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Are the Warhammer Elves inspired by Greece?

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  • kelembribor21kelembribor21 Registered Users Posts: 227
    Meroitic7 said:

    I was reading a little bit of greek history and I realized that the elves are pretty much based on Greece. Sparta is clearly the dark elves (e.g slaves, slaves, and more slaves), Athens is the high elves (culturally superior, arrogant) though I could see them as the Byzantine or Atlantis. Finally, the wood elves are those creatures that follow Pan, the nature god. What do you guys think?

    Fight between Nagarythe (militaristic, disciplined society) and Lothern (mercantile cultural naval based city) in Sundering novels , and kingdom-states seem to based on Greek History and conflict of Athens and Sparta.

    Though they have Tolkien and supposedly Atlantis, Melniboneans.

    Chrace sounds like Thrace and Ellyrion like Illyria, exposing children is mentioned in concerning Teclis and his defects, practice that Asur and mostly Druchii share and has roots in many legends of Greeks and Plutarch's writing about Sparta. There could be more similarities too.
  • Arknav555Arknav555 Registered Users Posts: 127
    What about the wood elves?
  • HelhoundHelhound Registered Users Posts: 4,383
    Tayvar said:

    The Dark Elves are mix of Sparta and Pirates, the Spartans has also worshiped a War God.

    Common misconception. Ares was not the primary god of the Spartans, Apollo was.
  • ArneSoArneSo Hamburg, Germany Registered Users Posts: 19,760
    Meroitic7 said:

    What about the wood elves?

    Wood Elves are basically LotR mixed with Ents and nature Spirits
    Nurgle is love, Nurgle is life
  • fireatwill4fireatwill4 Registered Users Posts: 205
    The asur are deeply influenced by the works of Tolkien, particularly their aesthetic, architecture and choice of armor, down to their pointy winged helmets. Even some of the names are borrowed.
  • Arknav555Arknav555 Registered Users Posts: 127
    So the High Elves are the Hellenistic World and Tolkienwhile the DE are a mush of Tolkein and other stuff including Sparta and Rome.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 9,956
    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).
  • aemethaaemetha Registered Users Posts: 20
    The Dark Elves are quite clearly based on the United States. The US is a militaristic culture in modern times (look to the respect afforded to the armed services in the US, the rate of participation, and the number of elected representatives who have served for evidence of this, comparatively with other Western Nations. Another thing the other thing the US is known for is its consumer culture, which is reflected in the excesses of the Dark Elves, Cult of Pleasure for example. Finally, the US emphasizes individual freedoms over communal values more than any other culture, which is something the Dark Elves take to extremes - the right to power because you can earn (take) it.

    Similarly, the High Elves are clearly based on the United Kingdom. Monarchists, arrogant, colonialists, primarily a naval power, primarily a trade power.

    The Wood Elves are less established in modern cultures, but their origin may be considered to be analogous to the UK divestment of their colonial assets in the early decades of the 20th century as they faced increasingly squeezed resources during the military conflicts of those years.

    Aesthetically, there may be some greco-roman influences there, but geographically and culturally they draw much more heavily on Anglo-American influences. Like most things in the Warhammer setting, those influences are magnified to create a more polarizing and conflicted world. That's a common trope in fantasy, as authors seek to show how extremism in any form is ultimately evil. Examples of that include Sanderson's Cosmere novels and short stories, and Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal.

    Neither the re-imagining of UK or US culture in the Warhammer setting is flattering, but it's not supposed to be. It's a grimdark setting in which you're not really supposed to like any of them based on their moral compass. They are all extremists who are unwilling to consider compromise - which is necessary in a world built exclusively to be the setting for a war game.
  • fireatwill4fireatwill4 Registered Users Posts: 205
    aemetha said:

    The Dark Elves are quite clearly based on the United States.




  • MaksboMaksbo Registered Users Posts: 296
    aemetha said:

    The Dark Elves are quite clearly based on the United States. The US is a militaristic culture in modern times (look to the respect afforded to the armed services in the US, the rate of participation, and the number of elected representatives who have served for evidence of this, comparatively with other Western Nations. Another thing the other thing the US is known for is its consumer culture, which is reflected in the excesses of the Dark Elves, Cult of Pleasure for example. Finally, the US emphasizes individual freedoms over communal values more than any other culture, which is something the Dark Elves take to extremes - the right to power because you can earn (take) it.

