Blood Elves

Introductory video

Physical appearance

The Blood Elf avatars perfectly conform to contemporary white American standards of beauty: athletic builds, fair skin, green eyes, blond hair.

Blood Elf female Blood Elf male

The male avatars ape Napoleon Dynamite‘s famous dance scene.

The females’ dance, according to WoWWiki (citing the Burning Crusade Collector’s Edition DVD), is an amalgam of dance moves from Britney Spears’ performances.

Language

Haughty-sounding SAE.

Architecture

The Blood Elves’ capital, Silvermoon City, contains  many expressions of the sublime in the use of scale and prominent forms. There are many Medieval and futurist elements, but the most prominent influence in the Blood Elves’ architecture is Islamic, with the repetitious use of the horseshoe arch.

Silvermoon City

Lore

They’re snobs. Here’s the text for all of their jokes:

Female

“Ugh I hate Thunder Bluff! You can’t find a good burger anywhere.”

“So I went to this troll spa the other day and I wound up with dreadlocks and a frigging bone in my nose! I mean come on! Who PAYS for that?”

“I went to Undercity to get a facial. Ha! Have you seen these people? I said, ‘You don’t have a lower jaw and you’re going to give ME a facial?’ She got mad…at least I think she did. You ever heard someone talk without a lower jaw? ‘Rawe-rau-werew’ Ho-ho! She sounded like a murloc!”

“Do you think the expansion will make me fat?”

“So you mean I’m stuck with this hair color?!”

“How can I miss you if you don’t go away?”

“Mirrors can’t talk. Luckily for you, they can’t laugh either!”

Male

“Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to… *angry grunt* Just give me some freakin’ magic before I kill somebody!”

“I’m trying to cut back on arcane magic… look, I got the patch.”

“We’re allied with the Tauren? Fantastic! We’ll be having steak twice a week.”

“Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”

(Sighs) “I could really use a scrunchy… yeah, you heard me!”

“So I was in line to the Bat Handler yesterday with some undead guy in front of me and all of the sudden he just lets one go! Didn’t even try to disguise it! I don’t know what he ate but it did not agree with him. I thought, ‘What crawled up YOU and died?'”

“The problem with these Horde characters is they lack sophistication. *farts*”

What do these jokes tell us about the Blood Elves? They’re vain (both the men and women – a significant departure from the other races, about which more in a second), and they see themselves as better than the other races in their faction.

They’re addicts. Not drug addicts, but magic – though magic can stand in for drugs (e.g. Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The Blood Elves are the remnants of the Highborne, the upper caste of the first elf society, thousands of narrative years before the events of WoW. Unlike the Night Elves, the Highborne were into arcane magic, so much so that they would pursue any means to get it. Their overuse of the Well of Eternity, the source of their magic, attracted the attention of the Burning Legion, which invaded Azeroth and destroyed a large portion of it in the War of the Ancients. Many of the Highborne devolved into naga; but the remaining ones, known as the High Elves, served with the Alliance for hundreds of years, until they allied with the naga in order to regain access to arcane magic. Now, shunned by the Alliance for this treachery, they are members of the Horde, but largely out of convenience.

Lore-wise, the Blood Elves are definitely the darker of the two Elf societies. Even though they’ve suffered greatly, it’s their fault, and it’s because they are ruled by their addiction. This portrayal of  addiction, while often tongue-in-cheek (i.e. the jokes, above), is in line with contemporary U.S. myths: that certain kinds of addiction – to drugs, videogames, sex, etc. – befall only weak people, who become criminals if they weren’t already.

They’re gay. The Blood Elf males illustrate the ways that representations of gender and sexuality intersect with those of race. Look at them: thin, lithe, fair-featured. Listen to what they say and how they speak. They conform perfectly to the stereotypical representation of gay men as flamboyant, vain, and feminized. Put the homosexuality and addiction together, and the Blood Elves look a lot like stand-ins for 80s-era fears about gay men and AIDS. Even their name resonates within that context.

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