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Headscratchers / ElfQuest

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  • Cutter being "the blood of ten chiefs". He's only a direct descendant to nine chiefs, since Two-Spear isn't his direct ancestor. Should we read "blood of" loosely as "somehow related to"?
    • Presumably it's "blood of", as in shares the blood of.
    • Unless you count Timmain as a chief. She was seen as one by the rest of the Circle of Nine.

  • The Hidden Years story Mouse Hunt. Slingshots. Not slings, slingshots, the Y-shaped toys that need a rubber band to work. Where does a mostly stone-age culture get elastic bands? Looks like series creators not considering how stuff works to me.
    • Natural rubber is a stone-age invention. It's only thought of as a late-comer technology because rubber trees are native to South America, not Eurasia.

  • Haken's a guy. He's implied to be the ancestor of both Rayek and Winnowill, which explains a lot about their characters. It also makes things interesting when they're forced to share one body.
    • Haken's body, to be exact. Or more accurately, Rayek's body re-imagined as a High One by Winnowill (who lives in Rayek's mind), apparently based very directly on her daddy.
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    • So Winnowill likes Rayek because he reminds her of Haken?

  • The scene at the end of Kings Of The Broken Wheel. Venka's been raised to stop Rayek. She has the full power to do so. Yet she stands aside because she wants him to decide on his own. Granted, he does make the right choice, but just the fact that she was willing to leave the genocide of her tribe and everyone else to the whim of an elf who was not exactly stable at that moment and had a track record of disregard for anyone who doesn't agree with him always bugged me. (Of course, she could have been lying and fully prepared to wallop him if he chose wrong, but nothing in the scene indicates this.)
    • It's because Kahvi told her to teach him so he learns. Forcing him would just make him do what he always does: blame somebody else for ruining his dream without having to realize that his dream was selfish and cruel, justifying his next effort to do the same thing. Venka spends a while sharing memories with Zhantee to get to know Rayek as close to first hand as possible, she knows he's not a bad person or incapable of empathy, just ambitious and self-centered, that's why she asks if he can carry out his plan with all of his potential victims watching. She already knows he can't.
    • The thing is, with her abilities, there doesn't need to be a next time. If she can shut down Winnowill, she can probably do the same to him. And anyway, is driving the lesson home for one elf worth potential genocide? I still maintain she should have had a backup plan to knock him out (if he looked like he was going to go through with hit) and give him a good talking-to later. He might not learn anything, but her friends and family would still be alive for now.
      • Who says she didn't? She tells Rayek she won't because she wants him to make the right choice, but she was standing right with him the whole time. She had no trouble shutting Winnowill down from a massive distance, so if Rayek made a wrong move, she could have brain-slapped him into a coma.
      • I think the point of that scene is that driving the lesson home to a person who is ready to retcon everybody else out of existence is worth it - at least, it's worth it in this universe. This is because ElfQuest is extremely far to the idealist end on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. It's like the universe is designed to work in favour of Venka's approach.
      • On that note? Forcing someone to do something against their will has never actually solved anything in ElfQuest: when anybody tries to force someone else to change their mind, they always resist out of spite, and it never helps anything. The Wolfriders try to force the Trolls to shelter them by arguing that they're owed a favor in return for all their good deeds in the past, but all it does is convince Greymung that the Trolls don't need the Elves, and he strands them in the desert out of spite. Winnowill doubles down on her plans whenever Leetah tries to forcibly heal her twisted mind. Kahvi tries to demand half of the Little Palace because because she's a Go-Back and that's what she does , the Sun Folk refuse because she already tried to take it by force, even though splitting the Little Palace wouldn't make it any less effective for them. If Venka had forcibly stopped Rayek, all it would have done is leave Rayek convinced that it would have worked perfectly, or else Venka wouldn't have been so dead-set on stopping him, and he'd be looking for another way just to prove her wrong. Letting him make that choice and realize the error of his ways meant that he would never make a second attempt, and that realization leads him to some huge character development.