    Similarly, the High Elves are clearly based on the United Kingdom. Monarchists, arrogant, colonialists, primarily a naval power, primarily a trade power.

    The Wood Elves are less established in modern cultures, but their origin may be considered to be analogous to the UK divestment of their colonial assets in the early decades of the 20th century as they faced increasingly squeezed resources during the military conflicts of those years.

    Aesthetically, there may be some greco-roman influences there, but geographically and culturally they draw much more heavily on Anglo-American influences. Like most things in the Warhammer setting, those influences are magnified to create a more polarizing and conflicted world. That's a common trope in fantasy, as authors seek to show how extremism in any form is ultimately evil. Examples of that include Sanderson's Cosmere novels and short stories, and Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal.

    Neither the re-imagining of UK or US culture in the Warhammer setting is flattering, but it's not supposed to be. It's a grimdark setting in which you're not really supposed to like any of them based on their moral compass. They are all extremists who are unwilling to consider compromise - which is necessary in a world built exclusively to be the setting for a war game.

    Fantastic post. Spot on, you win
  • OdTengriOdTengri Registered Users Posts: 5,234

    ARE THE ELVES BASED ON GREECE?

    Meroitic7 said:

    I was reading a little bit of greek history and I realized that the elves are pretty much based on Greece. Sparta is clearly the dark elves (e.g slaves, slaves, and more slaves), Athens is the high elves (culturally superior, arrogant) though I could see them as the Byzantine or Atlantis. Finally, the wood elves are those creatures that follow Pan, the nature god. What do you guys think?

    No... They're the British well the High Elves are anyways. They are an Island nation that once had a globe spanning empire that was forced to abandon most of its colonies and now persist as a merchant marine nation with a global trading networks. They also suffer from "the white mans burden" or in this case the "elf mans" ("White Elfs"?) burden of elevating the other lesser sub-human (sub-elf) peoples of the world. (yes "the white mans burden" is stupid and racist, same with the "noble savage" and many other dumb ideas)

    The Dark Elves are Americans. They're foreigners and settlers, they had a civil war and split with their parent nation. They massacre the the natives on the regular and are engaged in brutal chattel slavery. Oh and they also live in "not-America"

    Wood Elves are Celtic....
  • CrajohCrajoh Member Registered Users Posts: 2,075
    Daruwind said:

    Elves are easily based upon Tolkien and Atlantis. Tolkien is father of modern Elves and their branches (Wood, High...) and Ulthuan...Atlantis a lot similar traits. :)

    Hold on Atlantis = Fishmen. There was even a documentary about this at the cinemas a while ago.

    Of course maybe Elves are the surface dwelling version pre-sinking.
    Live your life and try to do no harm.

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Evelyn Beatrice Hall
  • apostolispapostolisp Member Registered Users Posts: 206
    War Hydras and Medusas are based on Greek mythology , but cant seem to think of anything else ,right now, in Warhammer that reminds me of Greek mythology or ancient history ( I am Greek).
  • BaaltorBaaltor Registered Users Posts: 68
    HE are based on Britain. DE are based on America, which is why they have all the slaves, a barely more merit based system, an obsession with sports and no respect for life. Its like Ayn Rand crossed with
    Tolkien.
  • TayvarTayvar Registered Users Posts: 12,209

    War Hydras and Medusas are based on Greek mythology, but cant seem to think of anything else, right now, in Warhammer that reminds me of Greek mythology or ancient history ( I am Greek).

    Pegasuses, Manticores, Harpies, Minotaurs and many others, you sure that you are Greek? :)
  • yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 3,586
    Baaltor said:

    HE are based on Britain. DE are based on America, which is why they have all the slaves, a barely more merit based system, an obsession with sports and no respect for life. Its like Ayn Rand crossed with
    Tolkien.

    Dark elves "sport" obsession is pretty much a direct, but darker version of the roman collosseums and gladiator games, they even have a gladiator unit. There are many different inspirations of course, but I believe the Athens/Sparta rivalry to be more significant for dark elf inspiration than America.
    Draxynnic said:

    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).

