For today’s post, I would like to take on the connection between Morgana and banshees. Morgan le Fay is often credited with having been another face of the Morrigan. The Morrigan is the Queen of the Banshees, hence the connection.
Banshees are also known as the bean-sidhe or the wailing woman. That is where we see the association with death, as banshees can both detect and predict death. They are known for screaming, which can be seen as what inspired wailers at Irish funerals. These were literally women who would wail, sort of a combination between screaming and crying, over the coffin. It was an essential part of mourning in Ireland for years.
Morgana le Fay is likewise associated with death. She literally brings a dying Arthur to the Isle of Avalon in order for him to be healed and await the time when Britain would need him again. In this way, she is not only associated with death, but also with the Once and Future King concept. Avalon is a part of the Otherworld and Faeryland. Both the Otherworld and Faeryland, by whatever names we call them are known as lands of the dead as well as lands of the fae folk.
Banshees are magical faery women that can also be seen to have some form of dominion over death. This dominion over death is a very important aspect of the power they possess and the fear they incite. In most versions of faery lore, the Banshee only can sense death, but in others, she is the one that causes the death. This is a fearsome thing to accuse her of, as death is what most people fear above all else. The truth of Banshees and their nature likely lies somewhere in the middle between being the cause of death and being mere detectors of death. Banshees can likely weaponize their screams and use their abilities for good! We see this in the way that Lydia is able to grow her powers and cause positive change in Teen Wolf. All Banshees can be seen through this more empowered light.
The association of Banshees and magic further links Morgana and the Banshee. Morgana is the Goddess of Witchcraft and a Faery Queen. Her status as Faery Queen can likewise be seen as being a Queen of the Banshees, especially when we look at her connection to the Morrigan! In all, Morgana can be seen as embodying the nature of the Banshee in her stories. I hope that you have enjoyed this short analysis of the connection between Morgan and the Banshee. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a Banshee. I found the image on https://mitologia-lendas-urbanas.fandom.com/pt-br/wiki/Banshee.
- Vita Merlini by Geoffrey of Monmouth
- Arthurian Romances by Chretien de Troyes
- Le Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
- By Blood, Bone, and Blade: A Tribute to the Morrigan by Bibliotheca Alexandrina