The Past Of The Elves

Elves belong to the Scandinavian mythology. They are fantasy beings of great beauty, and fragile and delicate appearance. The elves are attributed magical powers and a long life of hundreds of years.

The origin of elves is uncertain, just like if it was a distant race that had fallen in the shadows of time. Some call them "the Huldre folks".

There are two main types of elves in the Nordic mythology: the elves of light (called Ljosalfar) and the elves of darkness (called Dokkalfar).

The elves are similar to humans but their skin is more pale, their ears are pointed, they are very thin, agile and quick. They are also silent and stealthy beings, and this makes them almost invisible in the woods. In the stories of elves, they always appear suddenly emerged from nothing.

The legends tell that the elves possess the knowledge of ancient cultures. They are also lovers of music, dance and art. They master the secrets of nature, use magical herbs and can forsee the future.

The elves are also great warriors. They are trained since they are children with the sword and the bow. There was a legend that told about an army of elven women that rode on unicorns.

Although the arrogance of elves was often reported, they have a strong sense of friendship, and many legends have told about stories of friendship between elves and beings of other species. There were also love stories, as there's a race called semi-elves, half elf half human.

In the Norse countries, the elves were worshiped as demigods. They were the guardians of Magic. As a curiosity, the mandrake (which root was very often used in Magic) was called, in ancient German, "albrun" ("secret of elf"), and the sun was called, in the same language, "alfrothul" ("elven ray").

The Dark Elves were considered as cursed elves. They are dammed to never see the sunlight and they hide in dark places. Their hair can be gray, silver or white, and their eyes red or pale. They are described as the most cruel race of elves, and they were protagonists of the most feared legends told by the peasants.
It was told that the dark elves stole babies and raised them in the darkness, telling them the dark arts and turning them into dangerous warlocks. Their biggest desires were getting out of their sinister hide-out and dominate the Earth.

Other elven races are the Gray, lovers of culture and nature and riders of griffins. There are also other minor races of elves, that are named depending on their physical characteristics.

The elves were the main characters in numerous legends and poems. But with the oblivion of all the pagan culture, the elves were one of the most forgotten creatures.
It was Tolkien who returned the elves to their ancient splendor, and since then, elves have filled illustrations and stories recovering their past glory.

Pictures (in order): Elfs, by Fish-KA; Elves, by Nell-Fallcard; Moon Elf, by Peachysticks; Clawed Elf Night, by Socar.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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