Created By: benstarwolf on August 19, 2011 Last Edited By: benstarwolf on August 25, 2011
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Land of Faerie

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Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold...The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories"

Faerie, also known as Fairyland or Elfland, is a very specific version of Magical Land. Faerie is Another Dimension of the world we live in but is populated by or ruled by The Fair Folk or Elves. Faerie naturally shares aspects with the Magical Land because Faerie is probably the Ur-Example of the Magical Land.

Faerie is usually accessed through an unseen portal either by accident or following a path that only Fairies/Elves know. It may be inhabited only by The Fair Folk or it may be a Fantastic Nature Reserve ruled by a Queen of the Elves. Or it may be an All Myths Are True place which happens to be called Faerie. It may be stuck in Medieval Stasis (or some earlier time). Sometimes, but not always, time passes slowly within Faerie while time in the real world zooms past. Food Chains are sometimes found in Faerie. Ventures in Faerie are a common part of the Changeling Tale and other tales involving The Fair Folk, wherein a person is lured or trapped there and has to be rescued or escape by their own wits.

Take note that not all Magical Lands are the land of Faerie. Narnia and Neverland are not the same as Faerie.

Examples:

Comics
  • A decaying version features in a Hellboy example of the Changeling Tale.
  • The Sandman
  • Subverted in Seven Soldiers, where "Frankenstein in Fairyland" reveals Fairyland and the Sidhe/Sheeda to be the parasitic dregs of the human race from the Bad Future of One Billion A.D.; the Year Outside, Hour Inside effect is a side effect of being abducted by a race of Time Travellers.
  • In the Thor comics, Fairyland is identical with Svartalfheim in Norse Mythology and can be accessed through the Cotswolds; the Fair Folk are actually Malekith the Accursed and his legions of Dark Elves.
Literature
  • The Borderland series, a Shared Universe of three novels and five anthologies of stories written by various authors and edited by Terri Windling, revolves around Bordertown which lies on the border of the Elflands and the World. The basis of the series is that Faerie has returned to the world and the area around Bordertown is a place where magic and technology only work half the time and with unpredictable outcomes.
  • Discworld has the parasite universe of Fairyland ruled by the Queen of the Elves. There the flow of time has stopped while time on the Disc flies by. Fairyland is a bleak place caught between day and night and stuck in an everlasting winter.
  • In The Dresden Files, Faerie is the region of Nevernever (parallel magical reality encompassing pretty much every mythological location ever) closest to the material world. It is ruled by the Sidhe.
    • Hence why they make regular appearances.
  • The Faerie Queene has Faerie land ruled by the Queen Gloriana whose knights are humans that were Switched at Birth with Changelings.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell featured Faerie as one of the four domains of creation (the others being Heaven, Hell, and Earth), and quite a lot of the story took place there, as several characters were repeatedly taken there for various lengths of time.
  • In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series of novels, Faerie is a sort of interdimensional nexus between universes.
  • In Smith of Wootton Major, by J. R. R. Tolkien, Smith travels to Faery because of a star he swallowed at the Feast of Good Children attaches itself on his forehead. He goes there to adventure throughout his life and meets the Queen of Faery.
    • The land of Aman (or more specifically Eldamar) from Tolkien's Legendarium could be thought of as the land of Faerie, also. After the world is changed and Aman is removed from the Earth, only the Elves know the way back by a path over the sea. There only the gods and the elves live (plus Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, and Gimli).
