A couple of readers who know me have asked whether I honestly think that fairies exist. I originally had a character in The Never King – Al Merlin to be specific – try to answer that question. However, that was one of the many sections that I ultimately deleted because it slowed down the pace of the book. But what Jack said was basically the following:
Over the centuries, most fairy “sightings” have undoubtedly been bogus. Some were due to a few too many pints at the local pub or the need for a dramatic excuse. (“I’m sorry to be getting home so late my dear, but a troll stopped me back at the bridge.”) Other cases probably represented an over-heated imagination, wishful thinking, an infirm mind, or a desire to attract attention. And there has also been a profit motive (if you define profit broadly). The latter was particularly important in the development of magic as we think of it today – i.e. creating the illusion that you’re bending the Laws of Nature.
But the fact that most encounters with fairies have been bogus doesn’t mean that they can’t exist. Furthermore, believing in fairies is less of a leap beyond the laws of modern science than, say, believing in a God who answers prayers, in the miracles of the saints, or in a life after death. And, as Father Agnelli points out in The Never King, perhaps it’s as simple as our losing the capacity to see everything that’s in front of our face. At one time, human beings saw more and there’s no reason to believe that our species was more ignorant or deluded back then. (On the contrary . . .) So the short answer is, I don’t know if there are fairies but I also don’t know that there aren’t. But I firmly believe that there’s more to Creation than meets our jaded, modern eyes.