New Werewolf Poll for September: The Great Tail Debate

A. Quinton — Sep. 1st 2009

Last month we all agreed that “sequence” was the worst word to describe a werewolf’s transformation. This month’s poll has a more divisive topic: should bipedal werewolves have tails? Tails are a common physical feature on most werewolves. After all, wolves have tails, so it makes sense that a human / wolf hybrid would have one too, right? Right… or wrong! The primary purpose of a tail is to provide balance to fast-moving quadrupeds, and we’ve agreed for the sake of this poll that we’re talking about werewolves that move on two legs, not four. So what would be the point of having a tail if it didn’t serve a practical function? Anyone? Bueller?

[poll id=”4″]

  • There is no easy answer to this. It really depends on whether a person believes if a werewolf should walk primarily on two legs or four. A werewolf who spends most of his time on two legs would most likely not have a tail. On the flip side, if said werewolf spent most of his time on all fours then a tail would most likely be present.

    I guess it really boils down to a person’s believe on what a werewolf should look like or, in this case how it should walk.

  • I think Option 3 should be “Depends on the werewolf” instead of “who cares.” It would be the winning option, for sure.

    Closing the poll with an argument about functionality isn’t the best idea, because fur, pointy ears, yellow eyes, and digitigrade feet don’t have much function for a bipedal werewolf either. (Although I suppose the argument could be made that a digitigrade werewolf wouldn’t have an completely upright stance, in which case a tail would function for balance.)

    Tails are about aesthetic. A tail might look ridiculous on a 1940s style werewolf, but on more lupine werewolves it adds form and another bestial aspect to the character. For example, look at the images in the werewolf calendar, linked from a story on the front page. Those werewolves are extremely wolf-like, and they just wouldn’t look right without a tail.

  • Berserker, the “argument” at the end of the post was meant to stimulate comments precisely like yours and Shadowfang’s. :D There’s really no clear answer– I agree with many of your points, but because we’re talking about the morphology of a fictional creature, there’s a lot of fun to be had in the discussion. For quadrupeds and even bipeds with digitigrade legs, a tail makes sense, but I personally prefer the lack of a tail. Then again, I have a rather particular aesthetic when it comes to werewolves.

  • Mac

    I rather like werewolves having a tail when it’s the more modernistic interpretation of a werewolf. I think it would look awkward on a more typical “Chaney” type werewolf.

    That being said, you could argue the functionality or lack thereof until your blue in the face. If the werewolf is bipedal with digitigrade legs they could be put off balance depending on their stance. As opposed to a human foot they would likely end up having less area to distribute their weight on, therefore requiring a tail for improved stability.

    In any case, I think it’s fascinating to see the various arguments/discussions for whether or not werewolves should have a tail as a part of their anatomy.

  • Berserker

    Pro Tail is smashing the competition. Honestly that surprises me, I wonder if this poll would have shown the same results 20 years ago. The times, they are a changin’. I think people are expecting more animal than monster now, so design is more scrutinized.

  • Severen

    Realistically, I’d have to say no. A big part of why I love werewolves so much is the thought behind them; what kinds of things would turn into what on the human body and how, etc, etc. Magically growing bones just doesn’t sit right with me.

    … Though I am definitely guilty of drawing all my weres with tails. As stated before, it’s an aesthetic thing.

  • Guess I’ll have to go with “who cares?” because I pretty much agree with what’s already been stated; a wolfier “Howling” style werewolf needs one but a classic “Wolfman” – not so much.

    What can I say? I just love werewolves of all shapes/sizes/etc.

  • Roukwolf

    I too love werewolves of all shapes and sizes, but I’m going to be honest and go pro-tail. While the function and aesthetic of a tail are important, I’m of the opinion that ‘if you’re going to go animal, go ANIMAL.’ I like it when any were-animal is as feral as possible while still retaining the controlling spark of its human soul.
    And finally, tails are good for grabbing and pulling, provided we bring the females of this species into the equation. X )

  • Dragoniakmp

    Sometimes if a werewolf doesn’t have a tail it can risk looking more like a grizzly bear. The werewolf from Cursed comes to mind.