I agree that the current portrayal of the Night Elves does not match the original though. Malfurion has become quite hippyish now.
I agree that the current portrayal of the Night Elves does not match the original though. Malfurion has become quite hippyish now.
To be honest, yes I initially also had Tolkien's Elves in the back of my head. Tolkien simply set the bar for these races. No one ever before built them out so detailed and thorough. Now unlike the OP, I did not expect for WoW's Nelfs to be like Rivendell's Elves. I associated them more towards Legolas' Wood Elves.
Now, to make one thing perfectly clear..
My comparisons and parallels have zero to do with the movies and the stereotypes produced through them. Orlando Bloom's Legolas is not what's in the back of my head, nor is Hugo Weaving's Elrond. The closest Elf as portrait by Tolkien, to me would be Craig Parker's Haldir.
Anyhow, WoW's Nelfs are just not even close. And I was actually a bit disappointed about that. WoW Nelf's are heavily Goth influenced. And my very first reaction was rather WTF.... Robert Smith meets Galadriel.. The offspring = WoW Nelfs. Yet, I still chose Nelf for my first 2 toons ever rolled. I also realize that I cannot put myself into a mainstream example. I started playing in Vanilla, and I was already there rather disturbed by the use of tech based items. While I was able to put up with many of the engineer items in the game back then, I was completely annoyed when they put the helicopters into the game with TBC. At least to me, WoW lost a lot of it's feel with the integration of technology. It countered too much of it's fantasy dark ages charisma.
Now, as a veteran of the game, I've long learned that there's nothing in the game that was entirely created by Blizzard. WoW as a whole is the biggest spin-off product on the planet. Is that morally a good thing? I don't know. Blizzard claims (at least they act like it) that their cross references are a homage. That they basically honor the originals with it. Everything in the game already exists in one form or another, either in literature or irl. Sometimes those references are fun (one of my favorites is the Klaxxi Meta Achievement which consists entirely out of Sub achievements made up by ass kicking classic hard rock bands/songs)
Sometimes they make no sense though, and take away from the game's feel.
ive always found the wow elves to be interesting and colorful, tolkein elves are a bit boring imo.
i just wonder if all the tolkein elf dislike is because they're so popular. because all these claims of boring and uninteresting are total b/s if you've actually read the books.
but people flock to play elves, and they tend to reflect high school tereotypes of the beautiful, brilliant kid all the teachers and students fawn over that make everyone feel less than ordinary, and an intense dislike may often arise for those types from people who are not considered to have that combination or worse suffer from the ridicule of those who do, making their experience at school a nightmare.
a lot of gameers are generlaly recluses anyway, shying away from social elements in life often due to their inability to gel because of the ridicule they have expereinced in school settings. So I wonder if when presented with a golden ideal like character or race of people it may be the reason why a fair few completely turn their noses up at.
another reason for the disdain I think is due ot popular culture and television, that seem to be myopic on the whole when it comes to portraying integrity and virtue like it really is. Good natured characters, with strong good values are very often and almost unanimously portrayed as boring and uninteresting, especially from the view of idle middle class kids who've not really suffered anything really traumatic or violent like a real war and the cahos that leads to it and so have no appreciation for stability. but worse, is when heroes are painted almost unanimously in modern day entertainment, they are never the wholesome characters that use to be so highly venerated.
so your modern day class have no sample from entertainment there major source of education, and if in their life circle of school and home again, no such individuals exist, they only have the drab uninteresting good guys in fiction to give them the idea of what being all good is like.
Consequently, they view races like Nelves or tlekin elves written to fit that ideal as boring,often enough a forgone conclusion without taking the time to actually read about them or consider them. Most of the people complaining tolkein elves are boring i would bet a basing that assessment off watching the movies a few years ago and not off reading the books or repeated watching of the films. Becasue i do not find them so at all. Far from it.
I'm sure i could discuss extra reasons this is the case amongst a lot of fans and readers, but I think a lot of it has been said in this topic anyway.
I don't know if the dislike comes from their popularity. Or maybe, because in a way they are described as un-wordly beautiful, almost celestial. Many people seem to have dislikes to everything that's beautiful. Esthetic was never something negative, nor will it ever be that.
