Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bearers of Rings II

Fantasy equal: Frodo

Those Who bear Rings of Power

There have been several instances, whilst watching fantasy movies, or slaying a foe on a PC game, when I wonder how that Elf or how that Orc would look like beneath all that armour.

Certain role-playing games nowadays offer you the opportunity to remove all of your character’s clothes when you access his/her inventory system (games such as Dragon Age and Oblivion).

Every time, much to my dismay, you can’t remove the last piece of clothing; the ever so annoying and evil loin cloth. Even though the good bits are hidden, the designers and developers surely must have considered the size of the bulge at least. So how do the more generic of fantasy races compare to each other? And who has the authority to define each of their sizes, structures, adornments and function? I suppose since there is very little illustrations out there, it is up to our imaginations. So let’s try then...

The race of Humans:

We all know the anatomy of the human’s blade well enough. We shall use it as a base for subsequent comparisons.

The race of Dwarves:

Dwarves are short, stocky, sturdy folk who pride themselves on the size of their beards, their prowess with the axe and their level of skill when it comes to stonework and masonry. Many fantasy cultures claim Dwarves were formed from stone, hence their love for stonework, rocks and gems and also why they are such tough and resilient folk.

By taking the abovementioned into consideration, one would think the blade of a Dwarf should be shorter than that of a man, sturdier and thicker however, probably harder as well and garlanded in a greater brush of hair. Their pommel gems should be full in size and well rounded as well, in my opinion.

The race of Elves:

Elves, by definition, differ from game to game or fantasy tale to fantasy tale. In some cases Elves are as tall as humans but slimmer and sometimes they are said to be smaller in stature. Generally Elves are known for their incredible dexterity and athleticism. They defeat their foes with cunning and/or magic instead of brute force. The one aspect of the physical appearance of Elves I dislike is that they are generally smooth all over other than their crowns. This probably contributes to Elves looking effeminate and rightly so, in my opinion, even if they can be lethal in battle. What I love most about the Elves though, are the ears of course. Pointy ears suggest magic and fantasy!

Generally smaller in stature and totally smooth makes for a blade I do not want to describe, yet there is an interesting twist. A human’s ears are rounded, and so are the tips of their blades. Does that mean the tips of the blades of Elves are somewhat pointed? I wonder...

The race of Half-Elves:

Then we come to my favourite of all fantasy races; the race of the Half-elven. Half-elves were introduced in RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights; games based on the older Dungeons and Dragons rule set. Half-elves are conceived from the love shared by a human and an immortal Elf. The appearances of Half-elves as described and illustrated by various sources vary. In Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, Half-elves resembled their Elven counterparts. The list of portraits available to choose from when creating a Half-elf character in Neverwinter Nights resembled their human counterpart. In Tolkien’s Middle-earth, the Lord Elrond is a Half-elven. It is told that the Valar (gods of Middle-earth) gave him and his twin brother the choice of becoming mortal (human half) or immortal (Elven half). Elrond chose to become immortal and thus adopted the appearance of the immortal Elves.

I enjoy the best of both worlds and imagine Half Elves to have the build of a human, the ability to grow a beard and still have those distinctive pointy ears. A stubbly, pointy eared ranger of the woods is what fantasy is made of! What about their blades? The same as mine and yours, but maybe slightly pointed.

The race of Hobbits:

Hobbits, or Halflings as they are known in the common tongue, are even shorter and smaller than dwarves, also have pointy ears (are larger and wider than that of Elves though), are usually a bit stocky (due to their passion for food, drink and relaxation) and have oversized, hairy feet. The latter fact makes one wonder of their blades then. Some say bigfooted men have the same size blades lurking in their concealed private place. Does this mean that, even though the Hobbit is small in stature, he has a whopping blade that match the size of his feet? Who knows? I wish Tolkien would sate my curiosity. One thing is for sure though; their blades and pommel gems have to be garlanded in the same brush of curly hair, which decorate the bridges of their feet.

Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit of the Shire and main character from the Lord of the Rings, is the ultimate small sized hero. I don’t believe any races of Middle-earth practiced circumcision, so our hero of Middle-earth must have borne two rings on his perilous journey to Mount Doom. The one ring of ultimate evil he finally tossed in the moulting lava and for his sake I hope the second stayed in tact. Here is to Frodo, our fantasy equal for the second collection of Bearers of Rings!

“Frodo Baggins was a Hobbit of the Third Age, the most famous of all Hobbits in the histories for his leading role in the Quest of the Ring. During this epic quest, he bore the One Ring to Mount Doom and there destroyed it, giving him renown like no other Hobbit throughout Middle-earth. He is also peculiar for being, as a Ring-bearer, one of the three Hobbits who sailed from Middle-earth to Aman, there to die in peace.”