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Submitted on
January 14, 2013
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Legolas Greenleaf, child-snatcher by hibbary Legolas Greenleaf, child-snatcher by hibbary
Painted while I was looking for a style I wanted to use on the FWA badges. (They're almost done but I'm afraid I can't show you until after the con :P ) This was just a doodle that I painted up super quickly.

I'm not certain that I like how domesticated elves have become. As with sparkling vampires, elves are losing their edge and have become magazine models who pose in front of beautiful vistas. Mythological elves, even good elves, were not people you'd want to fuck with. They'd dance you to death, steal your children, or send you the plague if you looked at them funny. The Mirkwood elves supposedly contain some of this eerie wildness but that was not at all present in the films. Orlando Bloom is such a doughy boy-scout. He had no teeth.

Elves are graceful by nature and I imagine that for the elves of wild places this grace takes the form of that which belongs to untamed animals, tiger-like and dangerous; the sort that can jump from languid tranquility to violent action in the blink of an eye. Legolas might not technically be a wood elf by birth but he inhabits Mirkwood and I'd like to think some of that prowling, slightly sinister nature has rubbed off on him.

Edit: I keep repeating myself over and over in the comments so I may as well post here. I've somehow given the impression that I don't like Tolkien elves or that I want to limit other people's creativity. Noooooo that is not how I feel at all. I love all incarnations of elves. If someone edited the films and replaced Orlando Bloom with someone more edgy, I would be very upset. I'm glad this version exists. I just want other versions to exist, too.

What bothers me about Tolkien elves, Dungeons and Dragons elves, PJ elves, is that they're SO pervasive, nobody moves beyond them. It even gets to the point that people start to attack anyone who tries to do something different. It's the trend that I dislike, not the representation itself. There have been a lot of pre-modern versions that deserve research. (Same with vampires, kappa, werewolves, whatever.) I WANT there to be good elves, bad elves, boy scout elves, etc. I made this image *because* it's different from what is becoming 'standard'. I am not a purist. I find mythology fundamentalists who's self-appointed mission is to tell other people that their creative interpretations are wrong to be ridiculously tedious.
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I'm a big fan of new takes on old myths, I'm a big fan of traditional takes on old myths, but I'm a humongous fan of new myths.  :)  Have good, bad, or ridiculous elves.  Have sparkling vampires, but if you can't find the creature you need for your story then create it!  That said.  I love this picture.  No one is wholly good or bad, least of all elves, and Legolas is definitely about to wreak some major havoc in this picture. :)
crossoveradiction Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014
This....this is exactly the kind of picture I was trying to find of Legolas. This is so very beautiful, you've done wonderfully. His eyes looks so alive.
NoctourneAngel Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
The Inheritence Cycle by Christopher Paolini. 1st book written when he was 15 yrs old, so there's defiantely some flaws, but his creativity goes insane (in a most positive way) as the Cycle progresses. His elves, along with the ones from the Deverry series by Katharine Kerr, are definately some of my favourites. They are beautiful, otherworldly, ethereal, but also powerful, mystical, strange and very much their own. One of the elven characters describes his own race during a feast by saying that "we go crazy. It is a wonderful, beautiful kind of crazy, but crazy nonetheless", or something along those lines. Give it a try!
Also, love your art and I adore your interpretation of the Mirkwood elves!
mariealexandrinne Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
You stated the only reason why I like Peter Jackson's take on Thranduil. He's waaay more interesting that the goddy-twoo-shoes elves of Rivendell. But I still love all pointy-eared beings Tolkien created =P
small-myth Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014
LOVE IT Heart - Free Heart - Free Heart - Free Heart - Free Heart - Free 
ToaTepsak Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Aaah I love thiiiis muuuuuch~
I've seen a few odd-and-end creepy!Legolas pictures and I love 'em!
MGraphicDesign Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Student Digital Artist
LotrAddict Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Take Sam's Kid
TheAnonymousPen Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Seriously, I've never given much thought to elves (although, yes, I do love LOTR). Looking at your description, I think I've just discovered exactly why they've never held much interest for me.
Fortunately or unfortunately, reading your post has converted me :P
Your picture has so much expression, and I'll just repeat what you've probably heard a bunch of times before, but I absolutely love the eyes. They really are cat-like, and not in a "I'm so cute and fuzzy" sort of way.
Manwathiel Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013   Photographer
I love this! It's such a great, refreshing interpretation. ^_^
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