There are some wonderful examples of good fathering and paternal love in the pages of ElfQuest. Here are twenty of the greatest dads (or dads-to-be) and most memorable fatherhood moments from over the decades.
Cutter Accepts His Cubs for Who They Are
The Wolfrider chief shined as a father when he illustrated that for the elves, rigid, stifling gender roles don’t exist. In this scene, Cutter acknowledges that his daughter Ember is the one who takes after her uber-masculine grandfather Bearclaw and who will become chief of the tribe, while his mystic son Suntop will be something different. Cutter’s smile when his tiny, tow-headed boy says “I’ll be what I’ll be” is the perfect reaction of a father who loves and accepts his children for exactly who they are, with no judgements or conditions.
Pike Pleads with Sust
Sust can be a bit of a rapscallion, but his easy-going father Pike usually doesn’t bat and eye at it. That’s what makes this Final Quest scene all the more poignant. As Pike went to face possible death to stand with Krim in her berserker rage against Angrif Djun, his fatherly plea to Sust to remain behind hit right in the heart (both Sust’s and ours).
Tyldak Rescues Windkin
The winged Glider Tyldak had both low and high points over the course of his long, long life. Through a troubled Recognition with Dewshine, he fathered Windkin. Though he didn’t raise his son or develop a relationship with Windkin until millennia later, when given the opportunity, he didn’t hesitate to save the infant from the destruction at Blue Mountain and return him to his mother.
Redlance Tells Tyleet a Story
You won’t find a more nurturing father than Redlance. Like the plants he magically shapes, he raised his daughter Tyleet to think and act from a place of love, empathy and forgiveness. It’s a testament to his positive influence that as a little girl Tyleet would give even Rayek the benefit of the doubt in this heartwarming scene where Redlance tells the story of Rayek’s abduction of the Palace, and with it, Cutter’s family.
Cutter Passes Wisdom to Ember
When young Ember grew frustrated with the seemingly limitless propensity of humans to act out of fear, superstition, and hatred, her father Cutter brilliantly illustrated for her why humans are just like any other animal, not all good or all bad. Cutter might be named for his skills with a sword, but he also has his own brand of wisdom and he passed it on to the young chieftess.
Woodlock Gets Aggressive
Woodlock was generally a mild elf, devoted to his lifemate Rainsong and their brood of cublings, Newstar, Wing and Mender, but he could be fierce when he felt his family was threatened. Once, in such a moment, he even came close to slaughtering an innocent human child. Thankfully, he was unable to go through with it and we learned that his temporary bloodlust was simply born out of the heartfelt wish to protect his children and give them the best life possible.
Wing Worries About Serrin
Wing’s consternation during Kahvi’s attack on Sorrow’s End was rooted equally in his concern for his just-about-to-be-born daughter Serrin and his lifemate Behtia. Though not much is known about him, it seems like Wing inherited his devotion to his family from his father Woodlock.
Cutter Lets Suntop Go
Cutter loves his children deeply, and there’s no better evidence of it than his willingness to let Suntop go to the Sun Village to receive the magical training the lad desperately needed and wanted, even if it meant sending his son far away. The Wolfriders know that love doesn’t mean possession, and as Cutter says, he just wants Suntop to be happy.
Strongbow Wails for Crescent
With the realization that his daughter Crescent had been violently killed by superstitious humans, horror and desperation burst forth from Strongbow. Never again would he hold his little girl, train her in the art of archery, or teach her the Wolfriders’ Way. All of the silent archer’s fatherly love was given voice in that anguished, heart-rending wail.
Picknose Reunites with Trinket
Say what you will about trolls, you can’t find fault in their family loyalty. Picknose might be generally selfish and cowardly, but when it comes to his precious Trinket, it’s clear he’d face Madcoil if necessary to keep her safe and happy. The look on his face when he was finally reunited with his princess after Rayek stole her away in the Palace says it all.
One-Eye Lifts Scouter
When the Gliders captured the Wolfriders, One-Eye was separated from his family and remained free outside of Blue Mountain. With Cutter’s help he made it into the mountain, and his joy at being reunited with his son Scouter will put a smile on your face every time.
Rayek Grieves Over Child’s Loss
Proud Rayek is all hard edges and isn’t prone to being overcome with sentimentality. Yet, even his heart was pierced with a profound sadness when he learned from Kahvi that he was not to be a father. Though, he sensed that Kahvi lied to him, and made some terrible choices as a result of that lie, he eventually got to meet his daughter Venka, and is a better elf for it.
Bearclaw Regales Cutter
As chief, Bearclaw gave his people a good, hard life. He took the same approach to fatherhood, and Cutter often bore the brunt of his father’s dominant-wolf attitude. Yet he without question loved his son, and this sketch of the two together perfectly captures Bearclaw the father at his best, regaling a teenage Cutter with tales of adventures and the hard-won experience that came from living life to its utter fullest.
Sun-Toucher Comforts Leetah
Leetah had a carefree childhood, surrounded by love and attention. Yet when faced with something far beyond her control–an eclipse–she was stricken with terror. Her wise father Sun-Toucher was there to wrap her in his arms to comfort her while gently explaining the astronomy behind the sudden blackening of the Daystar to his young daughter. For Sun-Toucher, knowledge is the best antidote to fear.
Cutter Lets His Adult Children Lean on Him
A good father knows there’s always room on his lap for his kids, no matter how old they get.
Shale Feeds Skywise
Even before his son was born, Shale was a devoted father, keeping Eyes-High’s nest well-provisioned for both mother and unborn child in the days leading up to Skywise’s tragic birth.
Treestump Breaks Down
When facing an enemy, brawny Treestump is a powerful adversary who puts his mind to winning the fight in front of him. But the prospect of losing his daughter Dewshine to the machinations of Winnowill in distant Blue Mountain, with no way to protect her, was too much for this practical warrior, and his fear and anxiety for his golden-haired cub poured forth in an emotional breakdown. We all wanted to give him a hug then, and luckily Clearbrook was there to do it.
Sunstream Protects Korafay
Sunstream is not a warrior by nature, relying more on his intelligence and wit when faced with challenges, rather than brute strength. But he’s no shrinking violet either, and when it comes to protecting his daughter Korafay, he can be as fierce as any Wolfrider. In his Wavedancer form, he even has built-in weapons in the shape of stinging, venomous fin tentacles, which he’s put to good use.
Scouter Accepts Fatherhood of Windkin
It doesn’t get more touching than Scouter accepting the responsibilities of fatherhood for Dewshine’s cub through Recognition with Tyldak. He proved to be a loving and protective father to his adoptive son Windkin, and later to his biological son Pool.
Skywise Hugs Yun
The Wolfrider’s resident stargazer and copilot of the Palace of the High Ones didn’t know he had a daughter until she was grown well into adulthood. Now that he and Yun live together in the Holt, from time to time even he can’t help but let his fatherly instincts, normally overshadowed by his rakish side, show through.
Bonus: A post dedicated to ElfQuest’s fathers wouldn’t be complete without including Richard Pini. Richard has been a father figure to many of us, calling us to use our noggins to think from a higher place, giving us a boot to the butt when we need it, and even sharing (inflicting?) his not-to-be-beaten puns with (upon?) us. Thanks for being there for us all, Richard!