Study Guide

Cúchulainn (Cúchulain)

  • Profile

    The original Irish macho man, Cúchulainn battled monsters and heroes for his boss—who just happened to be his uncle, King Conchobar mac Nessa. Like Hercules, Cúchulainn is buff, handsome, and a total ladies' man. But don't rub him the wrong way or you might find yourself on the wrong end of this warrior's fierce temper. He's the superhero of Ulster, a kingdom in northern Ireland, who serves his ruler loyally, but he loves to duke it out, too. He also flexes his guns on the sports field while scoring major points with the ladies—and a few goals, too.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Cúchulainn

    Nickname

    Cúchulainn (the Hound of Culain), the Hound of Ulster

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Emain Macha, the king's capital city, or my home fortress of Dun Dealgan

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Guardian of Culain's fortress, warrior for King Conchobar mac Nessa

    Education

    I was trained as a warrior of the legendary Red Branch, a.k.a. heroes' boot camp.

    Beliefs

    Political views

    I support the king, but I'm also a born rebel.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    The hero-god Lugh and Dechtire, sister of King Conchobar. My stepdad is Sualtam.

    Siblings

    None

    Children

    Conlaoch (with Aoife)

    Friends

    Conchobar mac Nessa is my uncle and my patron. Laeg is my charioteer and Ferdiad's my BFF. Cathbad the Druid is kinda like a father figure, watching out to make sure I don't kill myself in battle or anything.

    Enemies

    Medb and her husband, Ailill, are the rulers of Connacht in central-western Ireland. They keep trying to steal the famous Brown Bull of Cooley from its owner in Ulster. The Morrigan, goddess of war, also hates me because she was into me and I turned her down. Bricriu's no friend of mine, either—he's a fellow warrior, but a trickster at heart.

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    I'm married to Emer, but I've dated a lot of cuties. My little black book includes the warrior Scathach, her sister Aoife, and Scathach's daughter Uathach. My past girlfriends also include the goddess Fand and my friend's wife, Blaithine.

    Yeah, I get around.

    Interested in

    Beautiful women

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Heroes 
    (Think what good that cheerleader would have done for the armies of Ulster.)
    The Office 
    (Dwight's special skills could have come in handy in Ireland.)
    The A-Team 
    (I pity the fool who's never seen this show.)
    WWE Smackdown 
    (I'm not sure if this is real, but it's pretty fun to watch.)

    Quotations

    "I had that stubborn streak. The Irish in me, I guess."
    – Gregory Peck

    "Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed."
    – Bob Riley

    "You become a champion by fighting one more round. When things are tough, you fight one more round."
    – James J. Corbett

    "I'll promise to go easier on drinking and to get to bed earlier, but not for you, fifty thousand dollars, or two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars will I give up women. They're too much fun."
    – Babe Ruth

    Books

    Beowulf 
    (There's nothing like a good story about man vs. beast.)
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 
    Medea by Euripides 
    (Jason's such a wuss.)
    The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien 
    (Who wants a ring when they could have a cow?)
    The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Dobbins 
    (My abs are just as good as Arnold's.)
    The Aeneid by Virgil 
    A Cow's Life by M. Montgomery and Gerald Foster 
    (Don't criticize me for protecting my cattle after you read this.)
    The Warrior Elite by Dick Couch  
    A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 
    (Royal politics are so complicated sometimes.)

    Music

    Monster by Kanye West ft. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver 
    (I can tell these guys have done some monster-slaying in their time.)
    Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen 
    (I can't really relate to being born in the USA, but the guitar parts are sweet.)
    Billie Jean by Michael Jackson 
    (Who's Billie Jean? Where can I find her? What's her number?)
    Hound Dog by Elvis Presley 
    (This song was about Culain's hound. There's no doubt in my mind.)
    Nuthin' but a "G" Thang by Dr. Dre 
    ("G" stands for "Gaelic.")
    Stayin' Alive by The Bee Gees 
    (There's nothing harder than "stayin' alive" when you're being chased down by dozens of chariots.)
    Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones 
    (My warm-up song before I hop into my chariot.)
    Fight the Power by Public Enemy 
    (In my case, I fought the powers that tried to steal the Brown Bull of Cooley.)

