Why I Hate Elves

July 16, 2008

Let me explain, since some of you seem “confounded” that I’m not a fan of these fantasy staples. You might be, and that’s fine for you, but this is Syp Space, and in Syp Space, Syp’s Succulent Sayings Soothe Swell. ish.

First of all, elves are to the light side of fantasy as vampires are to the dark side. That is to say, they’re brooding, tall, arrogant, basically immortal, and not too fond of humans. Snobbish, pretty much. Elitist. Far more racist than the other species. Cold and usually emotionless, which is where Star Trek’s elf — Mr. Spock — got his whole dealie from.

When they show up, it’s usually to do one of the two following things: (a) give humanity a lecture about how we’re using trees for fuel and how we’re rending sweet Mother Earth to shreds without a pause, and (b) to show everyone up. You can shoot a bow? Goodie — elfie can shoot one a billion more yards than you. You have spent your entire childhood learning the secrets of the forest and how to track prey? Pshaw — elfie has a GPS made out of tree sap and squished bugs that can give turn-by-turn directions.

So that’s a good start, right? Gee, I can’t IMAGINE why I might hesitate to fall at their feet in adulation!

Then you have the elf love of All Things Nature. Ugh. Now, I appreciate the vistas and quirks of God’s creation just as much as the next suburbanite who kills spiders intruding inside their home, but elves tend to go to the Nth degree with their tree-hugging, flower-flinging naturefest. In fact, they love nature so very much that I’m surprised that any elf babies are ever conceived, if you get my drift.

As a fantasy staple, elves have just been done to death. Tolkien, D&D, Warhammer, Warcraft, almost every MMO that offers a selection of multiple races. Heck, even City of Heroes has elves! Elves have proven so overwhelmingly popular that they just dominate any game they’re included in; I guess people just love being tall and willowy and deadly with a bow and arrow (elves don’t have a lot of people in the service industry).

Even dark/night/evil/Drow elves aren’t that far off the beaten cliché — they tend to be shadowy assassins, all mopey and arrogant and probably wearing an eyepatch like the unjolliest pirate in the world.

We all know how certain classes (rogues) tend to attract certain types of players (loot-stealing jerks); elves tend to attract some very scary cross-sections of the player demographic. Namely, the “Please get me out of this ROOM before I stab myself in the EYE because this renaissance faire reject won’t shut up about how Drizz’t and his 99 Ears has attuned his heart to the core of the forest and can sing the song of the butterfly!” demographic. Now, that’s stereotyping and all in good fun, but I’ve generally found that elf players tend to scare me and/or repel me with an intense self-absorbed fascination of how Awesome they are.

Plus, and lets face it, how many truly “cool” elves are there? Orlando Bloom we’ve mentioned, but we’ll also dismiss. Keebler? Santa’s Helpers? Dobby? Please.

That’s why I’m not a fan of elves, and I haven’t even mentioned how a pack of feral elves came into my house on Christmas Day and ate my dog. Happy day, no matter what side I pick in WAR, I get to kill me some!



  1. I would agree with this as I too am not all that fond of elves.

    Only Elf I do consider is a DoK, because that other Elf that can shoot that bow a billion yards? I, as a DoK, just ripped his eyes out and said…”Do it again now!”

  2. A fine read!

    I like the part about elves showing up everyone at everything.

    If I were to write a book, it would have humans being the superior race and there would a bunch of sub-par races that would get shown-up in basically everything…I may even call these races ‘elves.’

  3. I used to feel a similar way about Elves until I read The Silmarillion. In fact, very few of Tolkien’s Elves are anywhere near is insufferable as the ubiquitous fantasy stereotype that you have portrayed. I blame D&D.

  4. I can’t agree more. Elves are always one of the core races, and they never even bother to change their general attitude to something more original.

    I will play a dark elf DoK, but I won’t be a good-hearted Drizzt-wannabe despite the twin blades. At least I don’t have a panther *grumble*

  5. I lol’d. I also hold DnD responsible for the stigma, but I don’t mind it. I’m an Elrond-fanboy and that won’t change. I do share the hatred of “renaissance faire rejects”. That is in fact the reason I won’t play on an RP server. 😉

    See where I went with that? It’s WAAAGH!!!

  6. Only three things elves are good for:

    1. Baking cookies in trees
    2. Making shoes at night when the cobbler is asleep
    3. Making Christmas toys for the girls and boys

  7. Blackwings: also, they ate Syp’s dog. That has to count for something.

  8. The way you feel about Elves is the way I feel about trolls and dwarves. “Fight. Crunch. Kill. Again.” Ugh.

    Having come straight off of watching Hellboy2 and Luke Goss’s evil Elven prince, I think I’d add his character to the list of cool Elves. Watching him made me remember the most important thing about ’em; they’re fun to watch when they’re done right in a film. Hey, like vampires!

  9. Mmmm elf ears…

  10. At least Dwarves have a personality 😉

  11. @ blake

    You should consider “The Witcher”. In these stories elfs and dwarves are considered sub-human and are forced to live in ghettos and are almost extinct, because of the humans.

  12. well thats why i like dark elves cuz they hate those fancy long haired hippies and would rather sacrifice theyre bodies to khaine than be killed by one 😉

    i played the tabletop game as dark elves and i cant wait to roll a witch elf to get stuck into some high elves who i hate just as much as the fictional dark elves.

    I dont see elves as any better than a human theyre all knowing arrogance is their weakness and in the tabletop game theyre range was their weakness as well as theyre strength (wernt that good in hand to hand).

  13. I’m a dendropheliac and proud of it.

    Honestly, I usually agree, but there are a few fantasy versions of elves that are fairly badass. I find the Warhammer elves to be one for me.

  14. I find Dark Elves more insufferable personally.

    Most Elf players do the snooty, do the bow and arrow and do the trees. They are easily ignored.

    Apparently though playing a Dark Elf is a free license to be a tard and claim it’s all in character.

    Either way, the two elven races are likely to have a higher than normal snob quotient. Hence why I’ll have an Orc and a Dwarf. Gotta spread around the smash.

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