Created By: jatay3 on January 10, 2013 Last Edited By: Agares on January 12, 2014

Fairy Noble

A Lord or Lady of Fairies

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
This is a Fairy that comes in the form of a majestic and aristocratic figure. Often female. Midway between The Fair Folk and Tolkien style elves, he or she has the majesty of the latter but the mystery of the former. Often called "the lady of whatever". This kind can either be benevolent or malevolent depending on the author's wishes but are not folks to be crossed either way. If you win the favour of one, it might have vague(usually implied rather then blatantly stated by the author) relations to Fairy Sexy. But don't bring that up until then. They don't like impertinence.

Compare Supernatural Elite. Also compare The High Queen.


Examples

Film

Literature
  • The Lady in Daughter of the Forest. She appears as Sorcha's patron and directs her in how to release her brothers from the spell.
  • The title character of Spenser's The Faerie Queene. Generally thought to have been an allegory for Elizabeth I; because, you know, even great authors do need promotions when they do civil service work.
  • Luthien first appears to Beren as this in The Silmarillion. At that time he is a Shell-Shocked Veteran after his long journey. Luthien appears as a mysterious young maiden dancing in the forest.
  • The fairy royalty in The Iron King series qualifies, there are Oberon and Titania as the Summer King and Queen, Mab as the Winter Queen, played with Leanansidhe since her "Queen of the Exiles" title is self-proclaimed, and later on Meghan as the Iron Queen
  • In War for the Oaks, both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts are ruled by their own respective Queens of the Fairies.
  • The Faerie Queene in Sir Walter Scott's ballad Thomas The Rhymer, later set to music by folk-rockers Steeleye Span.
    True Thomas sat on Huntley Bank'
    When he beheld a lady gay;
    In manner she was brisk and bold,
    Come riding oe'r the ferney brae;
    Her skirt was of the grass-green silk,
    Her mantle of the velvet fine;
    At every lock of her horse's mane
    Hung sixty silver bells and nine....
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the chaotic, malevolent, mslicious Elves seen in Lords and Ladies and "The Wee Free Men''. The Elf Queen is vicious, imerious, capricious and not nice to meet. Her lieutenant, Lord Lankin, is a psychopath who commands and demands respect. The King of the Elves is loud, rumbustious, undeniably male, and slow to grasp current realities on the Disc. There are also the Wee Men themselves, the rioting, chaotic, Nac Mac Feegle, whose clans each have a Queen, called a Kelda, who is generally wise, motherly, thoughtful and somewhat regal, in her own way. '
  • The Courts of the Fae, Queen Mab in particular, play a fairly large role in the overall story arc of The Dresden Files.
  • Alan Garner's fantasy novel The Moon of Gomrath introduces traditional British Elves (based on Nordic and Celtic mythology) the lios-alfar. Their king Atlendor is haughty, imperious, and a little bit stiff-necked and pompous. As humans in Britain have industrialised, pollution, the smoke-sickness, has forced Elves to flee to the barren mountains - Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands. He is consequently no friend of humans.

Live-Action TV
  • In Lost Girl, the Ash rules the Light Fae, and the Morrigan rules the Dark; both in a very feudal manner. Also, Trick, the bartender, was once a ruler, and is still referred to as The Blood King by some.

Theater

Religion and Mythology
  • The Lady of the Lake in the King Arthur legends.
  • Queen Mab was the traditional Queen of the Fairies - I think she features in Spenser's poem The Faerie Queene. Confusingly, Lords and Ladies is another name for all fairies, as referred to in Terry Pratchett's novel.

Video Games
  • Odin Sphere has Queen Elfaria and technically her daughter Mercedes. One could also count Melvin, who, while not a royal, is still the Leader of the Black Knights and a noble among the fairies.

Webcomics

  • The "Wild Hunt" arc of Tales Of The Questor centered around an Unseleighe princeling extorting a king's ransom from a small duchy for fun. Or so it seemed until Quentyn threw a Spanner In The Works and it turned out he was just a minor courtier trying to gain status by restoring one of the court's former hunting grounds.
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • January 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In A Midsummer Nights Dream Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the fairies.
  • January 10, 2013
    wotnoplot
    Queen Mab was the traditional Queen of the Fairies-I think she features in Spenser's poem The Faerie Queene. Confusingly, Lords and Ladies is another name for all fairies, as referred to in Terry Pratchett's novel.
  • January 10, 2013
    Onitatsu
    Odin Sphere has Queen Elfaria and technically her daughter Mercedes. One could also count Melvin, who, while not a royal, is still the Leader of the Black Knights and a noble among the fairies.
  • January 10, 2013
    RoseBride
    The fairy royalty in The Iron King series qualifies, there are Oberon and Titania as the Summer King and Queen, Mab as the Winter Queen, played with Leanansidhe since her "Queen of the Exiles" title is self-proclaimed, and later on Meghan as the Iron Queen
  • January 10, 2013
    AgProv
    The Faerie Queene in Sir Walter Scott's ballad Thomas The Rhymer, later set to music by folk-rockers Steeleye Span.

    True Thomas sat on Huntley Bank'
    When he beheld a lady gay;
    In manner she was brisk and bold,
    Come riding oe'r the ferney brae;
    Her skirt was of the grass-green silk,
    Her mantle of the velvet fine;
    At every lock of her horse's mane
    Hung sixty silver bells and nine....
  • January 10, 2013
    Earnest
    I may be the only one who did this, but I parsed the title as "honorable fairy". Maybe call this Fairy Aristocrat? Heck, even Fairy Noble would avoid that problem.
  • January 10, 2013
    Xtifr
    Literature:
    • In War For The Oaks, both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts are ruled by their own respective Queens of the Fairies.

