Many people are speculating over the cover of the up-coming EQ issue.
Here is mine:
For years, Shenshen was Leetah's bubbly little sister, always seemingly happy to live in the shadow of her sibling. Never questioning the order of the world she knew.
Then the Wolfriders descended on Sorrow's End...
Everything that Shenshen had known to be had been turned on its side. The world became bigger than the land beyond the desert oasis as she was chosen to be a part of those needed to travel to find the source of the cry that filled Suntop's head.
And Rayek took Leetah away in the palace to the far ahead time...
Shenshen was trapped along with the rest of those in the new land. She probably had never thought that she would have been in that Green Growing Place for such a long time.
Something else happened during that time.
The shadow that was her sister was ripped away and Shenshen stood out in the light. She was now the closest thing the tribe had as a healer and she was needed like she had never been before.
While Leetah was gone, Shenshen was able to find her 'place' and, if I can be so bold, her self.
Leetah returned and it would seem that Shenshen would dutifully take the place that Leetah was so used to her being in, but Shenshen lived such a long time in that brief instant in Leetah's life.
When I see the picture on the upcoming issue of EQ, I see the face of Leetah, finally realizing that her baby sister is now older than her.
I see Shenshen as a grown person. One who has lived and learned from that life. One may speculate as to what the big reveal will be between them, but this image speaks to me.
If I were to caption that image, I would have to say this:
"Leetah, you were born first, but I am older, now..."
"You must trust me, kitling. I know what I am doing."
It is that look on Leetah's face.
The look that she missed out on her sister's life.
Now whatever that might be, we must also trust Shenshen that she knows what is best for her, too.
I think ShenShen's possibly made the decision to do something somehow dangerous and different, and Leetah is asking 'Are you sure you want to do this? Do you realize what this might mean?" Cutter standing in the background, wanting to give his 2 cents.
I think Shenshen is going of on a big adventure. I'm hoping we get to see a lot more of her :D
I wanna see Shen-Shen shine!
I think she's going to get preggers. Remembering the dream now, and it just feels like something about that is going to happen.
While I love motherhood, Zeina, and hope for Shen-shen to have a set of twins of her own, I don't think that's what's meant by her dream.
I kind of was thinking of Jink lol. Like Skywise and Cutter combine their stuff and for some reason only Shenshen can bring her through. I know I'm being silly.
if we're gonna try to interpret Shenny's dreams, obviously it includes Maggoty! perhaps that old bat without wings is ready to get away from those blasted young'ns and go for a big of an adventure.(probably not likely...XD). though indeed i doubt the pregnancy....Tyleet was pregnant in the dream, not Shenshen
i'm sure it'll involve the troll caves though! perhaps she decides to try living with the trolls for a while.
In all seriousness though, Shenshen is a really hard read for me, character-wise. She's part of the scenery but not focused on enough...she's Leetah's sister and obviously important for that reason and the dreams, etc....but I don't feel like I 'get' her storyline very much. Other elves who were in the story yet not central, like Zhantee or even Kimo, had very distinct roles. When I look at Shenshen, I just get a question mark. Being a midwife just doesn't feel like enough for her character....do elves even need a midwife? I feel she is not really into being a Wolfrider or Sun Villager, or either of those things enough....so I suppose any and all speculation is sort of inevitable with Shenshen because she comes off as a wild card to me.
I did include pregnancy due to my silly Jink speculation...but also due to her being a midwife. There's got to be some connection, it just seems linked.
I agree with you @Zeina. From the start I had a hard time figuring out ShenShen's role. In the OQ, we hardly see her, only as little sister and midwife. In SatBM I can't recall seeing her at all? If she is, I am sorry. Only in KotBW she had a bigger part, still I didn't know why she was chosen by Timmain to join! Maybe so she could find herself? Be the tribes' healer, not with magic, but herbs and other means....
I do believevshe has embraised the Wolfrider's lifestyle, just like her sister has, seeing how she dresses herself.
