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Playing With: Elves Versus Dwarves
Basic Trope: In Standard Fantasy Settings, elves and dwarves rarely get along.
  • Straight: Elves and dwarves are constantly seen bickering and at times even fighting despite supposedly being allies.
  • Exaggerated: Both elves and dwarves have an irresistible urge to attack eachother on sight while screaming nasty things about the other guy's mother.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Elves need to preserve nature, as it is the source of their power. Dwarves need to harvest natural resources, as iron and coal are the source of their power. Clashing intrests are what drives this war.
    • Elves can't stop reminding everyone how they are better. Dwarves, being a Proud Warrior Race, obviously will not take it.
    • Elven and Dwarven cultures have near opposite values
    • Elves and Dwarves share a myth about a horrible evil in the past that each blames on the other.
    • Elves and dwarves used to get along just fine, but then relations soured-one party betrayed the other, for example, or a grievous insult was levied-and now they can't stand each other.
  • Inverted: Elves and dwarves have a long history of good relations, always working together and complementing each other perfectly.
  • Subverted: What appears to be elves and dwarves not getting along is merely camaraderie expressed through playful insults.
  • Double Subverted: But, eventually, there's always one elf (or dwarf) who takes it too far.
  • Parodied: In a work featuring Funny Animals, cats and moles are duking it out for unexplained reasons.
  • Zig Zagged: The dwarven and elven kingdoms have recently come to a truce, and a dwarf and elf are sent on a mission together. Old habits die hard, however, and they're soon at each other's throats. Just as they're about to kill each other, they realize that their prejudices are meaningless, and resolve to try harder to understand one another, not as elves or dwarves, but as people. As time goes on, they come to realize that they simply can't stand each other's personalities.
  • Averted: Elves and dwarves get along nicely, but still not perfectly.
  • Enforced: Elves and dwarves are a very convenient source of infighting and creating additional drama.
  • Lampshaded: A human caught in the middle of an argument between elves and dwarves observes that the old 'trees versus mines' debate is pretty played out.
  • Invoked: Some centuries ago, an Evil Overlord has manipulated elves and dwarves into a war, and they still haven't gotten over it.
  • Exploited: The infiltrators sent by the Evil Overlord to undermine the heroes use shaky elven-dwarven relationships to their advantage.
  • Defied:
    • "You know, elf, we're supposed to hate each other, but I'm just not feelin' it. Want some ale?"
    • " Meh. They're just trees. I can't see why the Elders are so attached to the overgrown twigs annyways. "
  • Discussed: "...and for the love of Crystal Dragon Jesus, do not, under any circumstances, whatsoever, put the elven archers and the dwarvern crossbowmen in the same area, or they'll spend more time brawling each other than firing at the enemy."
  • Conversed: "You ever notice how, in these fantasy stories, the elves and dwarves totally hate each other?"
  • Deconstructed: The Elf-Versus-Dwarf war goes on for hundreds of years, and leaves both sides powerless when The Legions of Hell show up.
  • Reconstructed: Which of course leads to Enemy Mine situation (sometimes literally) with Teeth-Clenched Teamwork aplenty.
  • Played For Laughs: The team's elf and dwarf are constantly trying to one-up the other in everything, culminating in the dwarf desperately trying to learn the use of a longbow and the elf reading up on mining techniques.
  • Played For Drama: The Legions of Hell are on the horizon, and mankind needs all the allies it can get. Unfortunately, the elves and dwarves are so thick-headed that they'd rather direct the demons onto the other side than send them back to Hell, even if doing so ensures their own demise as well.

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