At its heart, ElfQuest is about celebrating and embracing life. All life springs from mothers. Nurturing mothers, tough mothers, wise mothers, grandmothers, mothers who are friends, and even those who serve as mothers regardless to whom they gave birth, every manifestation of motherhood has been represented in ElfQuest. Here are some of the most powerful motherhood moments from over the decades.
Rainsong Immerses Herself in Motherhood
Rainsong gave birth to three children in less than two decades, which made her unique among her kind. Of all the elves, she devoted herself most wholly to raising her children. While this didn’t make her better than other mothers in ElfQuest, the elves’ unquestioning acceptance of her choice to immerse herself in nurturing her children is a testament to the value that they placed on motherhood.
Moonshade Lets Dart Choose His Path
To the elves, parenthood doesn’t mean ownership, and there’s no better example of that than Moonshade letting her teenage son Dart make his own life choices. Given the loss of her first child, Crescent, at a young age, Moonshade’s willingness to let Dart choose his own path though it meant losing him is powerful. How easy would it have been for her to protest Dart’s decision simply because she wasn’t ready to let go? While her response was likely influenced by her lifemate Strongbow’s opinion, Moonshade still understood that part of motherhood is knowing when to let your children make their own choices, especially when those choices come from a place of honor.
Joyleaf Teaches Cutter Good Judgement
Cutter was a headstrong cub, but given his father Bearclaw’s nature, this didn’t surprise Joyleaf. Rather than stifle her son, the golden-haired Wolfrider chose to redirect him by teaching him her thoughtfulness and judgement skills. She showed Cutter that if the direct, aggressive path won’t lead to success, choosing your battles wisely is often smarter and more effective.
Maggoty Empowers Drub
In the troll world, females are subservient to males. Old Maggoty played by the rules, but she lived long enough to ultimately ignore them. Her younger female descendants didn’t have that option, but that didn’t stop Maggoty from inspiring young Drub to best the boys at their own games.
Leetah Teaches Suntop the Lesson of Pain
No mother wants to see her child suffering in pain. When that mother is the powerful healer Leetah, who can alleviate pain with a touch, even moreso. Through Leetah’s many adventures and trials after leaving the sheltered safety of the Sun Village, however, she learned that sometimes pain has an important lesson to teach. The moment she shared that wisdom with her teenage son Suntop shows that sometimes being a good mother means letting your children experience pain and challenge.
Tyleet Mothers Humans
Tyleet is a creature of great empathy, and her willingness to adopt and nurture parentless human children is a powerful demonstration of that quality. She saved Little Patch from certain death and raised him into an honorable and wise man. The comfort she gave him in his final moments of life is the essence of motherhood. She took in and cared for Gifa, despite the fact that the human girl’s father was dedicated to erasing the elves’ existence. A mother’s spirit doesn’t judge the child by the acts of the parent, and Tyleet knows this better than anyone.
Toorah Cares for Adult Daughters
This ancient Sun Villager’s daughters are grown well into adulthood, but Toorah will always look after their welfare. Long past the time when her children relied on her for daily care, Toorah is still there for them, whether it’s to share her suggestive wisdom or to make sure they have warm clothing.
Trueflight Lets Strongbow Take His Lumps
It can be a challenge for a mother not to leap to her children’s defense when they are threatened. When young Strongbow foolishly tried to tackle a bear in emulation of his hero Bearclaw, Trueflight called for Rain to heal her son. She did not, however, try to protect him from Bearclaw’s aggressive rebuke, knowing that her son had earned what he had coming and needed to suffer the consequences of his actions.
Timmain Becomes a Wolf
Firstcomer Timmain made a choice that would ensure the survival of not only her son Timmorn on the harsh World of Two Moons, but for all of her descendants through the millennia. By becoming a wolf she made her people a part of their new world.
Krim Accepts Healing
Krim, like most Go-Backs, didn’t hold much with magical healing. She knew that pain keeps you sharp. But she also knew that part of the deal of leading a reckless warrior’s lifestyle, willing to sacrifice your very life for the bigger cause, is making sure you bring new life into the world to replace yourself. So when Krim was mortally wounded during the Shards War, her acceptance of Mender’s healing was only for the sake of her unborn son Sust.
Brill Gives Birth to Korafay in Freedom
The Wavedancers were once a tribe dominated by fear, hiding away from humans and even their own kind. That fear ultimately stifled them on both physical and spiritual levels. They chose freedom when Brill embraced her Recognition with Sunstream and all that it meant. That choice was symbolized perfectly when Brill gave her daughter Korafay the gift of a birth into the open ocean rather than hidden away in a birthing nest. It was a gift of freedom and strength.
Shuna’s Mother Protects Her
There’s no better example of the power of motherhood than Shuna’s mother making the ultimate sacrifice to protect her daughter. Though it resulted in a brutal death, this woman would not let her child come to harm. Death was a small price to pay for her.
Nightfall Cuddles Tyleet
Though the difference in their ages is now insignificant, and on a day-to-day basis they are friends and peers, Nightfall knows that her daughter Tyleet will never be too old to be occasionally snuggled protectively under her wing.
Kahvi Forces Teir to Live
No one would ever accuse Kahvi of being the world’s best mother, but although she was tough on her children–perhaps more than anyone else–that toughness was the manifestation of her own form of love. Rather than coddling her children or providing words of support and comfort, the best thing Kahvi felt she could give her children was swift boot in the butt to make them strong and to fight for life. Though she abandoned Teir shortly after birth, her spirit manifested to provide just this kind of mothering to him in his time of greatest need.
Dewshine Rescues Her Cubs
Though slight and delicate-seeming, Dewshine is no shrinking violet. She proved that to Leetah when the Wolfriders first arrived in the Sun Village, and that characteristic only becomes more apparent when Dewshine’s children are threatened. There’s literally nothing that will intimidate her when it comes to rescuing her cubs from danger.
Savah is Mother to All
One needn’t give birth to someone to be a mother figure to them. Savah is the Mother of Memory to the Sun Folk and is their progenitor, but more than that she provides maternal love and guidance to all elves open to embracing it.
Bonus: Perhaps the most powerful mother figure in ElfQuest is Wendy Pini. Through her art and stories she has guided us, comforted us, healed us, made us ask ourselves difficult questions, and given us a sense of belonging. Through ElfQuest, Wendy has given those who have been open to receiving it a profound love and acceptance. Thank you for being a mother to us all, Wendy!