Mark Neumayer

author of the Valda & the Valkyries series

Fast Facts About Alfheim

LotR_BfMe_II_Elf_siege_concept_art_1Some of the lands of Norse mythology are a bit harder to talk about than others simply because we are not told much about them. Today’s entry is one of those tough ones – Alfheim

What’s in a Name?
Alfheim means, simply, “Elf home.” In later English and Scots ballads it sometimes showed up as Elphame or Elfhame.

Who Owned It?
The Eddic poem Grinismal has one of the few mentions of the land of the Elves but all it tells us is “And Alfheim the gods | to Freyr once gave.” Freyr, or Frey, was given the land when he first arrived in Asgard as an infant and lived there afterwards.

Let There Be Light
Gylfaginning, doesn’t tell us much either. In talking about the many glorious place in heaven the poem simply says “That which is called Álfheimr is one, where dwell the peoples called Light-Elves.”

One of the Nine
Most scholars list Alfheim as one of the nine worlds of Norse cosmology. It is generally thought to be in the heavens like Asgard and Vanaheim.

Is That All You Got?
um… yes, unfortunately. I did find some references to the Kjalnesinga saga which relates the adventures of a human boy who journeyed to Alfheim and fell in love with a girl there but I haven’t be able to find the text in anything other than the original Icelandic. (I’d love to hear from anyone who knows of a good English translation of this saga.)

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