Elves - Elf - Elven
Latin - Homo fata alfar
Tolkien's Elvish - Galadriel: "I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae, a han noston ned 'wilith." Translation: "The world is changed, I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, I smell it in the air."
Elves evolved in the mountains and forests of Scandinavia, where they are known as the alfar of the huldre folk. There are two main types of elf - Dark (svartalfar) and Light (liosalfar) - together with some regional varieties.
Dark elves have black hair and black eyes, and sometimes black skin. Light elves are typically Scandinavian-looking, with blond hair, pale skin and blue eyes. They are generally tall and slim, with sharp, delicate features and pointed ears, although some British and German elves can be very tiny, and are often mistaken for fairies.
Elves are the most difficult magickal race to pin down. Mythological sources tell us that the liosalfar or light elves live in Alfheim where Frey is their Lord. However, there has also been the enduring belief in folklore of the elves as faery-folk: beings associated with the natural world. These two conceptions of elves might still be linked, however, as Alfheim is known to be a place of incredible natural beauty, and Frey, their leader, is an agricultural deity. To further confuse this issue, Norse folklore has a strong belief in the Landvaettir, or land spirits who may fit into either or both of these categories. Whether one calls the spirits of the land as the elves, the faeries, or the landvaettir, or uses all of these terms interchangeably, respect is all important.
Elves are mysterious, mystical beings, wrought from light during the birth of time. They are often arrogant and haughty as a result of their advanced age both as a race, and as individuals. They have seen the dawn of time, the birth of man, the changing of countless seasons, all blurred into a history remembered and revered in stories and songs.
They are the wardens of nature, the children of the gods. Their lives are long and know no sickness or disease. They know much happiness but also carry great sorrow. They feel the joy of mother earth and her children but also feel all her grief, all throughout history. They are one with the Earth, Elfs were made from it and they shall return to it at the end of time.
In nature they find solace; and for the most part are a peaceful people and mean no harm to those who do no harm. But woe be to those who oppose the Elves, for to awaken the anger and fury is to most assuredly bring about your own destruction. Beneath the soft exteriors of the elves, beyond their songs of peace and tranquility lie skilled archers, powerful mages and deadly warriors. There is no more revered friend than an elf, and likewise, there is no more feared foe than an angry elf.
Through the centuries they have learned to read the stars, nature and her animals, coming to an amazing understanding of all things around them. To be sure, one of the hardest things to understand were humans themselves. Many believe the humans were the reason the elfen folk mysteriously disappeared. Are they still there, just beyond our reach of comprehension, or were they wiped out by humans and their lack of understanding?
Interest in Middle Earth Elves?
Gandalf's Song of Lórien
In Dwimordene, in Lórien
Seldom have walked the feet of Men,
Few mortal eyes have seen the light
That lies there ever, long and bright.
Clear is the water of your well;
White is the star in your white hand;
Unmarred, unstained is leaf and land
In Dwimordene, in Lórien
More fair than thoughts of Mortal Men.
The first beings of Middle-Earth were created by Eru the One, or Eru Ilúvatar as the elves later called him. They are beautiful and strong, and immortal. Lúthien alone was the only Elf to have chosen to die from grief and to have left the world, back in the first terrible days of Arda.
There are now but four enclaves of Elves left in Middle-Earth: the kingdom of Thranduil in Northern Mirkwood; the Last Homely House of Elrond in Rivendell; Lothlórien, ruled by Lady Galadriel - the most powerful Elf remaining in Arda; and the Grey Havens of Círdan to the West of the Shire.
Elves usually appear to be both carefree and merry, yet sad and thoughtful. They enjoy song and poetry, their songs lightening the heart of many in grief.
As the third age progresses, many Elves have now left Middle-Earth, returning to their true home in Valinor, no longer concerned with the troubles of their former home.
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