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Quote1 These are a race of immortal sadists who've been stealing kids from time. They're incapable of understanding any of the pain they've caused. But I'm going to find a way to make them understand. I'm coming for you, elf. I'm coming for you all. Quote2
Iron Man[src]



Dark Elves from Thor Vol 1 347 0001

The Dark Elves come from the world of Svartalfheim, one of the Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology.[5] They were already ancient when magic was young, and lived mostly in isolation, almost never making any contact with the other races.[6]

The Dark Elves, ruled at the time by Kraw the Uncontrollable, entered a devastating war with the Trolls. Many lives were lost in this war, especially on the Dark Elves' side. This war later led the Dark Elves to wage war against the Light Elves, the Dwarves and the Gods. Having experienced the war firsthand, the young Dark Elf Malekith became the evil tyrant obsessed with war.[7]

Malekith's rule[]

They came under the rule of Malekith the Accursed, and the most powerful amongst their ranks was Algrim the Strong. However, Algrim was betrayed by Malekith in a bid to kill Thor. Algrim was dropped into lava and, though he survived, he was critically wounded. The Beyonder transformed Algrim into the monstrous Kurse,[8] who seemingly killed Malekith for his betrayal.[9]

The trio of Bitterhand, Wormwood, and Grendell served Malekith loyally and have attempted to destroy Thor on several occasions, including once while Mjolnir was being reforged.[6]

Queen Alflyse's rule[]

Years later, Malekith revealed that he survived, and he set forth an ultimately unsuccessful plot for Hercules to kill Alflyse, the Dark Elf Queen of the Eastern Spires.[10]

The Accursed/Svartalfheim Civil War[]

For more details on this, please consult the page of The Accursed/Svartalfheim Civil War.

Years later, Malekith was broken out of Hel by Dark Elves loyal to him and returned to Svartalfheim with the commando's sole survivor Scumtongue. Seeing that his people had grown weak and wouldn't accept him as their ruler, he and his followers began hunting his kind to make them strong again, starting in a village where they massacred all save for the woman Waziria. Thor and the Warriors Three soon came, but Malekith escaped. He began a civil war in Svartalfheim, targeting the Dark Elf refugees in the Nine Realms.[11] He tracked down Alflyse hiding in Nidavellir with the Dwarves and killed her, turning the Dark Elves into a state of civil war and chaos.[12]

Malekith's men hunted and killed Dark Elves refugees in all Realms, and were opposed by the League of Realms, a team formed by the Congress of Worlds, led by Thor and including members of the Nine Realms, joined by Waziria.[12]

He then showed up on Earth where the Council of the Unhallowed gathered, and after a fight, the council declared that they had decided to unite their people with Malekith as their ruler. Scumtongue was appointed senator in the congress of worlds.[13]

War of the Realms[]

As the Dark Council invaded Midgard, the Dark Elves aided their king in the attack, with several assassins taking out key Asgardians that would become problematic.[14] In the final battle against Thor, accompanied by his past and future selves, Malekith and his loyal Dark Elves fought them, but they were ultimately defeated.[15]

Following the war's conclusion, a civil war erupted in Svartalfheim, between Malekith's supporters, his opposers and those in between.[16]

Alternate Realities[]

Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)[]

Dark Elves from Thor The Dark World 0001

The Dark Elves existed before the Nine Realms, in the primordial chaos. Their goal was to destroy the current universe and return existence back to that state. They were believed exterminated after an attempt to do that five thousand years ago, but in reality, Malekith and a number of warriors escaped on a stealth ship and went into stasis until another attempt would be possible.[1] The Collector kept a member of the Dark Elves as part of his collection.[17]

Unknown Reality[]

The Dark Elves from an Unknown reality were captured by Doctor Strange Supreme. They were seen fighting Rocket Raccoon, Ten Rings, and Skrulls.[18]


The Dark Elves' appearances can vary a lot: They can have pink/"caucasian",[19] blue,[20] or orange skin.[21]

Their stature vary also, from human-like to troll-like shape.[22]

Powers and Abilities


Dark elves possess gifted intellects, as well as superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes. Some Dark Elves, like Malekith, can use fairy magic do shapeshift, teleport, project energy blasts, and so on.[citation needed] Dark Elves are also immortal, which means they live indefinitely but they can be killed by physical injury.[23]


All Dark Elves are vulnerable to the element of iron, especially Asgardian steel.[6]



Hidden shadowy places.[6]






Type of Government

The Dark Elves were separated into several tribes which included: the Black Bile Clan,[7] the Dove Gut Tribe,[24] the Hag Wart Clan and the Snake Face Tribe. They were all lead by a tribal body of leaders, the Council of the Unhallowed.[25] All of the Dark Elves were ruled by a king or a queen.[26]

Level of Technology

Primitive. The Dark Elves used various magical artifacts like the Mirror of Finvarra,[6] Thoughtfeeders,[16] Dreamstones,[27] and Dolmens.[22]

Cultural Traits

The Dark Elves played a three-storied Elvish chess as a game of wit.[26] They also practiced an ancient sport called the Changelings, in which the Dark Elves stole human children to eat and replace them with spies.[28]

They worshiped "strange gods" and kidnapped innocent travelers to sacrifice (according to the Cat Elves). A cult of Dark Elves was formed that revered Llan the Sorcerer. This cult would make sacrifices in order to be summoned by Llan and join his dark army.[22]

Every sixteen cycles, the Dark Elves had a tradition to in which six individuals would be chosen to capture one of the Wolf Goddess Nyaz's abandoned pups, though only one was expected to come out alive.[29]



  • Any relation between the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim (or the Light Elves of Alfheim) and the Elves of Otherworld is unconfirmed,[30] but both Light and Dark Elves are considered to be included among the Faerie of Celtic myth,[31] while another account described only the Dark Elves as being of the same race as those Faerie (leaving no relation between Faerie and Light Elves).[32]


  • In early comics by Walter Simonson, The Dark Elves (save by Malekith) had normal skin color. They later came to have purple/blue skin tone.
    • In Norse Myths they were said to have inky black skin.

See Also

Links and References