字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Sure, there are mutants and mages galore, but the slow-beating heart of The Witcher is in its monsters. While some may be unfamiliar to you, they've actually been with us, stalking through human stories for centuries, even millennia. Here are the very real mythologies behind every single monster in the first half of The Witcher's first season, in order of appearance. And if you want them all, let us know by liking, sharing, and telling us in the comments. Okay, so you know The Witcher's serious about monsters when it has a kikimora in the first scene of the first episode. If that name's not ringing a bell, it's probably because it's a beast from Slavic folklore, which has been underrepresented in popular fiction. To start, kikimoras are always female. They rise from stillborn children or women who died in labor and often bear the deceased's face. In some Russian versions of the tale, kikimora is indeed a creature of the swamp who leaves wet footprints wherever she goes. But in most, she's a purely household spirit, occasionally a nightmarish household spirit, slipping through keyholes to squat on the chest of sleepers, suffocating them, in her more benign incarnations, though, she's described as more of a nuisance with a cleanliness fetish. So, you can think of kikimora as kind of a monstrous cousin to Marie Kondo? I love mess. Human-animal hybrids are a ... ♪ Tale as old as time ♪ Almost every mythological tradition on Earth has some variation of them. The first we see in The Witcher are sylvans, which resemble fawns, the unpredictable woodland man-goats from Greco-Roman mythology, although maybe they hit more like the bloodthirsty half-man-half-bovine Minotaur. In many versions of that latter myth, the Minotaur was conceived when the insulted god Poseidon took revenge on the insulting King Minos by cursing his wife, making her fall for a real specimen of a bull. There's a lot of art on the internet about this. It might be why Geralt goes immediately for the mom insults. You mother****** goat! But lest you think that human-animal hybrids are just ancient, magical things, allow me to introduce you to the mysterious pig-faced lady of Europe. Nearly simultaneously in the 1600s, in multiple places across the continent, a legend arose of a pregnant rich woman who was cursed and whose baby was born with a pig's head. They myth persisted and somehow gained the veneer of fact. As late as the 1800s, newspapers reported that the pig-faced lady lived in London's posh Manchester-Square. Goats, pigs, bulls. But what about The Witcher's human-hedgehog combo? Has that ever popped up in myth? Well, because we go the extra mile here at Netflix, I looked into this, and ... Nope. I found Hans My Hedgehog, a cockerel-riding, bagpipe-playing, princess-loving Brothers Grimm creation who was a wee bit more monstrous in the Jim Henson version. That's enough! Out! If you've finished The Witcher, you know that the striga is probably the scariest monster on the show; although, technically she's a cursed human. And that's fitting, because they're pretty terrifying in the scant myths about them, too. According to what we have, the striga is sort of a vampire prototype: huge, almost bird-like claws, sharp fangs, and a thirst for human flesh and blood, although she can live off of animals, too. But strigas weren't born that way. The unlikely number was two. People with two hearts, two souls, two sets of teeth, conditions common when a pregnant woman was cursed, could become strigas after they died. They second self sort of took over the corpse and went on a feeding frenzy. Even though they're not so common in fiction, it's interesting how many cultures have variations on the theme. Strigas' demonic cousins proliferated across southern and eastern Europe to unlikely places, like your garden. This is the striga, or witchweed plant, which is kind of pretty, right? But it's known for viciously penetrating the roots of a host plant and sucking out all of its nutrients. Scientists even make dad jokes about its rapaciousness. So, whether it's the plant or the bewitched princess variety, stay away from strigas, y'all. Well, when it comes to episode four's selkiemaw, the showrunners of The Witcher didn't give us much info work with. Thanks, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich! All we hear is a pretty gripping tavern talk from a villager that includes the creature's name. The ice cracked open! And a selkiemaw shot out! Oh, you'll never see one! And all we see are its guts on Geralt. I had to get it from the inside. The name selkiemaw, in every spelling we could think of, doesn't return any results. But plain old selkies are indeed notable mythological creatures of the water. In Irish, Scottish, and Icelandic folklore, the selkie is kind of an affable, shape-shifting seal. It mostly spends its time in seal-like endeavors, lounging on rocks, being cute, et cetera. But occasionally, it sheds its prized skin, revealing a beautiful