"Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvelous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror."
, Lords And Ladies
There's a reason they're called The Fair Folk
. And it's not always because it's an accurate description. Sometimes they're called that because their real names would attract unwelcome attention. Because they may be "fair" in the sense of being beautiful. But they're not necessarily "fair" in the sense of being just or kind.
Keep some iron handy. Preferably Thunderbolt Iron
Needs More Examples
There are two versions of this trope:
The Fair Folk
as a whole aren't so bad (though probably still aloof and arrogant), but there's an offshoot or faction that's outright evil
Type 2: The Fair Folk
in general are dangerous beings to be feared or avoided if possible, and the various factions among them differ only in the degree and type of danger.
- This is, really, the original perspective on The Fair Folk. Creatures that demanded tribute, stole children and replaced them with fakes, and just generally displayed Blue and Orange Morality.
- The Elves of Discworld (or rather, the elves from another world who try to invade Lancre) are beautiful, magical beings who project an aura of such pure arrogance that any mere human feels unworthy to oppose them. They hunt people for sport, and try to sneak in by making false promises of power, and charging an extortionate price. To avoid attracting their attention when the boundaries between the worlds are thin, they are referred to by such names as "The Gentry" or "The Lords And Ladies".
- Magic: The Gathering's Lorwyn expansion took the elves in a new direction. The old elves were denizens of the forest who mostly kept to themselves and reveled in the natural beauty of their environment. The Lorwyn elves sought to destroy anyone or anything they considered insufficiently beautiful, and remake the forests to their standards of beauty, regardless of what anyone else wanted or who got hurt. They were also huge fans of poison.
- Then, in a later expansion, when that plane was twisted and plunged into darkness, they flipped again. Still beauty-obsessed zealots, they chose to dedicate themselves to preserving what little beauty remained in their Crapsack World.