When someone mentions elves, how tall do you imagine them being? Taller than humans (as in Tolkien)? About the same height as the average adult human? Short, about as tall as dwarves? Tiny creatures, a couple inches in height? I usually imagine them as diminutive beings, unless the narrative makes it clear they are taller. What's your vision?
It seems a good place to ask questions about literature. My view when I was younger was of elves as small beings, as I mentioned above. When I read Tolkien, I was surprised to discover his were taller than most humans. I was just wondering what people here thought. Since you appear to enjoy being an elf, what's your view?
Of course, there's no one right answer. Still, if someone were to tell me to imagine an elf, I'd imagine a short being. But of course, if I felt a story called for a tall elf, I'd happily make elves tall.
I played AD&D back in the day, although I can't precisely recall elf heights from the game. I have seen it expressed elsewhere that Santa's elves aren't real elves, although calling them halflings is a new one to me.
Tolkien's influence on fantasy is so strong that I do believe that is how many people view elves these days.
I generally just envision them as about the same height as humans for any story I put them in.
I've been seeing that a bit in recent stories.
One of the more interesting versions of elves is the Glorantha setting where they're tied to nature/forests due to basically being intelligent plant life. (And dwarves are literally made of stone)
I'm not familiar with Glorantha, but that sounds quite imaginative. I could see how you could carry that further, and say that undines are actually made of water, for example.
Glorantha is the RuneQuest/Heroquest setting. some pretty interesting species, and for a western fantasy setting it stands out by having very little Tolkien influence.
Taken from wikipedia's entry on Glorantha:
Specifically Gloranthan creatures
Broos are creatures of chaos. As a result of their ability to mate with anything, they have the body of a man and features of their animal parent, often deer, goats, antelope, cattle, and sheep. The animal parent normally dies with the child eating its way out of the host at full gestation. They worship Malia, the Mother of Disease, and Thed, the goddess of rape and mother of Chaos.
Scorpionmen are belligerent folk, who look like a sort of scorpion-human centaur. They are described as stupid, vicious and live in violent matriarchies with a religious emphasis on devouring. They are chaotic in nature.
Ducks or Durulz are large intelligent ducks with arms instead of wings (or men cursed with feathers and webbed feet, depending on your point of view). They reside around rivers, mainly in Sartar, and have an unexplained mystical affinity with Death.
Aldryami are Gloranthan plantmen, nature and sun worshipping—mainly worshipping Aldrya, deity of plants. Unlike Tolkienesque elves, they are alien, physically plant-like and often hostile to normal humans ("meat men'"). Like many other fictional elf races, they are excellent archers.
Mostali are a machine-like dwarf race, extremely xenophobic, orthodox and insular. Inventors of iron, which has many extraordinary magical properties in Glorantha, contrasting to the primary metal used bronze.
Uz, the trolls, are the race of darkness, large, intelligent, astoundingly omnivorous, with a very developed sonar-like sense (darksense). Their societies are matriarchal, and they worship, among others, a goddess of darkness called Kyger Litor, mother of the Trolls, and the more violent and sinister Zorak Zoran.
Dragonewts are a magical race who comprise several forms of neotenic dragons, engaged in a cycle of self-improving reincarnation. They are extremely alien with an incomprehensible mindset. They must have oral surgery in order to speak human languages.
I always figured Games Workshop took part of their inspiration for their chaos beastmen from the broos.
I think GW eventually sanitized their version slightly though since Broos are basically a bunch of monsters that rape to make more of their kind. (Regular animals, humans, plants, dinosaurs, etc.)
I know there’s been some arguments to take stuff like that out of lore, but I’d argue that’s all the more reason to leave it in as a good reason for the players to kill the abominations. Can’t very well have rape monsters running about.
Usually the elves I write about are weaker and shorter
That's the way I usually view elves.