Artemis Fowl blackmails a fairy, in the first book, by giving her "holy water" and offering her the antidote in exchange for 30 minutes of access to the fairy book. What is holy water?

I haven't been able to find an explicit explanation in canon.

  • 1
    Holy water is water that's been blessed by a priest.
    – Valorum
    Feb 7, 2022 at 9:23
  • Good to have the out-of universe answer, but that still begs some questions in the story like whether it is actually holy water, why there is an antidote, why it would affect fairies etc.
    – NeRoboto
    Feb 7, 2022 at 9:40
  • 2
    That passage appears to be the only time that holy water makes an appearance in the entire book series. I would assume it affects fairies because they're actually some manner of demonic creature
    – Valorum
    Feb 7, 2022 at 9:40
  • 1
    It's not especially clear whether the substance is actually holy water or whether Fowl is bluffing.
    – Valorum
    Feb 7, 2022 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


Difficult to Say

Valorum informs us that holy water appears once in the book series.

Digging doesn't reveal much more. Colfer, the author, doesn't have much of an online biographical presence. The Fandom article pretty much rearranges the Wikipedia information. There's not enough about him, his beliefs or his motivations, even on his own website, to determine or even speculate as to whether "holy water" has any particular meaning to him in the context of his writing.

The article on holy water in the Fandom wiki doesn't tell us much more than we already know. It is a substance that is used to "persuade" a fairy to hand over the Book of the People for a while.

  • Colfer is an atheist, raised Irish Catholic; thetimes.co.uk/article/…
    – Valorum
    Feb 7, 2022 at 20:15
  • @Valorum -- Being Irish, "Catholic" is always a good guess. If you have access to the full article, is there anything that can be gleaned about beliefs and motivations that might help?
    – elemtilas
    Feb 7, 2022 at 20:21
  • Nothing of any particular merit.
    – Valorum
    Feb 7, 2022 at 20:25
  • @Valorum -- Thanks for checking!
    – elemtilas
    Feb 7, 2022 at 20:26
  • @elemtilas: Or Protestant, although that gets into the thorny question of who's "Irish". As a side note, many pagan religions (which are more likely to discuss fairies) have their own "holy water".
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 7, 2022 at 20:55

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