Now this is a hard one because I'm never sure what counts as myths and popular culture like films and TV affect myths and sometimes I like the pop culture but am not overly interested in the historical myth.
For example, I love Jason and The Argonauts, but only because I really like the 1963 Ray Harryhausen film and I've never actually read the original myth. Same goes for Perseus because I love the 1981 Clash of the Titans, but I know that has very little to do with the original myths on which it is based. All the Greek myths are great because they have such wonderful gods and monsters, but I honestly can't say how much of the real myths I know and how much has been picked up from Hercules and Xena :).
I very much enjoy the Egyptian myths and legends as well. I read up on those when I was in SG-1 fandom, but have loved everything like that since reading about Tutankhamen as a child. The way their gods and goddesses had so many aspects is fascinating.
George and the Dragon was a myth I loved as a child, although these days I tend to feel more sorry for the dragon.
I remember one West African God who made an impact at an early age was Anansi. We were introduced to him during assembly at primary school and I have never forgotten about the spider shaped trickster. I've never looked deeper other than the children's stories we were told, but he sticks in my memory.
Some of the Norse myths are fabulous too. Given that I'm a little obsessed with the MCU version of Loki I have looked up some of the myths and they are epic. As with most mythology, however, they are also confusing because there are different stories that don't match :).
Personally some of my favourite myths are in the Christmas story. (Before anyone jumps on me from a great height, I am a practising Christian, but I do not believe the gospels are fact, I believe they are a set of illustrative stories to lay out Christian faith, which in some cases are based on historical fact and real people. If you wish to believe the gospels are word for word reality, that's perfectly up to you, but I don't.) I think the Christmas story is an incredibly beautiful myth and our celebrations of it make for my favourite time of year.
Favourite Mythical Creatures
Everyone gets one guess what my number one favourite mythical creature is :).
- Vampires - I love vampire myths and legends and modern retellings and reinventions. There is just something about fangs and glowing eyes and blood drinking that fascinates me. If you would like to see all my vampire blog posts click here.
- Werewolves - I've never been as fond of werewolves as vampires and I'm pickier about what I like in a werewolf story, but they are great.
- Ghosts - there is nothing more frightening than an evil ghost because they can appear and disappear at will. Asian ghost stories tend to be the most frightening, because usually there is no way out; if a ghost wants you they've got you.
- Medusa - snakes for hair and can turn people to stone; this is on kick arse lady!
- Dragons - good dragons, bad dragons, dragons that breathe fire, dragons that spew ice; what's not to love?
- Demons - especially sex demons are so interesting. The personification of human fear is so interesting to look at.
- Dryads - spirits who live in and are part tree have a small spot carved out in my heart thanks to the Belgariad by David Eddings. I know they are not traditional dryads, but I love the idea.
- Sidhe - the seelie and the unseelie courts. I use to live roleplay at uni a couple of times a year and had to play an unseelie princess once - it was so much fun.