I do hope we will see her outshine herself!
Zeina said: but I don't feel like I 'get' her storyline very much
Eyeshigh said: still I didn't know why she was chosen by Timmain to join! Maybe so she could find herself? Be the tribes' healer, not with magic, but herbs and other means....
Shenshen was shown in Sats, celebrating with Skywise, Newstar, Ruffel and Maleen when Chitter was born, but that was about it.
I don't know why Shenshen should be more qualified to work as a healer than any one else. She is not familiar with forest plants (admittedly the Wolfriders are not familiar with the plants in this area, either). Not that I mind her having a bigger role :)
I think it's more pertaining to the dream scene with Old Maggoty and we all assume it's about healing since trolls heal with plants since they have no magic. The Palace opens up elves to different gifts, etc. But elf healers don't work with a lot of plants, do they? Not since like Rain. They do the hands-on healing. That's what's throwing me off.
Maybe the healers lose their healing gifts in some way and have to learn plant lore or something lol. I don't know.
sulken said: I don't know why Shenshen should be more qualified to work as a healer than any one else.
Thornbrake said: This. She will forever be "Shenny" to me! lol :-O
I will quibble with that "something more." "Else" I would grant you. But just ask Cutter if there is anything "more" than the love in his family, eh?
Mkal said: The healer magic is in her. That is why she is such a good midwife. She was born of Recognition, just as her sister. It is not so far-fetched that Timmain could sense her dormant abilities.
I think it's possible, even probable, that she had a special knack for midwifery because of a latent magical talent. Shen-shen is relatively new to the Sun Folk, generationally speaking, and there must have been other midwives. Just as Toorah was healer before Leetah was born, someone else was presumably doing it before Shen-shen. But if Shen-shen supplanted her it may have been due to a knack that made her better in some way.
Actually I wonder wether the Sunfolk needed a midwife at all. For the last 600 years before EQ1 they had the perfect healer ...
Embala said: Actually I wonder wether the Sunfolk needed a midwife at all. For the last 600 years before EQ1 they had the perfect healer ...
Got the same impression ...
I had always thought that Shen-Shen's dream about a time to shine was a reference to her role in the Forever Green arc, which to me was a very disappointing muddled story. I'm so happy to be so wrong!! The cover for 7 has given us so many possibilities, I can't wait to see Shenny get some lime light!
Tam said: She could also be a good midwife because she spent her entire life doing it? Let's not give Recognition and relation to magic the credit.
I didn't say the magic wasn't there. I'm just saying that maybe she's a decent midwife because she simply IS. She didn't have ZERO opportunities to display her midwifery skills in the Sun Village, but she had some...otherwise Leetah would have said she had none. And the way she assumed she would be Leetah's midwife tells me she'd done this before.
She also spent 500 years with the Wolfriders. There weren't many opportunities there either, but she was the midwife for Nightfall when she had Tyleet, and I don't think it's a stretch to say that they may have come to her for other things as well, in the realm of herbalism. She trained with Maggoty as well, as you mentioned. With all that in mind, I would prefer people give Shen Shen more credit and ascribe her skills to study and experience rather than to Recognition and relational proximity to magic.
I also don't think that any discovery of powers, especially something like healing, would cause Leetah to have such a look on her face. I could see it being the realization that she missed out on her sister's life, but I don't know why that wouldn't have happened anywhere in the decades since the Palace's return. I think Shenshen is going to go PROVE her place, in such a way that scares Leetah...like joining Shuna on her quest or training with Maggoty full time.
Maybe Cutter is considering taking off on a "final quest" and wants Leetah to go with him... and she is concerned about leaving everyone without a healer. Maybe Shen Shen is explaining that she herself has enough knowledge of medicine and herbal cures to take care of things without Leetah around. Or... maybe it's Shen Shen that's taking off instead of Leetah?