    Well, the dark elves are fantasy elves, and pretty much all modern fantasy elves are from Tolkien. They are long-lived, beautiful, agile, pointy-eared, graceful and generally skilled people. They are disciplined(most of them anyway) and highly trained in battle, and especially good at using ranged weapons. They are also expert craftsmen and make good weapons, armour, and have good architecture. They also have a superiority complex towards "lesser" races like humans and dwarfs. They are skilled at handling animals(although for dark elves it is manifested in a very cruel way, unlike the high/wood ones). They are also great seafarers. Their leaders are ancient and powerful, and possess great amounts of knowledge and magical power. All of this is part of the warhammer elves, dark elves included, and it is all from Tolkien elves.
  • LennoxPoodleLennoxPoodle Registered Users Posts: 510

    War Hydras and Medusas are based on Greek mythology , but cant seem to think of anything else ,right now, in Warhammer that reminds me of Greek mythology or ancient history ( I am Greek).

    There's a lot of stuff associated with classical antiquity in both Dark and High Elves. I wouldn't agree with the Sparta and Athens interpretation though. They seem to be more about positively/negatively perceived aspect. Naturally this means there's a lot of (cliché) Sparat in the Druchii. We are talking about a social Darwinist warrior culture here, were in an individuals value (and survival) is determined by their martial prowess. Also there's death night, which seems to be inspired by the crypteia. For the Asir the influence is really obvious:
    Intellectual/Serene appreciation for beauty and nature, emphasis on art and architecture, as phalanx fighting "elite" citizen militia (hoplites), Heracles inspired Chrace, Atlantis (Ulthuan), naval power and hegemony and even T-shaped visors.
    The Dark Elves get the evil spin with orgies and slaves and such.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 9,956


    Draxynnic said:

    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).

    Well, the dark elves are fantasy elves, and pretty much all modern fantasy elves are from Tolkien. They are long-lived, beautiful, agile, pointy-eared, graceful and generally skilled people. They are disciplined(most of them anyway) and highly trained in battle, and especially good at using ranged weapons. They are also expert craftsmen and make good weapons, armour, and have good architecture. They also have a superiority complex towards "lesser" races like humans and dwarfs. They are skilled at handling animals(although for dark elves it is manifested in a very cruel way, unlike the high/wood ones). They are also great seafarers. Their leaders are ancient and powerful, and possess great amounts of knowledge and magical power. All of this is part of the warhammer elves, dark elves included, and it is all from Tolkien elves.
    If you're going to go through several layers, you'll end up at the Finnish and Scandinavian mythology that Tolkein started from.

    Regular elves do come pretty much straight out of Tolkein (with whichever twist the world-builder in question chooses to apply) but the concept of "dark elves" in current fantasy is not something that came out of Tolkein directly. It's a later invention, probably growing out of the idea of applying the Seelie/Unseelie or the liosalfar/svartalfar division to Tolkein elves, but without the subtlety of those divisions in actual mythology.

    Once you get to the likes of druchii or drow, you're generally not looking at Tolkein except as a caricatured (both the Games Workshop and WOTC have admitted that neither would realistically retain their societies for long given how backstabby they are) inversion of the more directly Tolkein-inspired elves in the setting.
  • kelembriborkelembribor Registered Users Posts: 762
    aemetha said:

    The Dark Elves are quite clearly based on the United States. The US is a militaristic culture in modern times (look to the respect afforded to the armed services in the US, the rate of participation, and the number of elected representatives who have served for evidence of this, comparatively with other Western Nations. Another thing the other thing the US is known for is its consumer culture, which is reflected in the excesses of the Dark Elves, Cult of Pleasure for example. Finally, the US emphasizes individual freedoms over communal values more than any other culture, which is something the Dark Elves take to extremes - the right to power because you can earn (take) it.

    Similarly, the High Elves are clearly based on the United Kingdom. Monarchists, arrogant, colonialists, primarily a naval power, primarily a trade power.

    The Wood Elves are less established in modern cultures, but their origin may be considered to be analogous to the UK divestment of their colonial assets in the early decades of the 20th century as they faced increasingly squeezed resources during the military conflicts of those years.

