In King Arthur: Knight’s Tale, one of the enemy factions is the Sidhe. Technically, two factions, as there are two warring courts. The newest seasonal update titled Rising Eclipse will focus on them, so let’s refresh what we know about these magical folk.
The Sidhe (also known as the Fairy People or the Fair Folk) were once revered as Gods by the mortals. They have retreated to the Land of the Young, Tír na nÓg, a place between Britannia and the otherworld. As Arthur makes an appearance, they return to their sacred woods in Avalon, and settle in the eternal twilight of the magical wilderness of Deepwood that acts as a gateway to other realms of existence.
They are unpredictable, alien forces, even the most reasonable individuals of their kind will make deadly deals with unassuming wanderers. They wield powerful magic and they use it for negotiations and destruction.
They have two different courts, the Seelie and the Unseelie. The Seelie Court represents spring and summer, daytime and brightness, their crystal towers reflect and magnify the sunlight. Don’t mistake this for benevolence – they gather power from heat and fire. This court is home to the Springborn and Summerborn who were once mortals. The Unseelie Court, however, is a sad, melancholic bunch, they weave their somber castles from mists and spiderweb, and they raise Autumnbreed and Winderbreed fighters.
Yes, both Sidhe Courts have a long-standing tradition to raise disposable warbands using human children who were stolen from their cribs as infants. The Seelie Court takes these changelings into their forts of amber and thorns: time crawls sluggishly there, which grants the Sidhe years and years to shape these children both physically and mentally, until they become vicious creatures that will fight against their own kind blindly.
The Sidhe are cunning and powerful enemies in Avalon, so always watch your step and words when encountering them. You will recognize their territories from the unique architecture and ornaments.
Of course, King Arthur: Knight’s Tale takes some artistic liberties and has a unique take on these Fairy People. The word ‘Sídhe’ originally meant fairy mounds, and ‘Aos Sí’ was the name of the people of these tumuli. ‘Sídhe’ as a loanword took on more meanings, for example, the legendary poet W. B. Yeats was among those who referred to the fairies as ‘Sídhe’, but it has been conjectured that 'sídh' is also synonymous with ‘immortal’.
This is a whole rabbit hole of linguistics and folklore, so if you want to learn more about them, make sure to pick up some handbooks of Celtic myths and legends, or any collections of various Irish and Scottish fairy tales. Because of the nature of these stories you will find many variations and mutations on the same themes and names, which is also the case with the core Arthurian legend.
If you want to see more concept art for the Seelie, Unseelie and others, consider the Supporter Pack DLC which includes a 200+ page Art Book for the game.
Be prepared for Rising Eclipse which will come as a free update on December 2, 2023!