Friday, September 20, 2013

Five things I wonder about fictional werewolves

This is mai sexy face -- Arrr! / Foter / CC BY-SA
  1. Why do they continue to act like we thought wolves acted in the 1970s, not how we know they act now?  (e.g. the wolves that lead the hunt and first attack the prey are typically young females because they run the fastest.)
  2. Why are only humans werewolves?  Why not, for example, pigs.  Petunia the pig-wolf.  It's totally plausible as these things go.
  3. In fact, why is it werewolves at all.  the greatest cultural interaction would have been with dogs.  Is it just because sexy man-dogs is just too much like bestiality?
  4. Why has the furry fandom approach for wolf-men really never broken through into romance?  Same reason?
  5. Is anyone writing a different take on werewolves rather than rehashing the usual dour-brothers-who-blame-their-alphahole-ways-on-being-part-beast mythos?  If so, who?


Seeley deBorn said...

Regarding 2, I think the best alternate would be a sheep. A sheep in wolf clothing. I mean, just imagine the internal conflict.

veinglory said...

Some-one needs to write that. Like a reverse Lambert.

Angie said...

And why do writers keep thinking that there's something absolute about being an "alpha" or "beta" or whatever? Pack status is completely relative, so a wolf who's the alpha of Pack A might be the gamma of Pack B. And pack status absolutely does change over time. The idea that you can be born an alpha, or that the son of an alpha will be an alpha, is complete rubbish.

Oh, and wolves do not mate for life. And the alpha pair are the only wolves in a pack who are supposed to mate. (So if one of the alphas loses their status, the other alpha will mate with the new opposite-sex alpha.) The others will "cheat" if they get an opportunity, but it is cheating and they have to sneak.

Sure, it's fantasy and you can invent whatever you want, but if you're making stuff up that has nothing to do with the social structures of wolves, going all, "We Are WOLF!" as an explanation doesn't work well.


amhartnett said...

I'd kill for a paranormal where the hero actually turns into an insatiable monster, and why I ultimately gave up on reading paranormals -- they all turn into the noble wolf. Give me a hero who turns into a non-sexy monster, please. That's what makes the transformation thrilling for me, when he actually has to resist tearing the heroine in half.

Unknown said...

"Is anyone writing a different take on werewolves rather than rehashing the usual dour-brothers-who-blame-their-alphahole-ways-on-being-part-beast mythos? If so, who?"

Well, at risk of being one of those self-promoting authors, me.

Young female werewolf? You got it. Val Sherwood, Werewolf (reprint edition, wherever fine ebooks are sold).

Crane Hana said...

Ha! True story: I'm working on a fantasy with a female protag shapeshifter whose non-human form looks a little like a lion crossed with a furry Utahraptor. When I entered the first few pages on a well-known online pitch contest site, the majority of readers saw 'paw+fur+sentience=werewolf'. And promptly got derailed when that turned out not to be the case. And we wonder why we have so many werewolves in popular fiction: it's just easier to telegraph to readers.