133 – Werewolves

The Mythcreant Podcast

Throw back your head and howl at the moon, for this week we’re discussing werewolves. What is a werewolf, exactly? Where do they come from, and why are they always fighting vampires? We discuss the modern portrayal of werewolves, their pop culture roots, and why there probably shouldn’t be any such thing as an “alpha werewolf.” Oh, and we also talk about Teen Wolf. A lot. Go watch Teen Wolf.

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Teen Wolf

The Myth of Lycaon

Alpha Wolves Aren’t Real

Werewolf RPG

The Alphas

The Wolf Man


Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

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  1. Titto Paolo

    Silver has always been seen as anathema to many dark entities most likely because people noticed that those who ate with silverware (instead of more common bronze/iron) tended to get a lot less ill than normal. That’s because silver has natural antibacterial properties, but since people knew nothing about bacterias up until the mid 20th century, they assumed that silver had “anti-evil” properties. The fact that Christianity uses a lot of silver in its decorations is probably because it absorbed this tradition along with many others it did from other cultures.

  2. Snowplow

    Silver is also considered a precious metal, and supposedly difficult to obtain. If something difficult to obtain is the only thing that can kill a baddie, it would up the threat factor. Silver and gold are both associated with wealth, gold more so though.

    Another interesting way to turn into a werewolf is by wearing a wolf pelt into battle. It’s from Celtic tradition. The more one wears the wolf pelt the less sane and more dangerous they become.

    Speaking of insanity, there is a mental illness called lycanthropy in which the affected believes they are a wolf, though that’s not as scary as a human turning into a beast. The biggest fear factor, I think, for any humans turning into animals is the idea that the human forgets their humanity. Though there have been humans in history doing inhuman things, without physically turning into animals.

    Also wolves are pack hunters, which to some could be considered unfair odds. Five wolves against one deer for example, or five gangsters beating the crap out of a single little kid. Ganging up on an individual is not considered a fair fight.

  3. Sonia

    One reason for the “Vampires vs. Werewolves” might be because vampires (in Bram Stoker’s novel at least) had power over (normal) wolves.
    On a related note, in the same novel it was the garlic FLOWERS and not the bulbs that repelled vampires

    • Cay Reet

      The flowers were draped around Lucy (and in her coffin), but, as far as I remember, van Helsing also used bulbs to rup on window and door frames. He also filled Lucy’s mouth with them after the staking and cutting off of the head. So in Stoker’s novel, it’s actually both.

  4. Olivia

    Small clarification for Wes — ‘Lycanthropy’ is actually a compound of Greek lukos (wolf) and anthropos (human). The name Lycaon is just something wolfish to reflect the character’s savagery and eventual fate, not the etymology of ‘lycanthrope’ in itself.

    Fun fact — ‘lycanthropy’ is an exact parallel to ‘werewolf’, which is formed from the Old English compounds wer (human) and wulf (wolf)!

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