human underneath, and comes ashore. There's usually a lot of marriage shenanigans after this. Its use is fitting for an episode written by an Irishman. Still, a friendly seal with magical outerwear doesn't quite square with what little we know of the selkiemaw, like it can swallow a witcher whole, it has swallowed a whole village whole, it possesses a cavernous mouth with devil's teeth. And, actually, there is tell of a similar creature lurking deep within Russia, about a six-hour's drive west of Moscow: the Brosno dragon. It's said to be a huge, reptilian or dinosaur-like creature that inhabits the small but curiously deep waters of Lake Brosno. And just like the selkiemaw, the dragon can eat. His stories are full of him chomping down on things like invading Tatar warriors and their horses, a German airplane during World War II, and somehow an entire island that some vikings were going to leave some treasure on. I don't know if this wise without a witcher in tow, but people still look for the dragon. This is an easily chompable dogsled team searching across the frozen lake. ♪ Toss a coin to your witcher ♪ ♪ O valley of plenty ♪ ♪ Whoa ♪ Our search for the selkiemaw, however, has reached its successful conclusion. We figured it out! Take that, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich! Thank you! In the fourth episode, there's also this formidable killer insect that haunts Yennefer, roachhound. So we started researching it, and the weirdest thing we realized is, where are all the insect monsters? Like, I mean, insects, and all arthropods, really, are basically already monsters in real life. So, why not make them mythological ones? But maybe it's because we're not looking in the right places. Think about it: the typical Western myths that many of us learn in school usually involve mammalian or sometimes lizard-like creatures. But Asian, Pacific, and indigenous folklore often seems to use insects and spiders in their monster-making. In the tales of Thailand and several New York state Native American tribes, there are monster mosquitoes as big as chickens, who are capable of launching coordinated attacks on forts. The Wayana of South America have kuluwajak, forgive the pronunciation, a two-headed caterpillar who cuts off and devours human heads. And then there's Japan. The Japanese have a giant, samurai-hating spider that can turn invisible, and omukade, a mountain-sized centipede with venom for breath. By the way, this is a real mukade centipede, and I still find it frightening. So, now you know why they later created Mothra. So, yeah, insect monsters; I'm not scared. Are you scared? Run far, run fast, Yennefer. There's something profoundly disturbing about meeting your exact twin. Wait. Stop that. Which might be why the myth of the doppelganger keeps finding its way into our popular fiction, including in The Witcher's doppler. True, the word doppelganger was only coined in the 18th century. But cultures as old as the ancient Egyptians believed in the Ka, a sort of spiritual facsimile, replete with a person's memories and feelings, that could sometimes mislead. But they can also replace you. Everything you've ever done, ever debated, ever dreamed is in our head now. People from the Orkney islands feared the trow, sickly changeling creatures that would replace healthy human babies with their identical trow replicas. If you want to get crazy, we can get crazy. So it's sort of like the plot of Us. Sometimes a benign version of the doppelganger will pop up. The Norse Vardoger, for instance, was an identical you that went ahead of the real you and showed up early to all your meetings. But most of the time, they're an omen of doom. Following his election in 1860, Abraham Lincoln allegedly saw his exact double in the mirror. The other was pale and ghastly-looking. His wife believed the vision foretold his reelection but also his death. There is a condition, heautoscopy, which can cause someone to see their double at a distance. Or, at least you better hope it's heautoscopy and not a doppelganger. As hard as it is to believe while watching this, the djinn of Arabian mythology are surprisingly a lot like us. I mean, sure, they are technically, according to the Quran, creatures made of smokeless fire that live in an unseeable, unknowable dimension somewhere beyond our own and who are blessed with supernatural powers of shape-shifting, invisibility and flight. But they also possess a fair share of human qualities; like us, the djinn eat, they drink, they sleep, the fall in love or lust with each other and with humans, as made vividly clear in this pre-Islamic-era poem, which isn't all that flattering for either side. And, maybe most like us, they're capable of choosing between good and evil; although, unfortunately, many seem to end up on the dark side. Their mischief continues to the present day, because, while the existence of djinn predates even the founding of Islam, belief in them is still very common in many parts of the Muslim world. Djinn can be annoying.