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Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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?

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago
You have really found your niche here, huh.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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?

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago
It's even more impossible to give a definite answer about this than any of the other fantasy tropes you've asked about so far. It really just depends on the setting or what mythology you're drawing from. Elves otherwise vary so wildly I think the only thing they have in common is the pointy ears.

I'm playing a game right now where they're believed to be the result of a mating between a spirit and 'some kind of social insect.'


Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago
Tolkien elves would be the standard I think of. Tall because that goes along with being regal and aloof, etc, but not abnormally so.

I guess a lot depends on whether your main early exposure to elves were the ones that helped the cobbler and Santa's bunch and Keebler commercials vs high fantasy or anything inspires by the Sidhe...

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago
In the old AD&D campaigns I played in, we always had both Elves and High-Elves. Elves were shorter than five feet, while High-Elves were taller than 6. Both varieties were slender.

Everyone knows that Santa's elves are really just a bunch of halflings.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

Tolkien's influence on fantasy is so strong that I do believe that is how many people view elves these days.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

I generally just envision them as about the same height as humans for any story I put them in.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

I've been seeing that a bit in recent stories.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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)

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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[edit]

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.[3]

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 xenophobicorthodox 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.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

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.

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago
David, stop what you're doing and go play King of Dragon Pass immediately. It's like $6 on GOG, you have no excuse. (It will however cost quite a bit more in terms of hours of your life...)

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

Usually the elves I write about are weaker and shorter 

Average Elf Height?

5 months ago

That's the way I usually view elves.