Emergence Magazine

The Lindworm

A Story Told by Martin Shaw

In this short film, mythologist, author, and storyteller Martin Shaw tells the old Norwegian story of “The Lindworm,” a mythical creature that is part human and part snake. This ancient tale poses a timely question: what have we exiled that returns to us in fury? This telling of “The Lindworm” reminds us of the enduring wisdom of this timeless myth and of our often fraught and fearful relationship with the wild.


Martin Shaw is a writer, artist, teacher, and mythologist. His books include: Smoke Hole, Courting the Wild Twin, Wolf Milk: Chthonic Memory in the Deep Wild, The Night Wages, and A Branch from the Lightning Tree. Shaw’s translations of Celtic folklore and poetry (with Tony Hoagland) have been published in Poetry International, The Mississippi Review, Poetry Magazine, Orion, and Kenyon Review. He is the founder of the Westcountry School of Myth, a learning community located on Dartmoor in the far west of the United Kingdom.


Tareq Mirza is an illustrator, painter, and animator. His work in computer graphics and visual effects can be seen in the films Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Van Helsing. From his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tareq is currently exploring the convergence of 3D-printing technology with traditional sculpture and metalwork. He works as the Organic Modeling Lead at the Academy of Art University.

Director & Producer

Adam Loften is a filmmaker and producer of documentary films, virtual reality experiences, and podcasts. His work has been nominated for Emmy and Peabody Awards and featured on PBS, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and The New York Times.

Director & Producer

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee is an Emmy- and Peabody Award–nominated filmmaker and a Sufi teacher. His films include: Earthrise, Sanctuaries of Silence, The Atomic Tree, Counter Mapping, Marie’s Dictionary, and Elemental. His films have been screened at New York Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, SXSW, and Hot Docs, exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum, and featured on PBS POV, National Geographic, and New York Times Op-Docs. He is the founder and executive editor of Emergence Magazine.


Directed & Produced by Adam Loften & Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Editing & Cinematography by Adam Loften
Illustrations by Tareq Mirza
Original music by Matthew Atticus Berger
Animation by Samplistic Media
Sound recording by Chris Madera
Sound mix by Ben Suliteanu

Mud and Antler Bone
Related Interview

Mud and Antler Bone

An Interview with Martin Shaw Open story

In this interview, Martin Shaw offers an extended reflection on the intelligence that lies at the heart of myths. The best stories, he says, ought to be trailed not trapped, and approached with discernment, an open heart, and an attuned ear. He began our conversation by telling the story of “The Lindworm,” an old Norwegian tale about a mythical creature that is part human and part snake.

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