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What, were you expecting me to answer my own question?
No I’m honestly trying to figure out an answer to this question. In most stories, Elves, Elfs, Alves, Fae, Fey, Fairfolk, etc. always seem to be the target of most of the abuse.
I know I’ve touched on this before, but I really wanted to explore it in more detail.
In the Lord of the Rings movies, the elves that are sent to Helm’s Deep are completely slaughtered… literally none survive. My problem with this is that the elves were not even at Helm’s Deep in the book! They were busy defending their own lands from Orc attack.
In another segment, Arwen who is arguably one of the main Elven characters gives up her immortality, gets cast aside, nearly dies, and in the end does wind up with this guy, knowing full well that she will suffer horrible sorrow and eventual death.
In Skyrim, elves are considered the bad guys… at least the High Elves are. The other races of elves are abused by the locals (see Gray Quarter in Windhelm).
In Harry Potter, elves are treated like vermin and the only one who’s anything resembling a main cast member, dies after being stabbed.
In one of the earliest legends dealing with Elves, the Danish king, Hrolf Kraki rapes an elf who bears him a child that eventually becomes the main villain.
In the Ryria stories, we see again how poorly elves are thought of and in some cases, treated.
In Dragon Age, elves are referred to as ‘Knife-ears’ and the ones that aren’t slaves are treated as second class citizens in the cities.
The Witcher has a similar problem with elves.
In Merlin, the main elf character loses the one he loves and then is betrayed by Queen Mab.
Heck, I’m guilty of this too! Before I even noticed this trend, in Magnifica elves are facing their own extinction with only 900 of their people living, they deal with racial bigotry on a daily basis, and my main heroine who happens to be an elf, (SPOILER ALERT) is beaten, nearly raped, infected with a rare disease and eventually dies.
So with all that in mind, why do we do this? What is it about elves that make us want to drag them down? In most stories, elves are mystical creatures, in others they’re demigods, and in even more, they’re just another sentient species that exist side by side with dwarves and humans. Is there something about that we see the need to destroy? Or is it a desire to make them seem more like humans, capable of dealing with the same follies?
I honestly don’t know…
Well why did YOU do it?
… … well in my case, it made for a good story. The main heroine was going to be an elf and I wanted to give my main character something to fight for. Weakening her and putting her in harms way was the motivation for him. I could have done that with dwarves or even pulled a role reversal and had humans dying off.
So… yeah I don’t know. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
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Catch you on the flip side!