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Nature Spirit

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"I speak for the trees! Let 'em grow, let 'em grow!
But nobody listens too much, don't you know?
I speak for the trees, and I'll yell and I'll shout
For the fine things on Earth that are on their way out!
They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past,
But sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!
They say I'm a fool to oppose things like these,
But I'm going to continue to speak for the trees!"
The Lorax, Dr. SeussThe Lorax

The Nature Spirit is a mythical being with a direct tie to nature. This includes your standard fairies, sprites, dryads, nymphs, and occasionally even deities. Usually found in Ghibli Hills, and they may be a type of Genius Loci if they're tied to a specific places (frequently a valley or a forest, though dryads are traditionally connected to a particular tree and naïads are tied to a specific body of water).

The exact origin and motivation of the Nature Spirit varies widely. One may be a kind and gentle Spirit Advisor living in peace and harmony, or it may be dangerous, uncompromising Well-Intentioned Extremist determined to defend nature against man's destruction. The most extreme example of the latter results in Gaia's Vengeance. Some may be disquietingly neutral, largely unconcerned with human affairs and living only in areas humans seldom tread. They may also be very old, to the point of being a Time Abyss, to emphasize how insignificant human affairs are.

For the human version, see Nature Hero. Cernunnos is often depicted as a being of this sort. Mix the Nature Spirit with Anthropomorphic Personification and you get Mother Nature dressed in a Garden Garment. Elemental Embodiments and Alchemic Elementals are Nature Spirits of a specific element. Occasionally, that virtuous nature-loving human may be promoted to a Nature Spirit upon death, or when the plot demands it. If there are spirits for other aspects of existence, they can make up the Magical Underpinnings of Reality.

This is Older Than Dirt; many of the oldest human myths feature magical beings with close ties to nature, such as several cosmic and riverine Egyptian gods.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Amatsuki: Many of the demons are connected to nature, particularly the tree guardians like Tsuyukusa.
  • Berserk: A lot of Schierke's magic has to do with summoning and manipulating nature spirits, and her strongest spells involve a powerful spirit possessing her and using her body as a medium to unleash their power. The magic items she gives to the rest of the party are also enchanted by numerous nature sprites, from which they derive their power. For this reason, Schierke tends to love nature and dislikes industry and cities, since there aren't a whole lot of nature spirits in urban areas.
  • Digimon: Many female Digimon invoke this. Special mention goes to the Fairy Types Lillymon, Lilamon and Rosemon and the God Man Type Ceresmon Medium.
  • Nasuverse: This trope is integral to the setting. In fact, it goes out of its way to separate Nature Spirits (who came from Gaia) and Phantasmal Beasts (coming from Alaya).
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Pokémon in general can be considered nature spirits, since many of them have powers over plants and water. This is most prevalent with Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, who are depicted as demi-gods watching over the wildlife and whose absence can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.
    • Celebi in Pokémon 4Ever, as well as an episode each of the main anime and the Pokémon Chronicles spinoff, are called voices of the forest that can travel through time and can rejuvanate plant life and heal wounds (to the point of reviving the dead).

    Comic Books 
  • When he was originally conceived, Swamp Thing was a scientist who was transformed into a plant monster. However, later versions would turn the character into a nature spirit, giving him a connection to "The Green," the elemental force which connects all plant life on Earth.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Buried Moon": The title character is a personification of, well, guess.
  • "The Nix in the Mill-Pond": The titular Nixie is a malicious water spirit. She traps a man in her pond, and when he is rescued by his wife, the Nixie revengefully floods the whole countryside.
  • In Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's "The Three Flowers", the three huntsmen find a tiny wood sprite living in and abandoned cottage in the middle of a huge fores. In exchange for being left alone, the wood sprite helps them find their sister.
  • In the Cuban Story "The Lime of Almendares", the beautiful seductive Soyan Dekin ends up becoming the personification of the River Almendares because of a jealous lovers curse.

