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As fairies, we get to spend very little time in your world.

Nova to Dreamy src

Fairies are a humanoid species on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. They are native to Fairy Tale Land, Wonderland, Wish Realm and the New Fairy Tale Land, and first appear in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.

The most prominent fairy, the Blue Fairy, is based on the Fairy with turquoise hair[1] from The Adventures of Pinocchio and the character of the same name from the Disney film Pinocchio. The Fairy Godmothers are based on the characters of the same name from Charles Perrault's version of the "Cinderella" fairytale, and the Disney film Cinderella. Tinker Bell and Tiger Lily are based on the characters of the same names from the Peter Pan story and the Disney film Peter Pan.


Fairies are human in appearance, but with a few noticeable differences. Normally, they are quite small in size, although they have the ability to enlarge themselves to the size of a human. Two dragonfly-like wings protrude from their back, which disappear when they are not flying, and re-appear as they get ready for take-off. When they fly or change shape, their bodies emit a sparkling glow. ("Dreamy", "Quite a Common Fairy" et al.)

Only female fairies have appeared so far, and it is not known whether there are any male fairies in existence. However, unlike dwarves, fairies are capable of falling in love and have been known to enter into relationships with humans. ("Dreamy", "Trust Me")

Fairies have their own special form of magic. If a fairy strays too far from their chosen path, their leader may stop believing in them, and they will lose their wings, along with their powers, and will no longer be a fairy. However, it is possible for a fairy to regain their powers if their leader and the fairy herself starts believing in her again. A fairy can also give up her wings voluntarily, after which she will no longer be a fairy. A human who is versed in magic can transform herself into a fairy by using another fairy's wand and a special spell. ("Dreamy", "Quite a Common Fairy", "Going Home, "Awake", "The Black Fairy")

There is an unknown, likely large number of fairies, as seen when a horde of them attacks King George’s castle.[2] ("An Apple Red as Blood")

Fairies appear to be a long-lived species. During the time where Rumplestiltskin (who was more than a hundred years old by the time the Dark Curse was cast)[3] became the Dark One, the Blue Fairy was already a legend in the Enchanted Forest and was described as an ancient being. The Black Fairy, who is Rumplestiltskin's mother, still looked young when she was reunited with her son more than a hundred years after she gave birth to him. ("The Return", "Changelings")


Fairies generally spend little time outside their own realm. They go through a training program with other, more experienced fairies, until they are able to work on their own. Fairies dedicate themselves to helping others and doing good. The more experienced fairies often become protectors of children, families, and other people in need, and become their "fairy godmothers". This job is not limited to one person or family. ("The Shepherd", "The Price of Gold", "Dreamy", "Quite a Common Fairy", "Changelings, "The Black Fairy")

Fairies have to respect some rules, including a curfew, dust discipline and not taking on human size for no reason. If a fairy stops being good, she may be exiled. ("Quite a Common Fairy", "Going Home", "Changelings")

According to the Blue Fairy, fairies don't lie. However, the Blue Fairy has lied on at least two occasions: She told Snow White and Prince Charming, at Geppetto's insistence, that the magic tree could only protect one person from the Dark Curse, when, in actuality, it could save two; and when Rumplestiltskin asked the Blue Fairy if a curse can be used to travel to the Land Without Magic, she says no, even though she witnesses the creation of the Dark Curse in person. ("The Return", "The Stranger", "The Black Fairy ")

Fairies have their own written language, which some humans can read as well. ("Changelings")


Before First Curse

In the Enchanted Forest, the Blue Fairy is known as the "Reul Ghorm", who is rumored to grant someone's wish if the person wishes upon on a blue star. ("The Return")

At some point, the Black Fairy has a son with Malcolm, but she abandons the child without giving him a name, leaving him to be raised by his father. Either during or after this, the fairy's heart begins blackening, and she begins kidnapping children instead of protecting them. She becomes ill-reputed for her magic in the dark arts and is stripped of her powers once the Blue Fairy takes away her wand. ("Going Home", "Changelings")

