Monday, October 8, 2012

The One Where I Talk About An Overused Fantasy Race


1.      1.  One of a class of preternatural beings, especially from mountainous regions, with magical powers, given to capricious and often mischievous interference in human affairs and usually imagined to be a diminutive being in human form. (
Ah, elves.  Since Lord of the Rings, you can’t say “fantasy” without thinking “elves” also.  What is it about those pointed ears that make elves so popular?  In Old Norse, Scandinavian and Germanic mythology, elves were mischievous little creatures that gave you hiccups, nightmares, and even skin rashes.  Scandinavian folklore said to protect yourself from elves by carving this rune into your home.

Or if that failed, and you got a rash anyway, you could appease the elves with a treat, most commonly butter.     

I’m not making this up, either; it’s all from Wikipedia, which is always a fountain of truth.  More or less.
A High elf, as portrayed in Skyrim.
After Tolkien made elves to be a tall, graceful, beautiful, wise, magical bunch of people, the amount of elves used in fantasy exploded.  Sometimes they were a specific kind of elf, or a sub-race.  Such as High elves, Snow elves, Dark elves, Wood elves, Moon elves, Blood elves, Star elves, Valley elves, Shadow elves, Aquatic elves, Night elves, Winged elves and Alabaster elves.  Trust me, that’s just scratching the surface. 

Like it or not, elves have been a staple of the fantasy genre for decades, and their popularity in games and literature is only growing.  I’d love to hear from you guys on why you think that is.  What makes elves so special that so many franchises make use of them?

Also, here’s a plug for my friend Krista, whose sci-fi book The Portal Hunter does not contain elves, but is definitely worth a read.  Take a look at her blog, also!


  1. You know, I really don't know... It is a strange thing I am a fan myself and we are guilty of the elf craze well I am with the elves I added into our writing. *Shrugs* I suppose its just one of those things that sticks with things like blue eyes and romance and power ups with shonen anime.

    1. Yeah, for some reason elves just seem to scream: "This is a fantasy story, in case you were wondering!" Not that other things don't hint at that, but it's almost so expected of fantasy now that I wonder if authors feel almost obligated to include them.

  2. This is actually awesome! :) I think elves are a bit overused, but I like them anyway. :P

    Nice blog design! I really like it! :)

    1. Hey Suzanne, thanks for dropping by.

      I admit I also like elves, even though pretty much every fantasy series has its own kind of elf. XD

      Thank you! I like it a lot, too. I love the contrast between grey and blue, plus blue is my favorite color. (If you didn't notice, lol)

  3. Thank you so much for the shout out!

    ...Um...>__>...well, I do have a short thing going on with elves in chapter 9-11...but I promise the rest is all about aliens!