    Fan Works 
  • The Assumption Of Applejack-or-Appletheosis: It's eventually discovered that, similar to how Celestia is goddess of the sun and Luna goddess of the moon, Applejack is a goddess of the earth.
  • The Queen's Consort: The fairies act as this, charged with managing the four seasons and various other facets of nature (day, night, sky, etc.)
    • Elsa, current Queen of Winter.
    • Queen Summer.
    • Queen Autumn.
    • Queen Spring.
    • Maleficent, Queen of Night.
    • Rapunzel, Queen of Daylight.
    • Peter Pan, King of the Sky.
    • Robin Hood, King of the Wilds.
    • There is mention of a "Goddess of the Seasons", but she is never actually seen or given detail to, merely being a deity that the fairies worship.
  • Summer and Winter: Jack is the Spirit of Winter. Ace is the Spirit of Summer. Mother Nature is their matriarch. There are also Spirits of Spring and Fall though they are never seen.

    Films — Animation 
  • Epic (2013): The Leafmen are guardians of their forest, although the actual magical one is Queen Tara, being capable of bringing countless plants to life with little more than a passing glance. Any plant in her immediate vicinity will move to grant her safe passage wherever she needs to go, she can control plants defensively and offensively, and even the trees shield her dying form from a thunder storm.
  • Fantasia 2000: "The Firebird Suite" features the Spring Sprite, an embodiment and kindler of spring, growth and renewal, and the Firebird, a spirit of flame and destruction.
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest: Crysta and the other fairies. Hexus on the other hand is a spiritual embodiment of destruction and chaos.
  • In Frozen II, the elemental spirits each represent one of the four classical elements of nature: water, earth, air, and fire.
  • Mavka: The Forest Song: Mavka is the soul of the forest in Ukraine (the film is based off Slavic Mythology), and there are several other protective spirits of nature like her manifesting in various shapes, from nymphs all the way to sentient trees.
  • Studio Ghibli:
  • The Secret of Kells: Aisling is an embodiment of the forest itself combined with being one of The Fair Folk.
  • The Ugly Duckling: The Winds of Winter and Frost, respectively a trio of animated clouds and an imp-like humanoid made of ice crystals, are the personifications of bitter weather and icy gales of winter and all the hardships of the year's harshest season.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avatar: Eywa — the Na'vi's creator goddess — starts off in harmony with Pandora's native inhabitants, but becomes ticked off when humans attack and rallies the forces of nature against them.
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the elf-prince Nuada sends out a forest god against Hellboy & co. It begins as a bean, and grows substantially when it hits the water...
  • The Hollow Child: The Hollow Ones live in the woods, with a grudge against humanity for depleting it. In their natural form they have barklike skin and wear leaf masks. Their victims are also held captive inside trees.
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: While influenced by the snake's venom, Arthur can see dryads peering out of trees at him.
  • Wendy: Mother, the island spirit who appears in the form of a fish but also seems to be connected with the volcano.

