5:00 pm EST, November 19, 2016

‘Teen Wolf’ season 6: What is the Wild Hunt and who are the Ghost Riders?

Teen Wolf season 6 just introduced a new mythology and a new villain, so we’re breaking down what we know so far.

What we know so far is…not much. That said, the Wild Hunt is a legend in European folklore, so we can glean some information from mythology and see how it could possibly apply to Teen Wolf season 6.

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What is the Wild Hunt?

teen wolf wild hunt book

The Wild Hunt, a phrase coined by Jacob Grimm, is made up of a group of hunters who are typically elves or fairies, but sometimes they’re also depicted as the dead. There are plenty of different versions of this story, though it seems to have Germanic roots. In North America, the hunters are referred to as Ghost Riders.

There is often one hunter who acts as the leader, but they’re not always identified, and it can be either male or female. The Hunt is either a sign of tragedy to come, like a plague, or an omen of death for the person who witnessed it. It is also used to explain natural phenomena, like freak occurrences in nature. The figures are usually riding horses.

When someone is abducted by the Wild Hunt, they are often taken to the Underworld or a fairy kingdom — neither of which would be easy to escape from. In some instances, the lost soul is also taken to join in on the Hunt.

Who are the Ghost Riders?

teen wolf ghost rider wild hunt gun

When we first see the Ghost Riders on Teen Wolf, we witness them on horses, toting guns with magic bullets. This definitely falls in line with the general description of the members of the Wild Hunt, and even the idea that they’re no longer among the living seems to be a take Teen Wolf is fond of. The Ghost Riders’ faces look a bit like they’ve been mummified.

Right now, all of the Ghost Riders look the same, so there’s no apparent leader. However, we also don’t know the purpose of the Riders yet, so a leader could very well emerge later on. We’ll also have to wait to see if that person is a god or goddess, or if they’re just another lost soul.

Teen Wolf is also pulling from the idea that the Wild Hunt is somehow connected to the weather. We see a storm roll in as they arrive, and the wind always kicks into high gear. Lydia has a vision about getting struck by lightning, and she can’t get the song “Riders on the Storm” out of her head.

The show is certainly pulling from legend while updating and twisting the myth to fit the series, as they are wont to do. It’ll be interesting to see where they intend to deviate from the legend the world is familiar with.

What does this mean for Stiles?

teen wolf jordan parrish hellhound

And everyone else, for that matter! We know other people have been and will continue to be taken, but how will the Ghost Riders affect Beacon Hills, specifically?

For one, it appears they may have been at work before the season even began. In trailers, we see Peter has been taken, too, and some fans theorize he has been there longer than Stiles and is showing him the ropes. Who else has faded from memory, and who might return once the Ghost Riders are defeated?

Before we get anyone back, however, we have to figure out where they went. In legend, it’s usually the Underworld or a fairy kingdom. Since the Riders don’t quite look like fairies, the former may be a more likely place. In the trailers, the place where Stiles is being held sort of looks like a train station, which are sometimes used to portray a place in between life and death.

Think back to Harry Potter and his conversation with Dumbledore at King’s Cross Station. Harry wasn’t really dead, though he wasn’t really alive, either. He could’ve gone on, but he chose to stay and fight. In this way, Stiles feels like he is lost, but not quite forgotten. Perhaps it’ll be up to him as much as it is the rest of the pack to hold onto true reality, the reality in which Stiles still exists.

One more aspect of the Wild Hunt’s introduction into Teen Wolf canon has to do with its affect on Deputy Parrish. When we first heard about the Wild Hunt, it was when we found out Parrish’s true supernatural identity — that of a Hellhound.

In the book Lydia found during season 5, it describes the legend as thus:

“Woden’s Hunt, also known as the Wild Ride or Wild Hunt. A myth of devilish riders in the sky accompanied by black dogs, spectral beasts whose eyes glowed with fire… A Bearer of Death and Guardian of the Supernatural, the black dog is also known by its more common name, the Hellhound.”

Parrish is therefore intrinsically tied to the Ghost Riders, but we’ll have to see if they are able to control him or if he’ll be the key to getting back Stiles and all the other lost souls.

What do you think about the Ghost Riders on ‘Teen Wolf‘ so far?

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