A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 13: Fantasy Squad – Kelpie and The Kraken

KYou get a two for one deal again today because, although I’d planned on kelpies, you know I can’t resist delving into a little myth and the Kraken is a particularly scary beast! So, let’s call it a bonus, and the Kraken a formidable opponent to the squad! Not that kelpies are all puppies and rainbows – rarely are they depicted as benevolent.

Kelpie by vegarBlack Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy
Kelpie by vegarBlack
Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy

Kelpies

Also known as water kelpies, they are part of Scottish folklore. Kelpies are a shape-shifting water spirit, inhabiting the lochs of Scotland. They are associated with the horse and appear either in horse or human form, or a combination of the two. Here’s a thought – wouldn’t it be fun to combine two myths together and have an amalgamation? A blending of the kelpie and centaur – a keltaur or a cenpie (no that one definitely doesn’t work!)

But I digress. Though there are differing views on whether kelpies live in or beside the water, most will agree that they are spirits of the loch. Due to a belief that kelpies retain their hooves, even in human form, this lead to an association (in Christianity) with Satan. Robert Burns alludes to a Satanic association in his poem Address to the Devil.

Kelpies can be found in works of art, The Kelpie, for example, by Herbert James Draper. In 2013, two thirty metre steel structures were erected in Falkirk – The Kelpies.

Do you have anything to share about these intriguing creatures. How do you think they are presented in film or literature?

Kraken by MaBuArt Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / FantasyΒ©2010-2015 MaBuArt
Kraken by MaBuArt
Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / FantasyΒ©2010-2015 MaBuArt

Kraken

The Kraken is a legendary sea monster from Scandinavian folklore, said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. AΒ truly horrifying monster, often described as a giant squid. Early stories compare the Kraken’s size to that of an island and, according to folklore, the beast was often confused for one! It is not, as some believe, part of Greek mythology, though a Kraken did appear in the movie Clash of the Titans. Who could forget Liam Neeson (as Zeus) and those magic words ‘Release the Kraken.’ He just has one of those voices…ahem, back to the point. The Kraken from the movie may have been based loosely (and I stress loosely) on Scylla, who was said to have been one of Poseidon’s conquests and turned into a monster by a jealous Amphitrite – nothing worse than a woman scorned!

Whether you envisage a giant squid with tentacles or a huge monstrosity with rows and rows of sharp teeth, the Kraken would make an excellent big bad. Since we have a water theme going, how would the kelpie (with or without a few friends from the squad), defeat such a beast?

As always I welcome your thoughts.

Until next time. Thanks for stopping by.

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Mel

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32 thoughts on “A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 13: Fantasy Squad – Kelpie and The Kraken

    1. Thanks, Jacqui – that’s nice to hear (my youngest hasn’t got over the shock!) I’m glad I could introduce you to a new mythical creature – some have confused the Kelpie with the Loch Ness Monster. I’m not sure how that works!

      1. Scottish legend, Scottish lake. Lots of the early stories call Nessie a kelpie! There are lots about horses leading people into Loch Ness to drown, too. *cryptozoology nerd*

      2. I’m so glad I know people like you! I knew about the leading people to drown, or keeping children from venturing too near the water, that kind of thing. I guess if they can shapeshift, why can’t Nessie be a kelpie!

      3. πŸ˜€ Nessie’s head is also described as horse-like in some sightings. She’s sort of a horse-who-transforms-into-a-“water horse” instead of having a human form like some other kelpies.

    1. lol – it’s going to take days to get that image out of my head! It’d work for me, especially if he did plenty of talking! And we all know he can kick some serious ass πŸ˜‰

      1. Hehehe. My work here is done. πŸ˜‰

        (Also: “especially if he did plenty of talking.” Yeeeees. I will be using that line liberally from here on out.)

  1. I really love Kelpie lore. I think they are massively underrepresented in fiction! I did read one with an LGBT leaning to it, but I was really dissatisfied with the motive behind the whole plot.

  2. Where’s all the Kraken talk? I liked the Kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean 2, and I was thoroughly ticked-off when they killed it off-screen between movies.

    There’s something very Lovecraftian about the Kraken. Or possibly the Leviathan. Or both.

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