Kelly Riad is an American writer who graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas with a degree in journalism. Because she’s always been a lucky little brat, her life has taken her all over the world from the hot, humid streets of Hong Kong and the crowded markets of Cairo, to the cobbles of Vienna and the ruins of Rome from where she has shamelessly stolen ideas and material for her stories. She self-published her first young adult novel, Always Me, in September 2011. Other Novels include Prince of Arèthane and Queen of Arèthane. For more information on Kelly’s young adult fiction, visit http://kellyriad.blogspot.com/
by Kelly Riad
Vampires get all the attention, don’t they? They’re flashy and melodramatic, reveling in a life of excess and violence. But it’s elves I’ve always found the most fascinating. Calm and collected, these pacifists can still fight with breathless speed and strength, defending their home or friends. Some are magical, some are expert naturalists, but all hold our imaginations in their cold, beautiful grip. And they can go out in the sun!
Despite enjoying a long-standing role in our literary (and sometimes realistic) worlds, elves simply have not had the proper consideration these enchanting creatures deserve. So below I present to you the Top 5 Elves Who Kick Butt:
It’s love that makes the world fall down (or is it go round?) For the hero, Jack, it was love that imperiled the lives of the unicorns of the forest. Yes, this was the epitome of 80’s high fantasy cinema and yes, it was possibly Tom Cruise’s finest work, but more than that Legend was a movie filled with fantastical creatures, including elves that aged backwards.
Honeythorn Gump, the leader of the elves, discovers that the forest dweller, Jack, was who brought the curious little princess to the unicorn’s sacred spot, thus revealing them to the evil of the world. When goblins kill one of the magical horned pair and Jack’s fair princess goes after them, Jack must follow. At great risk to his life, Honeythorn Gump joins Jack, but his most heroic act isn’t facing danger head-on, but rather when he forgives Jack for showing the princess the sacred creatures in the first place, knowing it was all done out of love.
Everyone, everyone cried when Dobby gave his life to rescue Harry from Malfoy Manor in Deathly Hallows. Throughout this long series, the little house elf looks after Harry with dogged loyalty and honorable self-sacrifice, working behind the scenes to protect our hero from a greater danger (even if that means a broken arm.) Harry’s best friends may have been front and center in helping The Chosen One find his path, but Dobby was the one who committed to ensuring the Boy Who Lived actually lived to get to that path.
As the first female member of LEPrecon, this little elf proves her worth throughout the series by using cunning and wit to trap the bad guys. With high tech equipment to run covert missions for the fairy creatures, Holly runs headlong into danger to protect the rest of the magical world. Despite her own personal feelings towards humans-her mother was killed by them-Holly teams up with Artemis on rescue missions and even heals the boy genius from a mortal wound.
Often the villain of the story is just as badass as his protagonist counterpart but is overlooked by the more vainglorious hero. In Hellboy II, the elf Prince Nuada manages to thwart his own death sentence, kill his father, and erect the Golden Army all on his own. Fighting to save his race and all magical beings, he bests Hellboy several times over and is only taken down by his twin sister, Nuala.
As the twins share a life force, when one bleeds so does the other. In order to stop her brother, Nuala takes her own life, thus earning her a place on this list as well. Sometimes good versus bad is black and white, but more often it’s not that simple.
Tolkien wrote about that this elf is “the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth.” Her tributes and accomplishments are long and many. Ruling Lothlorien jointly with Lord Celeborn, she’s one of the three who hold Rings of Power that were untainted by Sauron, and the only female to do so.
She led and fought in war, being the “only female to stand tall in those days.” When confronted with the chance to take the One Ring from Frodo, who was offering it to her freely, Galadriel was strong enough to step away from it, seeing what the ring would to do her.
But this meant that she would have to “diminish,” and go into the West. She knew that by not taking the One Ring the time of the Elves was coming to an end, but that was preferable to her losing herself to the evil draw of the Ring. Not so bad, for a woman (side-eyeing you, Tolkien).