Land of Faerie


(permanent link) added: 2011-08-19 22:17:43 sponsor: benstarwolf (last reply: 2011-08-25 19:51:37)

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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.
Webcomics
  • One arc of Tales of the Questor involved dealing with an Unseelie. Meanwhile, some kids he had captured escaped from his castle in Faerie.

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