|Grouping Legendary creature||Mythology Norse, English|
|Similar creatures Fairy, elf, pixie, leprechaun|
Country Norway, Netherlands, England
In Norse mythology, a half-elf is the offspring of an elf and a human.
Notable examples include the Danish princess Skuld of Hrólf Kraki's saga, and the hero Högni of the Thidrekssaga (his mother was a human queen), and the royal line of Alfheim, which was related to the elves and more beautiful than other people, according to the Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar.
In other contexts
The concept was borrowed by modern fantasy authors. Perhaps the earliest such published usage is the character Orion in Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter.
The concept gained popularity through its use in the writings of English fantasy author J. R. R. Tolkien. As a result, half-elves have become common in other fantasy writings and related material such as role-playing games. In Tolkien's works, the term Half-elven or Peredhil refers only to a few related individuals throughout history, however, in many post-Tolkien writings, the term half-elf designates an entire race.
Half-elves are featured in Dungeons & Dragons and related material; most notably, Tanis Half-Elven.
The protagonist of Terry Brooks's The Sword of Shannara, Shea Ohmsford, is a half-elf. The Ohmsford heroes and heroines of the subsequent books are all descended from him, and later so are the Elven royalty of the Elessedil family.
In the books written by Raymond E. Feist, namely The Serpentwar Saga, Calis is a half-elf, where his half-brother Calin is a son of the Queen of the Elves, Aglaranna. His father is Tomas, who is half human and half Valheru.
In the books written by David V. Swift, half-elves are stated to be an impossibility, with human and elven genetic material being too different for reproduction. Until the hero Aldarin is born through divine intervention.
In the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, Eragon becomes a half-elf in the second book Eldest through dragons and a spell during the elves' Blood-oath celebration, though he was born human by his parents.
In the video game Tales of Symphonia, there is a long-running theme of discrimination against half-elves to the point at which the main villain, Mithos Yggdrasill, feels it necessary to build a new planet for them. In the original installment in the "Tales of" franchise, Tales of Phantasia, half-elves are still discriminated against, but their discrimination seems to play a lesser role than it did in Symphonia.
This concept is flipped in the Dragon Age: Origins novelThe Calling, as half-elves are explicitly stated to be impossibilities. Elven genetics being extremely malleable, human characteristics always dominate in the children of humans and elves, and the offspring are always phenotypically human. It is implied that fan-favorite Alistair may be one such individual.
In the short-lived animated series Ultimate Book of Spells, one of the main cast of characters, Gus, is a half-elf.
In the Queen's Blade series, the character, Nowa the Forest keeper, is a Half-elf.
The anime series, Familiar of Zero introduced Tiffania Westwood, an unusually busty young half-elf girl. She appeared at the end of season 2, and is reintroduced in the second episode of the third season, and remained a star throughout rest of the series.
The anime, web novel, light novel, and manga series Re:Zero features a half-elf main heroine named Emilia.
In The Elder Scrolls, the Breton race has history in a mixing of human and elven blood, as such, Bretons are more inclined to magic that the other human races. Bretons in The Elder Scrolls are unrelated to real world Bretons however and much closer to Medieval France in terms of culture.
In The Secrets of Aesperia series the protagonist Hollia is a half-elf. With an Elf mother and an Aesperian (Human) father.