|“||Up the airy mountain Down the rushy glen We dare not go a-hunting For fear of little men.||„|
|~ The Fairies, William Allingham.|
We all know that in popular culture, Fair Folks such as fairies, sprites, pixies, and elves tend to be portrayed as a heroic type of allies for protagonists where famous examples would be Tinker Bell and Fairy Godmother. But if we dig their origins in myth, we would know that original Fairies of folklore were far from the sweet and innocent beings we have come to see them as in modern times. As a threat, they can also become a terrifying force to be reckoned with just like when dealing with demons or hellspawns.
Popular Culture vs Myth
Contrary to popular culture, fairies of folklore were vicious, vindictive and cruel - embodying forces of nature and often appearing as monstrous figures rather than the winged pixie-like beings we associate the word with today. They were blamed for all manner of mischief and ills, ranging from petty vandalism and theft to outright murder and kidnap - they would frequently be blamed for causing livestock to grow sick or die, they would lead travellers astray at night or lure men to their doom near ponds and rivers: if sufficiently angered they would even kill.
It is indeed very hard to imagine that majorities of fairies in myth as monstrous beings, as various modern portrayals of them primarily brought their depiction to more heroic light. The most feared and malicious of fairies of folklores is the Unseelie Court whom, much like demons, would often attack and harass mortals with no reason nor hesitation.
To combat fairies, cold iron can be used to harm or even killed them. Using cold iron as weapons against fairies is not always the primary means to keep them at bay, as a Dullahan would not approach a victim if they carry a gold.
Even so, not all fairies are truly malevolent being. Similar to their portrayals in popular culture, some would try to interact with humans and even asked them to join them in their activities, but in some cases they can be ignorant with the effect of their otherworldly activities to humans in question, let alone the difference between the law of their homeworld and that of human world. For example, when a human joined fairies in their innocent activities such as playing or dancing, the said game turned out alter their perception of time where they wind up playing for either hundred years and in some cases, suffer strange afflictions in which for fairies they may neither care nor aware with it. Some fairies' interaction to humans can beneficial for both sides, but the motives behind it can be ambiguous.