The coastal town of Bristol Cove is renowned for being the mermaid capital of the world. However, it didn’t start out that way. The long history of this sleepy town is complex, tragic, and surprisingly violent. See for yourself the effects of such turmoil in Siren episode 10, and read all about the history of mermaids and humans below.
1. The popular folklore, as told to this day in Bristol Cove, concerns the town’s founder Charles H. Pownall.
It is said that he fell in love with a mermaid - but while this is a sweet tale to tell children, there is an air of simplicity to it that doesn't ring true.
2. The mermaid eventually returned to the sea, which left Charles heartbroken.
However, other accounts differ.
3. Local mermaid folklorist, Helen Hawkins, tells a far different tale - one of madness, betrayal, and blood.
A dreadful and violent story which, if true, stains the entire town red.
4. In this version of the legend, a deranged Charles H. Pownall led his shipmates to slaughter these mesmerizing creatures.
This resulted in their near extinction, which may be the real reason mermaids have remained a myth.
5. Then you have the mermaid version - a tale of a tragedy that occurred when a man and a mermaid fell in love.
Could this have been Charles H. Pownall and his mermaid?
6. They claim that, upon laying eyes on his hybrid child, the human father was driven to madness - which eventually led to a mermaid massacre.
His heinous act forced the mermaid mother to return to the water. But the man, furious that she left, rallied a mob and slaughtered every mermaid he could find until the water ran red.
7. In the present day, a young mermaid convinced her sister to hunt closer to the surface.
8. The history of violence seemed to repeat itself as a captured Donna was subjected to cruel and painful experiments by the US military.
This lead to more bloodshed as the frightened mermaid struggled to escape.
9. In contrast, Ryn found herself with marine biologists, Ben Pownall (a descendant of Charles) and Maddie Bishop, who took care of her.
They taught her all about humans, life on land, and love.
10. Unfortunately, the divide between Ryn and Donna widened and the sisters found themselves on opposite ends of a centuries old conflict.
Donna sided with the mermaids, and believed her sister had chosen the humans over her own people.
11. Donna committed herself to fighting the humans and bringing Ryn home, rallying other mermaids to her cause.
This led to the tragic death of seasoned fisherman and pillar of the Bristol Cove community, Sean McClure, after Donna’s assault on the North Star.
12. Ryn, however, set about learning everything she could about life on land from Ben and Maddie - while also teaching them about her kind.
She came to feel that more violence was not the answer to the mermaids' problems.
13. Donna was shocked when the mermaids she had called upon to bring Ryn home revealed that they hadn't actually come to help her.
To them, even the slightest chance of a mermaid getting close to humans was far too dangerous.
14. This all came to a head during a showdown in the center of town in which humans and mermaids were pitted against one another once again.
Mirroring the actions of their ancestors.
15. Ryn was forced to assert her dominance, becoming the alpha and forging an uneasy peace. Despite this, the battle claimed a casualty.
Blinded by grief, Xander McClure fired his rifle and struck Donna, leaving her in a critical condition.
16. Donna died despite the best efforts of Aldon Decker, who had been enchanted by her song.
After she refused to sing for him on her deathbed, Decker was driven to madness. He later washed up, drowned, on the shores of Bristol Cove.
17. After guiding Ryn to a graveyard where Donna could be laid to rest, Helen Hawkins revealed her true lineage.
Helen revealed that the child from both the human and mermaid mythology actually survived thanks to the help of the Haida who took her into their care. Helen was her last living descendant ... and 1/8 mermaid.
18. However, a more insidious threat took root in the mind of Ben Pownall, as the siren song took its toll on his sanity.
Ryn was unaware of the full power of her song, and if this same mistake was made in the past, it is maybe what drove the town's founder to madness in the first place.
19. Driven to drown himself by the song, Ben was rescued by Ryn, who decided it would be best for his sanity if she were never to see him again.
The mermaid left to live a new life on land, but will Ben be able to stay away from her?
20. No doubt, Ryn's destiny will be part of whatever is next for humans and mermaids.
What do you think season 2 will bring to this next chapter in the history of Bristol Cove?
Relive the entire epic saga of Siren season 1 right here on Freeform.