Fairies are a typical element of fantasy - an entire genre is referred to as the "fairy tale." Fairies can be intelligent, even humanlike, or non-sentient. "Fairy" is also commonly spelled "faerie" or is referred to as "fay," "fey," or "fae."
The Typical Fairy Edit
- Very similar in shape to a human
- A few inches tall
- Either extremely beautiful or extremely ugly
- Possessing magical powers, often with a wand or "fairy dust"
- Connected to nature, particularly flowers (for small fairies)
- Ambivalent or malevolent toward humans
Fairies in Fairy Tales Edit
Fairies in fairy tales are usually human-sized and highly interested in the lives of humans. There is often an evil fairy who seeks to harm humans and several good fairies who seek to help them. Fairy godmothers are fairies who have taken a certain human child as a protégé.
Common Beliefs Regarding Fairies Edit
Historically, fairies were often portrayed as dangerous in their dealings with humans. Fairies were often blamed for small misfortunes such as spoiled milk or larger ones such as death. A popular belief is in changelings, a fairy baby switched for a human one. Fairies were also accused of kidnapping older children or even adults. It was commonly believed that one could ward off fairies by a variety of means, such as cold iron, charms, or certain herbs.