Warning: Contains spoilers for The School for Good and Evil.
The fairies in Netflix’s The School for Good and Evil are not the nice beings new students Agatha and Sophie expected and there’s a reason for it. One of the darkest aspects of the schools is their practice of transforming failed students into magical creatures. For example, the fairies that inhabit the School for Good are failed students of the School for Evil, and the wolves that patrol the School for Evil were once students of the School for Good.
A likely explanation for the fairies’ unkindness is their former identity as students of the School for Evil. In actual folklore, the fae folk are rarely the kind and benevolent beings they’re depicted as in modern pop culture, and it seems The School for Good and Evil takes a cue from that. The fairies behave resentfully toward the students of the School for Good, biting, pinching, and scolding. Given their original loyalties, it is unsurprising that they would treat students poorly in the School for Good. In the ending twist, it’s revealed the Headmaster, Rafal, was the villain all along. The Headmasters excels at manipulating students in the School for Evil to blame students in the School for Good for their problems. His plot benefits indirectly from the fairies’ mistreatment of the good students.
That said, Rafal has shown he knows how to keep his own counsel, and it appears they’re acting of their own accord and he hasn’t looped the fairies in on his plans. Had he done so, he would have manipulated them to fight for him, not just to resent the students of the School for Good. Curiously, none of the school’s creatures are seen in the eventful ending of The School for Good and Evil. The wolves are all transformed into living dolls by Sophie, who Rafal had successfully manipulated. The fairies had likely taken advantage of their ability to hide and flee quickly. After the final battle ends with the triumph of the School for Good, the creatures are conspicuously absent. The likeliest explanation is that Rafal’s decision to transform students into creatures after three failing grades is part of the school’s corruption. Once he was defeated, the spells broke, and the students potentially returned to their original forms.
The ability of Good magic to undo transformations is shown earlier in the movie. Agatha shows she belongs in the School for Good when she wishes on a magical fish. She knows that the fish is a transformed student, and so wishes for it to return home. Due to the empathy at the heart of that wish, the fish transforms back into the student it once was. Therefore, it makes sense that Rafal’s undoing and the triumph of good magic would reverse the other transformations used as punishment. Just as the school’s corruption is evident in the transformation of failed students, its defeat is seen in their return to humanity.
The School of Good and Evil ends on a high note, with True Love’s Kiss defeating evil. The Big Bad was defeated, and the schools combined because no one is just good or evil, but a bit of both. Throughout the story, the fairies are largely unpleasant beings, perhaps understandably so, given their dark origins. The fate and disposition of the fairies at the end of the conflict remain unknown. The cliffhanger ending of the movie sets up The School for Good and Evil 2‘s story, so hopefully, the fate of the fairies will be revealed then.
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