>Many scholars have suggested that these four groups, who resemble each other at least in appearance, share a common origin.
Laodameia suggests that the four were created when an ancient race, who may or may not have been the Great Race, were each split into four parts. Her writing is obscure and mystical, but she seems to suggest that each currently living member of these groups has three counterparts, one in each other group. Unlike the similar story told in our world by Plato, she does not seem to be offering a metaphor for love. For example she specifically states that members of a group will not recognise their counterparts as such (although a cynic might argue that this is indeed a metaphor for love).
Userkaf believes that each group is associated with a season. In ancient times, he writes, only a single group would be conscious. The other three would sleep or die. He draws correspondences as follows:
- Elves – autumn (because of their beauty, and their association with decay and passing away)
- Dwarves – winter (because of their stoicism and fortitude)
- Humans – spring (because they are the most varied and unpredictable)
- Halflings – summer (because of their optimism)
Userkaf seems to assume that the ancient world had the four seasons familiar to us as opposed to, for example, the situation in Teleleli, where the three seasons are monsoon, a short winter, and a long summer.