ELFQUEST
FORUM ARCHIVE     ABOUT EQ     READ ONLINE     SHOP    
ABOUT     READ     SHOP    

Elfquest Family Relations

RedheadEmber

(Yes, yes. I know I'm starting new threads way too often. I get random thoughts frequently! :-j )

I've actually been wanting to start this discussion for quite a while, but a comment made by Wendy in the Very Special Podcast Episode - which you should all go listen to, BTW - made me decide that now's the time.

Basically what Wendy said was that because elves live as long as they do, and still become mature relatively early it's possible for several generations of elves to live together, and have children across generations, but still being on the same level when it comes to maturity and such. Of course with the Wolfriders it hasn't happened that often, what with their unfortunate tendency to not only be mortal and thus obviously dying at some point, but also dying rather early, but it is possible. Windkin for instance is living and working with his grandsire, not as a grandson - though Treestump has referred to his as 'grandson' at least once - but simply as a 'working partner'. Of course Windkin is also older than Treestump, in terms of years lived.

What really interests me, though, is the more extended family aspect of things. Wendy said that beyond cousins the elves don't really have concepts for various relations.
My first question to that is: What about aunts and uncles? Cutter has frequently called Treestump 'uncle', both Sunstream and Shuna has referred to Shenshen as 'aunt Shenshen'. Are aunt and uncle inside the scope of relationships elves know about?
My second question - which I'll promptly answer myself, just because I can - is how come some elves aknowledge these kinds of extended relations, while others don't?
My theory is that it depends on how strong the bond between the people where the "relationship started" - so to speak - was. For instance; the bond between Joyleaf and Treestump seems to have been fairly strong, so Treestump was always 'uncle' to Cutter, and Dewshine 'Little cousin'. Same with Leetah and Shenshen; they are close so Shenshen is 'aunt' to Leetah's children.
On the other hand there has been no hint that Nightfall and Scouter put much thought into the fact that they're cousins, this might be because while Longbranch and One-Eye obviously has a bond - judging by Longbranch reaction when One-Eye lost his eye, and One-Eye's reaction when Longbranch was killed - it wasn't that strong. Same with Mender and Sust, they're cousins but it's never been mentioned, Again, this might have something to do with the bond - or lack thereoff - between Rainsong and Pike: they're possibly only half-siblings - not that that matters much to the elves, Rainsong was already and adult when Pike was born (afair), and they spent several 100 years on each side of the World. The last bit in particular I'd say is important for the lack of family feelings between Mender and Pike and Sust; as far as Mender was concerned growing up he had no uncle!
I can't say if Kimo and Serrin ever thought of themselves as cousins because we haven't seen them interact.

Dio

This is certainly an interesting topic. I think You answered most of Your questions Yourself already. :)
I think the same. For some there is a closer bond than for others. And the storyline can only show so much. Who knows how the characters interact "offscreen"? Maybe there are deeper bonds between some than we know. Maybe it is just not that important to them who is related to whom by blood bonds.
Where Scouter and Nightfall are concerned I think part of their never mentioning being cousins is that it was added later to the story. And we never saw them very much together and interacting.

After all all elves share orgins from small starter groups. Thanks to their different genetics it does not matter much how closely they are related to have healthy offspring. The Sun Folk are best proof of it.
And after hundreds and thousands of years I think relationsships change and lose importance. As Tyleet and Nightfall said in DreamTime 5 they became more like friends and less mother and daughter over time.

Eyeshigh

Interesting. I always thought it was because most elves only get one cub. But the relation between siblings is just as important, yes. And it is my guess they only use those terms to first degree? blood. Treestump was brother to Joyleaf so Cutter called him uncle, but I haven't seen Ember or Sunstream call him that.
And who knows, maybe Nightfall called Scouter cousin, but we just never read it. Although, I get the feeling she wasn't that close to One-Eye.

RedheadEmber

Dio said: Where Scouter and Nightfall are concerned I think part of their never mentioning being cousins is that it was added later to the story. And we never saw them very much together and interacting.


One thing I kinda found interesting about Nightfall and Scouter is that they're basically the mirror-version of Cutter and Dewshine. With Cutter and Dewshine the older cousin is the male one, while the younger is the female. With Nightfall and Scouter it's the other way around.



