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  • Mood: Happy Tears
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  • Reading: A Game of Thrones
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Alright can I just say how much I love the elves in the Elder Scrolls

J.R.R. Tolkien popularized elves as these otherworldly, divinely beautiful creatures which sorta established the standard for the race in all modern fantasy that came after. They're nearly immortal, distant, and to me, plain boring. Then around comes Morrowind, the game that really made me fall in love with TES, its world and its lore!! The elves of TES have a long history, and each subrace has their own cultural identity. The elves no longer just sit in their Crystal ivory towers (well I guess some of them do) and sing to their trees or whatever - they're flawed, complicated PEOPLE, and extremely proud of who they are. The haughty Altmer, the hostile Dunmer from the Ashlands, the cannibalistic Bosmer, the late Dwemer and their scientific achievements…. when was the last time any elves modeled after Tolkien's work had this much cultural diversity??

I love the fact that Bethesda actually created some of the most interesting, unusual cultures in the series for them. I love reading about them. I love their history. I love their aesthetics, which are exotic and uniquely beautiful. Just the amount of THOUGHT that has gone into creating the finer details of their cultures is incredible to me and has inspired me for the past decade.

tl;dr: hnnnngh TES elves
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GeminiBrain Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Student Digital Artist
well there is the silmarillion which tells quite a lot about the tolkien elves etc., a really complicated book though to read, but it's mindblowing and tragic.
I have to agree that they are kinda boring in lotr but when I read the silmarillion I changed my mind, there is quite a lot 
about them actually! 
Tobassinesia Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
Oh, and not to mention the Maormer and their awesome transparentness. If only we could have gotten the chance to see them... I bet they were like those transculent fishes and you could see all their insides and sterff. |-D
BlackTurkey Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013  Student Digital Artist
(Though I am more of an Argonian player-Good God almighty, I really do like the visual appeal, their attitudes, and history! (I tell ya, I love the Argonians as much as I love TES Elves and Dragon Age Elves.))
Eleima Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well spoken. I could not have put it better myself.

Here's hoping this spurs you into more TES art, your TES fan art is the most beautiful and haunting I've ever come across (the Bitter Coast and Ald'ruhn come to mind).
Kogouma Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i love TES Elves. mostly the Bosmer though. i have at least one or two Bosmer characters on each of the TES games i own (Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. though i can't play Morrowind anymore because it's not compatible with my 360 Dx.) hell, my first character i ever made, on the first TES game i ever played (Morrowind) was a Bosmer named Anaiya. i loved her to death, got over a million gold my taunting the Ordinators of Vivec City and then selling their armor to that trader in Raven Rock. but then my game glitched and wouldn't load for me anymore...
blackmorn Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
Tolkein Elves Suck. I prefer Midkemian Elves.


Created by beings who thought them selves gods "The Valheru" as servants. Valheru go bye bye the elves split into factions Seven of them. the main two being the "Light Elves" and TheDarkBrotherhood.
my-ain-sel Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh gawd I want a Bosmer game with all these gigantic forests, huge towering thick oak trees and trees that walk, the strangest of the elves with houses made of bones, hiding round every thicket waiting to stick an arrow in your eye and roast you on a spit.

Thanks in advance Bethesda.
Sihlaryn Featured By Owner May 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
TES elves forever.... in my heart.
Waittiz Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   Digital Artist
I also agree with what you wrote here, though after getting all nuts about Dunmer in Morrowind I stumbled across some Forgotten Realms books - and if you compare their elves to TES ones there's quite a lot of similarity between them. Though whereas FR 'light elves' seem to be all-good and dark elves all-evil (except for a few individuals) TES elves have more variation in their personalities even amongst one race.

But anyway... I want to move to Vvardenfell (the TES III: Morrowind -time Vvardenfell, maybe a bit less to what became of it after the eruption of Red Mountain...)
SuperCharlieLover Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
While the elves aren't my favorite Skyrim characters, I do agree with you about their design scheme. I wouldn't be pleased if they were all sparkly and overly mystical (like Edward on steroids).
SilverSkittle Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
YESSSS. Agree with you 100%, I adore the TES elves and got even more into finding out about their histories because of Skyrim 8)
CallMeWingus Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh man, yeah. Bethesda might not be that good at individual characters a lot of the time, but damn are the great at worldbuilding.
Woodsie-One Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Student General Artist
I totally agree - thanks to their flaws, they are the most interesting version of elves I've ever met. And I've read quite a lot of fantasy books and played many games : )
SGT-Conley Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree with your thoughts an rationale in their entirety, but it's the Dunmer an Orismer that really make me swoon.

