Fantasy Races: Elves, Fairies, Gnomes, Trolls, Orcs. Fantasy Book Genre

By reading fantastic stories, people can not only travel to other worlds but also deeply familiar with mythology.

Image by Mary Gorobchenko from Pixabay

Few people think about the fact that many fantasy races trace their history to those early years, when there was no language and stories were transmitted to each other only verbally and in writing. Since then, many of the invented characters changed and found a new role in the current literature.


charming little mischievous elves hiding in the grass and closely watched for travelers have been known for a long time. There were legends and fairy tales about them. They became song heroes. This flourishing of these creatures survived the reign of Queen Victoria. Then the artists turned to the mythology of the plot and characters. And adorable elves decorated a lot of work.

However, like the first, the elves did not have long to live. Right before John’s works. R.R. Tolkien. In his works, the writer radically changed the face of the elves, leaving them with only a close relationship with nature. Now, they were as high as humans and not inferior to them in the art of dueling. Among the many elves, the teacher described, the most popular is Legolas. Through this character, readers will find out who the Wood Elves are.

The woods were darker than simple. The most terrible enemies can find shelter under the branches. Because wood elves are required to be proficient in weapons. They must protect the borders of their possessions. In some works, elves can understand the language of plants and animals and encourage the forces of nature to help themselves.

This race is different from other incredible beauties. Elves — fantasy world aristocrats. Men and women differ in subtle, expressive features. long hair can be any shade. Sometimes even what is not found in humans. An elf can always be distinguished from any other pointy slipper unit.

Elves rarely become negative characters. Despite some arrogance their immortality has generated, they are much more likely to act on the side of good. But this does not apply to dark elves. Elf race can be different. As well as their abilities and goals.


Alva appears in Norse mythology. According to the beliefs of these tribes, the creatures are lower spirits of nature. They do not have the same strength as aces. But at the same time, they can benefit or harm a person if they want.

At the beginning of the years, Alva’s beliefs appear as the beautiful children of the forest. They recall their description of elves. Just as beautiful, they just have a great connection with nature. Reserve genre fantasy has not been created yet. However, there were enough myths. They told me that Alva lives in the human world or their own country. They have magical powers and can independently overcome some of the evil creatures that hunt Alva and humans.

Sometime later, the tribes began to attribute to the spirit forest the power to determine how fruitful the year would be. In order not to die of hunger, people performed special rituals and sacrificed.

Alvy was divided into darkness and light. The first lived underground, the second — on earth and in the sky. Brown were skilled blacksmiths. With light, no one could compete in the art of folding and singing songs.

Even after the adoption of Christianity Alva did not disappear from people’s memories. They still inspire artists and writers, although now close to mixed art Alva with elves.


Fantasy races were largely supplemented and revised by Tolkien. Although a long time has passed since the release of “The Lord of the Rings”, “The Hobbit” and many other works, the influence of the great writer continues unabated.

Gnomes also appeared in the works of JRR Tolkien. But here they are much closer to the mythological original than elves. Few breeds have retained this fancy feature. Gnomes — industrious folk carefully hidden from human eyes. They usually live in the mountains and are engaged in jewelry production. Because of the widespread belief that gnomes are very rich.

Breeding these creatures for about one person. They wear long beards and simple clothes that are appropriate for the workplace. These creatures are not particularly friendly. But the enemies of man also cannot be named. After the release of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien wrote many followers in his novels about the rivalry between elves and dwarves. And indeed, it is difficult to imagine two different beings fighting on the side of good.


If other fantasy races can act on different sides, but most of them fight for good, orcs are usually presented as negative characters. War, orcs, and elves with humans are reflected in many works. These creatures first appeared as early as the 17th century in Giambattista’s collection of fairy tales. A few centuries later the orc was given a second chance to gain a foothold in the literary world. At this time they appeared in JRR Tolkien’s novels.

Orcs — distant cousins ​​of goblins and trolls. They look accordingly. They are not beautiful, like elves. Because more often than not they become fantasy villains rather than heroes. Orc wars against other races are often the central theme of the story. The reasons for the collision can be different. But in the course of battle orcs know no mercy. However, there are exceptions. The layman Frenk Baum in his writings about the Land of Oz also used the image of an orc. And this character is to help the main characters. He even knew how to fly, which was not in the previous works.