A boy named Baelfire calls the Blue Fairy for help with his father, Rumplestiltskin, who became evil after killing a man with dark magic. As it is not within her power to return Baelfire's father to who he once was, the Blue Fairy gives him a magic bean to a land without magic, where Baelfire's father cannot use magic to harm people. Rumplestiltskin, too afraid to live without his powers, abandons his son by letting him go into the bean portal alone, but soon after, panic sets in and he frantically calls the Blue Fairy. She tells him there is no way for him to get to that world without paying a great price, which is giving up this land in exchange for the next, and by saying this, she accidentally admits there is a curse that can do what Rumplestiltskin desires, but takes comfort in the fact that he will never be able to pull it off. However, Rumplestiltskin vows to do whatever is necessary to get Baelfire back, no matter how long it will take him. ("The Return")

An unknown time passes, and a young man, Jiminy asks for Rumplestiltskin's help in getting rid of his pocket thieving parents, Martin and Myrna, and acquires a potion he must use on them. During one night, his parents trick on a village couple by getting them to buy their fake "elf tonic", but instead they switch their usual fake tonic with Jiminy's potion. The unsuspecting couple drinks the potion, which causes both of them to turn into wooden puppets. To Jiminy's horror and guilt, the couple's son, Geppetto, arrives home to discover the state his parents are in. After wishing upon a blue star to undo his mistake, the Blue Fairy comes to Jiminy's aide. She cannot give Geppetto's parents back to him but grants his wish of allowing Jiminy to be a voice of consciousness for the boy as he grows up. Jiminy turns into a talking cricket and stays by Geppetto's side as a companion. ("That Still Small Voice")

Many years later, when Princess Snow White's mother Queen Eva falls gravely ill, she is advised by a castle servant, Johanna, to seek out the Blue Fairy for help. Unknown to the girl, the Blue Fairy is actually a nemesis in disguise and offers a chance to redeem Eva's life by giving her a candle that will take away the life of someone in exchange for the restoration of another. Snow declines the offer, not wanting to use dark means to harm someone else for her own gain, to which her mother passes away shortly after. ("The Queen Is Dead")

The Blue Fairy's apprentice, Nova, is tasked with collecting fairy dust from the dwarves' mines. As she flies away, some of the dust in her bag spills to the land below and falls on an incubating dwarf egg. This causes the dwarf to dream of Nova while he is still inside the egg, and he hatches early from his egg. Nova has dreams of being a fairy godmother, but instead, Blue assigns her with collecting fairy dust on her own. A year later, when Nova comes to gather dust from the mines and accidentally leaves the bag on a conveyor belt, Dreamy comes to her rescue. Nova tells him about Firefly Hill and subtlety invites him to spend the evening with her there, but Dreamy fails to understand the implication and only wishes her luck with the journey. With guidance from Belle, Dreamy realizes he is in love with Nova and rushes to meet with her. Dreamy and Nova discover their shared desire to travel the world and make plans to leave together. Before he is set to leave, Dreamy gifts Belle a pouch of fairy dust as thanks for her earlier advice. However, when he is chided by the Blue Fairy that Nova's greatest aspiration is to be a fairy godmother, and that can't happen if they leave, Dreamy reluctantly breaks up with Nova and returns to the mines, where he receives another pickax with his new name: Grumpy. ("Dreamy", "The Outsider")

While training under the Blue Fairy’s instruction, Tinker Bell befriends Regina and offers to help her find another true love with pixie dust. Against the Blue Fairy’s wishes, Tinker Bell leaves home and secretly steals pixie dust to lead Regina to a tavern where her true love awaits. Despite her fairy friend’s encouragement, Regina flees without meeting the man. When confronted by Tinker Bell, she denies being afraid of love and coldly tells her to get lost. As Tinker Bell leaves, a disappointed Blue Fairy demotes her trainee by taking away her wings. At some point after this, Tinker Bell leaves the Enchanted Forest for Neverland. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