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  • In the Shards and The Hidden Years parallel storylines - just how much time is passing? Hidden Years implies that it's been months since Ember and her pack left. Shards implies that the Holt is chopped down just a short time after they leave, almost as soon as Ember's pack is out of Sending range (since there's no reason for them to not consult with Rayek at that point). There's no clear sense of time for how long they tunnel, but it can't have been all that long if Ekuar was tunneling right up to the point where his heart gave out. But once they're into the city, it seems like events only take a few days at the most.

  • Rayek seriously failed to think his time-travel plan through. If the only trace of the original timeline left would be those elves who managed to take shelter in the Palace, then he really would create a time paradox - because the whole reason the High Ones decided to land was because they'd noticed signs that elves were present!
    • This was handwaved in the comic — the palace nullifies time paradoxes for anyone inside. This was also the main source of the conflict that cast Rayek as the Well-Intentioned Extremist in that situation, due to the other elves choosing Honor Before Reason and choosing to stay outside. The breaking point was when Ekuar did so, causing Rayek to abandon his idea at the thought of wiping his mentor from existence.

  • How long do Wolfrider wolves live? By Wolfrider, I mean the wolves that were initially born of Timmain (thereby allowing later generations of Wolfriders to bond with them). In one of the novelizations, it states that Cutter bonded with Nightrunner when he was seven years old, yet he died of old age when Cutter was grown. Starjumper (Skywise's mount) was bonded to Skywise long before Cutter received his wolf-friend, yet died way later. The series never fully explains if Wolfrider wolves lived longer or if they aged like normal wolves...
    • I think this is one of those cases where the authors had a blind spot. During the Kings of the Broken Wheel arc, Tyleet gets her first wolf friend. Five hundred-odd years pass, she should be going through wolves like old socks, but if I recall she's still on her first one. There's probably a few other spots with long stretches of time that forget to deal with this too.
      • Nah, Bundles was her first wolf-friend; I forget the other one's name, but it's not Bundles. Wolfrider wolves apparently live fairly long. Warfrost is (probably) the wolf-friend Cutter makes just after the war for the palace, and then passes away after he's grown his epic muttonchops, so they probably live for a few decades or so.
      • Which is odder still because Cutter explicitly mentions that Warfrost (at the time of their meeting) was not a Wolfrider wolf, but the point about him living a fairly long life still stands as well.
      • Warfrost came from the trolls' pit-trap, and the fact that Timmain in wolf-form was also in that trap implies that the wolves therein, including Warfrost, still had elven blood even though they were not part of the Wolfriders' pack of wolves. Also, Two-Spear's splinter group of Wolfriders ended up in the same general area, along with their wolves. So Warfrost was most likely an elf-blooded wolf and therefore lived longer. In fact, since Timmain was a member of Warfrost's pack, it's more than possible that Warfrost had more elf blood than a great many of the Wolfriders' wolves!
      • Tyleet has one named Patience during Hidden Years. She presumably bonded with it after the long sleep, but it could have been that the wolves slept with the elves. Also, if Cutter got Nightrunner when he was seven, and lost him when he was in his early thirties (the twins were about five), that is still pretty long for a wolf. I am willing to let this one go with "there are different amounts of elf blood in each wolf, just as some elves have more wolf blood in them (Two Spear, Ember, Strongbow) than others (Wreath, Suntop, Skywise)."

  • If the original High Ones had been as comfortable with leaving their bodies and existing in a spiritual form as Timmain's account of the elves' origins suggests, why didn't the ones who got stranded on Abode in the first place just write off their physical bodies, slip into a trance, and leave? If they'd been living so long without pain, fear, hunger, or any other sort of earthly suffering, and knew for a fact that existence without bodies wasn't anything to dread, why were they so determined to stick around that one of them forfeited her very sentience to let them do so?
    • One of the first things they discovered after landing was that something about the planet inhibited their magic. Skipping their bodies may not have been an option until after they'd started to feel at home on the planet and appreciate life there for what it was.
    • Ekuar covers this at one point, saying that the High Ones chose their bodies because living a physical life is good. When you abandon all earthly suffering, you also cut out earthly joy, and to them, earthly joy was worth it.
    • Who's to say a bunch of them didn't just write off their bodies? There could have been more of them in the Palace than the ones we've seen, who just ditched the World of Two Moons and left their vacant bodies behind to die. The surviving High Ones may just not like to talk about the companions they'd lost that way.

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