  • The Burning Kingdoms: The Yaksa, spirits which live in the forest, water and other natural settings.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Almost every tree, rock and landscape feature in Narnia seems to have its own attendant spirit, which emerge from the background mostly in Prince Caspian and The Last Battle.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: The Wraiths of Andelain are noncorporeal beings that help to safeguard the region of Andelain from harm.
  • Cradle Series: Lil' Blue is a "sylvan riverseed", the result of the aura in an area being perfectly balanced in just the right ways. There are apparently ways to use her in magical item creations, but Lindon instead feeds her madra, allowing her to grow more powerful, until she's strong enough to use a powerful version of Healing Hands.
  • The Dark Tower has the twelve Guardians of the Beams, who manifest as a bear, turtle, lion, hare, elephant, bat, horse, snake, fish, bird, wolf, and rat. And they're apparently cyborgs. It's left ambiguous as to whether the cyborgs are the original spirits (and thus inspired the legends), or are replacements for the beings which departed when the magic went away.
  • Discworld:
    • The Discworld has dryads, at least in The Colour of Magic, who live in pocket dimensions within and are extremely protective of their trees. Since they're stated to be vanishingly rare, it's possible their absence from later books is because they're extinct. They're also unusual in that they aren't Always Female; as the female dryad Druella puts it "Where do you think acorns come from?"
    • The Light Fantastic has a passing mention of Umcherrel, the Soul of the Forest, as one of the beings shamans believe in.
    • In addition, the Discworld has its own version of faeries. Forget Tinkerbell, though — the Discworld's fae are xenophobic, capricious and vain, constantly watching for an opportunity to invade the Disc and extinguish the 'inferior mortal beings' living there.
  • The Dresden Files: Numerous spirits exist in the series, their exact power range varying from entity to entity. Harry occasionally summons some for information.
    • The fey of the Summer Court and Winter Court are extremely powerful. Summer's magic mostly pertains to earth, fire, and light, but also to life and renewal. The Winter Court rule water, air, and darkness. Harry despairs when he has to match wits with a gruff sorcerer (of the Three Billy Goats Gruff tale and an agent of Summer) who has three trophies from three Senior Council wizards he has killed.
    • There are also wyldfae, spirits who don't live under the Queens and Courts. Some instead follow the Erlking, king of the goblins, for more Summer aligned fae, and Kringle, a truly Badass Santa, for the more Winter aligned. Both, however, represent the hunters in nature and every year ride out on Halloween in The Wild Hunt.
  • In The Dryad Tree, by Thomas Burnett Swann, a newlywed bride becomes convinced that the tree in her husband's garden is possessed by a jealous dryad.
  • Everybody Loves Large Chests: Dryads are powerful spirits present in the elven Ishgar Republic. Each one is tied to a mighty, magical Hylt tree, which acts as an extension of their own bodies, and vice-versa. Most Dryads are seldom seen, if ever, because they spend thousands of years at a time asleep until something rouses them, but once awake, they're so powerful that appealing to their wants and needs is a good way to get an eternally protective ally, and angering them is likely to be the last mistake you'll ever make.
  • The Great God Pan has an extremely dark portrayal. Helen Vaughan is the daughter of Pan, the Greek god of nature. Machen depicts him as an Eldritch Abomination linked to Satan. Don't go in the woods with Helen.
  • The Heartstrikers: Most spirits are like this. They generally come in two broad categories; "spirits of the land" (spirits of physical features like lakes or mountains) and "animal spirits" (spirits of animal species like wolves and ravens). All spirits are immortal as long as their vessels survive, which means that even the youngest spirits were thousands of years old by the time humans evolved. Spirits can also shift domains a bit without losing themselves. For example, Algonquin was once the spirit of a massive prehistoric lake, but roughly twenty thousand years ago glaciers split her into the Great Lakes. She retains her memories and personality from the millions of years before the glaciers. She is also the Big Bad for most of the series, as she hates humans for polluting her waters, and on the night magic returned she destroyed Detroit by drowning the city in all the poison that had accumulated while she slept.
  • I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level is set in a Magical Land where humanoid (or non-humanoid) spirits can form out of almost any natural feature. Even among water spirits, there are puddle spirits, droplet spirits, hot spring spirits, river spirits, deep-ocean spirits, and on and on. The protagonist's adoptive daughters are twin slime spirits.
  • The Lorax: The titular Lorax appears to be some kind of protector or tutelary warden of his forest; he watches over it and speaks and acts in its defense, and departs once its felled.
  • In James Herbert's Once, the elemental faerfolkis' nurture of nature enables the planet to support life.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has many nature spirits, following the ancient Greek myths. There are of course dryads and water nymphs, as well as satyrs who are tied to nature as a whole. However, Pan, God of the Wild, has gone missing, so these nature spirits are suffering and have put their last hopes on finding him. Grover eventually does; Pan explains that it is up to him and the rest of life to protect the environment, and dies. River gods are present as well, including the gods of the East and Hudson Rivers.
  • The Search for Delicious:
    • The woldweller lives in a tree in the exact center of the forest. His clothes and skin are the color of bark. His job is to look after the woods, and he's angered by clumsy humans who break branches while they walk.
    • The winds take the form of a small storm with disembodied voices speaking together. They control all the weather in the kingdom.
  • The Stormlight Archive: There are, in general, two types of Spren: those drawn to emotion and those drawn to nature. They're all splinters of the Shards Honor and Cultivation, with the former being more Honor and the latter being more Cultivation. Most Spren are unintelligent, but at the beginning of the series Kaladin is shocked when a windspren starts holding a conversation with him. It's not uncommon for windspren to speak, but never more than a few meaningless words as part of a prank. Kaladin quickly finds "Syl" becoming more and more intelligent, providing him advice and encouraging him to do the right thing. She is actually an honorspren, feeding off his own honor in exchange for Surgebinding. Without the bond, she is basically just a windspren.
  • Survivor Dogs: Dogs worship Spirit-Dogs. They're Anthropomorphic Personifications of nature, such as the Sky-Dogs, the Forest-Dog, the Earth-Dog, and Wildfire.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed (1998) has the Wood Nymphs, creatures that use their magic to make nature grow. Their presence causes flowers to bloom. They're also guardians of the Eternal Spring, whose waters make their drinker immortal. Other Nature Spirits such as gnomes and garden fairies are alluded to in various episodes.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Mother Gothel is a rare evil example. She's the last tree nymph left after magic-hating humans slaughtered the rest of her tribe; she uses a combination of her original plant magic and an arsenal of later-acquired dark magic to attempt to wipe out humanity itself in revenge.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers Turbo; a mysterious young boy named Erutan (read it backwards) lives in the forest, using magic to drive away litterbugs and vandals, although he needs to be rescued when the Monster of the Week targets the forest itself.
    • Power Rangers Wild Force — like its Japanese counterpart, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger — had the Rangers receive the power of the Great Beasts, powerful spirits representing nature and animal-kind, to fight against the Orgs, spirits of corruption and pollution. Gaoranger was more explicit about this, with the Orgs basically being corrupted nature spirits.