    Movies

    Monsters, Inc. 
    (Why wasn't Culain's hound one of the evil monsters?)
    Above the Law 
    (Steven Seagal was pretty fighting fit here. That's back when he could take me on.)
    Rocky 
    (That run up the stairs isn't even a small part of my training regimen.)
    Superman 
    (This guy has some nice moves.)
    Ondine 
    (You've gotta love Colin Farrell, my grandson to the fortieth degree.)
    The Godfather 
    (This is a family that knew how to take care of business.)
    Dr. No 
    (In my next life, I think I'll be a spy.)
    Hercules 
    (This isn't a traditional hero's journey, but I'll buy it.)

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Mr. Universe competitions
    Miss Universe competitions
    Chariot racing
    Drinking games
    Football (like any good Irishman)
    My biceps

    Interests

    Military history
    Sports science
    Irish studies
    Royal genealogy
    Heraldry

    Groups

    God/Hero Seeking Workout Buddy
    I Hate Dogs 
    Ancient Ireland 
    I'm Irish, Therefore, I Rock 

  • Spotter's Guide

    Cúchulainn's not hard to find. He's the one on the hurling field with the glistening muscles and six-pack abs. Most often, you can find him with his warrior friends from the Red Branch, the royal army of Ulster. He's rarely without a sword or his magical spear, the Gae Bolg, and loves hitting up bars to find his next girlfriend.

    Sex: Male
    Age: Forever young
    Build: Muscular
    Complexion: Reddish. I'm a sweaty warrior, after all.
    Hair Color: Black, but sometimes it looks like it's divided into three different colors: brown, red, and blond. My hair also stands up like a warrior Alfalfa when I'm in my battle rage and I get a little halo of light, courtesy of my dad, Lugh.
    Facial Hair: None
    Scars/marks/tattoos: Some people say I have seven fingers on each hand, seven toes on each foot, and seven pupils in each eye, but even a hero can't handle that many digits!
    Jewelry and accessories: Every hero likes some glitter now and then.
    Clothing: My favorite outfit is a shirt sewn from gold thread. I wear a green cloak over that to look super-sexy.
    Armor: Visor given to me by Manannan mac Lir
    Type of Weapon: Gae Bulg, my sick spear

    Typical Companions

    Conchobar mac Nessa
    Ferdiad
    Laeg
    My other bros-in-arms

    Known Hangouts

    Sports fields
    At King Conchobar's fortress
    The gym

  • Sightings

    Dec 20, 1099 - Dec 20, 1199

    Tain Bo Cuailnge, ak.a. "The Cattle Raid of Cooley"

    Cúchulainn is the star of this epic poem that takes place in the first century BCE. When Queen Medb of Connacht decided to steal Ulster's best bull, he leapt into battle to prevent this crime. Unfortunately, he was also killed. Womp womp.

    Dec 20, 1099 - Dec 20, 1199

    The Wooing of Emer

    This story recounts all the stuff Cúchulainn had to do to win his wife, Emer. Her father wasn't crazy about him, so he gave him a really hard time. Cúchulainn won her in the end, though.

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Feast of Bricriu

    This poem tells the tale of a real champ. At a dinner party, this rascal tried to turn Cúchulainn's brothers and him against each other, telling each of them that they were better than the other. His tricks didn't work, though. At the end, one true champion—Cúchulainn—prevailed.

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Conception of Cúchulainn

    This ancient narrative is the story of Cúchulainn's birth. Like most heroes, he didn't pop out like a normal kid. He was conceived when the god Lugh got down with the king of Ulster's sister.

    Dec 20, 1892

    "Death of Cúchulainn"

    The Irish poet W.B. Yeats took on Cúchulainn, Ireland's greatest hero in this poem. He eulogized Cúchulainn so well that he almost wished he was still alive—just so he could die again and hear all that praise.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Final Fantasy XII

    Cúchulainn can be a bad guy, too. In this Final Fantasy he was once a good dude, but eventually became a nasty enemy of the positive powers.