Supernatural lore: Leprechauns in the show and real mythology

"Clap Your Hands If You Believe" - Jared Padalecki as Sam, Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL on The CW.Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW©2010 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
"Clap Your Hands If You Believe" - Jared Padalecki as Sam, Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL on The CW.Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW©2010 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Leprechauns were introduced to Supernatural in Season 6. Here’s a look at the show’s mythology and the real lore around the creatures.

In Supernatural Season 6, the leprechaun lore was introduced. While it followed some of the Irish lore you already know, it certainly took on a life of its own. In what is one of the funniest episodes of the series, the leprechaun proved to be a worthy faux. Well, if it wasn’t for the salt!

Here’s a look at the lore surrounding the creature in the series. We all know that Supernatural lore takes on a life of its own, so I’m sharing the real mythology to compare.

Supernatural’s leprechaun lore

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In Season 6, Robert Picardo was introduced as the creature in question. Unknown if they have a “true form,” leprechauns take on the form of a human and are loyal to their own. They’ll kill humans if necessary.

A type of fairy, the leprechaun will make deals but often ask for something difficult in return. In some cases, it’s for the firstborn son of everyone in the area.

They’re difficult to kill with their super strength and ability to teleport in the blink of an eye. They can also hide from plain sight, only appearing to those they want to see them or by those who have been to their home, Avalon.

However, killing can be done through trickery. If a grained substance is poured in front of them, leprechauns are forced to count each individual grain. This could be salt (as used in the series), sugar, sand, or anything with grain. Their weaknesses are also the same as other fairies, especially iron. Since dark fairies can be hurt with silver, it’s likely leprechauns can do.

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The real mythology surrounding leprechauns

Hailed from Irish folklore, leprechauns are a type of fairy. You’ll usually see them now dressed in green, wearing a coat and hat, and usually shown as small and bearded. Leprechauns also tend to be mischievous with a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. When captured, they’re like genies, giving out three wishes in exchange for their freedom.

However, that’s not the original folklore. In some lore, the creatures will wear red (some wear green) and they’re known as trickery fairies. Their main purpose is supposed to be drinking heavily and causing mischief in basements. Like the Trickster, a leprechaun can’t be trusted, although there is plenty of lore surrounding the idea of giving three wishes in exchange for freedom.

The idea of leprechauns in Irish lore now is used as a morality tale. They’re supposed to show the downside of greed and attempting to get rich quick.

In some lore, used in American Gods, the leprechauns can bless people. Those who leave a small amount of food for them — because they’re so busy guarding their gold — will gain blessings, whether it’s people turning a blind eye to their thievery or just to live in peace. Those who stop leaving food or other small tokes will lose the good blessings.

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What did you know about leprechauns in real mythology? Do you look at Supernatural leprechauns differently? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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