Welcome to Fantastic! 

31 October 2019

A magical monthly journey through the worlds of folklore, myth and fantasy. Follow us.
We love folklore, myth and fantasy but it's hard to stay up to date. This digest will curate a selection of themed news and quirky snippets at the end of every month. We hope you like it. Fleur
This month's art is from a Norse-inspired tale, Ivor's Saga, by Michele Stara for #inktober. Contact us to display your work.
Fantasy on TV and film

We liked Tidelands, a crime drama set in sunny Queensland, Australia. Reality blends near-seamlessly with Serbian myth and folklore. 

Like Neil Gaiman's American Gods, it asks what happens if the gods too become migrants.

Look out too for a lavish prequel, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series on Netflix, set in a faraway world of wonder, with enchanting creatures from the mystical World of Froud

A special shout-out to a romp of a film from Nigeria. We loved it and are more interested in Nigerian folklore as a result - The Lost Okoroshi. Check it out if you can.

Lore of the land 

Halloween - All Hallows Eve - is widely believed to be an equivalent of Samhain, when the year turns towards winter and the veils between the worlds thin.

On Samhain night, the fairy folk or
sidhe are said to ride out, in the Ballad of Tam Lin.

You can leave out some food for them at the nearest 
blackthorn (especially if you've already harvested the sloes) or hawthorn.

But there is little actual evidence for Samhain. Remains at the hill of Tlachtga in County Meath may only date back to Anglo-Norman times, long after the Celtic Iron Age.

Pilgrims might be better off visiting the ruins of Smyrna in Turkey.

Yet the tradition of a supernatural Halloween persists, and even grows - as in the legend of Sleepy Hollow.

A mounted ranger decapitated in the Battle of White Plains 1776 rises each Halloween, they say, as a headless horseman or dullahan, just like in the old Irish tales.

The festival does resemble, however,  other traditions worldwide.

Eg: Bon festival (Japan), Hungry Ghost festival (China), Pitru Paksha (India), Awaru Odu (Nigeria)Pangangaluluwa   (Philippines), Dziady (Poland) and Mexico's Day of the Dead.

Top Halloween tip from #FolkloreThursday?

A new Gramarye

A winter 2019 issue of Gramarye from the Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction can be pre-ordered here

Ivor's Saga continues - part 2. Email us to contact the artist.

A shadow at the door

This week, news that HBO's Game of Thrones writers may have had little comparable experience beforehand. Millions of fans were disappointed with how Benioff and Weiss wrapped up the plot

Yet not
everyone hated everything after Season 5. And how much should previous experience really count, especially in the arts?
10 Terrifying Mythological Creatures (via Mythology & Fiction Explained). What about that grootslang? 

What's on 

London, UK: Halloween/Samhain  Rest of UK: 1-3 November UK - Rest of November (!) 
Australia Aotearoa NZ
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