It's actually felt more like fall than winter the past few weeks here in Minnesota, but with Christmas just around the corner, I'm starting to get in a wintry mindset. While winter seems to be the least popular season to focus books around (which is understandable since it's so much harder for characters to spend significant amounts of time outdoors!), there are still some fun fantasy creatures that I associate with winter.
Here are the ones that made my top 3:
3) Fauns (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis)
Okay, I'm maybe cheating a bit with this one since I don't know if the half-human, half-goat fauns would necessarily choose to be creatures of winter if given the option. But when I think of fauns, I immediately picture Mr. Tumnus in a wintry Narnian landscape. I always found Mr. Tumnus to be a very sweet, likeable character with excellent manners and a huge heart. And his interactions with Lucy are absolutely darling - he's just the kind of friend I would've wished for as a young girl if I'd happened to stumble into a fantasy world :)
2) Frostlings (Winter Queen by Erica Marie Hogan)
Tiny fairies that live within frozen flowers, Frostlings spread frost and snow with their touch and help the Winter Queen bring wintry storms when it's time for the seasons to change. They don't get individual names or a lot of screen time (page time? I don't know what to call it for a book!), but Hogan's descriptions of these creatures were exquisite, with lines such as, "Little iridescent wings fluttered, sending sprinkles of snow over the petals." And I've always thought the early frosts and flurries of winter have a magical quality to them, so I love the image of minuscule fairies sprinkling the ground with sparkly white.
1) Armoured Bears (The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman)
I definitely take issue with some aspects of this series, and I don't intend to launch into a debate on Pullman's books as a whole. But I think we can all agree that armoured bears are really cool! These polar bears are highly intelligent, can talk, have opposable thumbs, and wear awesome armor - what's not to like? Plus, I was fascinated by the importance of honor in their society and the way they view their armor as an extension of themselves. And Iorek Byrnison is just one of those amazing fantasy names that captivates my imagination :)
I have to give honorable mention to Hedwig, Harry Potter's gorgeous snowy owl. Not really a fantasy creature, aside from her ability to deliver mail, but her loyalty to Harry and distinctive personality made her the perfect wizard's pet. And scenes of Hedwig soaring over a snow-covered Hogwarts make me want to curl up in an armchair beside the fireplace in the Griffindor sitting room :)
What are your favorite wintry fantasy creatures? Are there any magical creatures you associate with winter even though they could also live in warmer climates?
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Sorry for the shameless plug, but in case you missed it, I revealed the cover for my debut YA fantasy novel yesterday!! You can find the post here: http://www.landsuncharted.com/2017/12/cover-reveal-common-by-laurie-lucking.html.
Armoured bear: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/hdm/images/f/fa/Iorek_Face.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100325040626