Beauty is not "girly style", like some try to portrait it. It's not making a man less of a man because they like something that's rather beautiful (like an Elf), than ugly (like an Orc). The very worst is when people drawing the outright stupidest of all cross references.. Beauty = gay.
Well, in the words old original meaning it is.. In today's use, it's the dumbest comparison one could come up with.
And to cover one more possibility.... Just because a person itself isn't gifted with beauty, doesn't mean they have to reject everything related to beauty.
All in all, it boils down to content and background. And there's no lack to be found. It's rich and interesting.
They've been one of the biggest factors of warcraft since tehir introdcution in wc3, a massive fan favourite, and have been atrociously and poorly written since then. I agree that if the writers want to rite Night elves with authenticity, given the history and backgroudn tht Chris wrote for them in Warcraft 3, they would do well to look at how tolkein portrays an immortal, long lived and wise but valiantly strong people and model the writing style on taht when they use night elven characters in plots and books..rather than the weak willed , often erroneous, clusmy and often looking stupid view of them we've been getting since cataclysm.
i think that was the comparison the OP was trying to make with toolkein elves. not really the theme, or the history or anything like that. It came with respect that both are a purely virtuous race, immortal, very intelligent and vvery strong or rather capable.
Tolkein didn't have to say measure the exact details of the might of the elves, he was writing a book not a video game, but video games need to make that representation to balance gameplay, the question is does that representation of stats factual lore? or just that a representation for balancing purposes but no more? it's up tot he creators to decide really. and i think the makers have been confused.
they've not got the balnace between canon lore and game mechanics. anyone who's donethis before , an rpg from a book or film will tell you it's stupid to make every detail of the game canon, like abilities and stats even, because games need to change things for balance purposes, and the changes are often very very unrealistic, you don't want that in lore. Star Wars went in to detail to specify the degree of cannonicity in the various media platofrms for the franchise. When it came to games they put a semi canon on the games to point out taht , the plot line and story was canon, but details like abilities, stats, and gameplay things like resurrection were not, because they are necessary for gameplay but not really real.
Blizzard don't seem to be able to do that. Because they must balance in game playable reaces, many of us feel that they have written lore to balance that also. So everything is balanced. Which is stupid, because this does not happen in stories. nor in real life. Dogs are not equal to elephants who are not equal to sharks nor zebras. Have a different race? they are different, trying to make them the same is ludicrous. You can adopt the principle that within a race, all are born equal, that is all humans may be born equal, but a human is not equal to a dog or a giraffe. furthermore t hough born with equal potential, everyone is born in different circumstances, nd through choices they make and the hand fate deals them can rise or fall to great or little success. Furthermore, some grow larger, some grow wider, some don't grow much at all, yet to each there is always an opportunity or chance, so in a sense there is an euqality but there is a diversity.
now when you introduce another species, or race, what are the criteria? are you just making different types of human beings or really going for a totally different group of people? In tolkein's universe, he does that really well with his elves, humans, orcs/goblins, dwarves, wizards, valar, halfligns, maiyas etc. ELves are clearly not human, yet they are made by the same being, Eru (God) therefore they do have a lot of simialirity, yet they are clearly different. firstly one is immortal, the other isn't, and in time it shows as the two races develop differently and noticeably so, yet have a similairity too.
you don't have elves behaving exactly like humans ever in the history of middle earth, altho they can behave similar. Elvesare not infallible at all in middle earth, at all, they are not perfect, like all sentient beings they moust make choices and they don't always make the right ones or the best ones, but there are certian things no elf would ever do or make, shoiwng a quality or calibre about them.
In warcraft, Night elves started off on that high ideal, which is where there similarity to tolkein elves are. Night elves may not be called high in the warcraft universe, but everything about them is high. They had a high nobility based on their virtue and actions that were identical to tolkein elves. The terminology confuses people, because in warcraft, high does not mean virtuous and wise amongst old night elven society, high was designated tot eh intellectually magical elite. not high character and nobility. Azshara, dsignated everyone she could find with a high aptitude for the arcane as high elves. It wasn't because of their moral rectitude or nobility of purpose nor virtue that made them high. so High elf in warcraft means a very different thing from High elf in Middle earth.
