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Alfheim
Alfheimr
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General Info
Mythology Norse mythology
Inhabitants Light Elves


Alfheimr (Old Norse: Ālfheimr, "elf home") is one of the Nine Realms and the Light Elves' (Álfar or just Elves)homeworld in Norse mythology. It was ruled over by Freyr . It appears also in Anglo-Scottish ballads under the name Elfhame (Elphame, Elfame) as a fairyland, sometimes modernized as Elfland (Elfinland, Elvenland).

In Old Norse texts

See also: Svartálfaheim

Álfheim as an abode of the Elves is mentioned only twice in Old Norse texts.

The eddic poem Grímnismál describes twelve divine dwellings beginning in stanza 5 with:

Ýdalir call they the place where Ull
A hall for himself hath set;
And Álfheim the gods to Frey once gave
As a tooth-gift in ancient times.

A tooth-gift was a gift given to an infant on the cutting of the first tooth.

In the 12th century eddic prose Gylfaginning, Snorri Sturluson relates it as the first of a series of abodes in heaven:

That which is called Álfheim is one, where dwell the peoples called ljósálfar [Light Elves]; but the dökkálfar [Dark Elves] dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike in appearance, but by far more unlike in nature. The Light-elves are fairer to look upon than the sun, but the Dark-elves are blacker than pitch.
The account later, in speaking of a hall in the Highest Heaven called Gimlé that shall survive when heaven and earth have died, explains:
It is said that another heaven is to the southward and upward of this one, and it is called Andlang [Andlangr 'Endlong'] but the third heaven is yet above that, and it is called Vídbláin [Vídbláinn 'Wide-blue'] and in that heaven we think this abode is. But we believe that none but Light-Elves inhabit these mansions now.
It is not indicated whether these heavens are identical to Álfheim or distinct. Some texts read Vindbláin (Vindbláinn 'Wind-blue') instead of Vídbláin.

Modern commentators speculate (or sometimes state as fact) that Álfheim was one of the nine worlds (heima) mentioned in stanza 2 of the eddic poem Völuspá.

Related articles



Norse mythology articles
Major Deities Odin | Thor | Freyr | Freyja | Frigg | Loki | Baldr | Týr | Njörðr
Races Æsir | Vanir | Jötunn | Elves | Dwarves | Valkyries | Einherjar | Norns
Realms Álfheimr | Asgard | Jötunheimr | Midgard | Muspelheim | Niðavellir | Niflheim | Svartálfaheim | Vanaheimr
Abodes Breidablik | Fólkvangr | Þrúðheimr | Utgard | Valhalla
Topics Æsir-Vanir War | Ginnungagap | Poetic Edda | Prose Edda | Ragnarök | The Sagas | Yggdrasil


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