In this edition of Point/Counter Point, Finwë Carnesîr and Elladan Súrion (known by their un-elvish names as Jono and Dominic) take on the topic of LOTR Elves versus good old fashioned Santa Elves. Who will win in this holiday themed round of Point/Counter Point??
ElveHere’s a question: when’s the last time you saw Hugo Weaving toiling with some pathetic rocking horse for your baby cousin Zach? Never. Hugo Weaving is far too busy gazing sternly and being immortal. Elves that inhabit the Middle Earth of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings are less about being replaceable servants to a fat white man and more about mastering archery, among their other pursuits.
Maybe you’ve sampled their bread—lembas. Well, probably not because either a) you’re evil (there’s a reason Gollum was so averse to it) or b) you’re not an elf. They like to keep this miracle food in the elf family. By family, I of course mean the likes of Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, and the aforementioned Hugo. Lembas keeps you full for whatever elvish activities you have going on in your day. Maybe you’re off to fight in just some little battle at Helm’s Deep (Legolas/Orlando Bloom); or maybe you need to go ponder the burden of immortality in the face of true mortal love (Arwen/Liv Tyler). These elves keep their calendars booked and they need a badass snack to go with it. Lembas stays fresh for months and even just a few bites will keep an elf full for a whole day. Santa’s cookies these are not.
The pointed ears are where the similarities end between Middle Earth elves and Santa’s elves. No need to crouch down to their level. Legolas will look you straight in the eye and tell you he couldn’t care less about Christmas. They rather spend their time, according to my sources, doing smithwork, sculpture, dancing, and eating. Who couldn’t get behind that? Also, they don’t just pop up as a seasonal thing, hawking tablets for Best Buy. I rest my case, but let’s watch the elves make their entrance into Helm’s Deep.
Long before their species was immortalized by Will Ferrell in 2003’s Elf, those known as “Santa’s little helpers” had carved a nice niche for their kind. They made toys, spread joy through their gift of song and worked tirelessly to ensure that children all over the world had something to look forward to on Christmas day.
Christmas is a big deal. And while Santa might run shop, its the elves who make things tick – literally (they make thousands of watches each holiday season!). Now, my misguided cohort might praise the value of the elves from Middle Earth but, come on. There is no Middle Earth. But there is indeed a north pole. With candy cane lanes and sugar plums and all kinds of goodies that the superior elves (Santa’s elves) inhabit year round. Rather than concerning themselves with one ring to “rule them all”, these elves are actually making DVDs of Lord Of The Rings as well as board games, action figures and collectible goblets to actually make children happy.
Let me get down to brass tax. Tolkien’s fantasy-world of elves and rings and hobbits is something that may appeal to some of us. But joy and snow and hot cocoa and picturing cute mini-people making etch-a-sketches and jack-in-the-boxes and rocking ponies is something that I think all of us can get behind. My troubled friend Jono may not have any holiday spirit but I hope that someday the splendor and magic that Santa’s elves personify can find a way to infect him. I’ll leave it to Papa Elf to explain why Santa’s elves are the very best elves.
Who takes it? If you don’t think words were enough, perhaps a dance battle between the two will settle this.