Originating in European folklore (also called fay, faerie, and other spelling variations), fairies have so many different descriptions, including winged and tiny, just tiny, radiant and angelic, or trollish.
Almost all require some kind of protection from their malice and mischievousness.
Ever woken up with snarls in your hair? Fairies did it.
The fairy Tinkerbell caused all kinds of trouble for Wendy. (Shoot the Wendy bird!) Now Disney’s Tink and her friends can speak (why do I have a problem with that? Maybe I liked her sassy bells more) and have a world where each fairy plays a role in the seasons and nature.
Even though she wasn’t a tiny person with wings, Morgan Le Fay was described as one of the fairy folk in some of the King Arthur legends. She was pretty twisted, really. Poor Arthur didn’t know what hit him. Arthurian literature (another course I got credit for :-D) has always been one of my favorite sources for fairy stories, including The Green Knight, who was otherworldly.
Then there’s Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and the will-o-wisps in the movie Brave.
What are your favorite kinds of fairies? What other fairy tales and fairies do you know about?