Saturday, April 10, 2010

Awesome and Un-awesome Magical Creatures

      I love magical creatures and I love learning about the creatures from different myths and legends. There are so many cultures with unbelievable myths about magical creatures that are so creative and, sometimes, completely insane. But there are a lot of mystical creatures that are way too overrated that are always finding their way into the fantasy novels that I read. But there are also some completely awesome creatures that manage to slip under the radar. Here are the creatures that get my stamp of approval…and disapproval.

Changelings: Changelings are also known as shape shifters which, of course, have the ability to change into almost anything. The limits and abilities of a changeling varies from story to story but they’re usually depicted as being able to change into anything for a certain amount of time before being forced to change back to their original state. But these creatures are awesome because they can shape shift—how awesome is that?

Unicorns: I’m sure you all are familiar with these creatures and they are obviously un-awesome because they’re basically just horses with a horn in their head. Sometimes, in different stories, they are given the ability to fly or something but they’re usually just depicted as boring, magical horses. That is what makes them spectacularly un-awesome.
(The exception being Jewel from The Last Battle. Jewel pwns).

Arkan Sonney: In Manx, this literally means “lucky urchin” or “plentiful pig” and the name alone makes it awesome. This creature is a fairy-like creature that looks like a pig with long hair which makes it look kind of like a hedgehog. It is said that if you catch one, it will bring you good luck and, afterwards, you will find a piece of silver in your pocket. They are also called “lucky piggies.” If you don’t think that’s awesome, you’re crazy. More stories should have Arkan Sonneys.

Dwarves: There are simply too many stories and books with dwarves in it. The original and best stories with the usage of dwarves would be The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings but during the time that these books were published, dwarves were not overused. Over the past few decades, dwarves have been used over and over again and they are all exactly the same in each story: fat midgets with beards who live in mountains. Boring! There are so many awesome fantastical creatures out there, why use dwarves?                                                                                                  
Dryads: I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved dryads. My first encounter with a dryad was from The Last Battle and, in my eight year old mind, I thought they were the coolest creatures ever and I still think they’re awesome to this day. A dryad is a tree spirit that are usually depicted as being tall and shy, with long hair and flowing dresses. The name “dryad” comes from the Greek word for oak: “drys.” In Greek mythology, dryads were the spirits of oak trees but have since become the term associated with all tree nymphs. The spirits of walnut trees and ash trees are called Carytids and the Meliai respectively.

Elves: Elves are so overused in stories, they’re usually depicted as beautiful, perfect beings with pointed ears and usually live in the forest. Elves are great in Lord of the Rings and at Christmas time but now they pop up everywhere. Be creative, use another creature or even make something up. Or at least change them up a bit, use your imagination and make something awesome.

        Well, there you have it, my favorite and least favorite magical creatures. But what about you? Which magical creatures get your stamp of approval or disapproval?


Kaylee said...

Oh my word - I love dryads! They're one of my favorite parts in the Narnia books. ^_^

I think the use of magical objects is overused too. I read a book recently in which the hero consistently used a magical pen and another book where the hero used a stick to solve all of life's problems. Isn't there a more creative ways to use magic then with a common ball-point pen or random stick? I should think so, yet I'm at a loss to figure out what it would be. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't be Dissin' Elves!

Mariah said...

I personally really like elves (haha, I feel like a little kid!), but if they're used too much it can get pretty boring. If you really want to use an elf in your story, though, you should make him/her intriguing and unique!

I really like Changelings too. That way, the author has a chance to use their imagination and creativity more in their story/poem/work.

Anaurora H said...

Oh!! I love dryads!! And changelings :) I love this post. I agree with the awesomeness and un-awesomeness of those characters. But really, this is one of my favorite genres :)
Have a lovely start of the week girl!!

Zack said...

I gotta agree with you, elves and dwarves and unicorns are used too much for anybody's good.

I actually think Halflings are overused too, I mean, Dwarves are miners, Elves are wildfolk, and Men are pioneers and adventurers, but what do Halflings do? Sit around and braid their foot-hair, that's what. Gross.

Sidney said...

I like the Elves that live in Kokiri forest. They have Fairies...

Jessie said...

Hey! I know this is late, but I haven't read it yet, soo. . . I agree with the elf/dwarf thing. It's like, after Lord of the Rings, everyone decided that elves and dwarves are cool, so it's okay to use them, and then EVERYONE used them, and then they became un-awesome.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I wish you could follow up to this topic :)