Worldbuilding

210 – The Fairy World

The Mythcreant Podcast
Keep an iron nail in your pocket and don’t eat the sparkling delicacies left out for you, because we’re going to the fairy world. What are fairies? Folk like you but with a twist, the you that lives on the other side of a loon’s call. How do you reach their world? Just cut through the deepest forest glades, where no path leads, and offer up a dream to the Hedge’s thorns. We talk about all of that and more, plus Wes reads a poem!

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Faye Valentine

Peter Pan

Lord Dunsany

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Oberon

Titania

Puck

King James

Daemonologie

Sir Orfeo

Origin of Cinderella

Changeling the Dreaming

Changeling the Lost

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

The Goblin Market

Morgan le Fey

The Death of Arthur

Mists of Avalon

W.B. Yeats

The Song of Wandering Aengus

Hilda

Tolkien Elves

Artemis Fowl

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Comments

  1. Dvärghundspossen

    In Sweden, way back, people used to believe that fairies could suck the life force out of unbaptized children if you left them unsupervised… The fairies would suck the babies’ fingers, and the children would grow gradually weaker and thinner and eventually die. That’s some creepy shit.

  2. Dvärghundspossen

    Also: There’s this old myth from the village where I grew up, about a little black elf with a gold treasure. He was supposed to be very small, and riding around in a cart pulled by a black chicken. If you saw him, and managed to follow him to his home without closing your eyes even once, you’d get his treasure. But if you closed your eyes even for a millisecond he’d disappear.

    I think there are versions of this myth all over the place.

    • Deana

      I like your version better. The Scotch-Irish one I grew up with has the sidhe capturing your soul if you took your eyes off him/her/it. Gender was always somewhat flexible when it comes to sidhe.

  3. Dvärghundspossen

    In Scandinavia, we also have this old ballad called “Mister Olof and the fairies”.

    The story goes like this: Mister Olof is out horse-riding, basically just minding his own business when he stumbles upon a fairy dance party. The fairy princess asks that he dances with her, but Olof says he can’t possibly do that since he’s getting married the next day (I’m not sure if “dancing” is a euphemism?). The fairy princess gets pissed off, Olof tries to get the hell out of there as fast as he can on his horse, but she hurls a curse after him, and he gets sick. Shortly after he’s returned home to his mum he dies. Then his mum also dies. The next day his fiancée wonders why he doesn’t show up at church for their wedding. She goes to his house to check on him, and then the curse hits her too and she dies as well.
    The end.

    I’ve always suspected poor Olof was in a no-win scenario as soon as the fairy princess laid eyes on him. Things would likely not have gone well if he HAD danced with her either.

    • Cay Reet

      There’s actually a German poem about this story as well. That poor guy had no chance to survive it.

  4. Sam Victors

    The story I’m currently writing is set in Otherworld, which is basically Fairyland.

    This story of mine is similar to Labyrinth, but is a somewhat loose retelling of an Andersen Fairy Tale. In this Fairy Otherworld, there are different species/classes of Fairies/Fays, the Common Fairies are traditionally called the Fair Folk, with more than one Monarch.

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