Mythology has been a grand source of inspiration for entertainment writers and producers over the years. These religions of ancient societies live on for their bold characters, the powers imbued upon them, and the often grizzly tales that, for the most part, offer wisdom and lessons to their readers. It’s all very fantastical and character-driven, which makes for easy translation to modern media.
Here, we’re looking at a bunch of excellent mythology-derived entertainment pieces from across the media landscape, with a focus on hidden gems. These are the films, slot games, shows, and audiobooks that you may have missed, but are certainly worth doubling back to experience if you fancy something a bit mythical.
Movie: The Green Knight
Released on July 30, 2021, from the increasingly loved A24, The Green Knight certainly passed lots of movie fans by. This is reflected in its $15 million budget and $20 million box office return. The movie is one of medieval fantasy derived from one of the best-known Arthurian stories in existence: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The original story sees a deal made between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to behead each other.
In the movie, Dev Patel turns in a superb performance as Sir Gawain, with the movie also being greatly bolstered by the presence of Alicia Vikander, Sean Harris, Sarita Choudhury, Joel Edgerton, Kate Dickie, and Ralph Ineson as the Green Knight. While there are a couple of lulls, overall, The Green Knight is a strong film that’s well worth the watch. Better still, you can watch it completely free on Tubi TV, PlutoTV, Plex, or Vudu.
TV Show: Atlantis
Long before the time of Netflix swimming around the BBC programming office to snap up any and all of the pre-emptively canceled great shows, Atlantis was a smash hit in the UK and in overseas territories. Atlantis itself is, of course, the mythical sunken city from Greek tales, and in the TV show, we follow a submarine pilot who finds himself washing up there. In Atlantis, he meets a great many legendary figures from ancient Greek myths.
It features Mark Addy as Hercules – which is a superb turn from the norm – Aiysha Hart as Ariadne, John Hannah as Tychon, as well as the likes of Pythagoras, Pasiphae, and Medusa being part of the central story. However, as alluded to earlier, it was a BBC show from the early-to-mid-10s. This means that it was axed while it was still popular and before it concluded. The two seasons that do exist, however, are great fun and can be found on Hulu.
Movies and Entertainment: Leprechaun and Rainbow Riches
Leprechauns are world-famous mythical creatures. Known for their love of gold, stashing their riches at the end of the rainbow, and mostly being elusive but chirpy little people, all of this was flipped on its head in 1993. With Warwick Davis in the titular role, the Leprechaun movie series turned the little Irish fairy into a demonic, crazed, and evil creature.
While they did give Jennifer Aniston her first movie role, the films essentially cornered the cinematic market on leprechauns. Where leprechauns are still being represented as fun-loving fairies, but still with their piles of gold, is in the Rainbow Riches slot game. One of the most popular and long-serving slots in existence, it now has a Megaways addition to add more paylines to the classic game. As well as this, you can still find bonuses if you catch the leprechaun.
Of course, if you’d rather kick back and watch the film that made leprechauns terrifying beasts – or perhaps slapstick characters in creature features – you can find Leprechaun on Prime Video, but not in the Prime Originals range, Apple TV, iTunes, or Google Play.
Audiobook: Runestone Saga
Norse mythology is wonderfully rich in its larger-than-life characters, dramas between family members, fantastical creatures, and intensely important storylines. You could turn to Loki’s children, Odin’s search for infinite sight, and Thor’s grudge against the world serpent, Jörmungandr. There’s so much to draw from and even weave into your own stories, which is exactly what Cinda Williams Chima has done with the Runestone Saga.
Starting with Children of Ragnarök, which was released in November 2022, it commences immediately after the doomsday event of the title, turning the focus from the battle of the gods to the humans in the other realms. Of course, you can get a physical copy of the book, but you can also find it on Audible for a more easygoing experience. For a book that recounts the original myths, check out The Norse Myths from publishers Thames & Hudson.
If you’re craving a mythical fix, consider one of these entertainment pieces that draw from English, Greek, Irish, and Norse legends.