Fantasy Creatures

Fantasy Creatures

By Jessie Desmond

        The Labyrinth in in a magical land and it goes without saying that you’re going to run into some fantasy creatures. Let’s start by listing the creatures found in the film and then we can go over some other popular types of fantasy creatures that you might want to use in future fanfiction.

Labyrinth Creatures
  1. Dwarf - Hoggle appears to be a young dwarf, since older dwarves are said to have beards. Dwarves are said to be excellent miners, metal-smithers, warriors, collectors of metals/gemstones/crystals/minerals, masons, and stone-workers. They don’t usually get any taller than 4’6”, they grow beards, they can be superstitious, and they are usually pretty stubborn/set in their ways.
  2. Fairy/Pixie - Hoggle is spraying the fairies. These little creatures appear to be a typical flower fairy, aka a pixie. They’re small, they have wings, they hang out around plants and friendly animals, some may have antennae, and they bite. Look to Cicely Mary Barker for inspiration! While they are part of the Fae family, the spelling denotes a smaller creature (some people don’t care about this at all).
  3. Talking Worms - I’m sure you remember the little blue guy.
  4. Alf/Ralph and Jim/Tim - Remember the guys with the shields who asked the riddle? I have no idea what they’re supposed to be, but they’re creatures in the labyrinth.
  5. Gnomes - When Sarah marks the tiles in the stone maze with her lipstick, these little guys get pretty furious about it. Gnomes are natural task masters and hard workers. They are small and often use friendly animals for transport and stuff. I would suggest looking at Froud’s book Gnomes for references.
  6. Goblins - There are a bunch of different types of goblins in lore. There are kobolds (mining goblins), redcaps (murderous warriors), brownies (house goblin), dwarves (technically considered a type of goblin), gnomes (technically considered a type of goblin), imps (pranksters), knocker (mining goblin), hobgoblins (friendly tricksters), and kallikantzaros (Christmas goblins). Goblins are known to be miners, tradesmen (cobblers, milliners, farmers, etc), brewers and vintners, farmers, and household helpers. They vary in size, but are not known to be terribly tall - perhaps 5’5” at the most. Goblins are natural tricksters, can be easily angered/annoyed, tend to be ugly/grotesque, can be misers, and tend to have “low level” magic.
  7. Eye Lichen - It should be noted that the eye lichen is a labyrinth plant. It grows on the walls and ground. The eyes watch the surrounding area. It can produce a light cooing sound.
  8. Blackbirds/Crows - The labyrinth has a ton of blackbirds/crows.
  9. Vultures - The only vultures were shown to live in the Bog of Eternal Stench.
  10. False Alarms - These are strange rock creatures who are formed underneath the labyrinth, on the level of the oubliettes and tunnels. They can only talk.
  11. Helping Hands - Is it one creature or many? This is up to you to decide.
  12. Rock Callers - Ludo is the rock caller that we all know. They are large, furry creatures with long hanging ears, horns, and tails. They seem rather friendly, but if provoked they can instigate an attack by sheer force and by the calling of rocks.
  13. Fireys - The fireys make up the Fire Gang. They live in the Forbidden Forest and travel as a group. The fireys are known to be a bit on the crazy side and highly unpredictable. They are brightly colored like fire, they have big ears, long fingers, can see in the dark, a beak-like mouth/nose with sharp teeth, and have skin with furry patches. They have the ability to detach their appendages and reattach them.
  14. Fox-Dog - Most fanfiction refers to Sir Didymus as a Fox-Dog. He looks a bit like a cross between a fox and a small dog. He is highly intelligent, has been knighted, and is a skilled warrior. His weapon of choice is a staff.
  15. The Fae - Most people seem to assume that Jareth is one of the fae (daoine sidhe). The Fae are considered more powerful, closer to human size (if not taller), and can access a higher magic. It’s also assumed that whoever the people are in the ballroom, they are also fae.
  16. Chickens & Cats - In the labyrinth there are a great deal of chickens and cats roaming the Goblin City. They appear to be normal animals.
  17. The Wiseman’s Hat - The Wiseman’s hat is a bird that talks. It looks like a firebird or some kind of weird peacock (?), but no one is really sure. Perhaps it’s some kind of wisdom bird.
       You probably have a lot of questions that just popped into your head about the denizens of the labyrinth. Did you even know that there were so many? I probably missed a few. I didn’t mention any spiders, but did you notice that there is webbing all over the place in the film? Yuck! Anyway, let your mind think things over. How many fanfictions have you read with other dwarves or fox-dogs or gnomes? What do you think of “low magic” and “high magic”?
       Magic is a great topic to mention. Typically “low magic” is either standard magic that creatures of a certain race can do or low-level witchcraft/wizardry/sorcery. “High Magic” tends to be magic beyond the scope of normalcy or what can easily be learned. Jareth’s crystal magic and ability to transform himself to an owl are both examples of high magic, while Hoggle knowing his way through the labyrinth is low magic since it can be attributed to his being a dwarf (natural instincts).
       Fantasy creatures are always so much fun to write because there are few boundaries. Do keep in mind that there are SOME boundaries. Beef up on your fairy lore and be aware that there are vicious creatures and two-faced characters and malevolent characters. Here are ten types of characters you might want to consider writing into your future fanfiction:
  1. Mermaids - Mermaids are super popular right now. What if the labyrinth extends to a sea? We don’t know. We didn’t see the whole thing.
  2. Trolls - Trolls are a great traditional character that can either be friendly or terrorizing. They never seem to be very smart and they live in the hills, mountains, caves, and under bridges.
  3. Pookas/Pukas - These shapeshifters are often in the form of a black dog, goat, horse, cow, or a dark human-animal hybrid. They can be helpful to those they feel are really in need, but they can also be real bastards either tricking or killing others. They are known to drag people into nearby water to drown them and, later, eat them.
  4. Djinn - You might know them as genies. These are more elemental spirits that reside in sandy areas. They might take a corporeal form, an airy wisp of a form, or a sandy form. They often mess with travelers, but they can be helpful. They can also be trapped, as we all know from the story of Aladdin.
  5. Elves - There are a few takes on elves. There are the light elves, similar to those from Lord of The Rings. There are the dark elves, which are said to have skin black as night. Wood elves are considered to be of medium stature (5’ to 5’10”), greenish or other earthen tinged skin, black or brown or red hair, and they live in the forests. The other type of elves are small in stature and you might think of them as Tomte or Christmas elves.
  6. Griffins - Part eagle, part lion. These beasts are said to be “king of all beasts”. They’re known for guarding treasure/priceless possessions, extremely majestic, and very powerful. Lore says that they take one mate for life.
  7. Centaurs - Part human, part horse. Greek history holds that man killed off all of the centaurs in a number of battles. They are fierce warriors, quite industrial, a bit sexual, and tend to stay around other centaurs - distrusting most other races.
  8. Swan Maiden - A swan maiden is a female that transforms from a swan to a human female. Sometimes there are mentions of Swan Lads, but not often. The maiden needs her swan suit (a feathered garment of some kind) for the transformation. If her swan suit is taken, she is usually pressured into marriage and bearing children. As soon as she gets her suit back, the maiden leaves her husband and children behind.
  9. Greenman - The greenman is a nature creature. He seems to be humanoid, but covered in plants and occasionally housing birds in their hair or beards. They protect the forest, the plants, and the animals.
  10. Faun - Fauns are half man, half goat. Like other creatures, they can be helpful or pull tricks. They are typically depicted as being hairy, sexual, lovers of wine, having goat ears, being a bit foolish, having a penchant for knowledge, and having a friendly streak.

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