In Neverland, Tinker Bell spies on two strangers, Hook and Smee, as they walk through the forest. After knocking out Smee, she holds Hook at knifepoint while interrogating him about his reasons for being on the island. At one point, he offers her some rum, to which she drops her guard. When she learns he wants to kill the Dark One, Tinker Bell expresses skepticism over whether he will be able to do that without dying, though Hook attests he only risks his life for either love or revenge. ("Going Home")

Even after resigning himself to his place in the mines, Grumpy still loves Nova, and with hopes of winning her back, he sells his wages to buy a diamond to propose to her. However, he learns the diamond he bought was a stolen one. He accepts the blame for the theft, even though he did not steal it, and is thrown into King George's castle dungeon as punishment. ("7:15 A.M.")

In exchange for helping King George find his son James' twin brother, Rumplestiltskin gains knowledge about the whereabouts of a Fairy Godmother, who is in service to King George's family. He then tracks down the fairy as she is in the process of fulfilling the wish of a housemaid, Cinderella, and obliterates her with a fireball. Though his action horrifies the maid, he offers to help change her life. As part of the deal, Cinderella agrees to give him something precious in the future, and in return, he uses the Fairy Godmother’s wand to change her rags into a beautiful gown. ("The Shepherd", "The Price of Gold")

After reciting a fairy incantation to summon the Black Fairy, Rumplestiltskin lures her in with a stolen child, but before she can take the baby, he paralyzes her with squid ink in order to get answers from her. He asks her why, as a kidnapper of children, she chose to abandon the one child who was hers. Shocked, the Blue Fairy realizes Rumplestiltskin is the son she left behind, but after regaining her composure, she laughs at him and callously admits she chose power over love. Once the ink's power wears off, she holds Rumplestiltskin's neck in a vice grip and mocks him for not having enough time to ask more questions. She then flings him backward before running off a short distance away, where she transforms back into her miniature fairy form and flies off. ("Changelings")

While Snow White is on the run from the Queen, she begins selling her family heirlooms to get enough money to leave the kingdom. The Blue Fairy attempts to persuade her to stay for the people's sake because they love and need her, but Snow is adamant about leaving, especially after she is attacked by a Woodcutter who plans to bring her to the Queen. ("Heartless")

In time, Snow learns to steal jewelry from roadside travelers and sells them to trolls at the Troll Bridge, with plans of going someplace where the Queen can't find her. Through unknown means, Snow acquires fairy dust from a dark fairy, which can transform an adversity into something harmless. ("Snow Falls")

One day, Prince Charming coerces Snow into retrieving a ring that she stole from him and had sold to trolls. As Snow is leading him to the Troll Bridge, Charming notices her absentmindedly twirling a pouch of fairy dust and snatches it from her. Alarmed, she warns him about the powerful effects of this kind of fairy dust. Later, when Charming is trapped by the trolls, she saves his life by using the dust to turn the trolls into bugs. ("Snow Falls")

While Prince Charles, Prince Charming and Red Riding Hood sneak into the Queen's castle to rescue Princess Leia, Snow tries to overpower the Queen by throwing dark fairy dust on her, only to be captured and sentenced to death. The Queen burns Snow alive with fire magic, however, Snow still has some dust clutched in her hand, which helps her transform into a ladybug and escape unnoticed. After regaining human form with the Blue Fairy's magic, Snow makes off with the ring towards the Troll Bridge. Charming catches up to her, but when he is caught by the trolls, Snow saves him by threatening to turn the trolls into bugs with faux fairy dust. ("Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home")

Through a series of events, Grumpy and his dwarf brothers befriend Snow and help her rescue Charming, who has been kidnapped by King George. As they assemble for battle, Grumpy vaguely mentions that the Blue Fairy owes him a debt, which she is attempting to make up for by helping them save Charming. Snow and the dwarves infiltrate the castle but are swarmed by the guards, who are taken out when an army of fairies swoop in with fairy dust to put the soldiers to sleep. ("An Apple Red as Blood")

