Earth's Children

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Name: Earth's Children
Creator: Jean M. Auel
Date(s): 1980-2011
Medium: Novels, one film
Country of Origin: USA
External Links:
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Earth's Children is a series of historical fiction novels set during the Upper Paleolithic era (somewhere between 28,000 and 25,000 BCE) in what is now Europe. It tells the story of Ayla, an orphaned Cro-Magnon girl who is adopted and raised by a tribe of Neanderthals and who later embarks on a journey to find the Others (her own kind), meeting along the way her romantic interest and supporting co-protagonist, Jondalar. The series includes a highly detailed focus on botany, herbology, herbal medicine, archaeology and anthropology, but it also features substantial amounts of romance and sex.

The first novel, The Clan of the Cave Bear, was adapted into a 1986 film starring Daryl Hannah, Pamela Reed, James Remar, and Thomas G. Waites. Because the film cost $15 million to produce and brought in only $1.9 million (domestically), it is considered a box office flop. However, the film was nominated for an Oscar in 1987 for Best Makeup, and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy called it "beautifully shot, well scripted and finely acted".

Books in the series

  1. The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980)
  2. The Valley of Horses (1982)
  3. The Mammoth Hunters (1985)
  4. The Plains of Passage (1990)
  5. The Shelters of Stone (2002)
  6. The Land of Painted Caves (2011)

In October 2010, the novels were released as e-books for the first time. Auel stated that Painted Caves is the final book in the Earth's Children series, but mentioned the possibility of further Ayla books.[1]


The canon endgame pairing of Ayla/Jondalar is fairly common in fanworks. However some fans dislike Jondalar and feel Ayla should have stayed with Ranec.[2][3]

Some fans characterize Ayla as a Canon Sue, for many reasons including her several tamed animal friends, "annoying" special abilities, and extreme beauty.[4]

Ayla from the Earth's Children series is a classic Mary Sue. Stunningly beautiful but thinks she's ugly. Has at least one man head over heels for her at all times during the series, except for when she's a young child, and usually two or more. Can tame wild lions and wolves (ffs). Invents fire, sewing, medical stitches, among plenty else. Eventually, everybody turns on her enemies, even the enemies' own friends and family.[5]

Additionally, Jondalar has been called a Gary Stu:[4]

Angsty Jondalar, with blond hair and "eyes so vividly blue they looked violet in the firelight...." He's threatening Stu-ishness.
Jondalar IS a Stu, I think. He's viewed as some sort of sex god, and omg everyone wants him, too. I mean, the whole Hadumai thing in book two with Noria, and all the people choosing him for First Rites and stuff. Even his COUSIN wants him. And that was just....weird.
In book five, Jondalar's *sister* wants him. By page 2 even.

Fans discussed the series in the usenet group "alt.books.jean-auel", but it is no longer active since 2011. A popular fansite is "The AuelPage" and its forum "the AuelBoard"; this site was online at GeoCities from July 1996 to October 2009, then moved to its own domain and renamed

External links


  1. ^ TribuneReview (September 19, 2010). "Iconic 'Clan of the Cave Bear' series celebrates 30 years". Retrieved March 18, 2019. 
  2. ^ taiyou-tsuki-hoshi (March 9, 2010). "AylaFC". Archived from the original on April 4, 2010. This next theme is to draw either Jondalar or Ranec. I understand there are a few conflicts out there as to who Ayla should have stayed with. 
  3. ^ Tumblr thread by p1ratew3nch, systlin, and flumigle, August 12, 2017
  4. ^ a b Post by Kasatka on The Canon Sue Report, 2003
  5. ^ Post by Tenderiser on, November 3, 2016
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