Brynhildr was a princess, a shield-maiden, and was said to be a Valkyrie who disobeyed Odin. Stripped of her Valkyrie powers, she was put into a deep slumber, on a castle on top of a mountain surrounded by a magic fire, and can only awakened by a brave man with a kiss, which she was by Sigurd the Dragonslayer. With Sigurd, she had a daughter; Aslaug.

Although the pair fell in love, Sigurd was deceived by Gjuki, King of Burgundy, whose wife, the sorceress Grimhild, prepared a magic potion that made Sigurd forget about Brynhildr so he could marry their daughter Gudrun. When she found out about Brynhildr, they let their son Gunnar go to her castle. Gunnar was only able to cross the ring of fire when he switched places with the enchanted Sigurd and convinced Brynhildr to marry Gunnar instead of Sigurd.

Sigurd later regained his memories. Heartbroken upon finding out the truth from Gudrun, Brynhildr urged Gunnar to murder Sigurd. Gunnar and his brother Hogni had both sworn oaths of blood brotherhood with Sigurd and could not kill him in fear of angering the gods, so they instead incited their young brother Gutthorm to do the deed. Sigurd killed the young Gutthorm, and was also killed, while Brynhildr killed Sigurd’s and Gudrun’s son.

Distraught over her actions, Brynhildr committed suicide by throwing herself on Sigurd’s funeral pyre. They reunited in Hel, but left Aslaug alone in the world.


Mermaids are water spirits, and in Irish folklore, they’re known as Merrows. Mermaids are depicted as half-human, half-fish creatures and have been around for centuries in folklore and legends. Mermaids love music, and you’ll often hear them singing.

These water spirits have been linked to sorrow and destruction in modern and ancient folklore, while they can also be compassionate. They have provided the wisdom of natural remedies for deadly illnesses, lavish gifts, and storm advisories when rescued or saved. They may also lure sailors to doom and death by guiding them to rocks and causing their ships to wreck.

Mermen are sometimes associated with eating their own children or drowning people underwater out of spite and revenge for fishing in their territory.

Aquatic mammals, such as the dugong and manatee, that suckle their young in human fashion above water are considered by some to be the origin of myths about mermaids.

Britannica – Mermaid – Legendary being

Oedipus and Antigone (1825) – Aleksander Kokular

In Greek mythology, Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus by his own mother, Jocasta, and the sister of Eteocles, Polyneices, and Ismene.

When her father went into exile she accompanied the blind man as his guide.

Two versions exist of Antigone’s fate after she defied King Creon. In the first, the subject of the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles, Creon ordered that she be immured as a punishment, but rather than face burial while alive she hanged herself; Haemon, the son of Creon to whom she was betrothed, committed suicide alongside her. In the second version, Creon turned Antigone over to Haemon for punishment, but he smuggled her away, and she later bore him a son. When Creon refused to forgive them, Haemon killed both himself and Antigone.

Atlas Holding Up the Celestial Globe (1646) – Guercino

Atlas was the son of Iapetus and Clymene. He was the leader of the Titans in their battle against the Olympian Gods. The Titans were defeated and all but Atlas were confined to Tartarus, a section of the Underworld. Atlas’s punishment was to carry the sky upon his shoulders throughout eternity. During one of his 12 famous labors, the great hero Heracles took the burden from the shoulders of Atlas so that the Titan could fetch for him the golden apples of the Hesperides. When Atlas returned, Heracles tricked him into taking back the weight of the heavens.

The Birth of Minerva [Athena] (1688) – René-Antoine Houasse

Athena, often given the epithet Pallas, is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic war, mathematics, strength, war strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.

There are many different stories about the birth and parentage of Athena. In the most familiar story, she sprang fully armed from the head of Zeus when Hephaestus split it open with an ax. Zeus had previously swallowed his consort, Metis, on learning that she would soon bear a child who would rule the gods.