"So there are Oliphaunts. But no one at home will ever believe me."
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Fairy complicated

I was doing a bit of background research on The Sorcerer’s House, the latest novel by my favorite author, an extremely dangerous and subtle man. Several of his more recent works have mined the mythologies of northern Europe—Gaelic/Celtic lore and the Norse cycle. When I was younger I regarded those mythologies are ridiculous (leprechauns) or brutal and predictable (Viking drinking songs). I was wrong, of course. The cute little fairies of Ireland and Wales are beings capable of reason, very powerful, and utterly soulless–hence, quite psychotic; and the tales of the Norse Edda are some of the most disturbing things imaginable, and seem to suggest that LSD was discovered a thousand years earlier than generally acknowledged.

I had the following links open while trying to wrap my head around the story.

All worth perusing.

Bonus cool derivation (not just the word, note the name at the end):

The word fairy derives from Middle English faierie (also fayerye, feirie, fairie), a direct borrowing from Old French faerie (Modern French féerie) meaning the land, realm, or characteristic activity (i.e. enchantment) of the legendary people of folklore and romance called (in Old French) faie or fee (Modern French fée), derived ultimately from Late Latin fata (one of the personified Fates, hence a guardian or tutelary spirit, hence a spirit in general)…

To the word faie was added the suffix -erie (Modern English -(e)ry), used to express either a place where something is found (fishery, heronry, nunnery) or a trade or typical activity engaged in by a person (cookery, midwifery, thievery), and in later usage generally applied to any kind of quality or activity associated with a particular sort of person (as in English knavery, roguery, witchery, wizardry)…

The word fey, originally meaning “fated to die” or “having forebodings of death” (hence “visionary”, “mad”, and various other derived meanings) is completely unrelated, being from Old English fæge, Proto-Germanic *faigja- and Proto-Indo-European *poikyo-, whereas Latin fata comes from the Indo-European root *bhã- “speak”.

Morgan le Fay, whose connection to the realm of Faerie is implied in her name…

(From “Fairy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.”)