Shetland Fairy Logo
Shetland Fairy Logo

Erlkönig (Erlking)

Erlking blog all about the mean male fairy the king of fairies

Have you heard of a Erlking? Do you know what or who it is? If not read on about one of the most famous male fairies.

Let’s talk about the males of the fairy realm! 

So, some whisper that these ethereal beings are dubbed “follies,” while others argue that the fairy realm knows no gender. Through the ages, many a legend has spun tales of male fairies, such as the Erlking!

Erlking or better still Erlkönig is a name used in German Romanticism for the figure of a spirit or

“king of the fairies” / “alder king”.

As with many tales and myths surrounding fairies, there often lies a shadowy underbelly of sinister tales.

Erlking a malevolent being described as, a wicked elf who haunts the woods. Some say that he is a bearded goblin, while others claim he is a troll that is small. Regardless of his guise, his nature is dark, and his hunger insatiable; he seeks to ensnare children who wander too far into the woods or linger there after nightfall. The tales proclaim that the Erlking holds the power to extinguish the life force of children with a mere touch of his hand.

erlking the fairy king a male fairy goblin like creature that kills children

The Erlking was first mentioned in the ballad titled the “Erlkönigs Tochter” (the Elf-king’s Daughter), which was written by Johann Gottfried Herder in 1778. The ballad was an adaptation of the similar Danish work called “Hr. Oluf han rider” (“Sir Oluf he rides”), published in the 1739 edition of “Danske Kæmpeviser.”

It was translated into English by Sir Walter Scott and set to music in a famous song by Franz Schubert. This song is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional ballads ever composed. The piece is designed for a singer and a pianist and manages to capture an extraordinary amount of suspense and drama in just four short minutes.

Here is the poem translated in English as you can read it is rather tragic!

Who rides so late where winds blow wild?
It is the father grasping his child;
He holds the boy embraced in his arm
He clasps him snugly; he keeps him warm.

“My son, why cover your face in such fear?”
“O don’t you see the ErlKing near?
The ErlKing with his crown and train!”
“My son, the mist is on the plain.”

“Sweet lad, o come and join me, do!
Such pretty games I’ll play with you;
On the shore gay flowers their colours unfold
My mother has made you a garment of gold.”

“My father, my father, o can you not hear
The promise the ErlKing breathes in my ear?”
“Be calm, stay calm my child, lie low
In withered leaves the night winds blow.”

“Will you, sweet lad, come along with me?
My daughters shall care for you tenderly;
In the night my daughters their revelry keep,
They’ll rock you and dance you and sing you to sleep.”

“My father, my father, o can you not trace
The ErlKing’s daughters in that gloomy place?”
“My son, my son, I see it clear
How grey the ancient willows appear.”

“I love you, your comeliness charms me, my boy
And if you’re not willing, then force I’ll employ!”
“Now father, o father, he’s seizing my arm
The ErlKing has done me the cruellest harm!”

The father shudders, his ride is wild
In his arms he’s holding the shivering child
He reaches home with toil and dread.
In his arms, the child was dead.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Magical healing crystalsSadly, I don’t have any follies for sale right now, but I do have a range of beautiful crystals that can protect you from harm each with their own magical properties. You can check them out here. 


Please be sure to sign up to our Fairy Tale Newsletter and don’t forget to follow our social media platforms so you never miss a Fairy Fact Friday! Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

Lots of love and fairy dust,

Stacey xXx


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Explore the Shop

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

You may also like…

All About the Worry Munchers – Healing Crystals for Anxiety

All About the Worry Munchers – Healing Crystals for Anxiety

Find out all about the worry munchers and why their healing crystals for anxiety work! Hidden deep in the enchanted forest, nestled upon the moss is a creature, known as a Worry Muncher, each unique, but all equally as cute as each other. Worry Munchers were created...

needle felted blue fairies

Needle Felted Fairies

Possessing a touch of fantasy, we make charming needle felted fairies for your home which can be treasured for life.

needle felted worry muncher

Worry Munchers

These cute little creatures nestled between magical crystals help you deal with your worries.

Magical needle felted toadstools

Magic Toadstools

Toadstools that glow in all their magical glory. Perfect for a fairy garden or magical home.

Enchanted_Crystals from the crystal cave

Enchanted Crystals

Tuck away in your pocket or place in an environment to promote energetic balance and healing.


Pre loved treasures

A beautiful selection of second hand items that have been lovingly restored and brought back to life.

crystal jewellery

Crystal Jewellery

For your general health and wellbeing, as well as offering spiritual protection and energetic stability.

needle felting kits

Needle Felting Kits

Make a wish and bring the wool to life with your very own needle felting kit.

Feel good wellbeing boxes

Feel Good Boxes

Boxes of happiness all infused with reiki. These goodie boxes are a perfect pick me up.

Fairy gift cards

Fairy Gift Cards

Give the gift of fantasy and fun and buy your special someone a magical gift card.

Happy gifts and cards

Gifts & Cards

Hand-crafted greeting cards made with sustainable card and recycled materials.

about the shetland fairy

About Us

Learn all about the Shetland Fairy mission to spread the magic

shetland isles

Sustainable Shetland

How The Shetland Fairy is doing their bit for the wonderful world we live in.