Following many battles that Snow and Charming have against King George and the Evil Queen to fight for the kingdom, King George's forces fall and the Queen is captured alive when the Blue Fairy throws fairy dust on her as a temporary paralytic. On the day of the Queen's public execution, she gives her last public statement, and despite that her words are full of malice, Snow is full of remorse and guilt. Charming readies numerous arrows that will fire and pierce the Queen to death on command, and just before they hit their target, Snow calls for the execution to be stopped, to which the Blue Fairy freezes the arrows in midair. ("The Cricket Game")

When a talking puppet named Pinocchio sacrifices himself to save his adoptive father, Geppetto, the Blue Fairy turns him into a real human boy as a reward for his selfless act. She warns Pinocchio that to stay in this form, he must remain kind, selfless, and honest. ("The Stranger", "Pilot")

To combat the Queen's curse, the Blue Fairy seeks out Geppetto's help to carve a magic wardrobe out of an enchanted tree, which will protect two people from the curse. Out of selfishness, Geppetto demands that Pinocchio be one of the two who will be protected, or he won't make the wardrobe. She agrees to the deal, and lies to the war council, stating that the wardrobe can only protect one person from the curse. Snow, while still pregnant, is chosen as the one to go through the wardrobe, however, she gives birth early on the same day the curse approaches. Given this unexpected situation, the Blue Fairy asks Geppetto to allow Snow and baby Emma to go into the wardrobe together because the Savior needs someone to guide her as she grows up. However, as soon as the Blue Fairy leaves, Geppetto ignores her instructions and sends Pinocchio into the wardrobe. ("The Stranger", "Pilot")

During First Curse
After the Evil Queen's curse is cast, the fairies of the Enchanted Forest are taken to the town of Storybrooke, where they live as nuns in a convent. Nova, now Sister Astrid, is overseen by the former Blue Fairy, who is the head nun, Mother Superior. Only after twenty-eight years have passed, the Savior, Emma, breaks the curse and restores everyone's memories of their pre-curse lives. ("Pilot", "Dreamy", "A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse

In the realm of Wonderland, the fairy Silvermist meets Knave, whom she is in love with, but he doesn't reciprocate her feelings. He breaks Silvermist's heart and later parts from her on amicable terms. Later on, Silvermist arrives when Alice and Knave summon her to help them across a river. She still holds a grudge against Knave for the past, and at one point, purposely drops him in the river, even though she knows he cannot swim. Silvermist even vows to turn him into the Caterpillar for a hefty reward, but she decides against it after Knave makes a genuine apology for hurting her. ("Trust Me")

In Neverland, the ex-fairy Tinker Bell prepares to fulfill her revenge against Regina, whom she blames for causing her to lose her wings. Regina, having lifelong experiences with giving into the darkness, convinces her to choose a different path and not make the same mistakes she did. With further persuasion from Regina's allies, Tinker Bell agrees to help them infiltrate Peter Pan's camp, in exchange for going home with them after they've rescued Henry. That night, Tinker Bell reveals to Regina that, because she didn't meet the man with the lion tattoo, she ruined her own life as well as his. The heroes plan to sneak into the Lost Boy camp, but Tinker Bell backs out of the mission when she learns they don't have a plan for getting off the island. Once Emma, Neal and Hook capture the Shadow as their way out of Neverland, Tinker Bell rejoins their group. During the return trip to Storybrooke on the Jolly Roger, Wendy gives a vial of pixie dust to Tinker Bell, whose belief in herself makes the dust to glow briefly. After Mother Superior is killed by the Shadow, Tinker Bell helps retrieve the Black Fairy's wand from the other nuns. Her ability to harness pixie dust later impresses a revived Mother Superior, who promises to return her wings. When Regina undoes Pan's curse, the nuns are whisked back to the Enchanted Forest to resume their roles as fairies. ("Quite a Common Fairy", "Nasty Habits", "Dark Hollow", "Think Lovely Thoughts", "Save Henry", "Going Home")