    Aesthetically, there may be some greco-roman influences there, but geographically and culturally they draw much more heavily on Anglo-American influences. Like most things in the Warhammer setting, those influences are magnified to create a more polarizing and conflicted world. That's a common trope in fantasy, as authors seek to show how extremism in any form is ultimately evil. Examples of that include Sanderson's Cosmere novels and short stories, and Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal.

    Neither the re-imagining of UK or US culture in the Warhammer setting is flattering, but it's not supposed to be. It's a grimdark setting in which you're not really supposed to like any of them based on their moral compass. They are all extremists who are unwilling to consider compromise - which is necessary in a world built exclusively to be the setting for a war game.

    War Hydras and Medusas are based on Greek mythology , but cant seem to think of anything else ,right now, in Warhammer that reminds me of Greek mythology or ancient history ( I am Greek).

    How about getting treasury into red during campaign?

  • taalisman01taalisman01 Registered Users Posts: 158
    High Elves are the Europeans, feeling better than everybody else, the Dark Elves moved and settled in the North American spot and use slaves, they are the Americans and Malekith = Trump.

    All joking aside, they Elves are based of Tolkien's LoTR.
  • yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 3,586
    Draxynnic said:


    Draxynnic said:

    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).

    Well, the dark elves are fantasy elves, and pretty much all modern fantasy elves are from Tolkien. They are long-lived, beautiful, agile, pointy-eared, graceful and generally skilled people. They are disciplined(most of them anyway) and highly trained in battle, and especially good at using ranged weapons. They are also expert craftsmen and make good weapons, armour, and have good architecture. They also have a superiority complex towards "lesser" races like humans and dwarfs. They are skilled at handling animals(although for dark elves it is manifested in a very cruel way, unlike the high/wood ones). They are also great seafarers. Their leaders are ancient and powerful, and possess great amounts of knowledge and magical power. All of this is part of the warhammer elves, dark elves included, and it is all from Tolkien elves.
    If you're going to go through several layers, you'll end up at the Finnish and Scandinavian mythology that Tolkein started from.

    Regular elves do come pretty much straight out of Tolkein (with whichever twist the world-builder in question chooses to apply) but the concept of "dark elves" in current fantasy is not something that came out of Tolkein directly. It's a later invention, probably growing out of the idea of applying the Seelie/Unseelie or the liosalfar/svartalfar division to Tolkein elves, but without the subtlety of those divisions in actual mythology.

    Once you get to the likes of druchii or drow, you're generally not looking at Tolkein except as a caricatured (both the Games Workshop and WOTC have admitted that neither would realistically retain their societies for long given how backstabby they are) inversion of the more directly Tolkein-inspired elves in the setting.
    I would say that old mythological elves are pretty barely recognisable in Tolkien and warhammer, while warhammer elves are pretty much copy pasted from Tolkien and then given their own twists. My point is that the work Tolkien did in making the elves is enough that it is reasonable to say they were created by Tolkien, even if myhtological creatures existed before with the same names and some similarities.

    The dark elves, while having their own tropes and lore aswell, still maintain all the basic elven traits I wrote above, and all of them are a package deal taken directly from Tolkien.
  • apostolispapostolisp Member Registered Users Posts: 206
    edited December 2019
    @Tayvar is totaly right , but its been 35 + years since my last Greek mythology class in school :)
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 9,956

    Draxynnic said:


    Draxynnic said:

    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).

    Well, the dark elves are fantasy elves, and pretty much all modern fantasy elves are from Tolkien. They are long-lived, beautiful, agile, pointy-eared, graceful and generally skilled people. They are disciplined(most of them anyway) and highly trained in battle, and especially good at using ranged weapons. They are also expert craftsmen and make good weapons, armour, and have good architecture. They also have a superiority complex towards "lesser" races like humans and dwarfs. They are skilled at handling animals(although for dark elves it is manifested in a very cruel way, unlike the high/wood ones). They are also great seafarers. Their leaders are ancient and powerful, and possess great amounts of knowledge and magical power. All of this is part of the warhammer elves, dark elves included, and it is all from Tolkien elves.
    If you're going to go through several layers, you'll end up at the Finnish and Scandinavian mythology that Tolkein started from.

