Lost Girl’s Hybrid Heritage
I recently discovered the Showcase Show Lost Girl and binged watched it on Netflix. The Canadian Urban Fantasy show ran from 2010-2015. It also ran on the SyFy Channel, but I never caught it. While I was watching it, it struck me just how much of the show borrowed from other sources. Having been a fan of the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Genre’s, it didn’t take much for me to recognize elements from many different sources.
Laurell K Hamilton seems to be the biggest influence on the show. In fact, some fans thought perhaps the show had gone too far in borrowing nearly everything but the names from her books. And it is true that it uses her work as a template, but they eventually found their own footing and put their own spin on the genre.
Bo Dennis is a mash-up of Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry. She is Succubus like Anita, but Fae like Meredith. The Succubus is out of Hebrew or Biblical Mythology, but the Seelie and Unseelie War is straight out of Celtic/Gaelic Mythology. The war between light and dark or Seelie and Unseelie is at the center of the Meredith Gentry series. For a time, the show focused nearly exclusively on Celtic Mythology. It featured Selkies, Red Caps and Brownies.
Bo is short for Ysabeau. Her name may be a reference to the model and actress named Bo Derrick. It may also be a reference to Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Ladyhawk who was named Isabeau. In addition, the tragic myth of Tristan and Iseult may also be echoed in the character’s name, although Bo acts more like the hero Tristan instead of his love Iseult.
Dyson is first reminded me of Meredith’s lover Doyle, but I realized he was also reminiscent of the Wolf King Richard in the Anita Blake series as well. Shifters played a large role in The Sookie Stackhouse or True Blood series as well. Alcede was Sookie’s lover or boyfriend for awhile in that series.
Hale is a Siren. Sirens come from Greek Mythology. His power is similar to the Celtic Banshee though. Trick, Bo’s Grandfather, is a Blood Mage or Wizard of sorts.
Kenzie had the same spunk as Claudia Donovan on Warehouse 13. Heck, they even dated the same guy—Aaron Ashmore. Aaron played Claudia’s love interest Steve Jinks on Warehouse 13. He was Kenzi’s love interest on Lost Girl as well, but his name was Nate.
The Morrígan’s title may refer to the translation of Phantom Queen or Great queen. The Great Queen Morrigan is a figure from Irish mythology widely considered to be a Goddess or former Goddess. However, Evony Fleurette Marquise acts more like Pam on True Blood. She is elegant, but bitchy. Like Pam, Evony becomes a more sympathetic character by the end of the series though.
Norse Mythology showed in True Blood in the form of Eric Norseman. In Lost Girl, it shows up in the form the Norn and the Yggdrasil Tree first. The artifact the Helskor or Hel Shoes are from Norse Mythology via Jacob Grimm as well. However, they way they told the tale, it reminded me of the Hans Christian Anderson story The Red Shoes.
Then Norse Mythology takes center stage with Tamsin the Valkyrie. In later seasons, Tamsin visits Valhalla and deals with her boss and teacher Freya. The name Tamsin connects back to Lost Girl’s Celtic Mythology with Peter S Beagle’s novel of the same name. Tamsin, in the novel, is a ghost who reveals the truth about the Scottish/Irish Monmouth Rebellion.
Lost Girl mixes other mythologies in as well. The villain The Geruda is out of Indian Mythology and the Jinn is out of Persian Mythology. The Kitsune are from Japanese Mythology. However, the Kitsune also made an appearance in The Vampire Diaries book The Return: Nightfall.
There are also references to Voodoo and Zombies. The Jumbee, or body jumper, is from Caribbean Mythology and Duppy is the Jamaican word for it. The episode Lovers Apart, Episode 3 of Season 4, reminded me of both the Young Adult Book Anna Dressed in Blood and the movie The Skelton Key for some reason.
In Season 4 and 5 there are references to the Greek Gods. The Modern versions of Zeus, Hera and Hades are a nod to the Percy Jackson Series. Iris and Nyx are wonderful additions. And the gender switching of Hera and Zeus’s Human forms were amusing. I particularly liked how the Gods, once free of Olympus, live in a penthouse suite. It is not that much unlike Mount Olympus being located on the top of the Empire State Building in Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightening Thief.
The episode Follow The Yellow Trick Road (Season 5 Episode 14) pays homage to the American Fairy Tale The Wizard of Oz and the modern British Fantasy Harry Potter.
Lost Girl is part procedural detective series like the TV show Grimm or the Laurell K Hamilton books, but it is also part Monster of the Week like The X-Files. They even reference The X-Files in Adventures in Fae-bysitting (Season 3 Episode 11). Though it was as much fun as its processors Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Xena, it also moved the femme fatale forward.
As Bo refuses to choose political sides, she also refused to define her sexuality as straight or lesbian. Bo becomes uniquely poised to both unique in the Lost Girl World and in our World both.