  • In The Spearwielder's Tale, by R. A. Salvatore, Gary Leger travels to the land of Faerie after he is captured by a leprechaun. Faerie is home to many races: elves (who live in the forest of Tir na Nog), leprechauns, dwarves, gnomes, humans, dragons, etc, etc.
  • In Stardust, Tristran Thorne travels to Faerie by passing through a gap in the Wall in order to find a fallen star for the girl he loves. There he encounters unicorns, fairies, witches, and more. The people of Stormhold may or may not be elves.
Mythology and Folklore
  • Alfheim of Norse Mythology was the land of the Light Elves. Carried over into Scottish and English ballads as Elfhame or Elfland.
  • The otherworld of the old Welsh poem the Preiddu Annwyn contains one of the legendary treasures of the fairies of Celtic mythology and has some features of a fairyland (albeit crossed with elements of the Orphic journey). It seems to be a prototype of the Grail legend, to boot.
  • The story of Thomas the Rhymer, best kbnown now as a Child Ballad, is about Thomas's journey to Elfland and the prophetic gifts he receives there. Interestingly, Elfland is portrayed as a third option between Heaven and Hell.
  • Tir na Nog of Irish Mythology was a the land of supernatural beings that was not easily accessed by mortal man. Mag Mell and Avalon are similar places associated with the Sidhe, despite being Valhalla-like afterlives.
  • The story of Urashima Taro resembles that of Thomas Rhymer, and features a fisherman who spends time in the fairyland-like court of the dragon-god Ryujin and suffers various supernatural effects upon returning to the real world.
Television
  • In Supernatural, fairies (a term that includes fairies, elves, leprechuans, and redcaps live in another dimension called Avalon ruled by Oberon.
  • In True Blood, Sookie finds out that she is part fairy and travels to the (as of yet) unnamed land of the fairies. Despite the beauty of the fairies and their land, it turns out that it is an allusion to lure in humans and that the fairies are more like The Fair Folk.
Theatre Video Games
  • In Dragon Quest V, you have to go to the Fairy World (Which is specifically called such) two times during the plot. The first time is as a child through a magical staircase/portal, during which it's noticed that only children can see the fairies. The second time is much later, and as the plot mentioned, only your children can actually see the fairies initially. The only reason that you could actually find the Fairy World the second time around is because you're following your children, who in turn follow one of the fairies back to her own world.
Web Comics
  • One arc of Tales of the Questor involved dealing with an Unseelie. Meanwhile, some kids he had captured escaped from his castle in Faerie.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • August 19, 2011
    Draxen
    InTrue Blood Sookie is taken to the realm where all the fairies live which looks like a Magical place only to find out that it's a illusion and really a barren waste land.
  • August 19, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Call it Fairy Land. Any other spelling is confusing, and just calling it "Fairy" would confuse with Our Fairies Are Different.
  • August 19, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
    The Fair Folk live in another dimension in Supernatural. Some fans believe this to be Purgatory, alongside other "monsters", but that has not been supported in the series.
  • August 19, 2011
    benstarwolf
    Sorry, I feel that most of the examples called it Faerie. I think only The Land of Faerie would be an appropriate substitute.
  • August 20, 2011
    Koveras
    Faerie is the region of Nevernever (parallel magical reality encompassing pretty much every mythological location ever) closest to the material world in The Dresden Files. It is ruled by the Sidhe.
  • August 20, 2011
    Discovery
    Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream refers to it as Fairyland.
  • August 20, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Calling it that still invites confusion for the creature fairy.
  • August 20, 2011
    Generality
    Ventures in Faerie are a common part of the Changeling Tale and other tales involving The Fair Folk, wherein a person is lured or trapped there and has to be rescued or escape by their own wits.

