Game Freak loves to take inspiration from the real world location of their Pokémon regions, and it’s doubtful Galar will be any different. Britain has so many unique aspects for them to explore. They’ve already began to delve into the culture with Polteageist, the local fauna with Cramorant and the history with Galarian Weezing. These are just a few examples, there’s plenty more! Game Freak also loves mythology; there’s a whole host of Pokémon based on some form of world mythology—plenty probably come to mind. It only makes sense that they should explore the mythology and folklore of the region when devising new concepts. And Impidimp, based on the old Imp, is proof they already have. These little mischievous buggers are remnants of pagan Britain that has famously found their way on to the Lincoln Cathedral. There’s a whole host of creatures originating from the old pagan mythos that just might leave their footprint on Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Surprisingly a lot of ghoulish tales about malevolent water horses recur throughout the region (side note: most of these are technically shape-shifters, but their most common form is equine). They tend to have old Gaelic names so please do not ask me how to pronounce these, I’ve tried – it isn’t easy. The most famous example being the Scottish Kelpie (also the easiest to pronounce); where stories suggest they would drown and devour their victims, perhaps serving as a practical purpose in keeping children away from treacherous water. There’s actually giant sculptures created recently in Falkirk as a homage to the cultural significance of these beasts. There are other less common equivalents: Ceffyl Dwr from Wales that would take flight with a rider before evaporating into mist, dropping the unfortunate rider to their death. And the Each-Uisge (Scottish), Each-Uisce (Ireland) or Cabyll-Ushtey (Manx), tales of these ominous beasts tended to arise in the northern parts of the region and are similar to that of the Kelpie, although they are described as being far more vicious.
With multiple accounts of these monsters, Game Freak may utilize the connection. Could we be getting a Galarian Rapidash or possibly a brand new equine Pokémon? Water type is a given, perhaps paired with Dark or Ghost.
Another malevolent entity that seems to have worked its way throughout the regions mythology is the black dog, usually a nocturnal apparition associated with death and the devil. Different locations had different names for similar creatures. Black Shuck in East Anglia, Capelthwaite in Westmorland and Barghest in Northern England. Now Houndoom does fit the description for these creatures, so whether Houndoom will have an effect on the gameplay or at least a reference to the mythos, we will have to wait and see. It is worth noting that in some descriptions (Black Shuck in particular) they are associated with electrical storms. A Dark/Electric Houndoom perhaps? I’ve heard rumours of a Dark/Ice, but Dark/Electric is just cooler. If someone could attempt this design and post it in the comments, that would be great.
There’s numerous creatures in the British and Irish mythos that I could delve into. Plenty of Forest (green man) and water (Grindylow) spirit’s, plenty of tales of fairies and elves and there’s plenty of tales about Goblins. But I feel I will have to end on a varied group of beasts that have been prevalent in the old legends – and everyone’s favourite mythological creatures – dragons! Where to begin, there’s so many fantastical stories about dragons within legend, too many for me to go into so I’ll try to summarise a couple: First, the tale of St. George and the Dragon, although technically not a British story, he is the Patron Saint of England. He slayed the dragon to save the princess. There’s the Welsh red dragon, appearing on the flag (also the nickname for their sports teams), that fought the invading white dragon, before both were entrapped by King Lludd. Due to their significance, there’s surely got to be statement Dragon type Pokémon, probably another legendary, but *fingers crossed* a dragon type Eevee-lution. I would expect Dragons to play some part in the Galarian Mythos.
Interestingly, there are also many old stories where the dragons are referred to as ‘worms’ (Lambton Worm, Sockburn Worm) due to being limbless snake like creatures. Perhaps this could be the muse for a Galarian Dunsparce and regional evolution. Several people have speculated about this in the past, and it does seem to make sense with the mythos. Is now the time?
I’ve tried to summarise a few recurring mythological creatures of Britain and Ireland, there are numerous amounts of interesting tales, that go into far more detail. These myths have influenced modern culture repeatedly (probably more than you realise). It makes sense for Pokémon to take advantage. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.