Commenting has moved to the Elfquest homepage! Read more

This forum is no longer active, though you can read the archives. Discussion has moved to elfquest.com itself, where you can comment on individual postings.

Time in Elfquest

RobRob
edited March 2014 in Elfquest
There's a lot of discussion lately about vagueness in the time that's passed in FQ. This reminded me that time in Elfquest often passes at a mysterious pace, feeling other than what it is. These facts often blow fans' minds:

Book 1 covers a couple of weeks. Burned out on day 1. Stranded by trolls on day 3. At Sorrows end on day 6. Trial is on day 8; Leetah eavesdrops on the howl that night. There are an indefinite number of "passing days", then the zwoots turn up and bob's your uncle, they're lifemates that very night.

The entire quest lasts only a few weeks. From the wolfriders killing Kureel's bond bird to the elves entering the palace could be as little as a week; the war for control of it lasts a few hours. How long the quest takes depends on how much you can fill into Cutter and Skywise heading west from the burned out holt, before they hit Nonna's woods. The Deathwater to Blue Mountain is not far; 20 miles or so as depicted by sight, with the forbidden grove somewhere between them. The Wolfriders' stay with the Go-Backs is vague, but it's surely not more than a few days.

Siege at Blue Mountain covers like, a long weekend with a Presidents Day, and Kings picks up days later. From the Wolfriders deciding to deal with Winnowill to Rayek stealing the palace is a couple of weeks, too.

Then? Then we wait for 500 years.

It's weird, time in elf-land! As it should be.

Comments

  • Yeah, I often think about the fact that Siege and the first half of Kings take place over the course of a few days.
  • That's why "Book 8" (as I still think of it) freaks so many people OUT the first time they read it. I know it freaked ME out! I remember, I was reading it in the bathtub when I was 13 (hey, it's a good place to read) and I JUMPED UP and STORMED across the hall, shedding water, and shoved it into my sister's face and said, "LOOK! LOOOOOOOOOK WHAT THEY DID!"

    But really, that being the first immense passage of time was so very clever, story-wise... it really brought the trauma of that separation between Cutter & fam home. It was an emotional punch to the gut, and it shook me up and made me realize that any-freaking-thing could happen in this story.

    So now when I see years pass, say, in the FQ prologue, for example - when Korafay's born and then she's a kid and then Sunstream says she's grown, well, sure, that ain't nothing - we all lived through 500 years. You can't do anything to us now (as readers)!*




    *NOT a challenge, Wendy! I swear! Don't hurt us!
  • It was really 10,000 years!
  • Hey, just me playing devil's advocate again, but what do you refer to as the entire OQ? I always figured it started with Cutter and Skywise leaving Sorrow's End, doesn't it say that they travel for several weeks before even reaching the Woods where they met Nonna and Adar?
  • Yes, but after they meet Nonna, it's over in a few days!

    1 day at Nonna's
    A day of travel to Olbar's village
    Celebration at Olbar's village; the fight with thief
    1-2 days to the forbidden grove
    1-2 days to Blue Mountain
    1-2 days inside blue mountain
    2 days flight to the Palace
    several days with the go-backs, and a few hours of war

    AND SCENE.
  • I always throught "the entire OQ" means books 1-4, so from the Gotara forest fire until the war...
  • I've clarified the post to make clear I'm talking about the actual quest embarked upon by Cutter, not the OQ books.
  • Just a thought: In Discovery when Sunstream goes "talking" to Ember right before seeing Brill the 'Narrative text' says: "In the meantime, if time can be said to have a meaning".