    • One arc of Tales Of The Questor involved dealing with an Unseelie. Meanwhile, some kids he had captured escaped from his castle in Faerie.
    • Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell featured Faerie as one of the four domains of creation (the others being Heaven, Hell, and Earth), and quite a lot of the story took place there, as several characters were repeatedly taken there for various lengths of time.
  • August 20, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    A major component of the Sandman mythos in several installments.
  • August 20, 2011
    Webby
    I saw this and just assumed it was about fairies in general. I'm seeing many incorrect potholes in the future.
  • August 20, 2011
    benstarwolf
    I added the laconic version to lessen the confusion on the YKTTW thread, but I adamant about the name being Faerie simply because that is what it is. About the incorrect potholes, I am doubtful because most people spell it fairy. People will have to learn the difference between Faerie and fairies and this trope will help them, I hope. Generality, I hope you don't mind me using what you wrote, because I liked it. John Di Fool, could you expand on Sandman and Faerie at little more please, I have yet to read Sandman. It is on my list.
  • August 20, 2011
    Webby
    "Faerie" can also just mean "fairy". It's in the dictionary. Not trying to be difficult or anything, I just don't think it's a very clear name.
  • August 20, 2011
    benstarwolf
    I know. I'm not mad about the name confusion, I'm just trying to get a point across. Naturally, the inhabitants of Faerie are Faeries, but that doesn't make them fairies. This is a naturally confusing subject. Have you ever plowed through the wikipedia pages trying to determine the difference between nymphs, sprites, elves, fairies, the fair folk, goblins, kobolds, brownies, leprechauns, dwarves, gnomes, trolls, ogres, giants, angels, demons, ghouls, ghosts, wights, wraiths, youkai, and everything in between? I have. lol. (It's a lot of fun , if you are into that sort of thing.) The lines between them blur together after a while. So, yeah, naturally there will be some confusion, but I believe Wiki Magic and curiosity will fix everything in the end. (I've already found one pothole that links the words Fairyland to The Fairly Oddparents. That will have to be fixed when this trope is ready.)
  • August 20, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Places called Fairyland in fiction tend to be bright and happy and sugary sweet and very innocent. The inhabitants tend to be nice and sweet and helpful to humans.

    Places called Faerie in fiction tend to be dark and weird and strange and full of Bizarchitecture, madness, strange and alien beings operating on Blue And Orange Morality. The inhabitants tend to be if not malicious to humans, then at least uncaring as to what happens to them. They frequently abduct people and treat mortals as play things.

    They aren't the same trope at all.
  • August 20, 2011
    benstarwolf
    That is simply not true. Read the examples above or read the books they summarize. Fairyland in Discworld is bleak and mean. Faery from Smith of Wooton Major is like Middle-Earth. In Spearwielder's Tale, Faerie is bright and colorful but subject to evils of dragons and sorceresses. Likewise, in Stardust, Faerie is neither bright and cheery nor completely malicious. Of the other examples, I am not familiar enough with the details to support or contradict your statements with them. However, you do completely ignore the Ur Examples of Tir na Nog, Alfhiem, and Avalon, none of which go by the names of Faerie or Fairyland but still fit the trope. Your generalization is very inaccurate.
  • August 20, 2011
    ChocolateChip
    The word "land" needs to be in the title somewhere. Or "world." Just calling it Faerie is very misleading.
  • August 20, 2011
    benstarwolf
    I really just don't like the sound of Fairyland. It is too kitsch. It sounds like Disneyland. Does The Land Of Faerie work for everyone? Is there anyone who likes Faerie? Should we do a poll?
  • August 20, 2011
    Ekuran
    The Land Of Faerie sounds good.
  • August 21, 2011
    Discovery
    You might not even need the "The". Just call it Land Of Faerie.
  • August 21, 2011
    Generality
    I was about to suggest just that. Yeah, Land Of Faerie works fine.
  • August 21, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Another vote for Land Of Faerie

    Also:

  • August 21, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    Land Of Faerie is much better.
  • August 21, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    I'm confused, and agree with shimaspawn above. It Needs A Better Description for those who are less familiar with the trope.

    Instictively, I know what this is, but it's too easy to think of bad examples.
  • August 21, 2011
    benstarwolf
    Title changed. I hope that settles it. I'm satisfied and I hope everyone else is too. Within the article, Faerie should still be used because it is "the land of Faerie" not "The Land of Faerie." I hope that makes sense? Basically, please don't go in and replace every instance of "Faerie" with the Wiki Word "Land Of Faerie."

    On a side note, Auxdarastrix, I hope you don't mind if I leave your example out. If it bears no resemblance to Faerie, it doesn't belong here. Although I want to agree with you, Faerun may simply be a combination of the words Fae and run. As in, 'where the fairies frolic.'
  • August 22, 2011
    Lumpenprole
    In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series of novels, Faerie is a sort of interdimensional nexus between universes.

