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Fairies, in the fictional series Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, are beings, usually shorter than a human, who possess magic properties. The average height of a fairy is exactly 1 metre, one centimetre. All the fairies have retreated below the Earth to escape the destructiveness of the human race. Their underground civilization is centered around the capital city of Haven. Fairies are vernacularly known as the People, and live a life according to the Book of the People. There are 8 recognized families of fairies- Elves, Dwarves, Pixies, Gnomes, Gremlins, Goblins, Sprites and Demons. However, the centaurs have been mentioned several times, as with trolls, and the centaurs' cousins, the unicorns, were killed off, yet they are not recognised.


Races of Fairies and the eight families

The Eight Families

In Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony, it is said that 10,000 years ago, there were eight families (or species) of fairies. It is possible that Centaurs and Trolls used to live not underground but above ground, and were recruited by the fairies for the war against the mud people (Humans). This would explain the links between many animals these two species have, and would explain why they don't have magic. Centaurs are also cousins of unicorns, so they couldn't be in the fairy family without the unicorns. The fairies, however, are mostly humanoid.


Elves are similar in appearance to humans, but are around 1 metre tall. They have pointy ears and brown skin, and it is mentioned in the story that one theory of their evolution is that they evolved from the pterosaurs, which may explain their apparent love of flying. Elves have the gift of tongues, which allows them to speak any language. Elves have several types of magic. They can heal themselves and others, can shield themselves (which makes them appear invisible by vibrating at high speeds so the human eye cannot see them), can create positive magical vibes, and they have the mesmer. It is also hinted in the first book that some Fairies have the power of telekinesis, but this may only be the case for warlocks. Captain Holly Short, the late Commander Julius Root, current Commander Trouble Kelp and his brother, Corporal Grub Kelp, are all elves. Elves are the first of the eight families of fairy People.


Dwarves look like small humans, but are less proportional than elves. Dwarves have many abilities. They can unhinge their jaws to chew through earth extremely quickly. When digging they shovel the dirt into their mouth, digest it to remove any useful minerals, then (sometimes for self defence or as a weapon) excrete the remenance. Their spit glows in the dark and hardens once it leaves their mouths. Dwarf spittle is also a sedative, as seen in the fifth book. Their hair can be used as keys because rigor mortis sets in once they pluck it off. When the hair is still attached to the dwarf, they can be used to detect vibrations. Since dwarves can drink water by absorbing it through their pores, if they go long enough without drinking, their pores create a vacuum effect, allowing them to stick to walls. Dwarves can also flatulate with colossal power (enough to knock out trolls). Their flatulence also is a by-product of a gas used for deep sea divers to prevent 'the bends'. They also have the gift of tongues. Dwarves are extremely sensitive to sunlight, and can burn after three minutes in the sun. They also hate fire and ice. Dwarves despise goblins as a general rule, and often erupt in turf wars against them.


Goblins are reptilian fairies, often described as upright, raptor like creatures (minus the claws and feathers). They are quite stupid as they have small brains, but they can still talk and (to a certain extent) work machinery like lasers and sometimes even computers. They have the ability to create fireballs in their hands, or shoot them through their nostrils (Sometimes by Inhaling fireballs created in their own hands). Groups of goblins are involved in an ongoing turf war with groups of dwarves. They make their clothing from their own shed skin. In Book 3, Holly describes goblins as "Evolution's little joke", with the reasoning, "pick the dumbest creatures on the planet, and give them the ability to conjure fire". Notable Goblins Include General Scalene, A General in the Goblin revolution and public enemy No.2 (After Opal Koboi), and captain Nyle, a young, cocky Goblin captain also enlisted in the Goblin Revolution.


Gnomes are seen and mentioned in every book, but we are not told very much about their race in general. We know that some of them are professional wrestlers (fairy wrestling is done in zero gravity chambers). Gnomes have been described as slightly stupid and very argumentative, and that they have massive backsides. It is not mentioned on whether or not Gnomes are a family of the fairies. There is more or less one notable gnome mentioned in the Artemis Fowl Series (Ark Sool) as the successor to Julius Root. Jerbal Argon is also a gnome.