    Myths & Religion 
  • All pagan and shamanic mythologies feature nature spirits in one form or another, since they are important holdovers from animism, an earlier form of spirituality upon which shamanism and paganism are based, where every part of nature is perceived as having its own animating spirit.
  • Elves and fairies in different shapes and forms are frequent staples of European folklore, typically inhabiting wildernesses and unusual land formations.
  • Brazilian Folklore is crowded with entities whose primary function is to protect nature and punish those who defile it. Caipora and Curupira are the most common. The less known Comadre Fulozinha is basically what happens when you mix this trope with an Onryo. Iara and Cabeça de Cuia (Gourd-head) are pretectors of specific rivers.
  • Classical Mythology has a considerable variety of spirits associated with nature, ranging from nymphs such as naiads and dryads to gods such as Helios and Luna and all the way up to vast cosmic gods like Gaia (the earth), Ouranos (the sky), Pontus and Thalassa (the oceans), Erebos (darkness), Nyx (night), and Hemera (day). There are also other nature spirits such as karpoi (grain and fruit spirits), satyrs, and potamoi (river spirits and the male equivalents to naiads).
  • Japanese Mythology: Some kami are spirits of natural features like trees or rivers. In fact, it might be more accurate to describe kami rather than the term "god".
  • In Norse Mythology the spirits of the land were called landvættir. They protected and nourished their domain, which could vary greatly in size. Their appearance is also very different, some take the shapes of animals and fantastic beings, others of more humanoid figures.
    • Among the most prominent examples are the four great landvættir of Iceland, each of which has a quarter of the country as their domain. Their forms were those of a great dragon, a mighty bull, an enormous eagle, and a mountain giant, and each was followed by a considerable number of lesser landvættir. Today these four landvættir are depicted on the Icelandic coat of arms.
    • Ancient Icelandic law also dictated that ships should take down their terrifying figureheads upon approaching the coast lest the landvættir would take umbrage.
  • Scandinavian folklore is stock full of those. The Nix (Näcken in Sweden and Nøkken in Norway) is a water spirit living in ponds and lakes, occasionally in waterfalls. He is a Shapeshifter and known for luring People out in the muddy ponds, drowning them - and he is an excellent fiddle player (when he is in the waterfall). The trolls, elves, and huldufolk are essentially this for the forests and the Mountains.
  • Taíno Mythology has several. The most well-known is the hurricane goddess Guabancex, also incorrectly known by her Spanish name "Juracán" (which is where the word "hurricane" comes from).

  • White Water has the Spirit of the River, who grants a random award to the player.

