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Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold...The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost.—JRR Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories"
The Land of Faerie must have at least two of the following qualities:
- It is named Faerie or Fairyland or it is named after one of the Otherworlds that Faerie is based on, such as Alfheim (Elfland) or Tir na Nog.
- It is Another Dimension separate from the Earth. It can be accessed in a number of ways. The most typical ways are that the person accidentally wanders through an unseen or disguised portal or they are taken there by a Faerie, willingly or unwillingly.
- It is populated by The Fair Folk or Elves who may or may not be benevolent.
- The Faeries are ruled by a monarch, usually a queen.
Faerie commonly provides examples of the following:
- There are other mythical creatures, either as a Fantastic Nature Reserve or because All Myths Are True (or at least one is).
- It is stuck in Medieval Stasis. Or, potentially, some earlier time.
- Time moves slowly within Faerie, so that, when the character returns to Earth, hundreds of years have passed by in their absence.
- Food Chains are used by The Fair Folk to keep people from leaving once they have entered.
Examples of Land of Faerie include:
Anime and Manga
- The Demon World of Yu Yu Hakusho is a borderline example. The qualifying standards are that it is a separate dimension, which can be reached either through portals or random weak spots in the barrier; and it is originally ruled by three kings, and later one. The Youkai who dwell there skirt close to The Fair Folk, but tend to show more human characteristics than expected.
- A decaying version features in a Hellboy example of the Changeling Tale.
- The Sandman series retells A Midsummer Night's Dream and other Fairyland exploits.
- Subverted in Seven Soldiers, where "Frankenstein in Fairyland" reveals Fairyland and the Sidhe/Sheeda to be the parasitic dregs of the human race from the Bad Future of One Billion A.D.; the Year Outside, Hour Inside effect is a side effect of being abducted by a race of time travelers.
- In the Thor comics, Fairyland is identical with Svartalfheim in Norse Mythology and can be accessed through the Cotswolds; the Fair Folk are actually Malekith the Accursed and his legions of Dark Elves.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it's mentioned that Faerie and England were united under Queen Gloriana. Both sides remained close until Oliver Cromwell came to power and declared war against what the Puritans saw as "heathen abominations." Thus the land of Faerie was closed forever.
- The Borderland series, a Shared Universe of three novels and five anthologies of stories written by various authors and edited by Terri Windling, revolves around Border Town which lies on the border of the Elflands and the World. The basis of the series is that Faerie has returned to the world and the area around Border Town is a place where magic and technology only work half the time and with unpredictable outcomes.
- Discworld has the parasite universe of Fairyland ruled by the Queen of the Elves. There the flow of time has stopped while time on the Disc flies by. Fairyland is a bleak place caught between day and night where creatures of myth are stolen from other dimensions such as minds and dreams. The section ruled by the Queen is stuck in everlasting winter while the King's world is steaming hot.
- In The Dresden Files, Faerie is the region of Nevernever (parallel magical reality encompassing pretty much every mythological location ever) closest to the material world. It is ruled by the Sidhe.
- The Faerie Queene has Faerie land ruled by the Queen Gloriana whose knights are humans that were Switched At Birth with Changelings.
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell featured Faerie as one of the four domains of creation (the others being Heaven, Hell, and Earth), and quite a lot of the story took place there, as several characters were repeatedly taken there for various lengths of time.
- In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series of novels, Faerie is a sort of inter-dimensional nexus between universes.
- JRR Tolkien
- In Smith Of Wootton Major, Smith travels to Faery because he swallowed a star at the Feast of Good Children as a child. The star somehow attaches itself to his forehead at age ten and allows him to travel to the land of Faery. He goes there to adventure throughout his life and meets the Queen of Faery.
- Tolkien's legendarium: The land of Aman (or more specifically Eldamar) could be thought of as the land of Faerie, also. After the world is changed and Aman is removed from the Earth, only the Elves know the way back by a path over the sea. There only the gods and the elves live (plus Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, and Gimli).
- The History of Middle Earth adds more detail: Elvenhome isn't really like The Fair Folk ideas of Fairyland, but is often mistaken for such by Men with incomplete accounts of it (particularly after all the Elves leave, which is implied to be where our ideas of The Fair Folk come from).
- Lothlórien bears many of the traits of Land of Faerie, being a place no evil creatures can enter, where time passes more slowly inside than outside, and is ruled by the most powerful elves still on Middle Earth, one of whom possesses a Ring of Power. It is also feared by dwarves and men.
- In The Spearwielder's Tale, by R. A. Salvatore, Gary Leger travels to the land of Faerie after he is captured by a leprechaun. Faerie is home to many races: elves (who live in the forest of Tir na Nog), leprechauns, dwarves, gnomes, humans, dragons, etc, etc.
- In Stardust, Tristran Thorne travels to Faerie by passing through a gap in the Wall in order to find a fallen star for the girl he loves. There he encounters unicorns, fairies, witches, and more. The people of Stormhold may or may not be elves.
