Dwarves vs Elves

Posted: May 11, 2009 in General
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Dwarves or Elves. It is an old debate, and one, like Dogs or Cats and Pirates or Ninjas, is endlessly debated with no resolutions. On one side you have those who know the truth and on the other the recalcitrants that refuse to acknowledge what is obviously the truth. On one hand you have a race that is honourable, hard working, loyal, dependable and on the other is an arrogant, proud, xenophobic people with delusions of superiority.

But now that debate can be put to rest. The Dwarves and Elves themselves debated this very topic, and the winner is obvious for all to see.

For myself I have always been a fan of Dwarves, ever since I can remember. Early influences were of course Narnia, The Black Cauldron and of course The Hobbit.

Dwarves, unfortunately, have never had the respect they deserve, unlike those upstart Elves, and have become more and more likely to be used as comic relief, and as badly stereotyped Scotsmen.

In the early days, back when I was a teen, I also liked the Elves. But as I got older the more Elves began to annoy me, until now days I hate them with a burning passion. Why the change of opinion? It is because I grew up in my opinion. Elves appeal to teenagers, as they share the same superior, know-it-all attitude. Lets face it Elves, as normally written, are arrogant, angsty and superior at everything. (The Inheritance series is a classic example of this, and, not surprisingly, written by a teenager. Vegan elves who wear leather? Think a bit harder.) The there is the fact that Tolkien’s Elves have been ripped off so badly and often it is beyond a joke.

Elves of today are a far cry of Elves of mythology, which is why I like Pratchett’s Elves, whom are vicious and evil and malevolent, just the way Elves should be.

When I started writing in my world, my aim was to have Dwarves front and centre, to make them in my world what Elves were in Tolkien’s – the superior race. Looking back, I probably overdid it a bit, but I was young then, and since then have wound it back a bit until the current situation where they are no longer Dwarves as commonly seen, but a race called the Arduq, ancient and mysterious, spirits of earth who emerge rarely from the deep deserts on tasks few understand or can fathom. Hairless and beardless, their skins are the colours of stones and metals and they also work alongside the dragons. They are sometimes called Dwarves, but that is a result of a mistranslation of one of the names they give themselves – The Diminished.

Elves also existed int he early days of the creation of the world, and were, sadly, clones of Tolkien’s Elves. As my opinions of Elves changed, so did their place and role in my world. I am still deciding exactly how, if at all, to use them. Their current role is that of of a race called the Aelfir, a race not of the world of Sharael and who fill a role somewhere between that of a Vampire and a Wraith. Not a pleasant people, but there are exceptions.

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