Fantasy races have different ages. Some were in the distant past when parents came up with their children’s bedtime stories. Others were specifically created for fantasy novels. And hobbits existed in literature before Tolkien told them.

These creatures are not only good but simple-minded. They usually live in villages and build dens. Her growth is about to dwarf. Being smaller than the average person, hobbits hide from the larger race and try once again not to put themselves in danger. And because little is known about them. Some historical records did not appear.

Hobbits — the most economical. There are no fantasy races that do not like to receive guests like these creatures. They always have a treat in the containers. Everything you need for cooking, they are grown with their own hands. work hobbits are not afraid.

Although popular and likes to stay at home and keep away from danger, they often fall into adventure. However, very soon after he leaves his home village, they begin to regret that he went on such a long journey. But, as a rule, there is no turning back for them.


Book genre fantasy is different from others amounts of the incredible variety of enemies and friends. One of the ambiguous characters is Cyclops.

Initially, the one-eyed giant was just a villain. He was met by heroes who went to distant lands for treasures. On the island of Sicily, they were waiting for unusual creatures that were called Cyclops. These creatures feed exclusively on meat.

On the island, Cyclops engaged in raising cattle. But don’t give up human flesh, in case unlucky travelers are caught. Cyclops was not different from special mental abilities. their other weakness was that they only had one eye. This gave them a chance to get rid of the hero’s bloodthirsty creatures.

However, in a series of Percy Jackson books created by writer Rick Riordan, Cyclops appears differently. In the novel, there is a character named Tyson. And this time, Cyclops’ eye is striking in its fury. Tyson — is a good friend of the protagonist. And with her, he goes through all the adversities. After all, he is not only Tyson the Cyclops, he — is the son of Poseidon.


For a long time, magical creatures were interesting only to children. They existed in fairy tales and could help the main characters at the most unexpected moment. fantasy book genre breathed new life into myths and legends heroes. So it was with fairies.

Before the adoption of Christianity, many tribes inhabited the forests and fields of unusual creatures. Some benefited, while others could harm people. Fairies — some of these ambiguous characters. They may live in isolation, and perhaps their families.

Forest Fairy tries to live with her family. Such a community — a real kingdom, which is led by a wise ruler. These creatures spend their lives singing, dancing, and playing. The person is very difficult to hear the sound of their happy holidays, but it is possible. To do this, find a clearing, where there were traces of the presence of fairies, and listen.

They are those creatures that refuse to live with their relatives. Some of them are still in the forest. They become Boggarts and could harm the casual traveler. Others go closer to human habitation. If the forest fairy at work does not like at home he saw the point of his life. In general, these beings are very difficult to live alone. If for some reason it is impossible to stay in the forest, the fairy looks for other intelligent races. Both a child and an adult can be tied.

Find your new home, the fairy tries to do everything to help him to his masters. However, these creatures are very irritable and hate ingratitude. Noticing help from the fairies, the owners of the house have to leave for her saucer of milk. Otherwise, it will be taken to destroy crops, throw stones and destroy household utensils.

One of the most famous fairies — “Peter Pan” Tinkerbell, who appeared in the story Only belongs to a class of domestic creatures. It is related to Peter’s friend, but when he does not pay attention or does not thank him for his help, Tinker Bell is angry and tries to take revenge.


Often negative characters in a variety of fantastic stories and myths do not have different mental abilities. She stands out against the elf background. These giants are stupid but very strong. And because they are dangerous for travelers, as well as for the inhabitants of the villages, near which these creatures settled. They often face gnomes and trolls. Although it seems that the stunted creatures can not cope with such an enemy, the inhabitants of the mountain caves — a skilled warriors and can stand up for your house.

The creatures were established in Scandinavia. In those days I thought there was a race that was created out of rock. Their only weakness is sunlight. Once under the rays of the winches turned back to stone.

These ugly creatures differ from all other human enemies because their face is decorated with huge nose. Trolls feed on human flesh. Because it is so dangerous to cross them on a route. But not only in the shade of trees can you see the troll. Some of them settle in cities under the bridge. These creatures are different from their forest cousins. They are not afraid of sunlight, money, and respect and are often kidnapped, by human females. There is even a legend about children giving birth to troll people.

