Character Types: Fairy Godmothers

I was recently (and by recently, I mean like a month and a half ago) talking to a writer friend who wanted to write a fairy tale. She asked me what some of the traditional characteristics of fairy godmothers were. That of course turned on the little light bulb over my head. I decided to do a series here on my blog exploring some of the standard fairy tale characters and their generic traits. I’ll list the characteristics I’ve seen most often, but as is the case with many lists, there are exceptions.

Let’s begin with fairy godmothers!

1. Fairy Godmothers are women. Like their name suggests, godmothers are females who are not related to, but care deeply for, a character.

2. Fairy Godmothers are protectors. Fairy godmothers have one purpose: helping those in need. They only arrive when the situation has become dire. The godmothers aid and protect their wards with all of their ability so their charge can have a happy ending.

3. Fairy Godmothers have magic. Whether an actual fairy or a human magician, godmothers possess supernatural talent. It seems a little unfair, but fairy godmothers have the ability to solve any problem with a wave of their wands. It’s not a power they use lightly, though.

4. Fairy Godmothers reward kindness and goodness. Fairy godmothers often test strangers they meet. They reward kind actions and punish the wicked. The most common disguise: a beggar woman, most often old and/or ugly.

5. Fairy Godmothers often disguise themselves. And understandably so. They don’t want to be bothered by every Dave and Nancy for favors or quick fixes. Plus, it makes it easier to test people (see number 4.) if they don’t look like their normal attractive or magical selves.

What are some other common characteristics of fairy godmothers?

Until next time, word nerds.

2 thoughts on “Character Types: Fairy Godmothers

  1. Oh this is so interesting. Definitely want to go rewrite my story now!

    Your comment about fairy godmothers not using their powers lightly reminded me of the godmother in Ella Enchanted. She was such an interesting and developed character. I should reread that one before doing any more fairy tale work.

    Also, I still want to know what would happen if fairy godmothers were godfathers instead…

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