In the Mercy Thompson universe, the characters are always saying that the fae cannot lie (but that they twist the truth to the maximum)

However, in one book (I don't quite recall which one, it may have been in the Alpha and Omega series) one fae is punished by the dark lords for, essentially, lying about something.

That always bothered me, I thought they had some sort of magical inability to lie, but that bit contradicts it.
It's the only time in the whole series that a fae lies.

So, can they lie but they are forbidden to do so? Are they unable to lie and this particular fae found a loophole or something? Something else?

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    Unfortunately, without knowing more details, it's not possible to answer your question. A pointer to where, in which book, the incident happened would be useful, or a description of who that particular fae was, and what exactly he, she, or it had done. Without that, any of your possibilities could apply. Commented Mar 6, 2011 at 21:26
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    @David someone that read the books might be able to remember, but I'll dig up the books and search for more details when I can
    – juan
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 3:50
  • @Juan: I have read the books, but I don't remember the incident. Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 3:53
  • @David I think it was in the alpha and omega series, the fae that hosted the event when they were to communicate the decision of coming out to the European werewolves. I'm not at home, but I'll try to confirm it later
    – juan
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 22:21
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    @DKuntz2, I don't think Butcher really ever explained why the fae can't lie. He more than once, though, stated that if a wizard took an oath, and then broke it - there would be a power backlash, weakening them.
    – John C
    Commented Jun 27, 2011 at 22:09

3 Answers 3


Cannot Tell A Lie: The fae are incapable of lying, though they can still be perfectly dishonest with the truth.


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    Would you kindly copy the relevant part in this answer?
    – juan
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 12:20
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    TV Tropes does point out the contradiction in having a "Lie Police" in "Hunting Grounds" if they really Cannot Tell A Lie, but doesn't explain how this could be.
    – Gaurav
    Commented Apr 13, 2011 at 7:15
  • Cannot Tell A Lie: The fae are incapable of lying, though they can still be perfectly dishonest with the truth. This is half way down the entire page. 8th trope Commented Apr 18, 2011 at 23:59

I know the exact instance you are talking about. It was in fact not that she lied. She broke her word. She made a deal/bargian with Bran to be a fair moderator for the events and discussion. When she sided with Arthur and tried to skew the results she broke her word.

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    Hello, and welcome to the site. For the benefit of the rest of us, would you edit this answer to explain what instance you (and the question) are referring to?
    – Tynam
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 19:02

It seems obvious to me that if the Fae can lie, and they can, because we see one do it, then the other characters are mistaken.

It must be that the consequences of lying are so bad that it just isn't done.

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