Author Topic: The legend of Diarmuid and Grainne...  (Read 9461 times)

ZeaLitY

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The legend of Diarmuid and Grainne...
« on: June 18, 2005, 03:59:52 am »
During the Magical Dreamers concert, two stars are referenced: Diarmuid and Grania. Before, I had figured that these were made up names, but I checked Wikipedia and they stem from Irish mythology.

From Wikipedia:

Diarmuid

In Irish mythology, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (also known as Diarmuid of the love spot) was son of Donn and a warrior of the Fianna. Aengus Og was the foster-father and protector of Diarmuid.

Diarmuid met a woman who caused a magical love spot to appear on his head; any woman that looked at his head fell in love with him.

Grainne, bride of Fionn mac Cumhail, fell in love with Diarmuid. He ran off with her and was finally killed by a giant boar on the heath of Benn Gulbain.

Grainne

In Irish mythology, Gráinne was the daughter of Cormac mac Airt.

She was promised in marriage to Fionn mac Cumhail, but fell in love with Diarmuid of the love spot when she saw Diarmuid in the wedding party. She laid a geasa upon him to run away with her. Their long flight from Fionn was aided by Aengus Og, Diarmuid's foster-father.

Eventually, Fionn pardons Diarmuid after Aengus Og intercedes on their behalf; the pair settle in Kerry and produce five children. The story of Gráinne and Diarmuid is one of a number of instances in Irish mythology of the eternal triangle of young man, young girl and ageing suitor. The situation is very similar to the tale of Naoise, Deirdre and Conchobar. The same theme also shows up in other, Celtic-influenced cultures, most notably the tale of Tristan and Iseult (with King Mark of Cornwall), and more famously, Lancelot, Guinevere, and King Arthur.

The LÉ Grainne (CM10), a ship in the Irish Naval Service (now decommissioned), was named after her.

~

Daniel, if that mythology dictionary is of any help, feel free to offer its knowledge up here.

Daniel Krispin

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The legend of Diarmuid and Grainne...
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2005, 02:37:10 am »
Sorry. Encyclopedia Mythica seems to have nothing on either, save for a slight mention of Diarmuid when speaking of his foster-father, for whom there is an entry.

Chrono'99

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The legend of Diarmuid and Grainne...
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2005, 06:48:50 am »
Ugh.. Irish mythological names are hard to grasp... I've found some infos here, where the names are spelt Diarmaid and Gráinne : http://www.irishmythology.com/Irish_Mythology_Diarmaid_&_Grainne.htm

ZeaLitY

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The legend of Diarmuid and Grainne...
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2005, 02:01:56 pm »
Thanks. I'll go ahead and post it here in case that site goes down or something.

 • Fenian Cycle •
• Diarmaid & Grainne •

    Fionn Mac Cumhaill now an ageing man and a widower hears that Cormac mac Airt  the high king at Tara (His reign as high king is said to have been from 227 to 266 A.D) has a beautiful daughter called Gráinne and sends a messenger to Tara conveying his intentions to marry her. With Cormac's blessing and Gráinne's agreement the wedding banquet is set.
     At the feast at Tara on the wedding day all the warriors of the Fianna were there and Gráinne could'nt help noticing the most handsome of them all, Diarmaid.
     Gráinne called her head maid and secretly told her to concoct a sleeping potion enough for all the company. When the potion was ready it was slipped into the drinks of everybody there at the feast except for Diarmaid's, and when everyone was soundly asleep Gráinne approached Diarmaid and asked him to run away with her, he refused but Gráinne placed a Geis on him to follow her and Diarmaid being a warrior of the Fianna had to obey any Geis put on him. They left Tara and crossed westwards across the river Shannon in search of Aonghus, Diarmaid's foster father. Aonghus was a magical figure who had links with the Tuatha De Dannan.
     The next day when Fionn awoke from his deep sleep he quickly became aware of Gráinne and Diarmaid's absence and what had been done. He set about planning revenge and soon afterwards started out in pursuit with the rest of the Fianna. This story is often known as "The pursuit of Dairmaid and Gráinne".
     The Pursuit is said to have taken 16 years spanning the length and breath of the country, it is also said that they slept on many occasions on the many Dolmens scattered around the countryside and so these ancient Dolmens are sometimes refered to as "The beds of Diarmaid and Gráinne". On many times Fionn comes close to catching up with Diarmaid and Gráinne but they make their escape each time with the aid of Aonghus. Their travels bring them in contact with a young warrior named Muadháin, and becomes their servant and helps fight off mercenaries along the way.

Poulnabrone portal tomb in the Burren County Clare

    At first Diarmaid did not love Gráinne but it was when they came to a forest in the south west of the country that he fell in love with her. In The forest was a magical tree bearing magical fruit but the tree was guarded by a giant of a man with one eye called Searbhán. He lived high up in the branches of the tree, and was so fierce that no one dared challenge him not even the mightiest warrior of the Fianna. Diarmaid befriended Searbhán and the fugitives were invited to live in the tree but were warned not to touch the fruit scattered about its branches. Gráinne became pregnant afterwards and craved some of the beautiful fruit but Searbhán refused Diarmaid to fetch some fruit so a mighty battle started between the two which followed by Diarmaid killing the giant. While living in the north of Connacht Diarmaid heard of a hunt involving Fionn and the Fianna. They were all hunting a great Boar that lived around Ben Bulben in north Sligo. Diarmaid heard that many of the Fianna had been killed trying to bring down the Boar so he decided to join the hunt ignoring Gráinne's pleading not to go, he was also aware of a prophesy he heard as a young boy which stated that he would meet his death by a great Boar!
     On top of the mountain Diarmaid caught sight of the animal and swiftly pursued it untill he was within striking distance but the Boar turned and charged him, Diarmaid side stepped and leaped on the Boar's back and after much struggling the Boar tossed Diarmaid from its back ripping his stomach but with the last fading piece of energy Diarmaid pushed his sword into the Boar killing it. Soon after Fionn and the rest of the Fianna caught up to the dying Diarmaid, Oisín asked Fionn to fetch some water for his dying friend but he was met with a refusal, Oisín asked again but when Fionn returned with water Diarmaid had passed away. Diarmaid's foster father Aonghus came and took him to his magical palace on the banks of the river Boyne and Fionn finally married Gráinne.