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The Most Commonly Misunderstood Fantasy Creatures

As much as we love fans of genre fiction and fantasy, you have to admit that they are not all that good at dealing with change. Writing a vampire novel but don’t want your vamp to have to deal with the dangers of sunlight? People will get straight-up enraged with you for letting him off the hook. And why shouldn’t they? You’re breaking the vampire rules! Everyone know they burst into flames in the day!

As it turns out, since none of these fantasy creatures, you know, exist, people have been taking liberties with their “rules” since they were first invented. In fact, most of the stuff you think you know about mythological creatures? They’re all modern add-ons to ancient myths. Don’t believe us? Check out some of these commonly held myths that you probably associate with werewolves or elves, and see just how wrong you were about them. If you can think of any we missed, let us know!

Elves

We bet that when the Lord of the Rings series first hit theaters in 2001, a lot of casual moviegoers were confused by the incredibly tall, incredibly sexy elves. “These aren’t the guys who make my Christmas presents and bake cookies in trees!” we imagine these people said to themselves. Well, these people are ignorant, because really, the tall elves came first. Tolkien based his own version of the mythological race on German and old Norse mythology, in which elves were divine beings on par with angels.

They didn’t become Santa’s little helpers until 1879 or so, via the popular Godey’s Lady Book. Even crazier, in this book the tiny elves who didn’t wrap their gifts on time were brutally slain by an angry St. Nicholas. Legolas would not have stood for that kind of crap, we can tell you right now.

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