Doctor Who: The legend behind fairy circles

The Doctor broke a fairy circle in the most recent episode of Doctor Who. We take a look at the lore behind the fairy circles to understand why this was so bad.
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios /

Doctor Who brought us some Welsh lore through the use of fairy circles. Fairy circles are found all over the UK and are deeply rooted into the culture across the country. This episode of Doctor Who just happened to be set in Wales, so the focus was on the Welsh throughout the episode.

The Doctor stepped into the fairy circle right at the start of the episode. This was a huge disrespect to the fairies, and it led to him disappearing and Ruby was left alone all episode. Let’s take a look at the lore surrounding fairy circles to understand what they are and why The Doctor disrespected the creatures.

Fairy rings can be naturally occurring

In the episode of Doctor Who, the fairy ring was created by hand. There were children’s toys and string, making it clear that someone or something had put the circle there. However, circles can form on their own with mushrooms. Austrian lore says that dragons are the reason for these rings forming.

Either way, some believe that fairies use the mushrooms as dinner tables. Others believe that the rings are a portal to another world. It certainly seems like the portal idea was used for the episode of Doctor Who.

There is a legend that says if you step into a fairy ring, you become invisible or trapped inside forever. And some believe that the fairy world is underneath the fairy ring. Fairies will curse those who disrupt the fairy ring.

Ruby ends up in an alternate timeline in Doctor Who

We just have to look at how everything around Ruby changes. The Doctor disappears, but the TARDIS remains. The TARDIS is locked, and it remains there for decades, suggesting that The Doctor doesn’t come back.

We learn that the old woman following Ruby around is Old Ruby. This creates an alternate timeline, where Ruby is abandoned by everyone she knows, including her own mother. She needs to stop Roger ap Gwilliam from becoming the “most dangerous Prime Minister” the world has seen. Once she does that, she’s able to live the rest of her life knowing that she was never alone. The old woman was with her, and then we learn that she is the old woman. She’s able to stop Ruby and The Doctor from stepping into the fairy ring, so the fairies don’t pull her into the alternate timeline. At least, that’s what I think based on fairy lore.

If she isn’t pulled into the alternate timeline, the fairies pull The Doctor away. They cause him to disappear forever.

Everything was reversed with Old Ruby going back to her younger self, preventing The Doctor from stepping into the ring. Everyone will want to watch out for them in the future!

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