Leshii or Leshy: The Slavic mythology behind the Supernatural lore

Supernatural -- "Fallen Idols" -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "Fallen Idols" -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

Supernatural Season 5 brought Paris Hilton in as a pagan god called Leshii. What is the real Slavic mythology behind the show’s lore?

Paris Hilton guest starred in Supernatural Season 5, Episode 5 as a pagan god. Leshii (sometimes spelled Leshy) was a god that chose to live as different celebrities after being kicked out of her home. Just what is the real Slavic mythology behind the Supernatural lore?

As you know, most of the show’s lore is based on something in real lore. However, there are always twists to that lore, and that’s certainly the case for Leshii.

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The Supernatural lore

In Season 5, Leshii was kicked out of her Eastern European home. The forest was destroyed, forcing the pagan god to head over to the States to find a new home. She chose to live as different celebrities, allowing her to hide her own look from the world as she killed humans to survive on their blood.

Similarly to the pagan god in “Scarecrow,” Leshii would make pacts with farmers. For a sacrifice, she would ensure the crops were good. Part of the sacrifice would often involve the farmers themselves. As the farmers were forced from their land, Leshii found a new way to get humans to sacrifice themselves: through the form of the celebrities they admire.

These celebrities didn’t have to be real. James Dean’s car, Gandhi, and Abraham Lincoln were all on the list of celebrities that fed from the victims.

Supernatural — “Fallen Idols” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — “Fallen Idols” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Russian/Slavic Leshii lore

In real mythology, Leshii was a male Russian forest guardian. In fact, there were a number of the guardians, according to Occult-World.com. When trees were cut down, the guardians would weep.

Lore states that the Leshii would gamble forest animals, which would lead to the large migration of forest animals now and then. They can also be trickster spirits, which certainly suggests why the Leshii in Supernatural enjoys taking the form of celebrities. It is a form of trickery in a way. However, the Leshii in mythology take on some of the wendigo lore — mimicking voices and sounds to lure lost people to them.

There’s also a connection to the changeling lore, as the Leshii sometimes leave their forest homes to lure children away. They can also take women and marry them, trapping women in unhappy unions. It’s possible to escape a Leshii by not eating his food, and those that do escape, look disheveled.

Something connects slightly to Supernatural was the Leshii insisting that crosses be removed. The guardians would refuse to accommodate other religions and beliefs, forcing the hunters seeking protection to swear allegiance only to them. In the series, the Leshii took on the form of celebrities to become the “gods” that people would worship, adding the twist to the lore.

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What did you know about the Leshii lore? What did you love about Paris Hilton’s depiction of the god? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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