Red Etin

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  • #2779
  • Medieval Medieval (culture)
  • Giant Giant (attribute)
  • Domestic Domestic (attribute)
  • Sorcery and Medicinal Sorcery and Medicinal (attribute)
  • Deadly Deadly (behaviour)

An Irish Giant from the myths of Scotland. He had three heads and had captured the daughter of King Malcolm as his slave. Whenever a hero approached to rescue the daughter the Red Etin would pick this up with his keen sense of smell and retort,

“Snouk butt and snouk ben, I find the smell of earthly man,
He be living or he be dead, his heart this night will kitchen my bread.”

One widow sent his two sons to defeat the Red Etin in turn but both were caught by the Giant and turned to pillars of stone when they failed to answer the Red Etin’s riddles. The neighbour of the widow then sends his son with a piece of cake. The son gives the cake to an old woman on his journey who gives him a magical wand that helps in answering riddles. Along the way he also meets a shepherd, a goatherd and a swine heard who all predict that he will defeat the Red Etin. Just before he enters the castle an elderly lady tells him what happened to the two sons. He enters and is captured by the Red Etin but he successfully answers the riddles and decapitates its three heads. The old woman he met outside reappears and takes him to the top floors of the castle where all the captured women including the King’s daughter are there. He finds the pillars and turns them back to the two sons. The whole group rejoice and return home where the hero marries the King’s daughter.

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