Why Do We Abuse Elves?

… … …

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.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

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.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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5 thoughts on “Why Do We Abuse Elves?

  1. LJ says:

    I wonder if it is because Elf kind tend to represent innocence and in most stories innocence has to suffer- either to rise up and do battle or to be crushed underfoot (normally the latter for me as I write horror)

    Like

    • StCyril says:

      Hmmm… it is an interesting thought and maybe that is the case in some of them.
      At the same time though, while I agree in many stories we see Elves as innocent, elegant, creatures… in others they’re mischievous, thieving creatures not to be taken lightly. The theme of what happens to them still remains the same.

      Like

  2. Guilty as charged.
    In my comic fantasy work, the Elfs, (aka Elven), were a race pretentiously obsessed with the Arts, except for a rebel group who went in for vaudeville style entertainment.
    (To be fair to them there were a satire on the worse excesses of the pretentious factions in our own arts- critics included).
    In the revised work; they are a more secretive but astute group who humans rarely see (and probably wouldn’t know if they bumped into one)

    Like

  3. M G Kizzia says:

    You have read a touch of my work. You know I don’t go for elf abuse, even if they deserve it. They are still people, even if not human people.

    But I think maybe 10% of the human race believe anything strange, different, “in-human” (if you will) should be got rid of, and maybe 10% of those (roughly 1 to maybe 2% of the human race) are truly xenophobic (not the way that term is bandied about these days), and you know fear can cause people to lash out and get all unreasonable…

    Perhaps it is a genetic predisposition, a holdover from the days we were in competition with Cro-Mangon and Neanderthals… just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now, I’m not predispised to commenting on things, so don’t expect an eloquent response or anything. Mostly, I just wanted to express my joy at the fact that you have read Ryria. My friend turned me on to it last year and it has become one of my favorite book series. I think it deserves more love and attention than it gets. Also, sorry, I don’t really have a response or answer for your question. When I come up with ideas about elves. I usually portray them as the equals of the other races, with certain exceptional advantages or disadvantages that distinguish them from the other races.

    Like

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