I'm no AD&D aficionado but I read they're meant to be stunningly beautiful. I looked though those official art work pics and they look closer to one of the Greys. I don't know about you but that's not my idea of beauty.
The Greys are short (dwarf height or lower), grey-skinned (duh), completely hairless, feature large/disproportionately larger heads, have dead black eyes, et cetera. I'm not seeing a connection.
Anyhow, beauty is in the eye of the...beauty is subjective . Nevertheless, quite a few physical traits common to "typical" elves have been and still are considered attractive relative to humanity.
Large eyes? Check. "Cow eyes" have been desirable since at least the time of Hera. Almond eyes? Check. Chiseled facial features? Check. Willowy build? Check. Occasionally androgynous? Check.
The ears are a bit of anomaly when placed alongside a "normal" human, granted, but I'm sure there's enough desire for them out there.
Originally Posted by Chief_Jericho
I for one am glad Larian's reigned in on the arms race of ear length but in the last decade or so they've somehow ended up with ears longer than your arms.
The two stark examples I can think of are from the Warcraft games and the Record of Lodoss War anime. I don't think D&D's elves have ever possessed ears that lengthy or, if they ever did, they were definitely outliers.
Well here is some sense disucussion and not totally off the mark....
I would say World of Warcraft MMO affected this as being one game with long Elf ear length. I played it for more then 3 years until I quit. In WOW MMO the Elf ears were big and long, but that I considered more WOW artistic art and then it was made clear so nobody would mistake them for not being other races. There were still two different races of them example Blood Elves on the Horde side and other Elf race on Alliance side.
Well and WOW MMO did it not completely ruin it at nobody did they include fat or bearded Elves. To say this had no impact would be wrong at peak of its glory whan I played WOW MMO during Wrath of Lichking as newest expansion WOW MMO had more then 12 million active sub fee payers.
Oh and dont say DnD has never tried to taked elements from WOW MMO. They started doing that is DnD 4th edition. Example spell Hunters Mark for Rangeer is copied from WOW MMO and still remains in Dnd 5th edition though I have nothing against this. WOW MMO in return borrowed much fantasy ideas from Tolkien and Dungeons Dragons.