- The third and fouth books of Wicked Lovely are set predominantly in Faerie, in the 'otherworld' of the High Court, where time moves at only a 1/6 of the pace of Earth's and the Fae are ruled by the logical and emotionless Unchanging Queen, Sorcha.
- Briarwood Forest of Power Rangers Mystic Force may qualify. No actual faeries are seen (the closest is that the Pink Ranger has one as her symbol), but it is an alternate dimension inhabited by magical beings.
- In Supernatural, fairies (a term that includes fairies, elves, leprechuans, and redcaps) live in another dimension called Avalon ruled by Oberon.
- In True Blood, Sookie finds out that she is part fairy and travels to the (as of yet) unnamed land of the fairies. Despite the beauty of the fairies and their land, it turns out that it is an illusion to lure in humans and that the fairies are more like The Fair Folk.
Mythology and Folklore
- Alfheim of Norse Mythology was the land of the Light Elves. Carried over into Scottish and English ballads as Elfhame or Elfland.
- The otherworld of the old Welsh poem the Preiddu Annwyn contains one of the legendary treasures of the fairies of Celtic mythology and has some features of a fairyland (albeit crossed with elements of the Orphic journey). It seems to be a prototype of the Grail legend, to boot.
- Thomas the Rhymer, best known now as a Child Ballad, is about Thomas's journey to Elfland and the prophetic gifts he receives there. Interestingly, Elfland is portrayed as a third option between Heaven and Hell.
- Tir na Nog of Irish mythology was a the land of supernatural beings that was not easily accessed by mortal man. Mag Mell and Avalon are similar places associated with the Sidhe, despite being Valhalla-like afterlives.
- The story of Urashima Taro resembles that of Thomas Rhymer, and features a fisherman who spends time in the fairyland-like court of the dragon-god Ryujin and suffers various supernatural effects upon returning to the real world.
- In Iceland, there are the Hidden Children-children of Adam and Eve who never fell, and were hidden inside mountains. Sometimes a mortal gets lost in the mountains and sees one, and falls in love...
- In Dungeons and Dragons, eladrin, elves, and drow (as well as gnomes, pixies, and nymphs) originate from the Feywild, a plane that is a bright and magical reflection of the natural world (as opposed the dark reflection, the Shadowfell plane). The Feywild is analogous to the Plane of Faerie of earlier editions.
- The Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition game supplement Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild, describes this plane and its inhabitants in detail. One of the first things the book says about the Feywild is that it is "sometimes called the land of Faerie." The Feywild is essentially ruled by the Archfey, a group of powerful eladrin who make up the Court of Stars. The nobles of the Feywild are Sidhe Lords. The Unseelie Fey are always trying to subvert the the purposes of the Archfey.
- Changeling: The Dreaming has Arcadia and the Dreaming, two bizarre worlds inhabited by faerie entities and largely shut off from mortals and even from other supernaturals.
- Likewise, the successor game, Changeling: The Lost, has Arcadia/Faerie and the Hedge, which bridges the gap between Earth and Faerie. Whereas Arcadia was somewhat pleasant in the last game, however, here it's a swirling tide of chaos where the Gentry desperately try to stand out in order to avoid getting swallowed by the maelstrom. As they can't exactly make anything new, though, they often kidnap humans to serve as their proxies/slaves/agents, who are then twisted into changelings by the sheer nature of Faerie.
- William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream refers to it as fairy land. It is ruled by Oberon and Titania.
- In Dragon Quest V, you have to go to the Fairy World (Which is specifically called such) two times during the plot. The first time is as a child through a magical staircase/portal, during which it's noticed that only children can see the fairies. The second time is much later, and as the plot mentioned, only your children can actually see the fairies initially. The only reason that you could actually find the Fairy World the second time around is because you're following your children, who in turn follow one of the fairies back to her own world.
- Faerieland from Neopets. Originally, Faerieland was located high up in the clouds, but since being subjected to a Colony Drop it's become a forest realm.
- Gensokyo has shades of this.
- The fairy world in Panel De Pon.
- One arc of Tales of the Questor involved dealing with an Unseelie. Meanwhile, some kids he had captured escaped from his castle in Faerie.
- Phantasia's Outerworld bathes in light, and has no ground.
- The Fairy World in The Fairly Odd Parents
- Gargoyles has the land of Avalon, a magic-soaked island in Another Dimension that can be accessed only through magic. One hour spent there takes up a whole day in the "real" world. It is the homeland of the Third Race, which include many entities that mortals call Fair Folk, and many others who were or are worshipped as gods. They're not truly "faeries," but they're the equivalent in this show. They're ruled by Lord Oberon, who overthrew the previous ruler (Queen Mab, his mother).
- The Kingdom of Tir Nan Og in Winx Club.
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