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Interview with Culhwch

Guinevere: Welcome, welcome, everyone, to the Britain's Got Bachelors TV special. With me today is one of the hottest young singles in the British Isles. Please give a round of applause for Culhwch!

Culhwch: Thanks, everyone. Thanks, Gwen. I'm sorry to say, though, that I'm not exactly a bachelor anymore.

Guinevere: Really? Is there a special someone in your life?

Culhwch: Well, there has been for a long time. Her name's Olwen.

Guinevere: Olwen, the daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden? Oy! How did meeting the parents go?

Culhwch: Not so great, actually. See, my stepmother originally wanted me to marry her daughter from her first marriage, but I wasn't into that. So she cursed me to fall in love with Olwen, whose father was notoriously overprotective of her. She knew that Ysbaddaden wouldn't let Olwen go without a fight.

Guinevere: So how did you win her? Let's hear it!

Culhwch: It's a long story, but I knew I would need a lot of help, so I went to Camelot to ask my cousin Arthur for some assistance.

Guinevere: I remember that. I saw you there! It was right after my thirtieth—I mean, twenty-second—birthday. Arthur gave you a haircut, which is a ritual confirmation of your relationship, right?

Culhwch: Yeah. Anyway, Arthur and a bunch of his knights came along to confront Ysbaddaden and win Olwen for me. The giant wasn't exactly pleased to see me, so he set me a seemingly endless list of tasks I had to complete before I could marry Olwen.

Guinevere: Such as?

Culhwch: Oh, it went on and on. We had to steal a giant's sword. We also had to clear an entire forest—and plough and sow and reap it in one day. There ended up being about forty labors I had to do in all (take that, Hercules), including hunting down an annoying boar and getting this magical comb and shears hidden in his forelock.

Guinevere: Why?

Culhwch: My dad-in-law-to-be wanted to be specially groomed for his daughter's wedding day, so he insisted that I pick these things up to groom him myself.

Guinevere:What a pain! What was it like being on the road with Arthur?

Culhwch: It was great. He and I are first cousins, but since he's the High King of Britain, we never get to spend much time together. We bonded like real bros. I became really close with a lot of the Knights of the Round Table, too, like Kai and Gawain. I can't wait to visit Camelot next spring—Arthur's going to teach me to golf.

Guinevere: Well, at least he'll be home instead of out questing and challenging dangerous warriors. So, what did you do when you finally finished all of this stuff?

Culhwch: I went to get Olwen, of course!

Guinevere: And how did Ysbaddaden react? Was he happy that you did all of this stuff for him?

Culhwch: He was actually pretty good about it. He seemed pretty chill, but you know giants—their moods change pretty fast. I knew that he might get angry at me pretty soon.

Guinevere: I still don't get why he was so protective of Olwen. Wouldn't he want a nice young man like you for his little girl?

Culhwch: I can't believe I forgot to mention this! A prophecy foretold that Ysbaddaden would die whenever his daughter got married, so he kept Olwen locked away from any man until I came along.

Guinevere: Ohh, I get it now. That makes a bit more sense. So what did you do? What happened to him? Did he die?

Culhwch: Well, I went back to Olwen's, and I used the magical comb and shears to trim Ysbaddaden's hair and beard. It was pretty nasty. It was all greasy and really knotted. Giants don't seem to clean themselves that well.

Guinevere: Then what?

Culhwch: My cousin Goreu actually killed Ysbaddaden for me. It was a nice gesture. That meant I didn't have to marry my bride and have her father's blood on my hands. That would've made it a bit gross.

Guinevere: I agree! So you lived happily ever after? Awwwww!

Culhwch: So far, yeah. I mean, I don't want to jinx it, but married life is pretty great. I love being with Olwen all the time. She's gorgeous. Pauses. Not as gorgeous as you, of course, Gwen, but pretty awesome all the same.

Guinevere: Ah, Culhwch, you flatter me! That's all we have for today on Britain's Got Bachelors, but tune in next week when we meet Sir Bedwyr, Arthur's right-hand man and single stud!

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