Episode 45: Water Fae: Grindylow
The folklore of Grindylow in a nutshell, how I reimagined this fae for my writing, and this faery translated into Afrikaans.
Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.
Copyright 2022 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.
Learn more about Grindylow here.
Get the transcript here.
Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com
You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.
I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With nearly a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.
This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.
Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.
This episode is brought to you by my book Once… Tales, Myths and Legends of Faerie available in eBook, audiobook and paperback. Learn more at ronelthemythmaker.com/my-books.
We’re continuing our exploration of Water Fae.
Today’s Faery: Grindylow
Folklore in a nutshell by Ronel
Grindylow or Grundylow is a swamp monster from English folklore. They are described as small humanoid beings with scaly, green skin, sharp claws and teeth, and long, thin arms ending with long, thin fingers. With surprising strength, they pull unwary children into the swamps, ponds and marshes they inhabit, far beneath the water and safety. Apparently, they gobble them up when no-one’s looking. They have been shadowy figures, akin to nursery boogeymen, to frighten children away from dangerous places where they can drown. A similar figure is Jenny Greenteeth from English folklore, Näkki from Finnish mythology and Berberoka from Philippine folklore.
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an origin of the fae: grindylow
The grindylow is a flesh-eating faery – they eat fish, but prefer human flesh, especially children. Though there are rumours that they can change their form to more easily lure their prey, it is actually a glamour cast through the water to lure children in closer for them to seize them and pull them below the surface. They live in swamps, ponds and marshes, preferring to take cover beneath algae and other water plants to keep an eye on the land and potential prey. They are very humanoid in their physiology, but with light green or blue skin (depending on the natural colour of water where they live), webbed hands and feet, and some even have a fin on their heads to make swimming easier. Their limbs are also longer and thinner than a human’s, thus the folklore surrounding them. They also have sharp teeth like a fish.
As a little bonus, let’s look at the translation of grindylow into Afrikaans: moeras monster (this is of my own making)
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.
Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!
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No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.