musicimprovedme started this thread with the following post:
posted on 21/2/2003 at 23:55
Hey? Can anyone here offer some general background on fairy tale creatures?
I guess in particular I was wondering about definitions and origins of such things as elves, dwarves, pixies, fairies, trolls, wizards, leprechans, witches, etc. I am sure I'm forgetting some things so please jump in with any other creatures that you know of.
To relate this to Tolkien, if you know anything about how other mythologies and fairy tales, how do you think Tolkiens characters compare or contrast? It seems to me that maybe with Orcs, hobbits, and Ents, that Tolkien forged entirely new territory or maybe borrowed from this or that to describe them.
And I would be interested in knowing too...how you think Disney and others have portrayed these creatures, and how much you think animators have defined how we think of them. Peter Pan seems kind of Elfy to me, was he supposed to be like that or was that Disney dressing him up that way? Still he was eternally young etc.
What got me thinking about this...it occured to me that in Snow White the dwarves were miners just like our beloved Gimli but when I first saw Snow White as a child, their profession didn't mean anything to me...and it kind of snowballed from there.
While waiting for a response to your post, you might try to obtain a copy from your library, friend, or store of The Tolkien Reader, and read Tolkien's 70 page essay "On Fairy-Stories" where he answers some of your questions. rrThe above volume has many more interesting stories and poems, besides the essay. If you look for my post of 18/1/2003 at 02:10 under The Adventures of Tom Bombadil under Other... under Books, you will find find more specific info about the contents of The Tolkien Reader.