    Regular elves do come pretty much straight out of Tolkein (with whichever twist the world-builder in question chooses to apply) but the concept of "dark elves" in current fantasy is not something that came out of Tolkein directly. It's a later invention, probably growing out of the idea of applying the Seelie/Unseelie or the liosalfar/svartalfar division to Tolkein elves, but without the subtlety of those divisions in actual mythology.

    Once you get to the likes of druchii or drow, you're generally not looking at Tolkein except as a caricatured (both the Games Workshop and WOTC have admitted that neither would realistically retain their societies for long given how backstabby they are) inversion of the more directly Tolkein-inspired elves in the setting.
    I would say that old mythological elves are pretty barely recognisable in Tolkien and warhammer, while warhammer elves are pretty much copy pasted from Tolkien and then given their own twists. My point is that the work Tolkien did in making the elves is enough that it is reasonable to say they were created by Tolkien, even if myhtological creatures existed before with the same names and some similarities.

    The dark elves, while having their own tropes and lore aswell, still maintain all the basic elven traits I wrote above, and all of them are a package deal taken directly from Tolkien.
    A lot of the traits you mention are also found other influences, such as Melniboneans (who are closer to the Dark Elves than anything from Tolkein). You could certainly say that there's some Tolkein in their ancestry, but it's several steps removed, and about as accurate as saying that Warhammer greenskins are based on Tolkein's orcs and goblins (yes, there's a connection, but Warhammer orcs and goblins are very different to Tolkein's).
  • yolordmcswagyolordmcswag Registered Users Posts: 3,586
    Draxynnic said:

    Draxynnic said:


    Draxynnic said:

    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).

    Well, the dark elves are fantasy elves, and pretty much all modern fantasy elves are from Tolkien. They are long-lived, beautiful, agile, pointy-eared, graceful and generally skilled people. They are disciplined(most of them anyway) and highly trained in battle, and especially good at using ranged weapons. They are also expert craftsmen and make good weapons, armour, and have good architecture. They also have a superiority complex towards "lesser" races like humans and dwarfs. They are skilled at handling animals(although for dark elves it is manifested in a very cruel way, unlike the high/wood ones). They are also great seafarers. Their leaders are ancient and powerful, and possess great amounts of knowledge and magical power. All of this is part of the warhammer elves, dark elves included, and it is all from Tolkien elves.
    If you're going to go through several layers, you'll end up at the Finnish and Scandinavian mythology that Tolkein started from.

    Regular elves do come pretty much straight out of Tolkein (with whichever twist the world-builder in question chooses to apply) but the concept of "dark elves" in current fantasy is not something that came out of Tolkein directly. It's a later invention, probably growing out of the idea of applying the Seelie/Unseelie or the liosalfar/svartalfar division to Tolkein elves, but without the subtlety of those divisions in actual mythology.

    Once you get to the likes of druchii or drow, you're generally not looking at Tolkein except as a caricatured (both the Games Workshop and WOTC have admitted that neither would realistically retain their societies for long given how backstabby they are) inversion of the more directly Tolkein-inspired elves in the setting.
    I would say that old mythological elves are pretty barely recognisable in Tolkien and warhammer, while warhammer elves are pretty much copy pasted from Tolkien and then given their own twists. My point is that the work Tolkien did in making the elves is enough that it is reasonable to say they were created by Tolkien, even if myhtological creatures existed before with the same names and some similarities.

    The dark elves, while having their own tropes and lore aswell, still maintain all the basic elven traits I wrote above, and all of them are a package deal taken directly from Tolkien.
    A lot of the traits you mention are also found other influences, such as Melniboneans (who are closer to the Dark Elves than anything from Tolkein). You could certainly say that there's some Tolkein in their ancestry, but it's several steps removed, and about as accurate as saying that Warhammer greenskins are based on Tolkein's orcs and goblins (yes, there's a connection, but Warhammer orcs and goblins are very different to Tolkein's).
    I haven't read the melniboans, so I can't say anything for that comparison. However, the high elves are even similiar to Tolkiens elves than the dark elves, and with a lot fewer of the differences that dark elves have. I find it reasonable to assume that the high and dark elves are based on the same, as they are supposed to be the same species and originate from the same civilization. I would go as far as saying that the warhammer elves are first taken directly from Tolkien, and then they have made variations on them afterwards, with the high elves remaining almost identical to Tolkien elves.
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 9,956

    Draxynnic said:

    Draxynnic said:


    Draxynnic said:

    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).