Well.. I guess we will find out in about three days :)
Tam said: With all that in mind, I would prefer people give Shen Shen more credit and ascribe her skills to study and experience rather than to Recognition and relational proximity to magic.
Leetah said that Shenshen had very little chances of being a midwife. Births were few for the Sun Folk. Remember what Rainsong said to Dewshine in KotBW?
"Wing and Mender like your decision. There are no other young cubs here."
Her midwifery skills were not at zero, but they sure weren't many, either.
I am saying that her 'power' was limited due to the fact that her sister was there. Maybe Leetah stepped aside from the midwifery aspect of being a healer to let her sister shine.
But, even then, and by Leetah's own words, it was extremely rare.
I never said that the look had to do with her becoming a healer. I said that it had to do with her living 10,000 years more than Leetah.
She is coming into her own right. She is not the 'little sister' that Leetah remembered.
One thing that we need to remember about Shenshen is that she is a pure-blooded elf. Recognition among the pure-blooded is very different than those that are not...
Mkal said: I never said that the look had to do with her becoming a healer. I said that it had to do with her living 10,000 years more than Leetah.Actually she lived about 200 years longer than Leetah.
And why should ShenShen also gave Healing powers? Just because she a 'Recognition'-child and her sister has those powers? I have seen no indication that she has got any magical powers.
Not all children out of Recognition have magic, they just poses the best qualities of both parents! Or inherit the best qualities from their ancestors.
Cutter doesn't have magic, but he does posses good qualities that makes him special. As do most elfes! Recognized or not!
ShenShen is who she is and I have no doubt she is gonna outshine Leetah in the FQ. I just hope to see it soon... ;)
Shen Shen had opportunity to practice her skills. She just didn't have a lot. The fact that Leetah said it was not often implies that it happened a few times at least. She also had to have learned it somewhere to be able to do it. Presumably, the SunFolk have continued to have children, if infrequently.
I don't think it was ever suggested that the SunFolk had stopped breeding, like the Gliders. (Skywise definitely thought the Glider situation was weird- and if I don't think he would have reacted so strongly if the SunFolk were experiencing the same thing.) They just lived long lives and recognized not too often. But they seemed to have a healthy community. Their problem wasn't peaceful stagnation... it was that they had come to rely on others (Rayek, Leetah, the Wolfriders) to protect them, and they were too soft as a consequence. They needed to get tough. But they were still having kids and thriving as a community in their peaceful oasis the whole time.
The statement "there are no other young cubs here" is different than saying "there are no other cubs here." There must have been some young adults at that point.
Shen Shen probably doesn't have magic. But she clearly has an instinct for and interest in healing. (It seems to run in the family, right? Toorah was the one who stitched up Rayek.) At the very least, Shen Shen cared enough to learn from Old Maggoty.
I don't think she is going to outshine her sister- and certainly not in terms of healing magic. She is different from her sister. I think her lesson is going to be to learn to feel she is special in her own right, without having to compare herself to or compete with Leetah. Her dream wasn't about outdoing Leetah- the message was to "shine where you love." She's going to discover what she loves and find her path.
I hope Shenshen turns out to have a completely different skill or magic. Not healing at all.
It took Ahdri hundreds of years (maybe thousands?) to come into her rockshaping magic.
It could be that way with Shenshen too?
I hope for a grand adventure, it does say new journeys will begin :)
Embala said: Even if she was born much closer to Leetah we talk about an age difference of a few hundred yers and not of 10,000 years.
I don't think time spent in wrapstuff counts as living. Yes, those in wrapstuff are technically ALIVE, but it's like being in a coma, not actual life experience. But yes, she has lived longer than her sister now.
We apparently agree on the midwife thing. Shenshen had opportunities to be a midwife, just not lots of them.
And I DID say that yes, the look on Leetah's face could be the realization that she's missed so much of her sister's life; I simply don't think that's it. It's been decades since the Palace returned...why would she come to that realization NOW and not before?