  • In The Gamer's Alliance, nymphs are agile female creatures with ebony skin and cat-like eyes who are in tune with nature, live in Libaterran forests and have intimate encounters with travellers, which makes books of lore refer to a nymph as the "ranger's fondest conquest". It serves as a plot point once it's revealed that the nymphs are seducing travellers because they need them to become pregnant; a magical curse makes nymphs only give birth to females of their kind and thus they need males from other races to keep their bloodline going. The Faerfolc are the forefathers of the elves who also reside in Libaterran forests, and they act as protectors of the earth and see themselves superior to elves and thus fit to rule elvenkind.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Deadlands: Nature Spirits are what makes the Magical Native Americans... well, magical. Such spirits occupy a moral middle ground between The Legions of Hell and the Heavenly Host. In-keeping with a shamanistic magical religion, Native Americans who know how can attract the attention of the spirits and convince them to lend aid. Nature is not immutable, though. Some of the Nature Spirits are still around in Deadlands: Hell on Earth, while some others have been... warped. If you ever wanted to play something called a "smog shaman", now's your chance!
  • Dragon Dice: Naiads and Dryads are an essential part of the Treefolk race/army. They are the cavalry and mages for the race, and are quite likely to be found in most Treefolk armies.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer: The Wood Elf army includes a number of different Nature Spirits who protect the ancient woodlands of the Old World, including minor spirits used as weapons and shapeshifting Dryads who appear exceptionally beautiful off the battlefield but turn into tree-like monsters when angered. The greatest of the Old World's Nature Spirits are the Treemen, powerful spirits who have bonded with a living tree and who are revered by the Wood Elves and forest creatures alike.
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: The woodland spirits of the World That Was have developed into the Sylvaneth, an entire race of Nature Spirits. Ranging from the small insectoid spirits known as Spites through the capricious Dryads and the warrior Tree-Revenants to the mighty Treelords, the Sylvaneth are the living embodiment of life magic and have a deep connection the natural cycles of the Mortal Realms.
  • Godforsaken:
    • The Shoum are spirits intrisically linked to the natural elements of Flevame, such as trese, stones, bodies of water, and suchlike things. Although they are spirits, they can manipulate their associated matter to affect the physical world. Thus, a stone shoum spirit can move or throw rocks, while a river shoum spirit can control the flow of water.
    • Voroon are spirits of the Comerelk forest, and can create physical forms for themselves by inhabiting masses of mulch and decaying vegetation. They are related to the shoum, but do not coexist well with them. The voroon can be more contemptuous of material creatures that enter their domain.
  • Nobilis: The Mythic World operates entirely based on these. According to the rules there are approximately a trillion trillion nature spirits in the world — this is a big deal because, instead of the universe being "some big uncaring thing you must deal with", it's "a big uncaring people you must deal with". One can convince a car to keep moving even without gasoline, converse with mountains and many such things. Granted, in most games only the most important spirits play a big role, but just knowing that they are there is important.
  • Pathfinder:
    • This is the overall role of the fey, as each different type is supposed to represent a different aspect of nature.
      • Some of the most notable types are nymphs, which watch over natural wonders; dryads, which guard specific trees and cannot stray far from them without withering and dying; hamadryads, who are not bound to individual plants and guard whole forests; and naiads, which watch over fresh waters such as rivers, ponds and lakes. Pathfinder's 2nd edition rearranges these somewhat to more closely resemble the Greco-Roman classifications of nymphs — "nymph", as such, is a general category of humanoid, female fey that watch over natural landmarks, with dryads and naiads being specific types of nymphs associated with specific environments. Nymph queens, rare and powerful exemplars of their kinds, take over the role of the older nymph species, to which they're largely equivalent mechanically; hamadryads are specifically another name for dryad queens.
      • Other fey especially closely tied to nature include glaistigs, powerful fairy queens who rule over and protect vast tracts of land and the creatures and fey that live there, and nuckelavees, terrible guardians of the waters the hunt down polluters without mercy. In a more unusual example, gremlins — malicious tricksters who live to torment mortals, break their stuff and make their lives miserable — represent nature's drive towards entropy and its tendency to break things down.
    • Outside of the fey, the kami — a group of outsiders, creatures tied to the outer planes and the afterlife, who are however native and bonded to the material world — are spirits and protectors of various parts of nature, with only a few types associated with the works of mankind. Kodama, for instance, watch over individual trees, while kaminari manage clouds and the weather, toshigami protect cultivated cherry trees, suijins watch over bodies of freshwater, and jinushigami are wardens of vast areas of pristine nature.
    • Green men are humanoid collections of leaves, stems and roots who embody and protect the plant life, specifically, of a given region.
    • Among the gods, the most notable example is Gozreh, called the Wind and the Waves, the god/goddess of nature, storms, the sea, wind, water and natural phenomena. Gozreh is believed to have existed for as long as the wind has blown and water flowed, and is the only known god to reside full-time in the Material Plane, where nature and the elements are, instead of ruling a domain in the Outer Planes of faith and abstracted belief. Besamara also used to be this, having started out as a spirit of the sea, before ascending to full godhood after a long time spent gathering followers and consuming rival spirits of water, storms and wood. She's since left this role behind to become a goddess of pirates, strife and treasure, however — although it's worth noting that Gozreh still considers her a sister.
  • In Shadowrun, shamans can conjure nature spirits or "spirits of man", in contrast to the elementals bound by hermetic mages.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Garou consider themselves soldiers on behalf of Gaia, a goddess-level spirit representing Earth as a vital entity. They also consider the Wyld, the embodiment of primal chaos and growth, an ally in their fight — though, in a bit of a subversion, most werewolves hold the Wyld at arm's length because it can be... unpredictable.