Dio said: And after hundreds and thousands of years I think relationsships change and lose importance. As Tyleet and Nightfall said in DreamTime 5 they became more like friends and less mother and daughter over time.


Yeah. This was actually the second bit I wanted to talk about, but decided not to post it in the initial post, since that one was already turning pretty big. However, this will have some spoilers for the issue 6 preview.

S
P
O
I
L
E
R

W
A
R
N
I
N
G

Why was Teir so confused by the fact that Windkin could be friends with his sire? He'd already witnessed the more like friends relationship between Nightfall and Tyleet.

MultiFacets

He might've heard a lot about Tyldak by then, and none of it nice.

RedheadEmber

But Windkin, when he told the story in the Special, said that he'd come to like Tyldak's company.

Blackbird

Windkin and Tyldak never had a father/son realationship I guess, easier to be just friends, but then again, when your "cub" is 200 years and had some lovemates, maybe recognized and so..It's more natural to be more equal and friendly, than parental :)
Like Nightfall and Tyleet.

I thought about the same thing, Nightfall and Scouter, but then again, maybe they have, or call eachother cousins, but we never see it, makes more sense with Cutter and Dewshine, since Cutter is more the main character and all.
And I guess Treestump was there a lot for Cutter after his parents died, so they got more close.

RedheadEmber

Blackbird said: Windkin and Tyldak never had a father/son realationship I guess, easier to be just friends, but then again, when your "cub" is 200 years


Especially when you never actually raised your kid! (In fact Windkin was over 400 when Kahvi and co. raided Sorrow's End, so even older when he travelled with Kahvi and Windkin)

MultiFacets

RedheadEmber said: But Windkin, when he told the story in the Special, said that he'd come to like Tyldak's company.


There was no way for Teir to know that until much later.

Blackbird

Especially when you never actually raised your kid! (In fact Windkin was over 400 when Kahvi and co. raided Sorrow's End, so even older when he travelled with Kahvi and Windkin)


Mmm...he will not win some father-of-the-year award, but again, it's good they got to be friends before he entered the spirit world.

MultiFacets: There was no way for Teir to know that until much later.


What do you mean? I guess he could have heard when Windkin visited Dewshine? Before FQ started. Or do you mean something else?:)

RedheadEmber

I just don't think anyone would go around telling bad stories about Tyldak...

MultiFacets

Teir wouldn't know Tyldak had any decency in him. I can't imagine the Wolfriders described him in glowing terms, even after he brought baby Windkin back to Dewshine.

sulken

I can't speak for all human languages, but I got the impression the more patriarchalic (or better clan-centered) a society is (or used to be) the more elaborate the family terms are. In Chinese, the word for the wife of the elder brother of the father can't be used to address the wife of the elder brother of the mother. However, I ( a Westener) address most of my outer familiy members as "aunt" or "uncle".

What I'm trying to say is, elves possibly would not need a complex system to describe family relationships, since it is not important to describe one's grade of kinship to an other elf (also, since they are so closely related, it could get confusing)

RedheadEmber

MultiFacets said: Teir wouldn't know Tyldak had any decency in him. I can't imagine the Wolfriders described him in glowing terms, even after he brought baby Windkin back to Dewshine.


On the other hand I can't imagine them going about just talking dung about him. In fact I don't think they would've talked about him much, other as 'that guy Dewshine recognized'. Besides; Tyldak lived with the Wolfriders for some years during the Long Wait.

MultiFacets

True, I'd forgotten that part. Then again, did he actually associate with them much, or did he mostly hang out with Kahvi and Venka?

RedheadEmber

I think he mostly hung with Kahvi and Venka (and Aroree).

lunakat

RedheadEmber said: My theory is that it depends on how strong the bond between the people where the "relationship started" - so to speak - was. For instance; the bond between Joyleaf and Treestump seems to have been fairly strong, so Treestump was always 'uncle' to Cutter, and Dewshine 'Little cousin'. Same with Leetah and Shenshen; they are close so Shenshen is 'aunt' to Leetah's children.

