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Simply put, a “Dark Elf” is a mythical humanoid creature having pointy ears, slender with human features, and dark skin ranging from blue and purple to absolute black. Dark Elves are not always good or evil and have been portrayed in many different settings for many hundreds of years. As humans come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors, so to do Elves. Because of their fantastic nature and the literary muse of their envisioners, Elves tend to be cast in themed groups based upon physical features, habitat, or abilities. The literary Dark elf is actually a product of the writings of a famous Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson, c. 1179-1241. Snorri’s famous book (poem), the Younger Edda, makes a short reference to the Dark Elves as being the maintainers of the fires burning deep below the world tree, or Yggdrasil Then said Ganglere: Great tidings you are able to tell of the heavens. Are there other remarkable places than the one by Urd’s fountain? Answered Har: There are many magnificent dwellings. One is there called Alfheim.

There dwell the folk that are called light-elves; but the dark-elves dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike the light-elves in appearance, but much more so in deeds. The light-elves are fairer than the sun to look upon, but the dark-elves are blacker than pitch. Another place is called Breidablik, and no place is fairer. There is also a mansion called Glitner, of which the walls and pillars and posts are of red gold, and the roof is of silver. Furthermore, there is a dwelling, by name Himinbjorg, which stands at the end of heaven, where the Bifrost-bridge is united with heaven. And there is a great dwelling called Valaskjalf, which belongs to Odin. The gods made it and thatched it with, sheer silver.

In this hall is the high-seat, which is called Hlidskjalf, and when Alfather sits in this seat, he sees over all the world. In the southern end of the world is the palace, which is the fairest of all, and brighter than the sun; its name is Gimle. It shall stand when both heaven and earth shall have passed away. In this hall the good and the righteous shall dwell through all ages (Sturluson, 17).

 

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