Aaaaaaall righty then!
First, sorry the post is late! Second, we’re moving on to a new fantasy creature. For the next few weeks I’m going to be chatting about elves—particularly fun as I get to talk about LARP a hell of a lot. ^_^
Many different images come to my mind when I think of elves. The most prominent of these is this:
More common however is the image of Legolas, and I believe both Tolkien and Peter Jackson have a great deal to do with that. The basic characteristics of an elf (as most people think of them) are long, flowing hair; clear, pale skin; pointed ears and delicate speech. There are variations on the theme—of course—but these creatures are humanoid, long-lived beings (sometimes immortal) who sometimes (but not always) have magical powers. They speak their own tongue, hate dwarves (passionately) and have a special affinity for nature, trees, moonlight and starlight (again, Tolkien’s fault).
Before I had Hollywood’s interpretation of Tolkien’s elves, I’ll admit my mental image matched fairly closely, but the elves of Katherine Kerr’s Deverry Series features elves with slitted pupils and slightly curled ear tips. The elves of Forgotten Realms and the core Dungeons and Dragons system (thank you Wizards of the Coast!) have variations based on type which includes Wild Elf, High Elf, Drow Elf and Sea Elf.
The general consensus among those reading of elves, however, is generally that they are good and kind and benevolent—which I believe is totally Peter Jackson’s fault. As this part of my series progresses I’m going to have LOTS of fun talking about how this is not the case. Yes, the Tolkien elves work hard with the other Free Peoples against dark forces and often have relationships with them, but what I call the ‘true elves’ or the elves from old folklore are sooooooooooo different.
Buckle your seatbelts guys, this is going to be SO much fun. ^_^