Shifters? Weres? What’s in a Name

November 20, 2014

Gray Fowler, my alpha wolf-shifter is very particular. He is not a werewolf. “There’s too much mythology going on there,” he tells Kenton.

I agree! To me, the word “werewolf” conjures up all sorts of dark (and hairy) images, most of which aren’t at all sexy. I think of the Wolf Man, who’s more Saturday matinee than movie star dream. Over the years, pop culture has given werewolves a pretty bad rap. They do some bad shit. Even the ones we love, like Oz in Buffy.

It’s been only more recently that wolf shifter characters have gotten a little sex appeal going. Though I’m not a fan of the Twilight franchise, I can still enjoy Taylor Lautner, even though his wolf is CGI. Teen Wolf is another departure from the more clichéd examples. When the wolves in human form can get our hearts and sympathy, we can forgive some of the things they do. Actually, I can forgive Alcide in True Blood just about anything. He only kills people who deserve it, but he still kills.

I’m not a fan of gore in my books or films, which is another reason I’ve shied away from many of the classic wolves. The transformation scenes get my skin crawling, though I think they are incredibly important to understand the experience from the shifter’s point of view, and sometimes that’s just yucky (think of the scene in Supernatural when the shapeshifter takes on Dean’s appearance. That scene still makes me need to wash my eyes out!)


What about other weres and shifters? Somehow the idea of a wereduck or wereotter sounds cute and cuddly, and they are. I definitely put them in a different category. These characters live in a different world than that of the wolf who is pursued in animal form, whether or not he’s actually done something reprehensible.

I haven’t even had a chance to touch on how to explain yourself to a non-shifter significant other? Or his parents? “Mom, this is my werewolf boyfriend. We promise not to visit during the full moon. Go on, give him a hug!”

So, there are a lot of fun aspects to explore with a shifter, wolf or not. I couldn’t possibly address even a fraction of them here or in Shifting Gears, but doing a little reading and research opens up so many possibilities.

What aspects of a shifter’s life interest you most? Who is your favorite wolf and why?

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