Well, at times you start one discussion, but ending with another.
ShehShen (and the Wolfriders) went to sleep in wrapstuff after 500 years, so if she was born 300 years after Leetah, she would be 800+..
I always thought ShenShen to be happy the way things were, but after meeting the Wolfriders she felt that there was more! Maybe she finds out what that more is for her, she certainlybis stronger now then she was when she lived in the Sunvillage...
Well know we know what the look is about. It does have to do with her being a midwife, but never having the opportunity.
Ans it is about her knowing what is best for her.
I wonder how this will affect their future relationship as sisters...?
What I'm wondering about is how complete the change is. As in, will she still be able to send? Is the change permanent? Is she going out there all alone? That's a little freaky if she is going it alone....brave, definitely. But also totally dangerous. Shuna has Kimo keeping an eye out for her....
It would be cool if Shenshen joins Shuna and Co. though....that would be great. It would also make a lot of sense. Maybe Shuna's mission would be more successful if there are more in the group. Who else will go, I wonder?
Based on the panels with Shenshen and Pike, I hope he will go with her.
They are adorable together <3
Mkal said: I said that it had to do with her living 10,000 years more than Leetah.
travelbug said: Based on the panels with Shenshen and Pike, I hope he will go with her.
They are adorable together <3
Pike is going to stay with the Palace, I know that already. He wants to be close to his lifemates and that's where they are. But I do agree that Shenshen does NOT need to be going out there all on her lonesome, not if she's going to be seeking out pregnant women who may or may not have abusive men in their lives.
I will say this, though, childbearing and birthing is DANGEROUS for human women, even in ideal circumstances. She is *going* to save lives, of this I am absolutely certain and so I'm certain that this is for the best.
I wonder if Shenshen has any idea what she's getting into. Considering how easy elfin births are - and even Shuna's was like... textbook perfect for humans as far as we could see, Shenshen has had no experience of "When Birth Goes Bad." I rather hope we get to see her run up against like, a horror story out of Call the Midwife so we can see how she handles it.
I think Shenshen's knowledge of herbs from her time spent with Old Maggoty is really going to help and come into play. She's truly going to shine in this new position, I feel.
Again, I hope she doesn't get burned at the stake. I keep thinking witchcraft allegations and crap like that.
Im thinking it would be a problem with Shenshen not aging through the years, but all humans around her does.
She will need to move around at least every ten years or less.
If Pike were to go (and he probably wont anyway) he would need a human shape too, I think.
This story line reminds me a bit of "The Last Unicorn" and how the unicorn struggles with her self identity when she's been Lady Amalthia for some time. I wonder if Shen Shen will have similar struggles and lose connection with who she once was over time. Will she become mortal?
I just want to say: GO, Shen-shen! Awesome choice. :D
@Weaver- that's a good point. I think being human affected Mender... or at least it should have. Maybe not, because he's kind of callous.
I do wonder.... in all those hundreds of years living with the Wolfriders and however many decades she has spent with the palace... did Shen Shen really never cultivate any other interest that inspired her as much as delivering babies?
I dunno, Lunakat. In all the years of your life, all the other stories and comics you've read, have you really never found another story that inspires you the way "Elfquest" does? (I don't think I have. There are other stories that I really enjoy but none that have grabbed and inspired me to take part in them (through fan fiction) in the way EQ does.) It could be the same for Shen-shen. She found other things to do but nothing grabs her like midwifery.
I wonder how she'll get on. Midwifery is as much about prenatal care as it is the actual delivery, at least these days.
How will Shen Shen react when she realizes that Elf and Human birthings are very different? She had a fairly easy time with Shuna- but this is a medieval human society, and a lot can go wrong. Is she going to be prepared for that?
It's not even medieval - that was another continent. They're back at the original holt surrounded by humans who seem more like the Native Americans were at the time of Columbus. They're still tribal and nomadic and I'm assuming their medicine is still mostly herbs and prayers.
