The Daoine Sidhe are a race of supernatural beings who make their home in Ireland. Daoine Sidhe roughly means "people of the mounds." Simply put, they are the Irish Fairies. Merlin implies that they are not wholly fairie, with the exception of Mab and Dagda, who have golden blood.
In Irish mythology, the Daoine Sidhe, also called the fairies, the fair folk, the children of the earth, the fairy folk, the little people are descendants of the Tuatha De Danann who retreated from the surface world of Ireland to live underground.
The Daoine Sidhe first appear in 1959 in the Hellboy story: The Corpse. They were responsible for abducting the infant, Alice Monaghan, and replacing her with a changeling, a fairy by the name of Gruagach. Hellboy burns Gruagach with iron and threatens him into revealing Alice's location. Following Gruagach's directions, Hellboy meets three leprechauns and makes a deal with them to bury a corpse in a Christian burial ground before the night was over in exchange for Alice. Hellboy manages to accomplish the task and return Alice to her parents. Dagda, the Last High King of the Tuatha De Danann is introduced in this story. One of the leprechauns notes that no living child of their race has been born in the last century and no more will ever come.
Dagda, along with Sir Edward Grey and the Baba Yaga, appear towards the end of the Hellboy story: Wake the Devil, observing Hellboy as he is given the chance to fulfill his true destiny and purpose. They see Hellboy confronted with this destiny and reject it. Dagda refers to Hellboy as "Heaven, Hell, and human come together as one. Dacci Ab Jura."
Dagda and the leprechaun return in the Hellboy story: Box Full of Evil. They, along with Sir Edward Grey, aid Hellboy when he is bound by his true name by his demon cousin Ualac and the human warlock Igor Bromhead. They point out to Hellboy that because Ualac now wears his crown, the name Anung un Rama no longer applies to him. This information allows Hellboy to free himself and fight back. Dagda and the leprechaun reappear at the epilogue of this story, again observing Hellboy and noting the tragedy and harshness of his burden.
The Daoine Sidhe reappear in the Hellboy story: The Third Wish. A large group including Dagda, Sir Edward Grey, and Gruagach were seen observing Hellboy after he has been abducted by the Bog Roosh. Dagda states that Hellboy is beyond his power to help and Gruagach mocks him for even thinking of saving Hellboy. The other fairies note that a new world is prophesied to come after this one and that his right hand must be saved. Gruagach angrily points out that this new world will not be for the Daoine Sidhe and that they return to the surface world and make it theirs again. Edward Grey also notes that Hellboy is now forging his own destiny and that Gruagach still bears a grudge against Hellboy for trapping him in his pig-body.
In the epilogue for the Hellboy story: The Island, Gruagach meets with the former High Queen of the Tuatha De Danann, Queen Mab. She tells Gruagach that Hellboy still lives, that he is on his way to England, and a bit of his parentage. She notes that Gruagach cannot beat him but he refuses to accept this, instead opting for revenge and a desire to bring about war.
The Daoine Sidhe next appear in the Hellboy story: Darkness Calls. Gruagach approaches the witches of England in order to release Nimue. They give him their blessing and he and two companions journey underneath an old church to retrieve the box containing her body. Dagda appears again here to try and reason with Gruagach, to dissuade him from releasing Nimue and war upon the world. However, Dagda is stabbed in the back and killed by one of Gruagach's companions. The assembled Daoine Sidhe are shocked and the murderer kills himself out of grief for his fallen king. Gruagach, although troubled by the death of Dagda, rallies the remaining Daoine Sidhe behind him and exclaims that they will mourn the old king but that Nimue will lead them to glory.
In the Hellboy story: The Wild Hunt, Hellboy stumbles upon Dagda's funeral during some sort of dream-like vision. Here he sees Angus Mac Og, the last of Dagda's sons and is told that Angus will not take up his father's sword but instead will retreat underground with the last of his people, like Lug and Ogme before him.
Gruagach also reappears in this story, he is approached by a talking hedgehog fairy, who appears to speak for the assembled host. The hedgehog expresses annoyance and disappointment that no word has arrived from the other tribes of the fairy folk and that so far the new Queen of Witches has only spoken with Gruagach, remaining silent for the rest of them. However the demon Astaroth appears soon after this and gives Gruagach a chalice of blood to revive Nimue. Nimue is restored and is attended by Gruagach for some time before he makes the mistake of doubting her. For this, he is rejected from her army and left alone in the countryside. Nimue, as the Queen of Blood and new Goddess of War appears to have some of the Daoine Sidhe on her side.
By the Hellboy story: The Storm, Queen Mab and the recurring leprechaun have been killed by Nimue. Mab's blood, the last pure blood of the Daoine Sidhe has been spilled and painted on a hedgehog, to create Nimue's champion. However, Mab's spirit returns in The Fury in the inn of George Washbook to provide answers for Alice Monaghan. At the end of the story, Alice is left alone in the empty inn with Mab's crown.
Some members of the Daoine Sidhe appear to resemble humans but with some differences such as horns and earthy skin tones. However this appearance is not uniform. The Daoine Sidhe appear in many different forms, especially those in the court of Dagda. Some appear to be animals, or humanoids with animal features. There are also more traditional fairies in the Daoine Sidhe as well, appearing as little green beings who fly about on wings.
While some abilities of the Daoine Sidhe are fairly evident, the full range of skills and abilities that the little people possess is unknown. From the comics we can tell that they do possess:
Members of the Daoine Sidhe
- Dagda - the Last High King of the Tuatha De Danann
- Queen Mab - former High Queen of the Tuatha De Danann
- Gruagach of Lough Leane
Other Fairy Tribes
The Daoine Sidhe are not the only group of fairies in the Hellboy universe. The hedgehog from The Wild Hunt also mentions the Scottish Seelie Court, the Welsh Court of Ellyllon, the Nordic Trolls and the Germanic Feens. Ellylon did not side with Nimue.