Alfheim (Old Norse: Álfheimr, "Land Of The Elves" or "Elfland"), also called Ljosalfheim (Ljósálf[a]heimr, "home of the light-elves"), is one of the Nine Worlds and home of the Light Elves in Norse mythology.
In Old Norse texts
Álfheim as an abode of the Elves is mentioned only twice in Old Norse texts.
A hall for himself hath set;As a tooth-gift in ancient times.
And Álfheim the gods to Frey once gave
A tooth-gift was a gift given to an infant on the cutting of the first tooth.
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.
- J. R. R. Tolkien anglicized Álfheim as Elvenhome, or Eldamar in the speech of the Elves. In his stories, Eldamar lies in a coastal region of the Undying Lands in the Uttermost West. The High King of the Elves in the West was Ingwë, an echo of the name Yngvi often found as a name for Frey, whose abode was in Álfheim according to the Grímnismál.
- In the Japanese light novel and anime series Sword Art Online, the setting for the second and fourth arc is based on Álfheimr.
- In the Japanese game Bayonetta, there are angelic portals called Alfheim where the player travels to do specific angel slaying for broken witch hearts or moon pearls to increase vitality or witch power. It does not involve elves, however. Only its name is based on Norse mythology.
- Wikisource:Prose Edda/Gylfaginning (The Fooling Of Gylfe) by Sturluson, Snorri, 13th century Edda, in English. Accessed Apr. 16, 2007
- Gylfaginning in Old Norse
- Robbins, Rossell Hope (1959). The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.
- Bulfinch, Thomas (1834). Bulfinch's Mythology. New York: Harper & Row, 1970, p. 348. ISBN 0-690-57260-3.
- Marshall Jones Company (1930). The Mythology of All Races Series, Volume 2 Eddic, Great Britain: Marshall Jones Company, 1930, pp. 220–221.