The Fairy King & Queen

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The Fairy Queen appears more often than the King.

The Fairy Queen is the ruler of the fairies and all of Fairyland. There have also been Fairy Kings, who rule the same, but more often than not, a queen is in charge. The monarchy does not appear to be transferred by inheritance but, as in the case of Queen Mab and King Oberon, it is bestowed on those who are deemed worthy of it. The Fairy Queen, also known as Gloriana, is afforded tremendous respect by the humans who know of her existence. She frequently selects champions, human or otherwise, to go on quests for her, in order to maintain the balance of good in the world.

Known Monarchs of the Fairies

  • King Finvarra and Queen Oona (or Oonagh, or Una, or Uonaidh): Possibly the first monarchs of the fairies. After the god-like Tuatha Dé Danann were defeated, most elected to leave Ireland, but some were allowed to stay, as long as they remained hidden underground. These magical spirits were lead by King Finvarra and eventually became known as the fairies.
  • Queen Mab: Mab was once the great warrior queen of Connacht, also known as Medb, who battled the Ulster hero Cúchulainn, around the 1st century AD. It appears that after her death, her greatness was rewarded, and the brave mortal became the new Fairy Queen. While her reign probably lasted through the first centuries, she was also mentioned by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, and the works of many other authors who considered her the true Fairy Queen. At least one, suggested that she was actually the consort of Oberon. She was also seen granting Peter Pan the gift of flight, around the year 1890.
  • Queen Gloriana: the Faerie Queen who sent the female knight, Britomart on her quest, in the days just prior to the rule of King Arthur, in the 5th century AD.
  • King Oberon and Queen Titania: In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," William Shakespeare claimed that Oberon and Titania ruled the fairies around the time that the Greek hero Thesseus married Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. That would have put their rule sometime around 1000 BC, when the mortal, Thesseus, was still alive. However, most stories of Oberon, particularly the earlier French romance, "Isaie le Triste," suggest that Oberon did not ascend to rule Fairyland, until just after the death of King Arthur, which would mean his rule began around the beginning of the 6th century. This seems more consistent with other stories, and suggests the events of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" may have happened closer to Shakespeare's time. This would also explain the unlikely scenario of Hippolyta getting married so early in her history. King Oberon began life as an ugly dwarf named Tronc, but removed the fairy curse that made him ugly, and became the beautiful fairy king Oberon, after assisting Isaie le Triste (son of Tristan) in his quest to restore goodness to the world, in the dark times after Arthur's death. Oberon's mate, Titania, may actually be a diminished form of the goddess Artemis. Oberon remained the King of the fairies until at least the late 8th century, when he aided Huon de Bordeaux who had accidentally killed Charlot, the son of Emperor Charlemagne.
  • Queen Lurline: Lurline was the fairy who created the fairy land known as Oz, sometime around the late 16th or early 17th century. It is unclear if she was the Queen at that time, but she was the Fairy Queen by the beginning of the 20th century.

Public Domain Comic Appearances

  • Thrilling Comics #9: The Fairy Queen refuses to leave Fairyland to become a Hollywood star.
  • Pep Comics #18, 28-29, 37-38: Here she is also known as "The Good Fairy" and appears to govern Wonderland, sending Danny of Wonderland on missions for her.
  • Four Color #68: The Fairy Queen attends Mother Goose's birthday party and transforms the Ugly Duckling into a beautiful swan.
  • Hoppy the Marvel Bunny #1: Marvel Bunny helps retrieve the Fairy Queen's wand from a witch, restoring the Fairy Queen's power.
  • Hoppy the Marvel Bunny #2: The Fairy Queen gives Millie a magic ring that grants wishes (and causes trouble).

Public domain literary appearances

“The Elves’ Gift: The Veritable Narrative of Thomas Graspen,” by Arthur Crosby, St. Nicholas, vol. 1, no. 3, Jan. 1874. The king of a very local community of little people that are called both elves and fairies at different points in the story intercepts a boy on his walk home and brings the boy to his beautiful throne room embedded in a snowbank. A group of royal subjects present the boy with a gift of an exquisite sled, but withdraw the offer in anger when he is selfishly dissatisfied with it. (Internet Archive)

See Also

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