    Video Games 
  • Asura's Wrath: In a twisted variation, the Gohma are embodiments of the planet's rage, and thanks to Chakravartin that rage was able to take form as Vlitra.
  • Baldur's Gate III: At first glance, Thaniel appears to be a young boy, but he is actually an embodiment of Nature itself. When he is missing or ill, the land suffers until he is recovered.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: The Lady of the Forest/Witherfang, a shapeshifting being who's sometimes a dryad and sometimes a wolf, and rules over a clan of former humans cursed with lycanthropy by a vengeful elven mage.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, the heroes have to awaken and round up all four Elemental Spirits throughout the course of the game. They can be fought as Optional Bosses, as well.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Y'ffre, the God of the Forest and the Spirit of the Now, is the most important god in the Bosmeri (Wood Elf) religion. In the early world, Y'ffre brought forth nature (referred to as "the Green") and was one of the strongest pre-creation spirits, being the first to transform into the Ehlnofey, the "Earth Bones", which allowed for the laws of physics, nature, and life on Nirn. Y'ffre bound the Bosmer to the "Green Pact", which prevents them from harming plants and eating living plant matter in their homeland of Valenwood, which leaves them on a heavily carnivorous diet.
    • The series has Spriggans, which are particularly tree-like Plant People. They have a Gaia's Vengeance tilt and are known as "Nature's Guardians." Depending on the game, they either must be killed three times before they'll stay dead or they come with a rapid Healing Factor that kicks in when they are near death. One of their favored methods of attack is to blend in with surrounding trees and plants, then ambush their unaware targets.
  • Final Fantasy IX features Nymphs in two categories — antagonists who appear as enemies in battle and benevolent creatures that give the party money and AP in exchange for ore.
  • Gigantic has the forest lord Voden, a bow-wielding personification of the woodlands who hunts those who would despoil the wilderness.
  • Guild Wars:
    • The first game has Melandru, the goddess of nature.
    • Guild Wars 2: the Sylvari, one of the playable races, are essentially this — a race of plants united by an unconscious Hive Mind who mimic the humanoid form only out of convenience and have an innate ability to manipulate nature, especially other plants.
  • Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons:
    • The Harvest Sprites, Harvest Goddess, Harvest Lord, and Harvest King in the various Story of Seasons games. The Harvest Goddess is a Crystal Dragon Jesus figure that is worshipped in almost every game. There are multiple Harvest Goddess', but the main green-haired one originated in Harvest Moon 64 and was codified in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. The Harvest Sprites can be befriended in several games and soften asked to assist in various tasks around the farm.
    • Harvest Moon: Light of Hope's versions of the Harvest Sprites are more individualized nature spirits. There are only a few of them and each one has a title, such as Harvest Sprite of Water and Harvest Sprite of Wood.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: Viridi, the goddess of nature. For the first arc after Medusa's defeat, she becomes the Arc Villain after trying to kill humans due to them exploiting nature.
  • League of Legends, given the nature of the game, has more than a few as playable champions. Udyr in particular is host to four different spirits (Tiger, Bear, Turtle, Phoenix).
  • In the upcoming hack and slash game Leshy, you control the titular character, a Slavic forest spirit that can shapeshift into wolves or bears and reek untold butt kickery against loggers and polluters note 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • After saving Dragon's Roost Island (or that's how you're supposed to do it), Link meets the god of winds, Zehpos, who rewards him with his first melody for the The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Later Link meets Zephos' ill-tempered brother, Cyclos.
    • Link of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess needs to save the spirits of the Sacred Springs, who guard not only their springs but the regions that the springs feed into.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time features the Great Deku Tree and Lord Jabu-Jabu, who evidently guard the forests and Zora's Fountain, respectively. Their descendants make appearances in The Wind Waker as well.
  • Lusternia: Every nature commune has two nature spirits: a patron animal and an aspect of the earth. Serenwilde has Mother Moon and White Hart (a stag); Glomdoring has Mother Night and Mighty Crow (a crow, obviously); and Ackleberry has Sister Lake and Brother Bear (natch).
  • In Neverwinter Nights, there is a "Spirit of the Wood" that looks like a white deer.
