Episode 29: Power Players of Faerie: The Dark King
The folklore of the Dark King in a nutshell and how I reimagined him for my writing.
Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.
Copyright 2022 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.
Learn more about the Dark King here.
Get the transcript here.
Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com
You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.
I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With nearly a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.
This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.
Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.
This episode is brought to you by my book Once… Tales, Myths and Legends of Faerie available in eBook, audiobook and paperback. Learn more at ronelthemythmaker.com/my-books.
We’re continuing our exploration of the power players of Faerie.
Today’s faery: The Dark King
Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel
The closest to a dark faery king I could find was the Erlking, immortalised in verse by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and put to song by Franz Schubert. There’s a translation to English by Sir Walter Scott. Basically, the Erlking is known in Germanic folklore as a dark and sinister elf who lives in the woods, and enjoys stalking and killing children.
A famous faery king, mostly thanks to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is Oberon. This faery king was popular in medieval and Renaissance literature. In some tales he helps humans with their quests, in others he is in a love triangle – real and imagined – with Mab and Titania.
After the Tuatha De Dannan were defeated by the Milesians in Ireland, they decided to make their homes beneath the earth. Entrances were caves, springs, cracks, and other clever ways. They were led by Finnbhear/Finvarra, son of Dagda. This faery king loved revels and frequently enticed mortal women to join him – and they usually returned home unscathed after a night of dancing. He also loved horses and rode a flaming-eyed steed.
It’s probably best to stay away from haunted woods.
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: The Dark King
The Dark King. The Unseelie King. The Faerie King. Ciarán.
He rules the dark fae, the Dark Lands and his own castle within. Even the Unseen Unseelie answer to him.
He prefers to look like the modern depiction of a gorgeous vampire in a paranormal romance novel for reasons unknown.
He likes to sow chaos, especially when it will serve his greater goal of more power.
He follows his own rules and doesn’t care what others think of him.
He prefers to rule with fear.
He is just as powerful as the Faery Queen.
He has moments of kindness, though they are far outweighed by his propensity for cruelty.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.
Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!
Want a taste of my writing? Sign up to my newsletter and get your free copy of Unseen, Faery Tales #2.