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Elves are creatures from Germanic and Norse mythology. They have also, in many different shapes, appeared in folklore, fairy tales and fiction, and are a staple of the modern fantasy genre. Many post-Tolkien works have included different subspecies of the creatures, such as wood elves.

Elves in modern fantasy

Elves are often found in fantasy books, such as The Lord of the Rings (see Middle-earth Elves), or Eragon. They are also a popular element in roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons.


Elves are portrayed as being slender, and far more agile than any human. They have pointed ears and both male and female tend to be extremely attractive. Elves often have access to great magic, and are immortal, or at least ageless. Elves usually prefer forest homes, and wear nature tones and colors.


In comparison to humans, elves have stronger spirits and are physically superior. They have an exceptional constitution and endurance, and can shrug off disease and cold. When they grow older they seldom get weaker; instead, they become wiser, and even more fair. Elven senses, especially hearing and sight, are much keener and more intense than those of Men. Elves, like humans, may also die when they are wounded severely, but in general elves heal very fast when they are tended to quickly.

Dungeons & Dragons

Elves in the Dungeons and Dragons mythos are similarly slimmer and more nimble than humans, with pointed ears and fair features, but while they live for many centuries, they are not immortal, and they are more delicate physically than humans. They are especially skilled with bows and swords, and have resistance to certain spells that affect that mind.


Elves make toys for Santa to give to all the children at Christmas time. They are much smaller than humans, and also have pointy ears.