Episode 45: Third Branch of the Mabinogi(on) – Manawydan

The four of them proceeded to Gorsedd Arberth…

This is not really how I imagine Pryderi and Rhiannon but wanted to include it as they are both fabulously dressed!

We’re back in the world of Welsh Mythology in this Third branch of the Mabinogi(on).

What happens when the survivors of the battle in Branch two have stopped feasting and have to go back to everyday life?

Well the answer features got marrying mothers, misty magic, market disruption, mice, milquetoast Manawydan and much much more!

This takes the title of longest podcast episode from the second part of Branch two – and while that is one of my favourite of all Welsh mythology this is a far stranger, more disjointed tale with quirky little bits on unexpected themes.

Definitely got a lot of love for this odd little story and its unclear morals and I hope you enjoy it too!

“Ac yuelly y teruyna y geinc hon yma o’r Mabynogyon”

– “And so ends this branch of the Mabinogion

Lady Charlotte Guest

Accomplished linguist Lady Charlotte Guest translated medieval Welsh tales into English, and in doing helped to create the Mabinogion that exists today.

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Some illustrations of the third branch

Some pictures taken from T.H Robinson in Y llyfr cyntaf Pryderi fab Pwyll and The Mabinogion Vol III. A lot of these images – particularly those with the mouse won’t make a lot of sense without the context of the story, but I like it that way.

Welsh Mythology Pronunciation

I mentioned in the episode that while I’d attempted with my pronunciation it is absolutely not to be trusted.

I was luckily enough to receive help from Dr Delyth Badder but my actual end results are rather less successful than I was aiming for despite this – a limitation of my own mouth and ear alas.

Dr. Badder’s work on Welsh Folklore, especially ghosts and Death Omens will I think be of considerable interest to Podcast Listeners. You can see her recent interview for the wonderful Fabulous Folklore podcast below:

If you would like to try and do more successfully at learning pronunciations as they should sound for the names in this and other branches of the Mabinogi and more Welsh Mythology besides I thoroughly recommend this video by Mhara Starling, a Welsh Witch who is extremely knowledgeable about Welsh folklore and magic who you should definitely be following if you don’t already:


As it’s the last episode to feature her let’s have this banger of a tune again – surely no small part of why she’s such a popular figure

Selected Sources

Musical credits for Episode 45: Third Branch of the Mabinogion

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Welcome to Tales of Britain & Ireland: A podcast telling folktales, myths and legends from across Britain and Ireland. Hosted by Graeme Cooke.

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