By the very nature of the word “fantasy”, such a story will be nothing short of “fantastic”. Things will happen that defy any logical or scientific explanation, with such a phenomena being attributed to “magic”. This extends to the very denizens that dwell in these worlds. Tolkien had his Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Orcs, dragons, and Istari. Lewis Caroll not only had talking rabbits but the Cheshire Cat, talking caterpillars, jabberwockies and anthropomorphic playing cards. L. Frank Baum’s Oz books not only featured the familiar flying monkeys, munchkins, talking scarecrows, talking lions, and a tin woodsman, who in retrospect is an early cyborg, but people made of porcelain. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter had house elves, owls, three headed Hell-hounds, and a phoenix. Even George RR Martin’s more adult Game of Thrones features dragons.
Without these wondrous creatures the worlds would feel less extraordinary. Something about the presence of these creatures is almost like a warning on the old maritime maps where past continental Europe all they wrote was,“ here there be dragons”. Creatures like these convey a sense of mystery, wonder and at times horror, as we venture into these worlds. Lewis himself was no stranger to such a thing. As Brian Sibley notes in The Land of Narnia,
“In the Land of Narnia we find an extraordinary collection of creatures-there are domestic animals, wild animals and imaginary animals living alongside each other, together with witches, dwarfs, gods, men and monsters. No wonder Eustace remarks, at one point, that there seem to be “some queer specimens” among the inhabitants of Narnia.”