It is believed that these Scandinavian monsters can change their size. Some of them reach three meters, others as tall as dwarfs. Settle undersized in forests and mountains. Because of this, dwarves and trolls often quarrel.

But not all fantasy books Scandinavian monsters harm people and other races. Some trolls appear as charming creatures. So the whole family comes in the Tuve Yanson books in the series. The central character becomes a young Moomin Troll. See Tuve Yanson is the most original writer ever to create troll works. She presented Scandinavian and create small, family values ​​with nice respect.


Any race in the ancient world had nothing to do with religious beliefs. Paganism was present in many cultures. And everywhere believed in many gods, there were giants. In many ways, they were like people. But their growth was enormous. The giant could easily destroy an entire village of people if that is something that is needed for some reason. Unambiguous assessment of these creatures there. Race giants can serve both good and evil.

Giants are presented as children of the gods. The ancient Greeks believed in the Titans, who were generated by the inhabitants of Olympus and become a new generation of parents. The Slavs loved stories about heroes, who also ranked in the race of giants. The Scandinavians are waiting for the last war when gods and men will begin to fight and destroy each other. During the battle, a considerable role was assigned to the jötunn. These creatures were true, analogs of titans.

Each people created their own stories about giants possessing great power. Over time, these beliefs were destroyed. They remained in the specialized literature and not only. In many fantasy books, there is this race. Some researchers believe this is no accident. They are trying to prove that the ancestors did not come with creatures that are much higher than a man, and it is an extraordinary force. For this purpose, they travel the world and try to find skeletons of humanoids.


The most diverse races have lived alongside humans for a long time. Some were friendly, others were kidnapped from the villages hikers and Ramblers surrendered. Not surprisingly, in the mythology of many peoples, some beings were born to women of other human races. So there were centaurs and minotaurs.

The Minotaur has a long history. Fantasy last year represents him in different roles. However, our ancestors believed that he — the embodiment of evil. Minotaur — a monster with a bull’s head and a human body. He ate flesh men. The minotaur was the size of a strong man but had much greater strength. When this monster was extremely moving and could develop a good speed. The Minotaur’s scent could discover where the man is hiding from him. And the vision he had is not bad. All this made the Minotaur deadly to anyone.

According to Greek mythology, the Minotaur gave birth to Queen Pasiphae, the wife of Minos. This ruler fell in love with the bull, which was sent to humans by Zeus or Poseidon. Newborn everyone so scared who saw, it was decided to build a labyrinth for him. Minos assured that no one else saw the terrible son of his wife.

The Minotaur grew up within its walls, not leaving them. The labyrinth became an alternative to the very old prison. As punishment for criminals sent to be devoured by the Minotaur. And every nine years among the youth they chose seven young men and women, which also became an offering to the monster. And one from the maze did not come back alive. Some sources indicated that people had their eyes gouged out so that they could not find a way out. But even without this terrifying procedure, it was impossible to get out of a huge maze.

Minotaur to be able to live many years. But he sent Theseus, a brave young warrior. Beautifully captured the heart of Princess Ariadne. And she gave him a ball that could have put the young hero in the maze. Theseus with the help of cunning and strength defeated the Minotaur and was able to return to humans. So, it does not become one of the most horrible monsters of ancient mythology. But he still lives on in a variety of fantasy books and movies.

Other creatures that combine humans and domesticated animals became centaurs. These creatures appeared in ancient mythology. And even then the narrator impressed his audience so that he looked like a centaur. It was the creation of a horse’s body and four hooves. But if the neck of an ordinary horse, a centaur human torso and head. In some legends, these creatures also have a pair of hands.

Centaurs are brought in a variety of images. They were intemperate beings who were always ready to have fun and enjoyed taking part in the battle. Some of them became heroes and teachers planted the future savior of humanity the love of fighting and the ability to stand up for themselves and their loved ones. Others, on the contrary, are unlike the heroes and represent a considerable danger to them.

It looks like a centaur, it has inspired many artists and writers. These creatures often appear in paintings and literature. They also became heroes in a series of Percy Jackson novels. In addition, one of the books that Harry Potter experts helped.

Mythology has spawned many fantasy races. Over the years, they have changed a lot both externally and internally. In various works, they can appear in the image of characters, and the form of terrible monsters, ready to destroy all life in their path. Nevertheless, they all hit the reader’s imagination and turn him to mythology in search of primary sources.

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