Red-Hat: The Naughty Whale of Hvalfjörður

Red-Hat: The Naughty Whale of Hvalfjörður is an ancient folktale that began with trawlers hunting the Great Auks for food. Hvalfjörður, is located in the southern region of Iceland. This type of whale is not just any whale it is a Raudkembingur a bad-ass type of whale with a red crest that resembles a hat or comb.

One day an unfortunate young trawler was lost, he turned up on a craggy island. The lad was not alone, he was startled by an Elvene tribe. He could not return home so he made the best of it by pairing with an elf woman who birthed their son. The man still pining to return to his native village, nagged his elf mate so much that she agreed to grant him a way to return to his village on the provision that he would baptize his elf child in his home church. The man agreed with her terms. Once he returned to his village he decided not to have his elf child baptized, and left it in a cradle outside of the church. Hearing about the man’s betrayal, the elf lady cursed him and transformed him into a large whale with a red hat as the man had been wearing a red hat at the time.

The Red-Hat Whale-Man became very angry with the elf woman that he began a killing spree upon the local sailors and fishermen. The only folks left was a local wizard and his daughter. The wizard crafted some magic by leading the vengeful whale from the sea towards the narrow part of the river. The whale now spellbound followed them till they arrived at a waterfall where the whale jumped up and landed in the river above.

The Wizard accompanied by his daughter kept hiking along the river to a lake. The angry whale was extremely fatigued so much that it broke his heart under the duress that he sank to the lake bottom. His only remains discovered was his red hat floating upon the lake and the frightening Red-Hat Whale-Man, tyrant of the sea was never seen again.

Source & Reference:

*J.M. Bedell, Queen of the Elves and Other Stories: Icelandic Folktales. ISBN-10: 1566566339, ISBN-13:978-1566566339

*Featured image ©Nifty Brýn Buckles 2019.


Author: Nifty Buckles

Nifty Buckles folklore blogger, snatched by a weaver of weird, a tipsy Clurichan crafted my magical nifty buckles.

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