High in middle earth is a reflection of the depth of virtue, wisdom that filled the elves who visited Valar, they gained a level of understanding and virtue that exceeded and far outstripped that of their kin who did not see. It's like a Christian who sees HEaven and the light of Jesus Christ and is never the same again or a buddhist that manages to reach true enlightment - you are changed alth o you are the same you are far from the same, a new light a new virtue shines through you.
in the elves of warcraft, this does not come from spirtiual dedication altho for some like Tyrande and the preisthood it does, nor does it come from visiting a pseudo spiritual continent, even if that was what Chris had intiially meant Kalimdor to be or at least hte part he well was in, in warcraft, this is whon out in the character of the night elvs as they are described as being virtuous and perfectly lawfully good. And in their adventures they are written to choose the high path in the decisions they make when they faced excrucitating temptation or very difficult choices. This is what makes them high. In tolkein's universe the night elves would definitley be called high elves by evidence of their actions.
Anyway, whether you like that sort of thing, to have an ideal in a race or at least very close to it, is basedo n the eprson, but with wow having sooo many different races, it could have certainl accomodated one like that, and this was how night elves were. they were ideal in their virtue, but seeing them in battle they also showed a ruthlessness and cunning people seem to htink is most u nlike tolkein elves, yet they never read about tolkein elf lords in battle so i find it hard how they could say night elves are not like tolkein elves, becuase i can't imagine a otlkein elf being ferocious and mighty in battle.
night elves seem to be less glittery and unadorned, and a bit more crude when they do things, example they' just slit the nemies throat rather than have some short speech on a heavily adorned horse in clothes that looed like that of a princess. which is the image you get of tolkein elves, which is wht war craft high elves are given, the image but not the character. yet it is the night elves that are more liek tolkein elves in all but appearance. they don't look like them being of dark rather than fair skin, and hey don't seem to put any store in glitter, but then neither do the tolkein elves, it's jsut htat everything is beautiful amongst them, but so it is described with the night elves.
you are later given the type of beautfy. High elf warcraft beauty comes with a lot of adronemnet and wealth like a human noble, night elf beauty is defintley crafted, but of a more natural flwos or matches witht he land and nature, which actually if you read tolkein is exactly like the tolkein elves, whether they are housed in Rivendell, or int eh woods of Lorien or Mirkwood or across the sea.
But one thing is for sure, Tolkein elves fill me with awe, and that is what the author intends to portray, and he does so with a lot of skill and very well, becuase for all their splendour, grace and near majesty, they are nomnt super saiyan either, Elves fall, have limits and have to pull their weight too, yet he achieves that balance well. and it isn't done so in wow, youd on't have to make the night elves come off as losers just to make them look less perfect. it achieves nothing, skillful writing can have left the outcomes of everything that has happeend up to mists of panderia the same, but still painted the night elves in a much much better light than they have for the majority of the cataclysm zones and some of the novels.
wow becomes boring when all the races behave like humans. no one race as a whole rises, only individuals?? i liked it better when you had one really virtuous race, one really evil race, a really brutal race etc etc etc, and sure one of the virtuous cna go bad, just as one of the evil can go good, a brute can learn wisdom etc, etc, but at least you maintain the authenticity and character of the base line race.
you know what i meant, they are physcially different in terms of things like skin colour, height, ears/eyes, warcraft has it's own theme/look even humans don't really look like humans or they all loook like they're from the same family
and as some one pointed out earlier, the night elf style is certainly different from how you would imagine the tolkein elf style which fits more the awrcraft high elf - just to confuse you.
so night elves are basically cooler tolkein elves, their characer , behaviour, ideals, feats etc are very tolkein-elf style, but the look and theme are different. They are not goth really, but i can get the idea of the comparison, imagine a hot sexy babe clad in nothing but breadt and waist guards, of an intricateely owven style sexily striding through the street. - based off the fighting gear of the poster night elf babe.
in game they actually dress more appropriately but i get the picture. art theme is a different concept, but that's not what or where the comparison is made, surely you know that