All the Yule Lads answer to Grýla, their mother. She predates the Yule Lads in Icelandic legend as the ogress who kidnaps, cooks, and eats children who don’t obey their parents.
She only became associated with Christmas in the 17th century, when she was assigned to be the mother of the Yule Lads. According to legend, Grýla had three different husbands and 72 children, all who caused trouble ranging from harmless mischief to murder. As if the household wasn’t crowded enough, the Yule Cat also lives with Grýla.
She has the ability to detect children who are misbehaving year-round. During Christmas time, she comes from the mountains to search nearby towns for her meal.
She leaves her cave and hunts for the children. She devours children as her favorite snack. Her favorite dish is a stew of naughty kids and she had an insatiable appetite. According to legends, there was never a shortage of food for Gryla…