They’re magical and they’re mythical, somewhat mystical too. These creatures are incredibly magical and often very small, but count your blessings should you meet one as often they’re portrayed to be kind and nurturing. But do we really know fairies as well as we think we do? When you think of fairies, what do you think of? In this weeks’ Top 10, we’re going to count down our favourite fairies.
10) Ankou – Folklore
When you think of fairies, you certainly don’t think of something akin to the grim reaper, but that’s exactly what the Ankou is. This legendary creature is a fairy in Celtic folklore, as well as Cornish and even in Welsh. This oft-forgotten fairy is the bringer of death, but it’s hard to picture what this fairy would look like. Amusingly however, when I say it’s the bringer of death, it looks exactly like you’d expect it.
Donning a robe and usually a scythe of some description, this is a fairy version of the grim reaper. Now, nothing would stop our traditional grim reaper being a fairy too… After all, some of our folklore stems from this, so perhaps our beloved skeleton isn’t actually supposed to be a skeleton after all. Perhaps, just perhaps, those bones are magical. Perhaps, there’s a sparkly wing or two behind those robes.
9) Spring Fairy – Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon is a game known for being all about farming and the life of the person who is looking after the farm: YOU! Well okay, your character, not specifically you. However, Harvest Moon sees you not only farming, but falling in love, doing lots of special events relating to the town/village you’re from and occasionally raising a cow or two. But more than that, there’s often a magical element to the game.
In Harvest Moon you’ll often find magical people, such as the Spring Fairy. In one of the games you find a witch, but no matter what the game is, you have the ability to not only do quests and missions for these magical beings, but you nearly always can date them too! This can be a little weird, as often they won’t leave their magical homes… But damn it, you can do it so why not? Plus, they’re really nicely designed.
8) Lament/Sparkle – Stonekeep
“Hey, haven’t you heard? GeekOut South-West has a YouTube channel and it does a let’s play series of Stonekeep! It’s really cool, you should check it out at some point!” – Timlah
Okay, in seriousness, Stonekeep was a bit of a stretch at first. When I thought about the magical state in the game, I was reminded of one level that I’ve seen. I’ve not gotten that far yet, so for those of you who watch my Let’s Play series and for those of you who also read this Top 10, consider this a spoiler. There’s a fairy in Stonekeep called Sparkle (or Lament, which is her real name).
This fairy is notorious. Dwarves generally don’t like fairies as they find them annoying, but to make it worse, you can get this fairy before you lose all of your dwarves. Unlike me, who has now lost all of his dwarves, I guess I really could do with going to find Sparkle and adding her to my party – She’d be a useful asset. Using amazing magics and being incredibly annoying, Sparkle would surely brighten up any party.
7) The Hairloss Fairy – Discworld
Add to this list another member of the random beings brought forth by excessive belief sloshing around. When the Hogfather (Discworld’s equivalent of Santa) is “killed” the force of belief is suddenly cut loose, and every little myth and scrap of folklore springs into life. The Veruca Gnome, the Eater of Socks, and one of my favourites, the Hairloss Fairy.
He comes and sits on the heads of balding men pulling out little tufts to clog up drains and fill up hairbrushes and combs. I’d love to have included the Cheerful Fairy, who’s slightly depressive efforts to cheer everyone up are entertaining, but the notion that hair gets everywhere because there’s a fairy mowing the heads of aging wizards is too adorable to neglect. And the Cheerful Fairy is a bit big for the title.
6) Lorwyn/Shadowmoor – Magic: the Gathering
Celtic mythology meets Jekyll and Hyde. Lorwyn is not without conflict, but the forests, glades and fields are pleasant and wholesome compared the plane’s darker side… the withchaunted realms of Shadowmoor. Elves, giants, merrow, kithkin and the like all take on a darker aspect during the change, every race but the faeries.
Faeries gather dreams and memories like pollen, gathering them for Queen Oona, who sees the world through the eyes of her children. She alone has full control of her mind during the time of Shadowmoor, and tries to use that to her advantage and seize control of the world, but her efforts are thwarted by the creature she created to hold onto her power and a band of her own children.
So, y’know, Wizards of the Coast… you’ve got some awesome planes we haven’t seen in a while. Can we get some fairies in our decks again?
5) #035: Clefairy – Pokemon
Now that the fairy type is real in Pokemon, able to knock out Dragonites with a simple bit of playing rough (that sounds so wrong…), the fairies are finally able to be taken seriously. With some special moves unique to them and a typing that will make a lot of your Pokemon fearful, we can finally see some of Gen 1’s most adorable become something just a little bit more terrifying. If you thought we’d choose Jigglypuff, we almost did…
Clefairy is the ultimate fairy Pokemon; able to be adorable and magical all whilst being tough and durable. Clefable is a very capable pokemon and Clefairy is one of the most notable in the whole franchise. For a while, it was speculated that Clefairy would have been a kind of mascot for Pokemon. Unfortunately, it got superseded by the electric mouse, Pikachu. But now their typing is sorted out, watch out… Dragon slaying fairies are about.
