Lycaon and classical versipelles in MTV’s Teen Wolf




Teen Wolf, Werewolves, Versipelles, Lycaon, Television series, World-build­ing


The modern conception of the werewolf is heavily influenced by Gothic reinterpretations of medieval European stories. This kind of werewolf is the one that has appeared on screen and written fiction for decades, but MTV’s Teen Wolf, a re-boot of the 1980s film which aired between 2011 – 17, is different. In this young adult supernatural drama, werewolves descend directly from Lycaon, and a substantial proportion of the show’s werewolf lore derives from Graeco-Roman stories about wolf-shifters and versipelles. This paper wants to explore the extent of the use in the show of the myth of Lycaon in particular, of Classical versipelles in general, the significance of these two references for the narrative, and the degree of innovation in modern supernatural fiction of this adaptation of Greek and Roman stories.