It's a shame the story will almost certainly not spend much time with Shen-shen, not in the detail we're talking about.
Sooooo, who's up for writing "Call the (Secretly Elfin) Midwife?"
One other thing we have to remember is that "humans breed like rabbits".
I think after ten years of constant midwifery, Shenny might feel that she needs a break....
Not to mention that innevitable (sp?) there will be situations in which the child and/or the mother will not survive. If there'd been any complications during the birth of Shukopek I'm pretty sure Leetah would've stepped in, sure; Shenshen probably got better medicine knowledge that the average human midwife, but she won't be able to safe everyone.
Well, these humans aren't "our" humans. Maybe it won't be so bad. And maybe it's not as bad for us as we think it is. Yeah, when things go wrong it can be really wrong, but there are 7 billion people on the planet so I don't think it goes wrong very often. (And before anyone jumps in with horror stories, please keep in mind that I didn't say it rarely went wrong, and your harrowing story is only one data point, same as my very, very easy one.)
I think Shenshen is going into this both more naive and less naive than we think. It's true that she doesn't have a ton of experience with midwifery, especially human ones...but there's obviously a need out there. She's probably seen births go wrong, not necessarily in humans or elves, but in other animals, so I don't think it would be a foreign concept to her. She has so little direct experience, but it's her passion and what she wants to do; it would be unfair to try to keep her from it just because it's dangerous, or because maybe it won't turn out like she's expecting.
manga said: Well, these humans aren't "our" humans
wingthing said: Remember when Bee mentioned the clans ruled by women? Shenshen has to find out where they are.
manga said: Well, these humans aren't "our" humans. Maybe it won't be so bad. And maybe it's not as bad for us as we think it is. Yeah, when things go wrong it can be really wrong, but there are 7 billion people on the planet so I don't think it goes wrong very often. (And before anyone jumps in with horror stories, please keep in mind that I didn't say it rarely went wrong, and your harrowing story is only one data point, same as my very, very easy one.)
Of course deaths at birth are bound to happen, but I think a birth is not as dangerous as the time afterwards -even in pre-modern societies. Children rather die in their first ten years than during the birth...
The Djun-city is at another continent if I am not mistaken...
I second Eyeshigh.
Shenshen is at the Fathertree holt in the continent with Sorrows end, Forevergreen and Blue mountain. Human tribes are slightly more friendly there.
Djunsland is at the other side of the Wastdeep Water
Some numbers from our world, to help us a bit at imagining what Shenshen might face as a midwife for the humans.
The infant mortality rate of 2013 is:
USA 5,2 out of 1000 births
EU 4,49 out of 1000 births
Somalia 101,91 of 1000 births
Mali 106,49 of 1000 births
The medival people of Abode could possibly have as much as 200-300 deaths in 1000 births?
That's just infant mortality. I was thinking about the mothers. I read somewhere that in the middle ages, 1/3 of all children died before the age of five. But 5% of women also died directly of childbirth, and a further 15% died of complications thereafter, including "childbed fever."
This will probably come as a shock to Shen Shen.
I agree, Lunakat
Not "Shen Shen." Not "ShenShen." Not Shen-shen."
RichardPini said: Shenshen.
Wow. I have never once even thought twice about that.
I guess I won't be ordering my usual pint of O'Shennigan's at the pub.
"Shen is a Chinese term which means "spirit". Shen Shen is spirit renewed or reborn."
She clearly opened her own practice:
RichardPini said: Shenshen.
lunakat said: "Shen is a Chinese term which means "spirit". Shen Shen is spirit renewed or reborn."
'shen' could also easily mean "body" 身 or "wife of father's younger brother" 婶 or "to stretch"神 or "deep" 深.
Hm, they got the character 生 wrong, so the owner actually could really be an elf and not a human, who doesn't spreak Chinese :P
sulken said: "wife of father's younger brother"