Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ranking of fairies?

In my last blog, both Bloom and I agreed that Queen Zurline of Burzee and Lurline were different characters. A comment suggested that maybe Lurline and Queen Lulea were the same character.

Possibly, as both were given the name "Fairy Queen." But, I don't see a reason to think they were the same.

In Baum's books, we're given several types of fairies...

Nomes, of course, count here as they are immortal earth spirits, unless they have a fatal encounter with an egg.
The Knooks count here as well, they care for animals.
Ryls, who look after plants.
The Rainbow and his Daughters should count, since they're sky fairies.
The Mist Maidens and Cloud Fairies also count as sky fairies.
We also must include Mermaids.
The Wood-Nymphs of Burzee are also fairies to their own extent. They are ruled by Zurline. They also figure in Eric Shanower's The Forgotten Forest of Oz.
The Sleep Fays
The Water Sprites
The Sound Imps (In The Enchanted Island of Yew, Prince Marvel summons messengers from the Sound Elves. It's very possible that this is the same race.)
We also have Demons, but not the evil kind the Bible teaches of. There are The Wind Demons, and The Master Key has the Demon of Electricity.
There are also Daemons, but this spelling refers only to the five found in A Kidnapped Santa Claus, the Daemons of Selfishness, Envy, Hatred, Malice, and Repentance.
We also have Light Elves who may be related to the Ladies of Light in Tik-Tok of Oz.
We also have the simply named Fairies in Queen Zixi of Ix who also live in Burzee, which leads me to suspect the unnamed Fairy Queen in The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus is Queen Lulea. These fairies seem to have human wards they care for, which would make them comparable to the fairies in Peter Pan, except much larger and they actually use speech.

However, in the Oz books, we also have Lurline, who, in The Tin Woodman of Oz is has a fairy band and is called Queen. In Glinda of Oz, Ozma says that she was part of the band of the Fairy Queen Lurline. All we really know for certain about Queen Lurline is that she made Oz a fairyland, when she passed over it.

I begin to wonder if Lurline is supposed to be the closest Baum got to a goddess in his books. In The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus, there's a mention of an otherwise-unnamed "Supreme Master," who could be Baum's take on God, or stemming from his interest in Theosophy.

I began to wonder recently about Lurline passing over Oz... Does this make her a sky fairy? Is she an elemental? Is her home on a cloud? Maybe the sun, or a star, or... the moon?

... Maybe that's why Tinker never came down...

It seems that there is the Supreme Master, Lurline, then the rankings of Ak, Bo, and Kern, and the smaller Kings and Queens and Lords. Unless Tititi Hoochoo is the Supreme Master, he should fit in somewhere above Ak, Bo, and Kern. He also has a host of Kings and Queens of just about everything.

... Bloom was right when he said it would be easy to make a religion based on Baum...


F. Douglas Wall said...

The Forest of Burzee strikes me as being home to the nature fairies, those fairies with dominion over trees and animals of the forests.

Tititi Hoochoo's domain seems to be the home of elemental fairies, those who embody the essential forces of the universe.

If Oz has a religion, it is probably very animist, with fairies representing every aspect of nature.

Nathan said...

Jack Snow says that Lurline lives in Burzee, which suggests that he thought of her and Lulea as the same Fairy Queen.

Don't the fairies in QUEEN ZIXI have wings? If Lurline is that kind of fairy, it would explain how she could pass over Oz.

As for the moon, the Man in the Moon appears in ZIXI, and is also pictured in the illustration of Tinker climbing his ladder. He's the star of one of the MOTHER GOOSE IN PROSE stories as well.

S.P. Maldonado said...

What about the animal fairies like the fairy beavers or the tiger fairies or even the unicorn from Merry Go Round in Oz?

Jay said...

I didn't count the tiger fairies because Baum didn't tie those stories to Oz.

The Fairy Beavers are a good one, but they don't seem to have any ranking with the Immortals.

And... I haven't yet read "Merry-Go-Round in Oz."

Nathan said...

Pittypat tells John Dough, "All the animals have their fairies, just as you human folks do; and it is lucky for us that the Fairy Beaver lives on this very island." It sounds like Baum was thinking along the same lines as the Tiger Fairies. If different types of animals all have their own fairies, though, it would seem to make the role of the Knooks superfluous. Maybe that's why the Knooks are described in ROAD as caring for trees instead of animals.