Dresden Files
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Svartalves (sg. Svartalf)[Footnote 1] are north-European faerie craftsmen from Svartalfheim[1] in the Nevernever. They first appear in "B is for Bigfoot".


Spindly humanoids, about 5' high, weighing about 50 kilograms, with gray skin, and huge, bulbous, black eyes. While wearing their flesh masks, they resemble Ken dolls.[Footnote 2][1]

Svartalves look like grey little aliens, although the females are a bit more human-looking, with attractive features and long silver hair; they wear a human disguise much the same way the Red Court Vampires do.[2]

They are peerless artisans of the supernatural world, providing the Norse gods with weapons and armor. Their craftwares are sold out of a shop in Norway.[3] They are very powerful and skilled in the Magical Art.[4]

Svartalves are very private and independent and they absolutely do not tolerate any nonsense.[3] The can also be prickly about their territory,[5] take their honor very seriously, and are very old school; they are known to react very badly to anyone violating guest right.[6] They are such fighters that they have few opponents, including Harry Dresden, willing to tackle them.[2]

According to the Leanansidhe, Svartalves covet beauty the way dragons covet gold; they also accept sex as payment for favors, or compensation for transgressions. Thomas Raith is required to pleasure Svartalf females when he has been caught spying in their fortress, while Freya[7] had to do the same with most if not all Svartalves to pay for the restitution of her necklace.[8]

Waldo Butters describes them as being alien[9] but looking human, since they're capable of wearing flesh masks. However, the lore surrounding them is very extensive and contradictory, and next to nothing is known for sure about their motivations.[8]

In the series[]

"B is for Bigfoot"[]

In "B is for Bigfoot", two scions are honing their hunting skills under the guidance of Coach Pete Vogon, choosing Irwin Pounder as a target. Though limited by Vogon's injunctions, Harry Dresden takes Irwin under his wing, allowing the boy to stand up to them.[1]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, Harry Dresden used a pair of hawk-wing feathers made of gold by Svartalves to anchor Air in a ritual testing out Little Chicago.[3]


In Changes, the summoning ring in Harry Dresden's laboratory has been upgraded to a five foot hoop of braided copper, silver, and iron. It cost Harry Dresden $3,000 from a svartalf silversmith, mainly as a compensation for working with iron.[4]


In Bombshells, the center of their activity in Chicago is a fortress they have built themselves, where Molly Carpenter has tracked the presence of Thomas Raith. A party has been launched for the signing of a non-aggression pact with the Fomor.[8]

Cold Days[]

In Cold Days, svartalves built Molly Carpenter's apartment for her. She said she bought it with honor.[2] Harry Dresden thought they wouldn't be happy if he dragged a personal fight with Fix at her apartment, should Fix come looking for him there.[5] Murphy said that Molly's place is "under the aegis of Svartalfheim": no one gets in short of a major assault."[10] Molly has to accompany Thomas Raith each and every time he leaves or return to her apartment or they won't let him back in.[11]

Peace Talks[]

In Peace Talks.

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Battle Ground[]

In Battle Ground.

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See also[]

External references[]