Similar to elves, but appear more child-like and grow to about two feet tall on average. These fairies are regarded as 'walking therapy' by other fairies, due to their innocent faces and usually sunny exuberance. They possess similar magical abilities to elves, including the mesmer and the gift of tongues. They have large brains, fragile skulls and most are extremely intelligent. Their larger skulls and brains make them susceptible to catatonia and other diseases. Opal Koboi and the Brill Brothers are members of this family.


Sprites are very much like elves, but they have wings and green skin. Most of them are flirts, who believe that they are 'God's gift to women'. They favourite past-time is flying and some have been recorded to try and fly to the moon, but it is doubtful that they suceeded. They have limited healing abilities. They also possess the gift of tongues. Sprites have the fastest reflexes of any type of fairy. There is a type of sprite called the water sprite which have batlike wings.


Gremlins have only been mentioned once or twice in the Artemis Fowl series. We do not know anything about them, except some work in the LEP. We first heard of them when Commander Root "doused his cigar in the coffee cup of a passing gremlin" just before he saw the footage of Captain Holly Short's kidnap in the first book. Also, as Root was in the terminal on his way to Fowl Manor, the attendant is being mobbed by a large amount of gremlins. It's also possible that in the graphic novel a gremlin is seen attaching an arm patch to Root as they prepare to head to Fowl Manor. They have also been mentioned when Commander Root slapped at a paramedic gremlin who was applying burn salve to his fore head after being burnt on a whaling ship in book one page 123.


Seen only in the fifth and sixth books in the series, The Lost Colony and The Time Paradox, respectively. They are born as small, elf-like creatures (imps) with grey skin, stubby tails, posing no harm, and some, warlocks have reddish runes on their heads and bodies. These warlocks never transform into demons and remain in their imp form their entire lives. Warlocks also have the strongest magic of all fairies. Other imps, when they achieve a certain level of bloodlust, they transform through a cocoon process called warping into large beasts (demons) with horns, pointed ears, tough plates on their skin, and extreme physical strength. The warping is the end of any magic a demon may or may not have possesed. As of the great battle between the humans and fairies, they have resided on a moon-rock island floating in a space in which time doesn't exist. The pack leader is, and has been for a long time, Leon Abbot, who controls the pack's council through magic he acquired in the time tunnel between Earth and their island of Hybras. Demons are the eighth of the fairy families. Notable demons are Leon Abbot and Gristle. Notable warlocks are N01, Qwan and Qweffor


In a section of book 1 when Commander Root and the LEP Reconnaissance were in a shuttle port while a fairy hybrid of an Elf and Goblin was being mobbed by tourists.

Non-Magical Creatures in the Lower Elements


Trolls are the least intelligent of the non-magical creatures. Most of their decisions are based on their instincts. They are quick for their size and have large serrated tusks which produce a narcotic venom which renders the prey mindlessly—and defenselessly—happy. If they can, their preferred kill tactic is to slip their claws under the rib cage and pop the heart out before the muscles have time to tense up, rendering the meat mostly unharmed and tender. They have an extreme aversion to light, noise, and water. The largest pack of trolls were seen in the Eleven Wonders of the World Exhibit in a run-down part of Haven. Very few people have ever managed to single-handedly down a troll. Holly Short once did it with her helmet's eight-hundred-watt high beams, the shock of the light rendering the troll unconscious. Domovoi Butler did it with his combat training, and a mix of medieval and modern weaponry.


Half horse and half human creatures with horns on their heads and hair covering their bodies. Centaurs don't possess any magic, but are the second largest and possibly the smartest of all fairies. Centaurs have the gift of tongues and they can hit hard with their hind legs. They are not very social, as Foaly mentioned, and are regarded as vain and paranoid computer geeks. They are not very aggressive physically. Centaurs are known to be the cousins of the now-extinct Unicorns, which were killed by humans. The most famed centaur in the series is Foaly and other centaurs include Caballine, Foaly's wife.


A large, barnacle-like aquatic creature, up to 3 miles long, appearing in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, of which only seven specimens remain. They are often mistaken for islands, like the Kraken of myth, however they lack tentacles and are docile. Kraken shed their shell usually only once in their lifetime, but when they do, under the shell is a huge amount of methane which is set ablaze, creating an explosion, and propelling the shell off. Although it is thought that Kraken shed their shells only once during their lives, one, known as 'Shelly' by the Kraken Watch and the oldest of the seven specimens still alive, blasts its shell off a second time while Holly is checking a red-lining sensor on it.

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