Or, it could be that it's just more important to keep track of who is closely related to the chief and his children... for matters of succession.

RedheadEmber

lunakat said: Or, it could be that it's just more important to keep track of who is closely related to the chief and his children... for matters of succession.


For us or for the elves?
Just wonder if a succession crisis would ever be an issue for the elves. Let's imagine that Ember and Teir ends up never having a child, and Korafay can't be chief of the Wolfriders due to not really having wolfblood, and not being raised as a Wolfrider. Would they go back through the genelogies to find the one "next in line"? Of course if they did that there's a fairly good chance they'd end up with... Teir.
I suppose if there'd ever been a chief who didn't have any children to take up the Chief's Lock then that chief would just appoint his/her successor, regardless of any bloodtie. Bit like Two-Spear did...

travelbug

If Cutter suddenly died, wouldn't Treestump or Strongbow be chief instead ? They have been the second in command and know some about being chiefs.
As since the wolfriders are two tribes now? And Ember clearly isn't going anywhere near the palace? They dont seem to want to join the tribes.

travelbug

The Rootless ones chose Yurek to be their leader as he was the one who was most fit to lead.

Maybe if there is no obvious successor by bloodlines, the tribe will chose the one they see most fit to lead?

WhiteMist

Chieftainship always was more than just bare "I am the chiefs cub so I am chief'. Having the right bloodline background is just one part of being a chief. They have to have the right skills and the support of the group. And they have to really want to be it. As I remember it, after Ember was challenged by Scouter he admitted he didn't enjoy leading a band.

sobenyree

Any thoughts on the literature (Blood of Ten Chiefs Anthology) that says that Moonshade was the daughter of Mantricker by his lovemate Brightwater. I also believe that Strongbow alluded to this in a confrontation with Bearclaw (BOTC). This would make Moonshade Cutter's aunt, something that has never been touched upon in the comics. Any thoughts?

RedheadEmber

sobenyree said: Any thoughts on the literature (Blood of Ten Chiefs Anthology) that says that Moonshade was the daughter of Mantricker by his lovemate Brightwater.


I thought it simply said that Moonshade is the daughter of Mantricker's lovemate, Brightwater, but that it's not really known who sired her.



Completely random thought: Of the 17 Wolfriders escaping from the burning forest in EQ1 only Pike, Skywise, Scouter, Dart, and Newstar haven't become a grandparent.

Cutter: Grandfather of Korafay
Redlance and Nightfall: Grandparents of Pool
One-Eye and Clearbrook: Grandparents of Pool
Treestump: Grandfather of Windkin
Dewshine: Grandmother of Teir
Woodlock and Rainsong: Grandparents of Kimo and Serrin
Wing: Grandfather of Bowki
Strongbow and Moonshade: Grandparents of Bowki

And there's still a possibility that Dart is a grandfather, without knowing it.



Another thing:

We know that the elves know about great-grandparents. But how many "levels of great" - so to speak - would they ever talk about?
Could Korafay for example be heard talking about her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother, or would that be too silly because she'd be out of breath before that?

RedheadEmber

(Shameless bumping! :-j )

Right, this probably requires a way of thinking about family that doesn't really apply to the elves but if you think about it, in a way Pool is Teir's uncle!
Windkin is the (adoptive) son of Scouter.
Pool is the (biological) son of Scouter.
That - in a way - makes Windkin and Pool brothers.
Teir is the son of Windkin.





RedheadEmber said: Could Korafay for example be heard talking about her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother, or would that be too silly because she'd be out of breath before that?


Not to mention this situation:
"My great-grea-great-great-great-gr... a-CHOOOO! ... where was I?"

lunakat

Yes that would be too silly!

RedheadEmber

Just realised something:

It's possible that Cutter and Leetah are very distant cousins.

Leetah is possibly a descendant of Aerth, the only know child of Aerth is "Firstbloom", the daughter of Aerth and Timmain, the other - and more known - child of Timmain is Timmorn, from whom the Wolfriders, and thus also Cutter, are descended.

