Originally posted by Thornbrake on May 6th, 2016

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 is represented in ElfQuest. Here are some of the most powerful motherhood moments from over the decades of the series. (Click on each image to view a larger version.)

1. Rainsong Immerses Herself in Motherhood (Original Quest #5)
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 — such value judgments simply would never occur to the Wolfriders — the elves’ unquestioning acceptance of her choice to dedicate herself in nurturing her children is a testament to the value that they place on motherhood.

2. The Value of Choice (Original Quest #9)
To the Wolfriders, 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, Moonshade’s willingness to let Dart choose his path is powerful, because it involves her own difficult decision to let him go. While her response may have been influenced by her lifemate Strongbow, Moonshade still understands that part of motherhood is knowing when to allow a child the power to make his own way in life.

3. The Merit of Good Judgment (Wolfrider)
Young Cutter was a headstrong cub, but given his father Bearclaw’s wild nature, this didn’t surprise Joyleaf. Rather than stifle her son, the Wolfrider chieftess chose to redirect him by teaching him the value of thoughtfulness and considered judgment. She showed Cutter that a direct, aggressive path doesn’t always lead to success; choosing your battles wisely is often smarter and more effective.

4. Empowerment (Kahvi #5)
In the troll world, females are subservient to males. Old Maggoty played by the rules when it suited her, but she also lived long enough to ignore them at her whim. 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.

5. The Lesson of Pain (In All But Blood)
No mother wants to see her child suffer. When that mother is the powerful healer Leetah, who can alleviate pain with a touch, that’s even more true. However, Leetah’s many adventures and trials after leaving the sheltered safety of the Sun Village taught her that sometimes pain has an important lesson to teach. When she shared that wisdom with her teenage son Suntop she showed that sometimes being a good mother means allowing your children to experience affliction and challenge.

6. A Surprising Cub (Hidden Years #3)
Tyleet is a creature of great empathy, and her willingness to adopt and nurture a parentless human child is a powerful demonstration of that quality. She saved Little Patch from certain death and raised him to be an honorable and wise man. The comfort she gave him in his final moments of life is the essence of motherhood.

7. Caring for Adult Daughters (Final Quest #8)
This ancient Sun Villager’s daughters are grown well into adulthood, but Toorah will always look after their welfare. Long past the time when Leetah or Shenshen must rely 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.

8. A Mother Lets a Son Take His Lumps (Wolfrider)
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; her son had earned it and needed to suffer the consequences of his actions.

9. The First and Greatest Mother’s Gift (Original Quest #13)

The Firstcomers found themselves marooned, seemingly forever, on the harsh and unforgiving World of Two Moons. Timmain made a fateful choice that would ensure the survival of not only her son Timmorn in the new home, but for all of her descendants through the millennia. By transforming herself body and mind into a wolf, she also gave her descendants what they would need to survive in their new world.

10. Ensuring a New Life (Shards #12)
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 leading a reckless warrior’s life, being willing to sacrifice your very life for the bigger cause, includes bringing new life into the world to replace yourself. When Krim was mortally wounded during the Shards War, she accepted Mender’s healing solely for the sake of her unborn son Sust.

11. A Daughter Born into Freedom (Final Quest #Special)
The Wavedancers were once dominated by fear, hiding desperately from humans and even from their own kind. That fear ultimately stifled them both physically and spiritually. But when Brill embraced her Recognition with Sunstream (and everything that meant) the mer-elves ultimately chose to rise above their suspicions. That choice was embodied when Brill delivered her daughter Korafay into the open ocean rather than hidden away in a birthing nest. It was a gift of confidence and strength.

12. The Price of a Mother’s Love (Shards #10)
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 her death, this woman would not let her child come to harm. A brutal end was a small price to pay for her child’s safety.

13. Never Too Big to Cuddle (Dreamtime)
The difference in their ages is now insignificant, and on a day-to-day basis they are friends and peers. But early on the dynamic between the two was much more “traditional.” Still, Nightfall will never let her daughter Tyleet be too “grown-up” to occasionally be snuggled protectively under her wing.

14. Very Tough Love (Final Quest #5)
No one would ever accuse Kahvi of being the world’s best mother. But although she was tough on her children – perhaps more than necessary – that toughness was the manifestation of her own form of affection. Rather than coddling or words of support and comfort, Kahvi gave her children a swift boot in the butt to make them strong and to fight for life. Though she abandoned Teir shortly after his birth, her spirit returned to provide this kind of “motherly love” in his time of greatest need.

15. To The Rescue (Siege at Blue Mountain #2, Wild Hunt)
Though slight and delicate-appearing, Dewshine is no shrinking violet. She proved that to Leetah when the Wolfriders first arrived in the Sun Village (Original Quest #5) and that strength becomes even more apparent when her children are threatened. There’s literally nothing that will deter her when it comes to saving her cubs from danger.

16. Mother of Memory, Mother to All (Original Quest #3)
One needn’t give birth to be a mother — or a mother figure. Savah is the Mother of Memory to the Sun Folk and is their progenitor. But far more than that she provides an aura of maternal love, and guidance born of a long, long life to all elves open and willing to embrace 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 open to receiving it a profound love and acceptance. Thank you for being a mother to us all, Wendy!