Elves: A rant

Categories: Gaming
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Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: October 18, 2011

I’ve always been annoyed by elves, particularly J.R.R. Tolkein’s elves. I never spent much time analyzing why they get under my skin the way they do but I had an epiphany this evening. I realized why I’d probably start punching elves in the face ten minutes if I ever found myself in one of their hauntingly beautiful cities.

Lets look at what they have going for them

  1. Beautiful – you never read about a homely elf, they’re all ethereal and beautiful
  2. Live practically forever – barring accident the either never die or live a ridiculously long time
  3. Good health – they’re usually immune to disease and the complaints of mere mortals. Seriously, when did you ever read about an elf complaining about their sciatica?
  4. Good at everything – I guess if you can spend twenty years perfecting the G chord on your mandolin you can’t help but be ridiculously good at whatever you set your mind to learning.

So what’s not to like? Well, lets take a look.

They’re vaguely racist . Elves pretty much reek of condescension. The lowest elf on the garland wrapped pole still knows that he’s going to outlive just about anyone else and in better health. Sure they’ll smile and be polite but it’s the politeness adults afford to the three year old who has wandered into the conversation.

They’re lazy. Orcs come in and burn down one of your mystic towers? Tree spirits forbid that you actually, oh I don’t know, rebuild it. No, a better use of your time is to spend the next fifty years writing a song about how beautiful it was. Which brings me to their mortal sin…

They’re emo hipsters. The thing that absolutely sets my teeth on edge about Tolkien’s elves is that they are irredeemably wrapped up in how things just aren’t as cool as they used to be.  You think the ruins of this vast decaying elf city deep in the heart of the forest are beautiful? You should have seen it back when humans were still inventing fire and cracking each other over the head with rocks. Nothing is as good as it was and so they spend their timeless, endless youth sighing about how cool things were before your civilization was even founded. That was my epiphany, they live in a constant state of nostalgia.

Barring accident or violence they live their functionally eternal lives, enjoying permanent youth, vigor and beauty complaining about how the sprinkles on their double chocolate sundae existence aren’t quite the right color and the sorrows of knowing that the fallen city of Cuiviénen had sprinkles of just the right shade.

How’s your oatmeal, human? Cold enough?

1 Comment
  1. Rachel says:

    This is excellent :)

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