Mommy, where do baby werewolves come from?
October 27, 2007 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Has there been a work of literature in which a female werewolf becomes pregnant? Stay with me here. If a female werewolf was pregnant, what would happen to the fetus when she turns? One night a month would it turn into a wolf fetus? and what about the difference of length in gestation between a human and a wolf?
posted by menace303 to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I suppose it depends on if she was screwed by a wolf or not...
posted by wfrgms at 11:36 AM on October 27, 2007

I always imagine werewolves not turning into actual wolves, but into human shaped things with fur and fangs and things (like this). In other words, fundamentally mostly human with some (somewhat) superficial characteristics of a wolf.

Which would leave the internal structure close enough to a human's that it shouldn't have much effect on a fetus.
posted by frobozz at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2007

I'd like to introduce you to Howling 3: The Marsupials. Sadly, they sidestep your in uetero question, but I do recall a were-baby crawling into the mother's pouch.
posted by Eddie Mars at 12:05 PM on October 27, 2007

Kelley Armstrong's Broken has a pregnant were. In this case, the Change is controllable and (so far, anyway), she's chosen to stay human because of the same question.

I'm not sure of the gestation period. A wolf's is approx 60 days so I'm assuming the character's going to give birth around 4 months--less than human, more than wolf.

Skim The Dresden Files. I know there are different types of werewolves and I think Jim Butcher addresses that question in one of the books. They're a tedious read, though. (His Codex Alera series is much better.)

There's always LKH's Anita Blake series. It's very were-centric so I think the question's been addressed but I've given up on that series so I'm not sure if/how it was resolved.

In fact, consider contacting one of these (or similar) authors. I'm sure they'd love to answer the question--in detail.
posted by who squared at 12:06 PM on October 27, 2007

Seeing as how the myth of werewolves and the state of lycanthropy exists in many cultures, there are a variety of differing origin stories and rules governing the physical attributes of the shape-shifting human assuming animal form. For the most part, though, frobozz is correct - werewolves are humans who occasionally transform into wolf-like creatures. Sometimes this coincides with puberty, so of course a fetus wouldn't be affected. Other times it could be construed as something of a superpower and thus the lycanthrope is able to transform into a werewolf if he or she so chooses with the intention of temporarily gaining certain wolf-like powers. As a fetus hardly has the ability to speak, or walk, or perform any other reasonable function, one must conclude that the power to transform to a wolf-like creature would also be out of its grasp. If, however, a curse was summoned upon the babe in its mother's womb, then I suppose it would not be unreasonable to surmise that the burgeoning child would possess both the powers and maladies of a werewolf - it would all depend on the exact curse and the parameters of the sorcerer's specific malediction.
posted by billysumday at 12:19 PM on October 27, 2007

In the tabletop role-playing game Werewolf: The Forsaken [pages 43-44]:

A werewolf female impregnated by a human male goes through a nine-month pregnancy just like a human female. About one child in four that has a werewolf parent is a werewolf himself. The remaining children have roughly a 50% chance of inheriting a stronger measure of werewolf blood, and being known as wolf-blooded. What's more, matings between wolf-blooded can occasionally produce Uratha (werewolves) themselves.

Two werewolves mating is forbidden:

Uratha are creatures of both earth and spirit. They require constant reaffirmation through breeding with creatures of earth, real material creatures. That's why they breed with humans. If they don't anchor themselves in the physical -- with the seed and wombs of humans -- their spirit natures breed together and escape.

When a mating between Uratha conceives, the results are horrific and painful. An Uratha female who has been impregnated by another werewolf finds herself going through the expected symptoms of a pregnancy: a nine-month gestation, morning sickness and the rest. ... At the end of this false pregnancy, the Uratha mother experiences a relatively brief, extraordinarily painful labor that produces only a rush of blood.

At least, there is no offspring in the physical world. A spirit pup is born instead -- a wretched, wild wolf-spirit with the intelligence of a human. The spirit -- which werewolves call a Ghost Child or unihar -- then escapes into the far reaches of the spirit world.

The details of a werewolf pregnancy in WW:tF are apparently in the supplemental book Blood of the Wolf, which I don't own.

By the way, werewolves from this game are different from your standard werewolves of legend. They are connected to the moon, but aren't forced to take on wolf form according the the moon phases.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

There are differents ways to consider weres/lycanthropy:

1/A disease you get by being bitten and can't reproduce--like classic vampirism, it renders you sterile.

2/Different race in which case you wouldn't have a problem reproducing--but I suppose the fetus would turn as well.
posted by who squared at 12:28 PM on October 27, 2007

In books written by Patricia Briggs (Moon Called and others) female werewolves are unable to carry to term--the pregnancy terminates the first full moon (when they change). One female werewolf was able to use magic to prevent changing and had a baby, but she [the mother] ended up dying from it... Her son lived and had a few nice benefits, such as faster changing. He's only a minor character in the Mercedes series, but is getting his own series (the Anna and Charles series). Female humans who mate with werewolves spontaneously abort about half of their pregnancies, the half that would've been wolves, and only carry to term fully human babies.

Anyway, if you like werewolves and urban fantasy, I highly recommend her books.
posted by anaelith at 12:55 PM on October 27, 2007

AFAIK, in the Anita Blake books, there has been only one mention of any were-animal being pregnant. (It was a lion (I think) and the woman had been pregnant twice and had lost the baby both times during the change.)
posted by sperose at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2007

Not specifically werewolves, but in Tepper's "Mavin Manyshaped" books (part of her True Game world), shape-shifters could not change during pregnancy, for fear of harming their children. Only very small and non-essential changes are survivable. (Man, the questions that my elementary-school reading material has prepared me to answer...)
posted by ubersturm at 3:24 PM on October 27, 2007

Nadya, by Pat Murphy, has a woman who inherits the condition from her two werewolf parents. From what I recall (I don't have it readily available), it comes on during puberty.

Later on, she has a son with a human male, and even through her monthly transitions, she carries him in a human way. There's an insinuation that since she has a human mate and a wolf mate, the child may be the wolf's and not the man's, but since the book doesn't continue onto the son's adolescence, it's unknown if he's a werewolf as well.

Also, the novel's awesome in general -- werewolves in the Old West!
posted by Katemonkey at 5:24 PM on October 27, 2007

I think that Wilderness, by Dennis Danvers, has a werewolf pregnancy. If it doesn't, it's still a good werewolf yarn.
posted by WCityMike at 5:33 PM on October 28, 2007

Robert McCammon's The Wolf's Hour is a novel with flashbacks of the main character as a child bitten by a werewolf and living for some period with a pack of werewolves. My memory of the book is that one of the tragedies they faced was that none of the women/werewolves had babies that survived; that the shock of changing into a wolf was too much for their tiny selves.
posted by purenitrous at 9:32 PM on October 28, 2007

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