Leanan

sulken said: I can't speak for all human languages, but I got the impression the more patriarchalic (or better clan-centered) a society is (or used to be) the more elaborate the family terms are. In Chinese, the word for the wife of the elder brother of the father can't be used to address the wife of the elder brother of the mother. However, I ( a Westener) address most of my outer familiy members as "aunt" or "uncle".


I don't think it's a matter of being 'patriarchal' or 'clan centered'. In Finnish we have a different word for 'mother's brother' and 'father's brother', different versions of 'niece' and 'nephew' depending if it is the child of a male or a female sibling, and variations of 'brother-in-law' depending if it's 'sister's husband', 'husband's brother' or 'wife's brother'...

Tam

RedheadEmber said: Just realised something:

It's possible that Cutter and Leetah are very distant cousins.

Leetah is possibly a descendant of Aerth, the only know child of Aerth is "Firstbloom", the daughter of Aerth and Timmain, the other - and more known - child of Timmain is Timmorn, from whom the Wolfriders, and thus also Cutter, are descended.


EVERYONE is very distant cousins. XD

Kathleen2point0

Yeah, there's not too much more difference between the guy next door and your third cousin as far as genetics go.

RedheadEmber

Tam said: EVERYONE is very distant cousins. XD


Not necessarily. They're not all descended from the same Firstcomers.

Tam

I wouldn't be surprised if they were. And even if not, any genetic link would be no more than the link you have with a random person walking down the street, after 10,000 years of breeding.

RedheadEmber

Of course it wouldn't matter, there are others much closer related who've recognized. Basically (almost) everyone are kissing cousins.

Lost_unicorn

When you look at the tribes induvidualy they have to be close related to each other.
Savah stated that the first villagers of sorrows end were born out of her and her mother. The wolfriders all have wolfblood, which came from one ancestor. Even the go back tribe is relativly small so I suppose that they also must be close related.

Also (if it's canon) there were only 10 high ones to start with.

RedheadEmber

Lost_unicorn said: Also (if it's canon) there were only 10 high ones to start with.


Where do you get that from?

The circle of nine + Orolin (the scrollkeeper) + the three Haken mentions when he returns to the Palace + several other unnamed ones.

Embala

Lost_unicorn said: Also (if it's canon) there were only 10 high ones to start with.

Depends whether you go with "The Blood of Ten Chiefs" prose stories or the comic "How shall I keep from singing". In the BotC anthologies it is said there were clearly more survivors - still a very small group in human terms.

"How shall I keep from singing" tells the story of the Circle of Nine - and Adya was killed at first contact. So there were only 8 elves to procreate. Haken left before the procreated and Gibra went to search him after she gave birth to her first child, Vol. Leaves six of the original group ... From them - according to the comic - came Timmorn and the Wolfriders.

Two-Spear's splinter tribe ended up as the Go-Backs. They probably merged with the Frozen Mountain Elves (Ekuar's birth tribe) who lived near the Palace and might have own ancestors.

I don't know whether the Gliders have own "High Ones" or actually originate from Haken, Gibra and Vol. The Sunfolk developed from the survivors of a splinter group of Voll's Gliders. Maybe there can be found more about the Gliders' origin in Voll's or Winnowill's bios.

And then there are the Wavedancers - nothing told about their ancestors so far.

Lost_unicorn


RedheadEmber said: The circle of nine + Orolin (the scrollkeeper) + the three Haken mentions when he returns to the Palace + several other unnamed ones.


I must have missed that. I't does make more sense though.


Embala said: Depends whether you go with "The Blood of Ten Chiefs" prose stories or the comic "How shall I keep from singing"


I never read the prose stories, my only source is the comic.That's why I got the impression that only 8 high ones survivived.

If indeed there are more suvivors that means that the gliders are not necessary related. Since they stoped procreating very early on, there can be more than enough genes that didin't mix.

What we do not know is how far the high ones we related to each other before they arrived in the world of two moons.

Embala said:
I don't know whether the Gliders have own "High Ones" or actually originate from Haken, Gibra and Vol. The Sunfolk developed from the survivors of a splinter group of Voll's Gliders. Maybe there can be found more about the Gliders' origin in Voll's or Winnowill's bios.


Interesting I didin't know that.