    Well, the dark elves are fantasy elves, and pretty much all modern fantasy elves are from Tolkien. They are long-lived, beautiful, agile, pointy-eared, graceful and generally skilled people. They are disciplined(most of them anyway) and highly trained in battle, and especially good at using ranged weapons. They are also expert craftsmen and make good weapons, armour, and have good architecture. They also have a superiority complex towards "lesser" races like humans and dwarfs. They are skilled at handling animals(although for dark elves it is manifested in a very cruel way, unlike the high/wood ones). They are also great seafarers. Their leaders are ancient and powerful, and possess great amounts of knowledge and magical power. All of this is part of the warhammer elves, dark elves included, and it is all from Tolkien elves.
    If you're going to go through several layers, you'll end up at the Finnish and Scandinavian mythology that Tolkein started from.

    Regular elves do come pretty much straight out of Tolkein (with whichever twist the world-builder in question chooses to apply) but the concept of "dark elves" in current fantasy is not something that came out of Tolkein directly. It's a later invention, probably growing out of the idea of applying the Seelie/Unseelie or the liosalfar/svartalfar division to Tolkein elves, but without the subtlety of those divisions in actual mythology.

    Once you get to the likes of druchii or drow, you're generally not looking at Tolkein except as a caricatured (both the Games Workshop and WOTC have admitted that neither would realistically retain their societies for long given how backstabby they are) inversion of the more directly Tolkein-inspired elves in the setting.
    I would say that old mythological elves are pretty barely recognisable in Tolkien and warhammer, while warhammer elves are pretty much copy pasted from Tolkien and then given their own twists. My point is that the work Tolkien did in making the elves is enough that it is reasonable to say they were created by Tolkien, even if myhtological creatures existed before with the same names and some similarities.

    The dark elves, while having their own tropes and lore aswell, still maintain all the basic elven traits I wrote above, and all of them are a package deal taken directly from Tolkien.
    A lot of the traits you mention are also found other influences, such as Melniboneans (who are closer to the Dark Elves than anything from Tolkein). You could certainly say that there's some Tolkein in their ancestry, but it's several steps removed, and about as accurate as saying that Warhammer greenskins are based on Tolkein's orcs and goblins (yes, there's a connection, but Warhammer orcs and goblins are very different to Tolkein's).
    I haven't read the melniboans, so I can't say anything for that comparison. However, the high elves are even similiar to Tolkiens elves than the dark elves, and with a lot fewer of the differences that dark elves have. I find it reasonable to assume that the high and dark elves are based on the same, as they are supposed to be the same species and originate from the same civilization. I would go as far as saying that the warhammer elves are first taken directly from Tolkien, and then they have made variations on them afterwards, with the high elves remaining almost identical to Tolkien elves.
    They'd be taken out of D&D first - Citadel started out making miniatures for use with D&D and other fantasy games around at the time, until they started developing their own world and game system.

    Warhammer Dark Elves are something which is practically impossible to emerge out of Tolkein's elves, and an entire society that is that cruel out of choice goes quite against Tolkein's views (orcs, incidentally, are essentially the result of a chain of abuse that take it out in turn on others, and even then, Tolkein in his later years was uncomfortable with having a society that evil even with very good reasons why they are that way). The resemblance is superficial.

    For High Elves and Wood Elves, the resemblance is stronger, but there are other sources (Melnibone again for the High Elves, faerie mythology for the Wood Elves, and a number of historical analogues) that are stronger influences than Tolkein.

    Tolkein is there, but Warhammer elves are really no more related to what's in Tolkein than Warhammer orcs are.
  • LennoxPoodleLennoxPoodle Registered Users Posts: 510
    Draxynnic said:


    Draxynnic said:

    I would note that there's little if any Tolkein in the Dark Elves. While Tolkein had the "Dark Elf" term, it didn't mean an evil Elf - a Dark Elf was an Elf where neither they nor any of their ancestors had been to Valinor. Most of the elves of Mirkwood, for instance, were Dark Elves by Tolkein's definitions.