  • Pokémon:
    • This is not an uncommon archetype among Grass-types.
      • Celebi, a legendary Pokémon that travels through time, is essentially a woodland fairy. According to its Pokédex entries, as it travels through time and space, forests and wildernesses flourish in its wake.
      • Shaymin, another legendary resembling a hedgehog with turf and flowers instead of prickles. Its reason d'être is essentially to purify the land of toxins and pollution and leave blooms and flowers where there was wasteland before.
      • Trevenant, trees inhabited by the ghosts of humans who died deep in forests, take on this role as well, becoming vengeful protectors of the wilderness against any that would despoil it.
    • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity there are the Voices of Life, guardians of nature who embody its will to survive and take a physical form as a Pokemon when there's a grave threat that needs to be addressed. The sole one who plays an active role in the story is Hydreigon, who is far kinder then his appearance would imply.
  • Quest for Glory uses this trope several times. There's the Dryad and the forest fairies in the first game, the Guardian of the Heart of the World in the third, and the Leshy in the fourth. Many of these will kill you if you attempt to harm any part of the environment.
  • Samurai Shodown: Nakoruru has been one ever since the events of Samurai Showdown II, and that's why she appears very youthful for someone from the past.
  • Kinu from Temtem is an elusive, Nature and Mental type fairy-thing. They're revered as the guardians of the Giant Banyan.
  • One NPC that can move into your home in Terraria is the Dryad, who gives you information regarding how much Corruption/Crimson and Hallow is left in the world as well as selling you nature-related items.
  • Thief: The games are rife with nature spirits, from almost literal spirits like the fire elementals, to weird humanoid rat-monkeys and bug beasts. One of the main characters, Viktoria, is a typical dryad / wood nymph.
  • Total War: Warhammer: Nature spirits are a loosely defined group of units, including treemen, treeman elders, tree-kin, dryads and dryad branchwraiths, sometimes expanded to include giant eagles and forest dragons, that are part of the Wood Elf roster. They're considered to be living avatars and agents of Athel Loren, moved to war by the forest's own will, and ruled beneath its eaves long before the Wood Elves came along.
    • Avelorn, unlike other High Elf factions, can recruit palette swapped but otherwise identical versions of the treemen, tree-kin and dryads, as the elves of Avelorn have the closest relationship with nature and its spirits of all the High Elves — something largely due to their ruler, Alarielle, being a living avatar of the elven goddess of life.
    • The Wrath of Nature is a rogue army — a roving, horde-based faction spawned roaming around the map at the start of the game — composed exclusively of nature spirits banded together to wreak havoc upon the forces of civilization.
  • Touhou: Fairies. They're a somewhat unusual take, as they're not particularly concerned about nature, preferring to play around and attack player characters. Oh, and Perfect Memento in Strict Sense suggests that Yuuka is something similar.
  • Warcraft:
  • The Witcher:
    • The series as a whole has Nymphs and Dryads (which are a type of nymph in this series) that Geralt can romance, as well as an Empowering Lake Lady (who is also a nymph).
    • The third game also has Leshens, which are a species of humanoid tree-like monsters that can control plants and animals, and attack any humans that harm nature within their territory. On one occasion Geralt encounters one referred to as The Woodland Spirit that is worshipped by the people in a nearby village, teaching them how to hunt in exchange for receiving sacrifices and leeching off their life force like a parasite. When it starts killing hunters for not killing their game the way it wants them to, Geralt must choose to either kill or appease it.
  • World of Mana:
    • The Elementals/Spirits of the various forms of the life-energy known as Mana. Each one represents a different element, and they usually can be found guarding Cosmic Keystones that personify their elements (Whether that is seeds or stones depends on the game). In the games in which they appear, they are generally responsible for the main character's magic abilities. They include Salamander/Salamando, Undine, Gnome, Djinn/Sylphid, Shade, Wisp/Lumina, Luna, and Dryad. Legend of Mana replaced Luna with Aura, but no other game has done so.
    • Trials of Mana also introduced the eight Benevodons, which return as non-hostile NPCs in Children of Mana, in contrast to their original appearances. They also personify the elements, but they have a much more dangerous reputation. When the Mana Stones are broken, they are prophesied to run amok, potentially destroying the world for throwing the balance of nature off-balance.