4) Queen Mab – Shakespeare
Her whip of cricket’s bone; the lash of film
Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid
In fact the queen of fairies has only become known as Mab because of Shakespear’s work, mostly Mercutio’s monologue in Romeo and Juliet that uses her as a metaphor for love and all the incredible and terrible things it brings with it, along with a collection of other duties including dominion over dreams. She seems to have been appropriated from an Irish goddess, Medb, but like so many of Shakespear’s creations Mab has become the standard.
She’s spread through literature including Moby Dick and Peter Pan, and more recently Mab has made appearances in film and TV. Personally I was a fan of her depiction in 1998’s miniseries Merlin played by Miranda Richardson, where she appears to take the place of Morgan.
3) Navi – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Navi was only ever in one Legend of Zelda game. It’s believed that she’s also the subject of Majora’s Mask as the tinkling sound she makes is heard when the subject of a “beloved and invaluable friend” is raised. Define beloved and invaluable for us.
Sent by the Deku tree to help Link achieve his destiny, she’s amazed to find a lazy young boy who she believes to be incapable of being a hero of any sort. So she then proceeds to be as helpful as a GPS that hasn’t been updated in years. The first character in the series with a voice actor and the best they manage is “Hey! Listen!” Sadly she’s rather necessary for both the story and the targeting mechanic, but it doesn’t make her presence any more tolerable. Navi is such stuff as memes are made of.
2) Tooth Fairies
There’s something more than a little creepy about little winged people who take your teeth, and that creepiness has not gone unnoticed film, comics and such like. Guillermo Del Torro’s remake of Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, the arachnid creatures in Hellboy II, even Pratchett gets in on the gig (also in Hogfather). In fact the only time I’ve seen the Tooth Fairy portrayed once in such a way that didn’t give me the shivers, the adorable humming-bird like queen whose faithful swarm gather the teeth to protect the memories of children.
But whether played by Dwayne Johnson or Ralph Feinnes, we all know the name and the formula: she takes the teeth and leaves the money. It’s a lot more haunting than a big red fat man who just drops off presents, she gets up close and personal and takes a piece of you with her.
1) Tinker Bell – Peter Pan
If you think this is a cop out answer for our number one slot, then you’re certainly not too attune to what fairies are all about. They’re graceful and they’re beautiful, they’re powerful and often make great companions. So who would have thought then that this little yellow pixie like fairy would actually be one of the greatest fairies of all… I mean, other than the fact that it does come from a fairy tale.
Actually, Tinker Bell has been represented in many interesting ways. Be it the yellow sprite that we see in the Disney cartoon, or be it a fully grown woman who accidentally breaks her clock-house in Hook, we all know of her. Tink is not only a good friend of Peter Pan’s, he’s the heart-throb of Tink… Which is weird to think about at times. Romance aside, Tinkerbell has abilities far beyond most normal fairies. If it’s anything magical, Tink can do it… I don’t think we’ve even seen her at her best, if the stories of Peter Pan, Hook and Blackbeard are anything to go by, we could only just be seeing the start of Tinks.
Had enough of these floundering flower folk? No? Of course you haven’t, because if you’re reading this you haven’t skipped over this section like you’re skipping merrily through a field. Welcome to the honourable mentions, folks.
Fairies – Labyrinth
(RIP David Bowie!) You remind me of the babe – Actually no you don’t, this isn’t about the Goblin King himself. He’s certainly not a fairy! But we’re actually looking at a very specific part of the film, right at the beginning. In fact, this was one of the first things to happen… Sarah’s brother Toby is taken away by Jareth and she enters the Labyrinth to go and save him. She encounters a goblin by the name of Hoggle who is doing some weird spraying job outside of the walls of Labyrinth.
Hoggle is killing fairies – Beautiful, wonderful little fairies. Sarah finds it utterly reprehensible that Hoggle would be killing such innocent creatures… Until she tries to hold one and it bites her. This gets a quick nod, because fairies are often portrayed as defenseless, poor little creatures. What if, just what if, fairies were more than that? What if they were actually a lot more defensive and a lot less sweet than they seemed. Labyrinth opened that question to us – and I loved it!
The fae realms are not just home to tiny, gossamer winged little people living in flowers. Satyrs, treefolk, the cours of summer and winter, elves are all denizens of the place from which trickster spirits and the avatars of natural phenomena, ruled over by the seelie and unseelie courts. Whether they come from Alfheim, the Feywild, or Tír na nÓg, mortals have often been beset by deceitful beings who wish harm, good, or just their own entertainment at our expense.
Most of your average mythological creatures are fairies of some variety, redcaps, boggarts, will o’ wisps, things that don’t fit the fairy mold but are fairy… nuff.
Oh yeah, got that pun in last minute!
We’re all out of dust, so count your blessings that this list is finally over with. We wish we could show you a few more fairies, but honestly, we could be here all night with the Fae. Before we leave this one, I had thought of anime through this one and the only thing I could think of were the fairies in Sword Art Online… But that arc wasn’t exactly the best. Nevertheless, we’ll be back next week with yet another Top 10 that you have the opportunity to influence. So, cast your votes as per usual for what our next Top 10 should be:
That’s it for this week and now we open the question back over to all of you: Did we do good?! What do you think of our list this week? Did we miss out any fairies that you think should at least get mentioned? Was our order right and is Tinker Bell the top fairy? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. From us to all of you, keep it magical!