YMMV / Celtic Mythology

  • Creepy Awesome: Cu Chulainn.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Celtic paganism is in general this for modern neopaganism as a whole, being among the most popular new age spiritual movements.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
  • Ho Yay: The interactions of Cú Chulainn and Ferdia, his childhood friend seem to invoke this at times. It is difficult to tell as if it were the case that the two had any sort of relationship, later retellings would have downplayed or removed any explicit reference as homosexuality as it became taboo (There is little to no reliable record of how Pagan Celts viewed homosexual relationships). Though any Neo-Pagans are willing to take the subtext and run with it.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Aoife. Finding out the dude who knocked you up has been married to another woman for years is horrible, but that doesn't excuse sending your prepubescent son to his death.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Lugh, thought by some myth-tracers to share a concept-God with Loki of Norse Mythology. The key difference here being that the Celts didn't have anything against tricksters and so Lugh spends his life a badass rather than being tortured.
    • It helps that Lugh was The Ace.
    • Medb/Maeve of Connaught, who raised an army and invaded Ulster just so that she could steal a magic bull to match the one her husband owned. Some say the story is about the primacy of female or male lines of inheritance. Others say it's about Medb and Ailill being irresponsible jerks. (For certain values of "jerk.")
  • Memetic Badass: Cú Chulainn has shown up on Badass of the Week, and his penchant for ridiculous quantities of bloodshed has become a Running Gag on Bettermyths.com (which also claims that he was immune to the Pains of Ulster because he ripped them out of his stomach and beat the crap out of them until they turned into guns. And then he shot the pope. Just 'cause).
  • Moment of Awesome:
    • In "The Wasting Sickness of Cú Chulainn." Cú Chulainn spends a year bedridden from nightmares about two women whipping him nonstop. When Emer finds out where he's been all this time she heads over to Emain Macha, shakes him out of it, and berates the Kings of Ireland for not having the balls to help, all the while complaining that she has spent a full year without her husband's company.
    • When Emer finds out that Cú Chulainn is sleeping with some random sídhe girl called Fand, she marches over with a knife to cut a bitch. What does Fand, this supposedly superior-in-all-ways woman, do? Stand there and cry. Meanwhile, Emer starts challenging Cú Chulainn to a fight—if he wins he can leave her for Fand, and if SHE wins he stays with Emer. Does Emer care that Cú Chulainn outclasses her and doesn't want to put his own wife in horrible danger? No. In fact, she calls him a pussy for being afraid to answer a woman's challenge.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Irish hero Cú Chulainn is a scary guy at the best of times, but his rístrad (a battle madness taking the form of some sort of convulsion brought about in moments of extreme indignation) is another matter (see this description). Anyone watching this would no doubt have so pretty nasty nightmares - providing Cú Chulainn doesn't kill them before they have a chance to get to sleep again.
    • The murder of the hundred Irish warriors in the tale of Branwen is pretty horrifying. They hide in sacks of flour and wait to ambush the British. Efnisien, a British chieftain, grips each bag individually and squeezes until he can feel his fingers sinking through their skulls into their brains.
      • The Irish warriors were sent to kill Efnisien because he'd gotten so angry about how Branwen got married to Matholwych without his consent that he cut the ears and tails off of Matholwych's horses. Considering this was set in medieval times, when horses were even more of a status symbol than they are now, that doesn't bode well for the story.
    • One account of the Fianna claims that a young Arthur was in such envy of the Fianna's hounds that he sailed to Ireland in hopes to stealing them, only for Finn to send out 9 of his trusted warriors to hunt him down (Including his son Oisín). The nine of them managed to ambush and slaughter 27 of Arthur's Knights. Arthur himself was spared only by the intervention of Oscar/Osgar, Finn's grandson and afterwards Arthur left for Britain as an grateful ally and friend to the Fianna.
      • Even though he was suddenly aged two hundred years on his return to Ireland, Oisín still managed to toss a boulder up a hill with ease. In general, the Fianna seem to be almost superhuman in some accounts; Aside from their skills in battle, accounts of their meeting with Saint Patrick often remark that even in old age, they towered over the average Irish peasant of the day. Further, in some accounts, Caoilte lived as long as Oisín without the aid of fairy magic, living two hundred years for no reason other than that Old Age was afraid to take him.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: This is standard, thanks to Christianity.
  • Tear Jerker: The Children of Lir. As children, they were turned into swans for nine hundred years, and when their curse was finally broken, they were so old and withered that they died almost immediately. All that they could request was to be buried together (and, in some versions, to be baptized as Christians).
    • Emer let herself get buried alive with Cuchulainn's body. We wouldn't have it any other way.
    • Cuchulainn, period. He accidentally killed his only son, accidentally pissed off the goddess of war just because he was too exhausted after a battle to bother with another strenuous activity, and died a slow and agonizing death. (He still died like a badass though. He tied himself to a standing stone with his intestines as he was dying because he wanted to die standing up. No-one went near his corpse for ages because they were scared shitless he might still be alive. In the end they only decided it was safe because the birds [that, point of note, were more than likely the said goddess of war] had started eating him... and then his sword arm coincidentally fell and decapitated someone who tried to loot his corpse.)
    • The story of Enya, Aengus' foster-daughter in "The House of the Two Pails." A notably depressing take on Christian conversion.
  • What An Idiot: For someone whose epithet is "the Wily," Emer's father King Forgall isn't particularly bright. He disapproved of Cuchulainn for some unmentioned reason, so he tried to marry Emer to someone else. Repeat: He tried to force The Chosen One's intended bride to marry someone else. Luckily, the other "suitors" were too terrified of Cuchulainn's potential retribution to accept. On the other hand, he still locked her up and started guarding against Cuchulainn's return, which resulted in Cu Chulainn going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to save/elope with Emer.
    • King Pwyll of Welsh mythology. The poor guy catches one Idiot Ball after the other.