Fairies & Humans: General Interactions

Fairies & Humans: General Interactions

By Jessie Desmond

       When crafting your next Labyrinth fanfiction, you might want something that stands out from the rest; perhaps a different reason for your main character to be visiting the fairy realms (such as the Labyrinth). If we take a look at traditional folklore, there are a few general interactions between Fae and Humans.

  • Baby-Snatching - It is said that the Fae have some trouble having kids, though the literature says that they are quite sexual in nature. Stealing babies is fairly common, especially with stories of changelings and, of course, the Labyrinth fanfictions.
  • Paying Tribute - Sometimes fairies that have certain powers must pay a tribute to a higher power, the source of their powers. Why sacrifice their own when they can sacrifice a human?
  • Soul Collectors - Merrows and mermaids are known to collect the souls of those that they drown and store them in jars as curios. Similar to our own curio cabinets that are filled with little trinkets and knick-knacks. As far as I know, my little curios are not collected souls.
  • Drowning - Perhaps this parallels the soul collectors, but there are a lot of stories where fairies drown people. Do they hate humans? Is it for food? There aren’t a lot of explanations, but as a writer you could expand on it.
  • Stealing Brides - This is a popular interaction between human and fae. Human women, of any social status, can be stolen by the fae as a bride. If they become enchanted, they often are left mute and a little confused.
  • Stealing Nursemaids - Don’t need a bride? Try stealing a young woman or a new mother to be a nursemaid! Often times a doppelganger will be left in their place in the human world so no one realizes the human has been abducted.
  • Seduction - We have all heard of the incubus and succubus, but there are a lot of other creatures and fairies out there that love to seduce humans. If the seduction works, then the human is taken to the fairy realm for eternity or until they break the seduction spell and find their way back home. If the human rejects the seduction, often times they are left to deal with bad luck to the point of desolation, madness, and/or death.
  • Murder & Curses - Fairies are not to be trifled with. They are known to kill and curse over petty things. Over-reacting is a big plot player in stories, just look at Sleeping Beauty.
  • Enslavement - Fairies are not above enslaving people. It might be the end goal of an old bargain/deal or something like that. It could be a power play. It could just be a jerk abducting humans so they have slaves.
  • Bargains & Deals - Fairies love to make a bargain with humans, something that will cost the human dearly. Usually the fairy wins either way. They might request a baubble of some sort or a certain amount of food or whatever from the human in return for something the human desperately needs. If the deal/bargain is not fulfilled the human will suffer some sort of consequence.
  • Pranks - Fairies will often pull pranks on humans. A popular one is to mislead a traveler.
       I hope these general interactions will assist in turning your stories into works of wonder. Try focusing on one of these interactions - aside from the obvious Baby-Snatching. Your Labyrinth fanfiction will be more intense and unique.

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