What are the Pucks in Carnival Row?

Photo: Carnival Row: Season 1.. Image: Amazon Prime Video
Photo: Carnival Row: Season 1.. Image: Amazon Prime Video /

Carnival Row is a Prime Video original series following the stories of humans and fae creatures living together after escaping their war-torn homes. “Pucks” is a name given, but what are they?

Human detective, Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate (Orlando Bloom), and fae refugee, Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne) were enemies turned lovers during the war but were separated when her village was attacked and Vignette was told that Philo is dead. With her lover gone Vignette escapes on a ship filled with soldiers heading back to The Burgue.

Throughout the first season, we are introduced to many different fairytale creatures like Faeries, Trow, Centaurs, and Faun. Each with its own features and strengths. For example, the Fae come from Tirnacnoc, a continent made up of different kingdoms and nations, each with its own history and language. Collectively the Fae are known for their wings, youthful appearances, and beauty, making them targets for the human men who forced them into servant roles.

What is a Puck in Carnival Row?

Fauns come from Puyan, and the name for the people who come from there are known as the Puyoc. When the Fauns migrated to The Burgue they were outcasted by humans, forced into laborious jobs because of their strength, and often brutalized. Fauns are were given the derogatory name of Pucks.

Very few of the Fauns have made it out of The Burgue in Carnival Row. Agreus Astrayon (David Gyasi, Interstellar) is one of the few who have money to speak of and is the first of the creatures to move into a human neighborhood. He is immediately hated by those surrounding him by all but one. Imogen Spurnrose, the younger sister of Ezra Spurnrose, sees Argreus for the kind, generous person that he is. A forbidden love blossoms and tensions run high.

The social and political impact of the hatred for the Fauns and rest of the fae folk mirror those of the racial tensions in the U.S. and are impossible to ignore throughout the show. Having a group of humans keeping those who are different in subservient roles purely based on physical characteristics brings to mind the racism rampant in our society.

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Carnival Row is available to stream on Prime Video.