I am not an genuine Elfquest fan. I am a filker. I came across Elfquest through the music. Back in the mid-1980s, I used to attend filksings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They were hosted by a couple named Teresa and Scott. I would sit at the fringes of the circle and listen raptly to the songs they introduced me to. My particular interest in filksongs was the lyrics. I am a poet, not a musician. I was overjoyed to find an outlet for serious metrical poetry. In the process, I learned a lot about fandom, including alternate universes I had never previously heard of. Elfquest was one of these.
Elfquest is a series of graphic novels about a group of elves who ride wolves and whose ancestry is something like a cross between aliens from outer space and wolves. Okay, so I'm a little vague on that. Teresa offered to lend me some issues to read, but they belonged to Scott, and he was afraid I wouldn't bring them back, so I never borrowed them. What I know about Elfquest is limited to what I picked up in the songs.
Recently, I noticed there's a lot of material about Elfquest on the web. Assailed by a feeling of nostalgia, I decided to put together a hub about it.
The Wolfriders' Way of Life
"A life short and wild is the way of our kind," the song goes, "passion and movement the savor. Sometimes we must hunger for peace in our lives, but violence spices the flavor."
In other words, the Wolfriders are not clamoring for universal healthcare coverage!
The Wolfriders are definitely not vegetarians. The excitement of the hunt is captured in this next song.
This next is the song about the Wolfriders' ancestry."We are wolves and we are something else."
There is a whole world of smaller, lighter characters in Elfquest. This next song illustrates that.
Anger, Hatred and Revenge
In addition to the lighter moments, like every epic, Elquest stirs some of our darker feelings as well. Feelings of rivalry, anger, hatred and revenge. The following song is an example of the hatred/revenge motif.
A closely related theme in the Elfquest universe is the ever-present thirst for power. Winnowill is an imposing figure with immense power.
ElfQuest on Love
Recognition and Limerence
In the Elfquest world, people don't fall in love -- they recognize each other. Recognition is completely involuntary. There is no choice about it, and it may go against the conscious desires of unwilling lovers.
A person may not be bonded to the person with whom recognition happens. Recognition is for selecting a mate to conceive with. Bonding is to find a lifemate who might help raise the children so conceived.
Recognition is a powerful force that cannot be ignored, but it has nothing to do with building a nest together.
Recognition versus Bonding
The Non-Fan's Take on Elfquest
So, why put together a hub about something I'm not 100% behind? One answer is nostalgia. When I hear the Elfquest filksongs, it brings me back to another period, when the world lay completely open, and anything could happen.
The songs are good. The artwork is great. And I hear that there is a movie in the works. So if this is your kind of fandom, enjoy!
- A Defense of Nostalgia
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