I've always seen the Orsimer as having the greatest capacity for both good an evil due to their unique communist/socialist culture, but it's a shame that they're so quickly ignored an poorly conceptualized as troglodyte tribals.
Orcs have SO much potential.
Xeraiah Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As much as I love Lord of the Rings, I cannot tell you how much I agree with all of the above. *bless*
Middantyr Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Hobbyist
I concur. In all honesty, it was the freedom and lore introduced into Elder Scrolls games that inspired me to take up writing, to a large extent.

Bosmer for the win, eating their enemies and running around as midgets in the woods!
BeinCraban Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You just spoke my thoughts completely hahaha It was a shame Oblivion taught us so little of the Ayleids, I really wanted to add another Elvish culture to my list of "things bethesda has inspired me with". That being said, the dramatic change elves have taken (especially orcs) from arena to morrowind is amazing and I am glad it happened hahaha
Imosno Featured By Owner May 17, 2013
Dunmer FTW. Bethesda has got to be my favorite game studio out of them all, simply because of their story-making and story-telling abilities. I'm so glad I started the Elder Scrolls series with Morrowind when I was, like, 11 years old. Otherwise, I would have no knowledge of just how beautiful and unique the elves are. I really should read up more on the lore. :/
IsacCrimson Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Wait, the wood elves are cannibals=?
TheMinttu Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ever heard of the Green Pact?
IsacCrimson Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Nope, but thanks for answering though :D
Norwen-Eolan Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Yup, they eat their dead. Among other things.
You should read A Dance in Fire, one of the ingame books! :)
Atlasavion Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student General Artist
I've never gotten into TES but you make these elves sound really interesting. On Tolkien's elves, I personally love them but they are kind of boring now that I think about it ._. and from watching the movies, I think we're only exposed to one culture and there's no mention of any subcultures which means there are ALOT of boring elves XD
Bjarru Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I definitely agree
And, damn, look at them. In human eyes they aren't pretty, they're even kinda ugly... or scary. They have very sharp features and quite alien look, and it makes them unique elves in modern Fantasy games.
I also find it interesting that khajiits possibly used to be elves as well
TheMinttu Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I wouldn't use the word ugly. Beauty comes in many forms, and usually to me Tolkienesque "flawless" beauty comes across as uninteresting and unimaginative. Personally I find especially the Dunmer aesthetics attractive. I suppose that's a matter of preference.
Bjarru Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Eh, not from elven PoV obviously. Rather from a human one. They're not pretty humans with pointy ears like DA's elves or... any other fantasy elves
Or maybe Altmers just scare me wit their "better-than-you-mer" attitude
LukasEnricBS Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
And yet I still play nords for some reason
Tobassinesia Featured By Owner May 17, 2013
Not to mention how the Tolkien elves always go in slow mo and glow and all that shit.
Don't get me wrong, LOTR and The Hobbit were great, but flawless races/characters can get... lame?
Dodinator Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i totally agree man, this is the reason why TES is so successful... i aspire to create games or even work for bethesda one day
xkelbix Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree. I have not yet played Morrowind, my first TES game was Oblivion. I've always found elves much more interesting than human characters because they are so different. I love the TES elves, the most being the Altmer. I'm not quite sure why but it must be something to do with how snobbish they are which i find kind of amusing in the game. I cannot wait until TES Online so we can learn more about the races of Tamriel.
TheMinttu Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
So far TES Online has only been taking a giant shit on established TES lore, so don't get too excited... personally I don't consider it part of the official canon :/
xkelbix Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I dont think it is official canon, its just a spin off game. but still, it will give me some more idea of how the races live in their homelands. Im hoping the next official installment is set in the Summerset Isle and the storyline related to the Thalmor. I feel we didn't see enough of them.
Xiaahandrus Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I heard that they intend to place TES Online way back in the past, like First Era back in the past. I had a friend who's kept more well informed about the project that they set it in the past so they don't run into the problem of the events within the Online element 'writing' what happens next in the Elder Scrolls universe. He told me that another game had that problem, but I can't remember which one... It might have been WoW, don't quote me on that though.