During Second Curse
With the casting of the second curse, the fairies in the Enchanted Forest are taken back to Storybrooke, where they become nuns again. Because of a forgetting potion that Zelena added to the curse, the nuns and everyone else affected by the curse are unable to recall what happened in the Enchanted Forest. When Regina breaks the curse, the nuns regain their lost memories. ("Witch Hunt", "A Curious Thing")

After Second Curse

Faced with the threat of Ingrid's Spell of Shattered Sight overtaking Storybrooke, Belle enlists Mother Superior and her fellow nuns to create a spell to counter it. After some research, they discover a counterspell is possible if they use Ingrid's mirror shard in Anna's necklace, however, Elsa offers a decoy in a pouch instead of the necklace, in order to continue searching for Anna on her own. When Anna is found, the nuns await her arrival so they can use her to create the counterspell. After Belle leaves with her husband, Hook carries out Mr. Gold's orders by absorbing the nuns into the Sorcerer's Hat. Mother Superior witnesses this from the diner backroom and attempts to crawl to safety from behind the counter, but Hook catches her trying to escape and traps her in the hat as well. ("Fall")

Six weeks later, Regina uses the Dark One Dagger to perform a spell and free the nuns from the hat. As a party is thrown in the diner to celebrate the nuns' safe return, Mother Superior provides information to Regina about the storybook author and the sorcerer. Upon being reverted to his adult form, August is taken to the convent to recover, but his condition deteriorates, with Mother Superior recognizing that his body is under great strain after having magic change him so many times, and he can only survive by strength alone. Mother Superior is called on again when the Apprentice is discovered to be trapped in the hat, and she uses the Apprentice's walking broom to free him. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town", "Best Laid Plans", "Operation Mongoose Part 1")

During Alternate Reality
In Isaac's book, the fairies use dark magic instead of light magic. When Queen Snow White's minions, the dwarves, are sent after Regina, the fairies stop them by paralyzing them with dark fairy dust. ("Operation Mongoose Part 1")

After Third Curse

While the heroes depart for the Underworld to rescue Hook, the nuns take care of Neal, Roland and Zelena's daughter.[4] After Zelena's return, she disguises herself as Mother Superior in order to get her daughter from the convent, but the real Mother Superior exposes her before she can. When Zelena still tries to leave with the baby, Mother Superior points her wand at her, in preparation to use magic to defend the child. ("Swan Song", "Our Decay")

To stop the Evil Queen from killing everyone with Acheron water, Mother Superior uses her wand to lead Snow, Regina and David to a true love sapling. ("Heartless")

At the cannery, a young nun attempts to outrun Mr. Gold, but she is eventually cornered by him. Mr. Gold uses a spell to age her into an old woman, in order to send a message to Belle about his intentions of speeding up her pregnancy. After Belle gives birth, she asks Mother Superior to be her son Gideon's fairy godmother and to take him far away so Mr. Gold can't reach him. Mother Superior accepts Belle's request and transforms into fairy form before flying off with Gideon, with Mr. Gold arriving in time to see her disappearing out the window. Sometime after leaving with Gideon, Mother Superior is ambushed by the Black Fairy, who bests her during a fight and then steals the baby. Mother Superior is later found in the forest and brought back to the convent to recover. Upon not being able to locate his son, Mr. Gold fears something is amiss and urges Belle to call the nuns and ask about Mother Superior's whereabouts. Belle does as he asks, and after learning about Mother Superior's current state, she and Mr. Gold rush to the convent to find out what happened to their son. ("Changelings", "Wish You Were Here")

