La Sylphide tells the story of the young Scottish farmer, James, who is visited by and is instantly enchanted by the Sylphide – a tree fairy – on the eve of his wedding to Effie. That enchantment creates the first love triangle in the story between James, the Sylph and Effie. James’ cousin, Gurn, is also in love with Effie, which creates the second love triangle. There’s an evil witch, Madge, who orchestrates the twists and turns of the love triangles. Abandoning his distraught fiancée, James follows the Sylph into the mist-shrouded forest among the other tree fairies. Madge gives James a magic shawl to put around the Sylphide’s shoulders to transform her into human form, but it is a trick! When the shawl is placed around her shoulders, the Sylphide’s wings fall off and she dies. In falling in love with this ethereal otherworldly beauty James has destroyed his chances of happiness in the real world: he returns to discover that Effie is now engaged to Gurn. Effie and Gurn's wedding procession is seen in the background while the Sylphide is born through the air by her sisters. James collapses lifeless and Madge exults. Evil has triumphed.