One of the characters in The Fey Man is Dank, a boy covered in bizarre tattoos who has a little sprite living in his skin. This fay can push its way in and out of his body, at great pain to Dank, but whilst it’s within him he’s connected to the fay. He can share their thoughts, their memories and knowledge. And that character wouldn’t exist if not for Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Anyone who’s played Ocarina of Time will already know that the playable character is a boy named Link, who is accompanied by a little fairy called Navi. Navi is a game mechanic to provide hints, reminders, and to demand that you listen. Generally Navi floats around objects of interest or provides hints as to what to do next. But, when you are at rest, she will sometimes disappear under Link’s clothing. You can see it below in the animated GIF my brother made for me (thanks Chris!)
Anyway, one day, I wondered if she wasn’t actually disappearing under Link’s skin.
I know. My thoughts worry me too, sometimes.
But this thought actually became key, not just to Dank, but to the very nature of the fay in the Fair Folk series.
It seemed a given that Navi’s body wouldn’t remain intact inside Link. She’d have to dissipate inside him. And if her body was dissipated, so were her thoughts. A fairy wouldn’t endow the boy with any physical benefits by existing inside him. But mental benefits? Sharing thoughts? That made sense.
And that’s what made me think that maybe all fay shared thoughts. Because sharing thoughts with a single fay didn’t seem enough of a benefit to me. But if the fay all shared thoughts? Then linking to one would get you access to thousands of immortal memories. That sort of knowledge might be worth pain, mental intrusion, and a sacrifice of your own personality to something greater. Or, at least, something you were told would be greater.
So that blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in Ocarina of Time turned out to be pretty important for the Fair Folk Series. Without it, there would have been no Dank, and the fay might not have shared a mind, which is pivotal when Tom finds the tomb of Cairnidol in The Unquiet Sword.
Oh, but you haven’t read that bit yet, have you?