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.)