    An early hint not to take timelines too serious?
  • Rob said: 1 day at Nonna's
    A day of travel to Olbar's village
    Celebration at Olbar's village; the fight with thief
    1-2 days to the forbidden grove
    1-2 days to Blue Mountain
    1-2 days inside blue mountain
    2 days flight to the Palace
    several days with the go-backs, and a few hours of war
    I'd interpreted more than a couple of days with the Go-Backs. I think it was more like a few weeks. But yes, the events of the Original Quest happened pretty quickly once they got to Blue Mountain. The events of Siege and Kings (up until issue #7) all happen within a few days too.
  • **Moved face fur based comments HERE**
  • Randomly been thinking of the time-passage in Final Quest, and sorta coming up with an "accurate" timeline (you know... accurate if you don't have a calendar)

    Long time-skip in the Special:

    Twenty-odd years (it says so right there in the text).
    This is simultaneously the best time-skip and the worst, in terms of knowing how much times passes; they tell us, and then they don't! What does 'odd years' indicate? Basically it could be anything between 21 years and 29 years. Which of course is really unimportant for immortal (or extremely longlived) people like the elves.


    Between Ikopek's death and Ruffel's death:
    I always got the impression that this was less than a year, as in it's the first New Green since Ikopek died.
    Long enough for Newstar and Ohler to begin living together in the Holt.
    Short enough for the pain at losing Ikopek still being pretty fresh to Shuna.


    Between Special and issue#1:
    Long enough for Moonshade to have gotten a pretty new dress, and for her to become pretty well-versed in the knowledge of communication with the spirits (as seen in issue#4)
    Long enough for Sunstream to have returned to the Holt.


    Between issue#6 and issue#7:
    Long enough for Windkin to have gone in search of - and found - the Go-Backs.
    Long enough for Treestump and Clearbrook to have finished Ember's and Teir's swords.
    Short enough for Ember's tribe to still be in the process of settling in their new holt. At least it seems so to me.
  • Actually- after they leave Picknose's hut- isn't it implied that Skywise and Cutter travel for months before reaching the forest?
  • I also find it hard to believe that the Wolfriders were only in Sorrow's End two days before the contest. I had the impression they had been there a while.
  • Did Rayek really give up after two days? How lame.
  • I agree. Just because there isn't text that says point-blank, "x amount of days/years has gone by" doesn't mean there are no gaps of days or even weeks or years that we aren't shown. Cutter and Leetah, suffering from the effects of unfulfilled Recognition, actually have time to start losing weight during this period. Plus there is no way, knowing Rayek's character, that he would have given up after only two days. Nor do I think Redlance went from having no tree-shaping magic to having it, in only a few days.

    In Blue Mountain, too, there is plenty to support the idea that the Wolfriders were at least a week or two in Blue Mountain. Again, Dewshine and Tyldak suffering from unfulfilled Recognition, seem fairly clearly to have suffered for more than 24-48 hours. Strongbow had to have time to build up to blowing up at Cutter and leaving-- his loyalty, if not to Cutter, to the idea of the chiefhood, would dictate that he wouldn't just come to that place overnight. I could think of more if I had time, but I'll let those evidences suffice.

  • lunakat said: Actually- after they leave Picknose's hut- isn't it implied that Skywise and Cutter travel for months before reaching the forest?
    Yes, I believe the text specifically does give that information.

  • In OQ issue #8 (or book 2 for those who don't have the WaRP originals), Skywise says

    "...sun-goes-down. We've been heading this way for almost three moons, Cutter!" Unless I'm wrong, and I could be, that means 3 months. He says that at the top of that page, and it's a few more panels and then they arrive at the outskirts of Nonna's forest. We don't know how much time passes between Skywise saying that at the top of the page and arriving at the forest on the bottom, but it's clear through those panels that the land changes gradually:

    (sorry for the large size)
    image
  • Wolfrider said: "...sun-goes-down. We've been heading this way for almost three moons, Cutter!" Unless I'm wrong, and I could be, that means 3 months.
    Or... he Means... 1.5 months. They got two moons so to them 1 moon would be 0.5 month, 2 moons = 1 month, and 3 moons = 1.5 month. :P
  • edited March 2015
    Right. Somehow I forgot the two moons. So used to a single-moon sky. ;)
  • Unless they mean three of a specific moon. For instance, they could mean three rotations of Mother Moon or Child Moon.
  • Wolfrider said: Right. Somehow I forgot the two moons. So used to a single-moon sky.
    I was being silly!
Sign In or Register to comment.

AYOOOAH!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Sign In with Facebook Sign In with Twitter
Mark all read