    BTW: there are people irl who actually have the first name of "Fairy", and they usually use the name "Fae" as a diminutive.
  • August 22, 2011
    benstarwolf
    How's that for a quote? If anyone has something better (and shorter!) please post it in the comments. Anyone have a good picture to use? Feel free to edit it into the draft because I don't know the formatting for pictures. This one isn't bad but we can do better. http://www.berthemorisot.org/painting-Paton,%20Sir%20Joseph%20Noel-The%20Quarrel%20of%20Oberon%20and%20Titania-19782.htm I'm sure there will be a debate about whether the picture should be dark and creepy or bright and gay.
  • August 22, 2011
    Boston
    The Borderlands series (edited by Terry Windling) are all set in a city that borders on the edge of the Faerie Realm.
  • August 23, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Good quote, but I think the full quote is long enough that it should be on quote page. Try abridging it.

    Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold... In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them.
    - JRR Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories"
  • August 23, 2011
    OmarKarindu
    Anime and Manga
    • The Distant Finale scenes in Dragon Ball GT suggest that Goku's afterlife with the dragon functions somewhat like a fairyland. It was likely inspired by the story of Urashima Taro described under Mythology.

    Comics

    Literature
    • Rip Van Winkle visits a variation of Fairyland in the famous story, thus losing years of real-world time.
    • Peter Pan's Neverland is a clear example, being an ageless realm home to Tinkerbell and other fairies.
    • C.S. Lewis's Narnia sequence was influenced by stories of fairylands; Narnia itself is a Christianized example of the trope, especially considering its time-dilating properties.

    Mythology and Folklore
    • The otherworld of the old Welsh poem the Preiddu Annwyn contains one of the legendary treasures of the fairies of Celtic mythology and has some features of a fairyland (albeit crossed with elements of the Orphic journey). It seems to be a prototype of the Grail legend, to boot.
    • The story of Thomas the Rhymer, best kbnown now as a Child Ballad, is about Thomas's journey to Elfland and the prophetic gifts he receives there. Interestingly, Elfland is portrayed as a third option between Heaven and Hell.
    • In the story of Persephone, the Greco-Roman afterlife shares some of the features of fairyland, most notably Food Chains.
    • The story of Urashima Taro resembles that of Thomas Rhymer, and features a fisherman who spends time in the fairyland-like court of the dragon-god Ryujin and suffers various supernatural effects upon returning to the real world.
  • August 23, 2011
    cocoy0
    Tabletop RPG: In the World of Darkness, Faerie is of the Shakespearian type.
  • August 25, 2011
    Antigone3
    Several of Mercedes Lackey's novels (especially The Doubled Edge and SERRAted Edge), call this "Underhill". It's a magical land, and any further details depend on the elf-mage or mages who shaped the specific part you're in.
  • August 25, 2011
    LarryD
    No small part of the confusion come from the fact that this deals with a very old trope, and over time fairies have been Disneyfied (starting long before Disney existed). Faerie is the older spelling, used by people trying to refer to the older tropes.
  • August 25, 2011
    ZombieAladdin
    Toys: Barbie Fairytopia.
  • August 25, 2011
    neobullseye
    • Video Games: In Dragon Quest V, you have to go to the Fairy World (Which is specifically called such) two times during the plot. The first time is as a child through a magical staircase/portal, during which it's noticed that only children can see the Faerie/Fairy. The second time is much later, and as the plot mentioned, only your children can actually see the fairys initially. The only reason that you could actually find the Fairy World the second time around is because you're following your children, who in turn follow one of the Fairys back to her own world.
  • August 25, 2011
    benstarwolf
    Please explain what you mean by the 'Shakespearean type' of Faerie. Shakespear only refers to fairy land, he doesn't describe it. Also, Sandman needs a better explained example than the ones given.

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