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Ideas for Improvement[edit]

This topic could use one of those wonderful contents menus, as its structure is present enough that by inserting subcategories, navigation could be made slightly easier.

Further, Henry Fuseli's "The Nightmare" should be added as the main topic picture. It depicts a crouching, rather non-dwarflike svartalf sitting atop a sleeping maiden's chest as well as one of the nightmare horses (see Pooka). I'd say if anything matches the idea of the svartalf closer than a dwarf, it's the dark elf in that piece. There are two versions of this piece, to be sure, both of which I think should be included: one has a lithe demon on the sleeper's chest and a white nightmare; the other has a black nightmare, a dwarf instead of a demon, and the positioning is reversed (the woman faces the opposite direction). I'm not sure which one Fuseli painted (if not both), but it could be an interesting work of compartive art as connecting to mythology.

The other idea I have is to combine this article with "dark elf," though I'm not sure I'd go that far. Dark elf is more general, so the information for svartalfar would be subject to the wills of those working with the more general topic.

Just a few ideas.

I've added headings (and thus a contents menu) and the picture by Fuseli found at the sleep paralysis page. The other picture is here at French Wikipedia if anyone feels strongly about uploading it. And btw. the mare in nightmare is not a female horse, the nightmare is the black creature. See the nightmare article for more on that. Salleman 02:28, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
Thank you so much, those edits were wonderful! I'm new to Wikipedia (though I've been monitoring it for a while), so I'm glad someone found my to do list. I'm going to have to upload that other picture, though (or a better scan of it, at any rate), as that was the one to which I was referring.
...and as far as I had heard, the "nightmare" was the horse, not the "incubus" (elf) that provided a nightmare. Of course, that could simply be an association made at some point between the Mara and the pooka (which often assumes that form). It doesn't really matter, though, as neither the svartalf nor the pooka are nightmares, but the denizens/bringers of nightmares.
Another thing I just thought of: should we connect this topic to other nightmare creatures, such as the bugbear/bugaboo/boggle/boogie man?
As far as I'm concerned, svartálf is an Old Norse synonym to dvergr (dwarf) or perhaps including similar subterranean beings if they were seen as different. The German nightmare elf might be akin to the svartálf, but it was only seen as a elf in Germany. The elf article has one or two lines about that. However, feel free to create an entry on Nightmare creatures or Nightmare beings or whatever you'd like to call it. That could certainly be a very interesting topic, since there seems to be bad critters causing nightmares and/or sleep paralysis all over the globe. I wrote some things on talk:Mara (folklore) about that if you're interested.
(And btw. you can sign your discussion posts with four tildes, like this: ~~~~.) Salleman 16:51, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the idea, Salleman. I'll need to do a bit more research before I begin such an article (if we don't want another stub), but I like that idea. Iro 22:11, 21 May 2005 (UTC)


i added the wpcd tag since i think this article is very well written and deserves to be considered for inclusion

Good or evil does not exist in mythology. The gods and the creatures are beyond good and evil. All other meanings have been added throught time. Asuras and devas are not good or evil Good and evil is only a christian concept and Snorri was a christian who projected his values on the myths. The seeli and unseeli must also be a postchristian addition especially since no written records from celtic times remain. Celtic mythology is recontructed from oral tradition. In addition dragons, unicorn and all so called pegan gods have either been devided into cathegoires of God and evil over time. It's clear to see that many versions overlapp and contradict. Many folkloric christian demons separate from the christian theology are occasionally based on pegan diety while in other stories the old gods become saints or angelic creatues. My analysis of this that orginally there are no unseeli or seeli, or svartalfer or ljusalfer. Also asuras and devas are two races of goods there is little to suggest that either one was evil though according to my theory they inspired the ideas of good and evil in Zoroatrism. That theori is based on similaties of the word ashura and asura and that opposing cultures projected evil or good from their own cultural perspectives. Another example of moral subjectivity is the farmers and shepheard myth which probably refer to the early conflicts between sheepheards and farmes in the middle east. The end.

Pardon for my addenda. In swedish folklore, "Mare" means both night"mare" and a kind of female witch that you dreams nightmares about. The mare is often beautiful.


This article and dark elves seem to cover the same topic, and I suggest they be merged. Although the {{merge}} tags currently suggest merging "dark elves" into "svartálfar", I am ambivalent about which direction the merger should be performed in. --Stemonitis 10:06, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Black Elves and Dark Elves are possibly different types of beings, in the referenced textbooks. I'd keep the articles separate. They have separate names afterall. However we might think to rename this page Black elves as it is the standard to have English headings.Goldenrowley 06:55, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Oppose, two we'd have to split them off again due to size. Just keep it a summary of this with a {{main|Svartálfar}} tag on it and we are doing fine.
Not true at all. The articles are both very sparse and if you consider where they overlap, then there really is not enough content at all for two articles. Godheval (talk) 01:40, 22 August 2008 (UTC)(Update: —GodhevalT C W 19:12, 2 September 2008 (UTC))
Regarding naming conventions, if there is no original English source for it - like we have with Midgard - then it needs to stay in the original Old Norse Svartálfar because that's what it was called and otherwise it would then be a debate of a bunch of arbitrary translations and Anglicizations whereas we could just use the original source term - which themselves are a bevy of information - and be done with it. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:43, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Well here it's more a matter of how they are more commonly known - and that would be Dark elves. The article can discuss any contention over whether or not dark elves and black elves are the same beings. It makes it a more interesting - and robust - article. As it stands now, both articles are starving for content. Godheval (talk) 01:40, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - I see no problem with maintaining both articles essentially as they are, since this article deals specifically with "black elves" in Old Norse literature and mythology. Furthermore, although Svartálfar does unambiguously translate as "black elves", maintaining the Old Norse name makes more sense than Anglicizing it in this context. Wilhelm meis (talk) 05:43, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Support - the difference between the articles as mentioned by the above poster are minimal. The articles have far more in common than points on which they differ. Merging does not mean one article will be destroyed, but rather than ALL of the information of both will be included in the new merged article. So there is nothing to lose in merging. Furthermore, with regards to the fact that this is the English language Wikipedia, Dark elves should be the receiving article. Godheval (talk) 01:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Support - there is no point in having two articles on the EXACT same topic. --Sparviere (talk) 22:13, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress which affects this page. Please participate at Talk:Vanaheimr - Requested move and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 21:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Svartálfar/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Good so far. Sources needed Goldenrowley 18:38, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Substituted at 05:17, 13 May 2016 (UTC)