I will unfortunately be sitting TES Online out as I sadly live in area where high speed, unlimited internet is both outrageously expensive and doesn't live up to it's expectations. T.T
xkelbix Featured By Owner May 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah its like 1000 years before Skyrim. Yeah ive been trying to keep up to date too and i think youre right but it would be the history and events in the game that would be different from the canon so things like the race cultures and stuff should (hopefully) be canon :)

I don't know if i will be able to play it either because mine nor my brothers computers might not be able to run it. Its a shame because it sounds like its going to be amazing.
protofan58 Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I must agree. Hnnnnnnngh
Irino Featured By Owner May 17, 2013
I can only agree with you. I have always loved the dunmer. Morrowind ftw!
Jaegerofice Featured By Owner May 17, 2013
I never thought it like that... Now Warhammer elves seem to be just standard stock.
BasileusIoannis Featured By Owner May 16, 2013
I agree re: Tolkien elves...not just distant, but a bunch of defeatists. "oh, we've lived here for thousands of years, but we're going to abandon our homes and go off to another continent on boats and leave this land to you humans." what utter rot.

in my fiction Bad Blood Runs Black, I've made my elves into a surrogate Ottoman Empire that is in the process of invading two human nations. the High Porte of the Elfin nation has already assimilated numerous states, to unite them under their hegemony...their army is a mix of many subject races. because the two aforementioned human nations had worn themselves out fighting each other, they were ill prepared to fend off the High make matters worse, a pair of opportunistic human traitors had made a deal with the elves to be installed as governors after the existing governments are removed by the High Porte (one is already dead). it's loosely based on Byzantine history, except of course the Byzantines lost to the Ottomans, whereas the jury is still out on my High Porte elves.
Kataiser Featured By Owner May 16, 2013
If you've played Morrowind, you may know elves by another name: racists. :XD:
They Elder Scrolls universe is just the only one that cared enough to make a species that actually has cultural diversity. Y'know, like humans have in the real world. And it works well.
bloody-thrice Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Student General Artist
They hinted that the falmer's (however that's spelled) condition could be reversed I think. I would love to add the snow elves to the future elder scrolls games. (And not just because I have a thing for albino type characters.)
They also never said the dwemer could never reappear. I think they would make great antagonists for a future game. Just saying....
Umbravita Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
They're a bunch of assholes and I love them all. :lol:
mokimeow Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i was always partial to the khajiiti but the fact remains, morrowind's elf lore is fascinating. to someone like me who has next to no interest in high fantasy settings, morrowind was the game that turned my idea of elves on its head. i was able to enjoy the game's setting and become interested in the world just as much as i liked stealing everyone's valuables and nonvaluables(oh but i am a stereotypical khajiit thief, sob. at least i didn't get into the moon sugar.........), especially books where a lot of the interesting lore was found.
MaggotKing666Blister Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My favorite race is the Dremora, the elves are cool and all but idk, i just never got into them. My first play on TES was Oblivion and i loved the Dremora, hellish demon knights that come out of firery gates of hell, love it. But i was really disappointed in skyrim because they didnt even try to make them unique, they just slapped them in a high elf and colored their skin. But yay elves! XD
HailToTheFox Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Agreed! Thoughts on the Falmer in Skyrim?
the-Orator Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The Elder Scrolls man
TheMinttu Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
What a perfect way to sum up my feelings on the matter
RocCenere Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I do love that every race in the Elderscrolls series has a unique and diverse culture and magnificent history. At first look the Khajiit just seem like an excuse to have furries, but no! There is all this interesting magic and mysticism that goes with their birth cycles, their leaders. It's all very interesting.
Bethesda does put in a lot of work into their games and I'm yet to be disappointed by any of them.
darklylightkayleigh Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Except no one loves Valen Dreth or the adoring fan, I think this is something we can all agree on, yes~~~~ Lol, but seriously, greatest journal entry on DA.
Pyreiris Featured By Owner May 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I completely agree. Through out my life I loved Tolkien, still do, yet everyone was always so distant in the stories. I grew up and started playing D&D, which is still something I love to do. It lets you imagine your own stories. I also grew up loving video games, my generation is the one that saw the first video games ever! So all these years, I've been WAITING for a game that lets me create, adventure, and just plain old be weird and imaginative, and had really great graphics. So when I discovered Skyrim--how the hell did I miss playing all the prior installments? Oh yeah, Urban Terror, Star/Warcraft, Diablo, Neverwinter Nights and all those...-- I was ecstatic! So many options!! Nearly endless. It's my BEST GAME EVER to be sure. Back to the point- TES ideas about Mer are awesome! Original, yet always respectful of the lore that came to be the basis for Mer. I wish I could find more old lore to read, just to be a bit more clued in while writing my now ridiculously long fanfic. Featuring my lovely, unapologetically carnivorous Bosmer. She's fun to play in character. She eats no veggies or breads. Meat eggs cheese and MEAD! Lol. Sorry rambling, I'll quit.
Ohaikeely Featured By Owner May 16, 2013
I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way. I can't get enough of Mer in the Elder Scrolls series, their lore and culture, specifically the Dunmer, is just beyond amazing. Each race is so fleshed out.
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