Askeladden, also called Boots (wodhaund) wrote in little_details,
Askeladden, also called Boots

Faerie/heroic trials

I have a character from the modern day US south (Tennesee/North Carolina) who is undergoing a sort of combination of the tales of Orpheus and Tam Lin. In the course of trying to get his fiancee back, who has vanished the night before their wedding, he travels to faerie. They have no intention of giving her back, but in the spirit of good sportsmanship (or cruelty, hard to tell), decide to run him through a series of trials anyway.

Here is my problem: I know that in Tam Lin, the woman in the story has to hold her lover/brother/whatever through a series of transformations. Orpheus has to walk all the way out of the underworld without looking backwards. That's great, but I don't necessarily want to use either of those (though I may still use the metamorphosis idea, at least). I'm trying to find a list (or some kind of grouping) of types of trials a person might undergo, but my google-fu is apparently weak.

I've so far tried: faerie trial, fairy trial, folklore trial, fairy tale trial, mythology trial, heroic trial, all of the above using "test" instead of trial, all of the above using "ordeal" instead of trial, and a few other iterations I can't recall at the moment. Unfortunately, all this has gotten me so far is "free trials" of various MMOs which, while interesting, is not even remotely what I'm looking for (on the upside, I now know how to complete a quest I was stuck on). There must be some other word to use to describe what I'm looking for, but for the life of me, I can't think of it.

I've also tried looking up various fairy tales, but most of what I know is of the Rapunzel or Rumplestilzkin variety which is neat, but my hero is neither climbing a tower nor a funny little man stealing babies. What I'd like to find (and am despairing of ever doing so), is a page or book or some kind that lists a variety of the sorts of trials people have been put through in myth and folklore (or, if there are any fairy tales or myths that you can think of that involve someone undergoing a trial of some kind, that would be great, too.)
Tags: ~folklore (misc)

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