Wodwos more commonly known as Wild Men of the Wood

I must admit to being a big fan of the wodwos. Wodwos are a mediaeval character that appears across medieval media. From Sir Garwain and the Green Knight to church carving (above) wodwos get everywhere.

I think it’s worthwhile thinking about medieval media in the same way as we think about modern comics. A modern superhero can have his or her own story, can trespass into other heroes stories and even join up with others to do special jobs.

In the same way Wodwos are an antagonist in medieval stories for Sir Garwain and Alexander the Great. Garwain beats them in a fight whilst Alexander uses gile. As I am sure we all know Wodwos and Unicorns can’t resist virgins so the one intending to catch Alexander is himself ensnared.

Wodwos appears regularly in carvings and on meisercords. He is naked, armed with a club and accompanied with a lion. I suspect by the look of sheer love on the lions face he is in fact The Lion. Wodwos himself is a joyous exultant character full of energy and the love of the wild.

It’s this love, joy and exultation that I admire and aspire too. The medieval world was certainly not nasty, brutish and short. If their fiction was anything to go by, it was vivid.

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