The main theme of the "Fables" comic series is the fact, that the creatures from fairy tales live in exile in our mundane world. But at what point of our history did they move in here?

If I assume (which might be completely wrong assumption) that Fables are born after mundane author creates a story, then it would have to be somewhere after 1955 since there was a Middle-Earth kingdom in the Homelands or even later since the Landfall kingdom probably represents Star Wars.


I don't know if it is ever established exactly when the first Fables arrived, but it was definitely before 1955.

In 1001 Nights of Snowfall, at the end of the story "Fair Division" (p. 134 in my copy), King Cole arrives in our world and meets Snow White. Here is the dialog:

KING COLE: Thank you for meeting our ship, Miss White. I have your letter. So this is Fabletown? SNOW WHITE: No, this is the colony of New Amsterdam. We're secretly building Fabletown further up the island where we can be safely isolated.

The following pages go on to mention the renaming of the city to New York while it talks about the election of King Cole as the first mayor of Fabletown. New Amsterdam was renamed on September 8, 1664. From this we can assume that Fabletown was established sometime around then.

Thus, we know for certain the first Fable refugees arrived in our world no later than 1664. Given the Fables came to our world over time and it probably would've been years before they organized and formed Fabletown, I'd say 17th century is a fair estimate. Maybe someone will find a reference to earlier arrivals though.

This is assuming you're referring specifically to the residents of Fabletown. I don't know if it's ever established whether the first Fables to arrive in our world were definitely fleeing the Adversary. After all, the gates may have existed long beforehand. Perhaps it is possible that one or more Fables arrived long before the wave of refugees that formed Fabletown.

  • I've found that comics - indeed in 1664 Fabletown seems to be pretty well organized, but suggesting that no Fable arrived after that date is misleading.
    – Yasskier
    Oct 4 '15 at 21:45
  • I meant the first of the exiles arrived no later than 1664. Some certainly did arrive after. Boy Blue was apparently part of the last group of refugees, which arrived during the early 19th century. This is from The Last Castle (see volume 4). Of course, some from the Fable worlds do arrive in the modern day as well, both before and after the fall of the empire. I'll update my answer to clarify.
    – varradami
    Oct 4 '15 at 22:38

In the Fables novel "Peter & Max" it is revealed that the stories about the Fables were written by the mundys after the Fables escaped the Adversary to our world.

... Whatever the explanation, shortly after Fables arrived, mundys all over the world began telling stories about them; stories no one knew were based on actual people and everyone assumed were simply creative works of fiction. These stories sometimes became distorted, as they were passed from person to person, and those that were finally written down often contained many errors of fact...

So that means they are at least older than the Brothers Grimm stories and the Thousand and One Arabian Nights. This could place their arrival as early as the 10th century.

  • So you are saying that the Fables existed before mundies wrote stories about them, not other way around?
    – Yasskier
    Oct 3 '15 at 6:43
  • 2
    @Yasskier - That's what the book implies: that the mundy stories of the Fables happened after they arrived in the mundy world, probably through some form of magical osmosis. The exact mechanism is left intentionally vague. Oct 3 '15 at 6:44
  • Hmm, indeed Reynard the fox (the oldest Fable I've recognised so far) was created around 10th century, but then apparently the land of Emerald Kingdom was one of the first to fall to Adversary so following this logic story about Wizard of Oz should be know as one of the oldest stories, since Fables from that land would be one of the first refugees. Then again, they might been arriving at different moments in our time, not necessary in same order as they escaped.
    – Yasskier
    Oct 3 '15 at 6:57
  • This is very interesting, but it also seems inconsistent with the comics. What about the events in "The Last Castle"? Robin of Loxley never actually makes it to our world. The survivors of that battle arrived in our world in the early 19th century (according to what Boy Blue says at the beginning of his tale). But the earliest known Robin Hood stories are from the 15th century (according to Wikipedia).
    – varradami
    Oct 4 '15 at 17:25
  • The Fables Encyclopedia says the first appearance of Robin Hood in print is c. 1377. (I can only edit my previous comment for 5 minutes? Grrr...)
    – varradami
    Oct 4 '15 at 17:35

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