  • Aurora (2019): Gods of natural places and processes, such as forests, mountains, rivers, or the weather, act as embodiments and protectors of their homes, and while they have a profound link with natural creatures they often have trouble understanding and relating to mortals.
  • The Legend of Maxx features an entire race of Dryad, expanding on the single Dryad present in Terraria. Each Dryad is based on a certain plant which they physically resemble, including the wise Elder Willow and the dementia-riddled Elder Fungus.
  • In The Noordegraaf Files, Nereids are a species of Always Female aquatic humanoids with the lower bodies of squid. They breathe water through microscopic gill slits on their faces, and some can stay on land as long as their gills stay moist. They have eyes with colored scleras and grey irises, and live in a monarchical society where one's standing is determined by her physical beauty Naiads are subspecies adapted for life in bodies of freshwater, although "Nereid" can be used to refer to both kinds as a whole. Dryads and something called "Incindads" (fire nymphs) are also said to exist, but have not been seen in-comic.
  • A Redtail's Dream: Animal spirits, including the. Fox family (Lucky Fox, Puppy Fox, Mother Fox and many more), Mr. Moose, Ms, Seal, Mr. Bear and the birds of Tuonela among others.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Finnish deities are apparently nature spirits. So far, we know only of Vellamo (water goddess) and Kuutar (moon goddess), but the "Nations of the World" page states that Finns have "many gods", including forest ones.
  • Tower of God: The Floor Guardians are beings bound to governing their respective floor of the Tower, an artificial biome built way over 5000 years before the plot begins. Outside of the Tower, folklore knows them as Fae. They take the form of various animals, for instance a humanoid rabbit and a gargantuan beaked eel. On their floor, they govern the Applied Phlebotinum known as Shinsu, which fuels the series's functional magic.
  • Unsounded: Several Senet Beasts are inhuman intelligent beings of nature, the water women and storm bringers most prominently.
  • Wandering Ones: They interact with certain members of the Clan of the Hawk. Some, like First Man and Flame's leafy friends, are benign. However, Coyote also shows up to teach Bobbie and Max, and let's just say he lives up to his reputation.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender is rife with spirits of this type. Guest stars include Hei Bai, who protects the forests around Senlin Village; the Painted Lady, guardian of the Jang Hui River; and Tui and La, the spirits of the Moon and the Ocean, respectively. The Avatars were originally suggested to be this in and of themselves, but it turns out that they're just the reincarnations of a regular human who bonded with Raava, the Big Good of all spirits.
  • Barbie Presents Thumbelina has the tiny Twillerbees, who live in a field of flowers, have the power to make plants grow at an alarming rate, and regularly converse with animals.
  • Harvey Beaks: Littlebark Grove has a few nature spirits who usually appear as incidental characters. One part of the setting is the community of the tree spirits who are said to have created the forest in ancient times and resemble ghost pieces of wood. There's also a huge dragon-like water spirit who dwells in Wetbark Lake.
  • Hilda: Nature spirits are a common part of the setting, with water and weather spirits showing up regularly in the series. The series pitch bible also makes mention of ice and mountain spirits, identifying two entities detailed in the Hilda and the Midnight Giant book, the Ice Man and the Knolem, as respective examples (though both were previously identified as affiliated with the giants).


Video Example(s):


Winds of Winter

The personifications of bitter winter sing about how they love to bring about chilling cold.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / VillainSong

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