    The actual evil Elves were Orcs, and a few individuals who went off the rails (but there were no entire cultural groups of Elves that were outright evil).

    Well, the dark elves are fantasy elves, and pretty much all modern fantasy elves are from Tolkien. They are long-lived, beautiful, agile, pointy-eared, graceful and generally skilled people. They are disciplined(most of them anyway) and highly trained in battle, and especially good at using ranged weapons. They are also expert craftsmen and make good weapons, armour, and have good architecture. They also have a superiority complex towards "lesser" races like humans and dwarfs. They are skilled at handling animals(although for dark elves it is manifested in a very cruel way, unlike the high/wood ones). They are also great seafarers. Their leaders are ancient and powerful, and possess great amounts of knowledge and magical power. All of this is part of the warhammer elves, dark elves included, and it is all from Tolkien elves.
    If you're going to go through several layers, you'll end up at the Finnish and Scandinavian mythology that Tolkein started from.

    Regular elves do come pretty much straight out of Tolkein (with whichever twist the world-builder in question chooses to apply) but the concept of "dark elves" in current fantasy is not something that came out of Tolkein directly. It's a later invention, probably growing out of the idea of applying the Seelie/Unseelie or the liosalfar/svartalfar division to Tolkein elves, but without the subtlety of those divisions in actual mythology.

    Once you get to the likes of druchii or drow, you're generally not looking at Tolkein except as a caricatured (both the Games Workshop and WOTC have admitted that neither would realistically retain their societies for long given how backstabby they are) inversion of the more directly Tolkein-inspired elves in the setting.
    Oh, I should have been clearer on that. The basic concept is obviously drawn from the general fantasy concept (and thus more or less indirectly from Tolkien). But that much is obvious. It's like saying WH humans are based on earth humans, which is true. So I'd see the Tolkien aspect as the canvas upon which a painting with a heavy Hellenic influence is drawn.
    The question is more like: Is GWs take on fantasy elves in large parts inspired by ancient Greece? And not: Are elves in fantasy (genre, not the branch of WH) inspired by Greece?
  • Arknav555Arknav555 Registered Users Posts: 127
    This is confusing. Either it’s Anglo-American, civil war America, Athens or Sparta, or Helens and something else
  • LennoxPoodleLennoxPoodle Registered Users Posts: 510
    Meroitic7 said:

    This is confusing. Either it’s Anglo-American, civil war America, Athens or Sparta, or Helens and something else

    Maybe it's a blend of multiple themes like so many fictional things (intentionally or not)?
  • Arknav555Arknav555 Registered Users Posts: 127
    I really personally think there is a Hellenic theme overall. I don't see the British/American theme. The units and architecture are Hellenized/Byzantine to an extent. I am not sure about the Dark Elves, but they seem pretty Spartan to me (Slaves, militaristic, sworn enemies of the High Elves, Death Night, Crazy upper class).
  • DraxynnicDraxynnic Registered Users Posts: 9,956
    Meroitic7 said:

    I really personally think there is a Hellenic theme overall. I don't see the British/American theme. The units and architecture are Hellenized/Byzantine to an extent. I am not sure about the Dark Elves, but they seem pretty Spartan to me (Slaves, militaristic, sworn enemies of the High Elves, Death Night, Crazy upper class).

    Like Lennox said, though, it's a blend.

    There are clear Greek/Byzantine influences. The White Lions in particular are a pretty clear Varangian Guard analogue, even if they're still from Ulthuan.

    Games Workshop has, however, explicitly said there is some Southern England inspiration in the High Elves as well - in contrast to the Dwarfs, which draw more from the more industrial northern England.

    Militarily and politically, the High Elves are very Byzantine, including the concept of being an empire that once controlled the Europe-analogue (although, ironically, there is some Byzantine in the Dwarfs as well, but that's mostly circumstantial). There's also a bit of British Empire in there, being a global thalassocracy which used to have interests in "Europe" but now considers itself largely apart from it, despite still getting involved in wars there on a regular basis.
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