Based on Haken's appearance in the comic you would say that he is at least an ancestor of Winnowill an Rayek. What would mean that Gibra was successful in finding him, and at some point was might have been part of the pre gliders and sunfolk tribe.

Embala

Lost_unicorn said: Based on Haken's appearance in the comic you would say that he is at least an ancestor of Winnowill an Rayek.
That's pretty much implied ... by look ans story telling.
Lost_unicorn said: What would mean that Gibra was successful in finding him, and at some point was might have been part of the pre gliders and sunfolk tribe.
Why not both? Haken, Gibra and her infant ... and another group of survivors forming the pre-Gliders would be most probable for me.

Lost_unicorn

Embala said: Why not both? Haken, Gibra and her infant ... and another group of survivors forming the pre-Gliders would be most probable for me.


You're right that would be the most likely scenario. :)

Leanan

I'm quite sure there were more High Ones than just the Circle of Nine and Orolin. For example, these two:

highones

Eyeshigh

At first I thought so too, but it didn't explained the parents of Lord Voll. They were firstborn? I am not sure.
Only after reading HY I got the answer..... There were many more High Ones, only the circle of nine led them to other worlds or at least that is what I think.
Here is a picture from HY6.
2015-03-03 18.55.11
I count 13 here?? And many more were killed, so to me that meant more had escaped, but scattered over the world. Although I still don't know why they didn't send to each other to see who made it.....

travelbug

I count 13 too.
I think because "how shall I keep from singing?" made with the circle of nine as main characters, other firstcommers isn't shown in the story.

If the survivors fled in different directions from the palace, and kept going in the same direction, they would at some point get out of sending range, and possibly assume the others were all dead

Eyeshigh

Yes, most likrely and their powers were sudenly very weak, so their sending would have too....

@Leanan. I think, in your picture, the one on the left is Aerth and the other is later changed into the woman we see in my picture one the left, can't find her name....

Tam

@Eyeshigh, Sefra. :)

Kathleen2point0

Either way, they hit a pretty serious genetic bottleneck.

Eyeshigh

Thx @Tam!

Yes, some do look-a-like!

Luckely DNA works different for the elfes.
And if you have no other possible mates around then second-cousins or so, well rules change right? Now we don't even think about it, although it does happen from time to time, but in our early, prehistoric day I can imagine it happend too.
Doesn't it still happen in some tribes and arranged marriages?

And let's not forget about Recognition! That force doesn't consider for a bitt the fact that you might be family in some way.

Kathleen2point0

Scientists theorize that humans may have met a genetic bottleneck of their own about seventy thousand years ago.

lunakat

I think it makes a lot more sense that they scattered in different groups into the woods and ended up dispersed. There had to be more than a handful of cone heads on the ship- and there had to be more than that one group who survived. I mean- the humans were not that sophisticated. I think being taken by surprise was what killed the aliens- but once they figured out what the deal was- at least a number of them should have been able to hide or run.

Eyeshigh

Haha, I am sorry, but we talked about a small gene-pool and I just read about an island with more cats then humans.....
Now this is most deffinatly a perfect example!

FB_IMG_1425505768505

Kathleen2point0

@lunakat is correct in regards to the fact that there must have been more groups who ran away, however, I wonder if the aliens had faced this precise issue before, earlier in their evolution. That might be the very reason Recognition evolved, the need to mate with the most genetically viable partner, simply to ensure a genetically diverse enough population(scientists today have declared a few animals past saving, because their species doesn't have enough individuals to create a diverse enough population to ensure survival), which could also explain why some partners become mates first, then Recognise. They're subconsciously drawn to the most "correct" individual.

Leanan

Eyeshigh said: @Leanan. I think, in your picture, the one on the left is Aerth and the other is later changed into the woman we see in my picture one the left, can't find her name....


I've always liked to think that the one on the right was Sefra's soulmate, like Timmain was with Adya... and that that is why they had similar headwear... and that they got separated in the chaos after the disastrous landing... this is just my own imaginings, though...

RedheadEmber

I personality think they're just two random, un-named Firstcomers with strong resemblance to Cutter and Skywise, in order to make the 10,000 time-skip thing.

B-) ;)