Known Fairies


On-Screen Notes

  • Fairies are featured in the title card for "The Price of Gold",[5] "Quite a Common Fairy",[6] "Trust Me"[7] and "The Black Fairy".[8]
  • Fairies are closely related to stars:
  • Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold greatly dislikes fairies, as he does their counterparts, nuns. According to Mr. Gold, "Wherever there's injustice in the world, there's always a fairy". ("Dreamy", "Fall", "Changelings")
  • According to one of Merlin's books, fairies go to fairy rings (a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms) to dance and cavort after a rainstorm. However, like many other locations associated with fairies, humans who dare to enter such a ring "may find themselves asleep for a hundred years", or "whisked off to the land of the little folk, never to return".[12] ("Siege Perilous")
    • This is a direct reference to British fairy lore.[13]
  • An old fairy saying is: "If someone believes in you, you are never alone". ("Heartless")
  • According to Regina, "fairies breath love and hope", so when they talk about the center of a location, they don't mean a geographical center, they mean the heart of the community, the place that means the most for the people. ("The Black Fairy")

Production Notes

Fairytales and Folklore

  • Tinker Bell says to Regina, "I'm a fairy. You might wanna try believing in me." Later, she loses her wings because the fairy leader stops believing in her. Later in Storybrooke, Mother Superior refuses to give Tink her wings back because neither of them believes in her. This is a reference to Peter Pan, where the titular character says to Wendy that every time a child says, "I don't believe in fairies", there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead. Later, Peter saves a dying Tinker Bell by calling on all of the children who believe in fairies to clap their hands. ("Quite a Common Fairy", "The New Neverland")

Props Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. Spelled with a capital letter in the Italian version of the novel:
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of Le avventure di Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved on July 16, 2020. “XXV: (...) Pinocchio promette alla Fata di esser buono e di studiare, perchè è stufo di fare il burattino e vuol diventare un bravo ragazzo. In sulle prime, la buona donnina cominciò col dire che lei non era la piccola Fata dai capelli turchini:” ("la piccola Fata dai capelli turchini" is Italian for "the Fairy with turquoise hair")
  2. File:121FairiesAdvance.png
  3. During the present-day events of "Going Home", which take place in 2012, 29 years after the curse was cast, Rumplestiltskin's father says, "What are you now? A couple hundred?". During the present-day events of "Family Business", which take place in 2013, Hook (who knew Rumplestiltskin from before he became the Dark One) refers to himself as approximately two hundred years old.
  4. Aguilera, Leanne (December 8, 2015). 'Once Upon a Time' Bosses Spill on Underworld Adventures, True Love's Kiss, the Same-Sex Romance & Much More!. Entertainment Tonight. “Where is Baby Neal and Baby Hood while the gang heads off to the Underworld? Who's babysitting? AH: There was a line, I believe, where they mention that the fairies are taking care of the children. EK: Yes, they are in the care of the Blue Fairy daycare!”
  5. File:104Title.png
  6. File:303Title.png
  7. File:W102Title.png
  8. File:619Title.png
  9. File:412Missing.png
  10. nova. Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved on December 30, 2018.
  11. File:619ShiningStar.png
  12. 12.0 12.1 File:503StuffOfLegend.png
  13. Wigington, Patti (Updated June 19, 2017). Mushroom Magic and Folklore. ThoughtCo. “In Great Britain, these circles are known as fairy rings—and they are where the Fae come to dance and frolic after a rainstorm. However, like many other locations associated with faeries, humans who dare to enter such a ring may find themselves asleep for a hundred years, or worse yet, whisked off to the land of the wee folk, never to return.”
  14. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis on Season One Blu-ray/DVD Commentary for "Pilot"
  15. File:215WandMagic.png
  16. File:W102EnjoyThis.png
  17. File:311GivingTheWand.png
  18. File:303SeeYouSoon.png
  19. File:619TigerLilyWand.png
  20. File:407EvilQueenStorybook.png
  21. File:620NewPage.png
  22. File:522ButHenry.png

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