where a sow is eating his rotting flesh. After transforming Llew back into human form again, they revenge on Blodeuwedd who is turned into an owl.
"You will not dare to show your face ever again in the light of day ever again, and that will be because of enmity between you and all other birds. It will be in their nature to harass you and despise you wherever they find you. And you will not lose your name - that will always be 'Bloddeuwedd' (Flower-face)."
(The Four Branches of the Mabinogi by Will Parker)