High elves are distinguished from other fantasy elves by their place of living, as they usually dwell in stone cities, instead of woods, like wood-elves. High elves and dark elves can be used to contrast respectively the good elves and the evil elves, as done in Warhammer. Typically high elves consider themselves the most purely good race of all, and haughtily view all other races beneath them, especially other elven races, and they are usually the most magically developed of all elves.
In popular fiction and gaming
Many fantasy worlds have High Elf races:
- Calaquendi are the High Elves in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
- The High Elves are a race in the Warhammer Fantasy setting.
- Eldar of Warhammer 40,000 present a science fantasy aspect to the High Elf concept.
- High Elves in the Warcraft Universe, or "Quel'Dorei" in their native tongue, are the pale-skinned descendants of Night Elves, that were exiled from the continent of Kalimdor for their dangerous addiction and obsession over Arcane Magic. Most of them became "Blood Elves" after a calamity that nearly destroyed their kingdom, and are a playable race in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade and a campaign race in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne.
- In The Elder Scrolls universe, High Elves - or Altmer - the golden-skinned elves from Summerset Isles, are noted for their pride and arrogance as well as their potent magic.
- In EverQuest, they are very proud and arrogant, developed for magic instead of combat.
- In the DOS game, Master of Magic, they are powerful long-range fighters, but inferior in magic to the dark elves.
- One exception to the rule where High Elves could be considered 'bad' (by anti-napoleonists) is in the Flintloque world of Varlon. Here they march under the banner of the Emperor Mordred, who dreams of world domination. (They are an almost exact parallel of the French Napoleonic forces).
- In Record of Lodoss War, Deedlit is a High Elf shaman (spirit magic user in some versions).
- In Dungeons and Dragons, High Elves is one of the terms for Grey Elves, Moon Elves, Gold Elves or Sun Elves.
- In the Dragonlance Campaign Setting for the Dungeons and Dragons game, the Qualinesti, including Laurana, are High Elves, as are Silvanesti.
- In D&D 4th edition, the Eladrin (aka high elves) are a core player race.
- In Rift, High Elves are a playable race. Their counterparts, the Kelari, are a sect of High Elves who renounced their racial pact with the gods and left to become denizens of the far-off Fire Islands.
- In "South Park: The Stick of Truth", one of the boys, Kyle Broflovski is a High Jew Elf.
- In the Warlords Battlecry series they are highly talented spellcasters. Among the other elfen races their ranged attacks are the most powerful.
- "Calaquendi". tolkiengateway.net. Retrieved 7 April 2013.