    Live Action TV:
    • In Lost Girl, the Ash rules the Light Fae, and the Morrigan rules the Dark; both in a very feudal manner. Also, Trick, the bartender, was once a ruler, and is still referred to as The Blood King by some.
  • January 10, 2013
    Ekuran
  • January 10, 2013
    nitrokitty
    • The Courts of the Fae, Queen Mab in particular, play a fairly large role in the overall story arc of The Dresden Files.
  • January 11, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature: in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the chaotic, malevolent, mslicious Elves seen in Lords and Ladies and "The Wee Free Men''. The Elf Queen is vicious, imerious, capricious and not nice to meet. Her lieutenant, Lord Lankin, is a psychopath who commands and demands respect. The King of the Elves is loud, rumbustious, undeniably male, and slow to grasp current realities on the Disc. There are also the Wee Men themselves, the rioting, chaotic, Nac Mac Feegle, whose clans each have a Queen, called a Kelda, who is generally wise, motherly, thoughtful and somewhat regal, in her own way.
  • January 11, 2013
    Arivne
    Italicized and (where possible) Namespaced the work titles in the OP examples.
  • January 11, 2013
    AgProv
    Alan Garner's fantasy novel The Moon of Gomrath introduces traditional British Elves (based on Nordic and Celtic mythology) the lios-alfar. Their king Atlendor is haughty, imperious, and a little bit stiff-necked and pompous. As humans in Britain have industrialised, pollution, the smoke-sickness, has forced Elves to flee to the barren mountains - Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands. He is consequently no friend of humans.
  • January 11, 2013
    jatay3
    Fairy noble, or Fairy aristocrat is closer. The problem with "honorable" fairy is that a fairy noble may be trying to seduce you as prelude to taking you for a slave. Or may indeed be benevolent. You can't tell. Whereas an "honorable" fairy would be honorable.
  • January 11, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Noble Fairy doesn't work, sounds too much like Noble Demon.

    Fairy Noble, on the other hand, could work.
  • January 11, 2013
    Xtifr
    Edited to clean up some of the markup, wicking, etc., that got lost when copying examples.

    Jatay3: when you're copying an example from a comment, you can click on the little pencil next to the comment to get the raw wiki-text, so you don't lose namespaces, italics, potholes, and the like. Just click the pencil a second time to hide the markup again once you're done.
  • January 12, 2013
    jastay3
    bump
  • January 12, 2013
    peccantis
    Faerie Court for the general idea of faeries having royals and nobles?
  • January 14, 2013
    Xtifr
    Literature:
    • In Tom Holt's JW Wells And Co series, the Queen of the Fairies is one of the senior partners at J.W. Wells. Her plans for humankind are not pleasant.
  • January 15, 2013
    Xtifr
    While I'm at it: I don't think the Lady of the Lake really fits--she was much too ambiguous of a character (if you can really call a hand sticking out of the water a "character"). Also, the entry for Queen Mab needs to be rewritten--we do not use first-person in examples!
  • January 15, 2013
    jatay3
    One problem is that we have two conflicting concepts; a fey that behaves in an aristocratic manner(but doesn't give any indication of having any authority in Fairy land) and a fey who is a member of a fey nobility, but is not particularly aristocratic in manner.
  • January 15, 2013
    jatay3
    What I had in mind at first was the sort of phantasmal lady that appears before a knight when he goes through The Lost Woods.
  • January 15, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Webcomics
    • The "Wild Hunt" arc of Tales Of The Questor centered around an Unseleighe princeling extorting a king's ransom from a small duchy for fun. Or so it seemed until Quentyn threw a Spanner In The Works and it turned out he was just a minor courtier trying to gain status by restoring one of the court's former hunting grounds.
  • January 15, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Fai Films' Ferngully The Last Rainforest from 1992 featured Magi Lune as the fairy equivalent of the Wise Woman; her powers greatly surpass those of other fairies. Krysta's father acts as the spokesman for the fairies gathered around Zak's tape player.
  • January 11, 2014
    DAN004
    Would Galadriel and (maybe) Lord Elrond count? (The Lord Of The Rings)
  • January 11, 2014
    aurora369
    Nope, they are too explained to count as "fairy". Except maybe through the eyes of an illiterate Rohirric soldier who doesn't know shit about Silms and schmilms, they will count.
  • January 12, 2014
    randomsurfer
    • In the Land Of Oz Princess Ozma, the ruler of Oz, is an immortal fairy. Since the author was loose on continuity it isn't clear whether her father/predecessor was a fairy or not.
  • January 12, 2014
    JonnyB
    Would Prince Nuada and Princess Nuala from Hellboy 2 count? They're elves, but sort of lords of all the fey folk.
  • January 12, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ Non-Tolkien elves usually are fey.
  • January 12, 2014
    Alucard
    The Faery Lord in Folklore has all the makings of this trope, with his regal clothing and his towering over the other fae that he leads. However, the reason they look so stereotypical is because Faeries in the world of Folklore are really just representations of what humans think faeries should look like, with all these thoughts pooling in a place known as the Netherworld (a reflection of people's idea of an afterlife). The Faery realm comes from an age of myth, when people most believed in a happy afterlife.
  • January 12, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    Jareth from Labyrinth is technically King of the Goblins, but because he is played by David Bowie in full glam rock-new romantic mode fits the archetype of Fairy Queen.
  • January 12, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ It's noted under Our Goblins Are Different that there's very little difference between goblins of folklore and Fae.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=eqvnj1o9ki0z6dyp6emscebo