Schreiner University BFA Communication Design Blog

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Myth Madness: At Last

So for our last ever post for Myth Madness, my team was feeling a little festive so with out any further ado, I shall present a very merry Christmas special 🙂


Lol jk, just who do you think I am?

I’ve gone on this long with out covering anything normal, why would I start now?

But it is Christmas themed at least 🙂 Today I’ll be talking about Gryla, an Icelandic monster of Christmas.

Around the holidays we’ll be hearing lots of carrot and stick metaphors. You know “Be good and Santa will bring you a present, if you’re bad you’ll get nothing but coal!” Gryla is just like that! Except instead of presents, you get to live.

The best gift of all.

Gryla is an ogress that kidnaps and eats disobedient children who don’t do what their parents tell them to. I guess if you give your kid enough nightmares they’ll do what you say.

She wasn’t associated with Christmas until the 17th century when she was given the title of “mother of the yule lads”. Yep, all 72 of them. Dang, that girl got busy. All her kids are as mischevious and murderous as she is, which is odd because she eats naughty children. Bit of a hypocrite if you ask me.

The Onion blamed the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 on her.

At first she was depicted as having 15 tails. If that wasn’t bad enough, the tale eventually twisted till she had 15 tails, but on each tail was 100 bags, each with 20 naughty children inside. Gross. And she was found in many childrens’ lullabies? What?


That stopped in 1746 when there was a public decree that prohibited telling the tale of Gryla to scare kids. Well, I guess those kids who grew up on nightmare fuel eventually grew up and decided that they didn’t want to pass on the terror to their kids.

Gryla was married three times and lived in a dank cave with her 72 kids and big, black murder cat. Yeah even the CAT liked to kidnap kids and eat them. If kids worked hard, they would get new clothes for christmas, if they were lazy, they didn’t. The cat would only go after kids with no new clothes. Cause not only do these poor kids not get any clothes, they get eaten for it too.

It actually kinda gets worse.

Over time, Gryla’s 72 kids gets streamlined into only 13 kids. So for each day before Christmas, her kids would come down from the mountains and play tricks on people. The idea of Santa Claus worked its way to Iceland and slowly the images of her sons turned into men with red jackets giving gifts to good children.


So in Iceland, the nice guy who gives us presents and spends yule time cheer was actually a bunch of child eaters centuries ago? No. Just no. Excuse me while I don’t sleep.

And that’s my final post everybody! Have a nice life!


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This entry was posted on 12/02/2014 by in Myth Madness and tagged , .
December 2014
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