Decoding Darkness: The Top Seven Villainous Elves in Video Games
Shari Lynn Kramer / 10 Oct 2023
Since the pages of J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-earth series first introduced us to the ethereal Elvish folk, elves have come to represent a shining beacon of purity, wisdom, and magical prowess. Yet, when it comes to the realm of video games, this angelic image often takes a delightful twist. From deities of trickery to spectral riders, these immortal beings don't necessarily radiate purity and nobility. Instead, they wield their longevity and magical prowess to concoct a potent brew of arrogance, ruthlessness, and sometimes pure evil. Here, we dive into the captivating narratives of seven such elves that evoke a sense of dread rather than admiration.
1. Fen'Harel – Dragon Age
Paving the way, we have none other than Fen'Harel, the elven deity hailing from the Dragon Age series. Revered - or perhaps more appropriately, feared - as the god of trickery, this celestial trickster is said to be responsible for the separation of the Elvish gods from their worshippers. His reputation is so imposing that Dalish elves place white wolf statues outside their settlements, an ominous reminder to always stay on guard.
2. The Drow - Baldur's Gate 3
Shifting our focus to an entire society, we encounter the underworld-dwelling Drow of the Dungeons and Dragons universe. Featured in Baldur's Gate 3, these elves highlight the disturbing duality of evil puppets and rebels tired of dancing on their threads. While the blood-red eyes of Lolth worshippers radiate a brutal ruthlessness, their counterparts striving to overthrow their spider queen evoke a chilling resentment.
3. The Valsharess - Neverwinter Nights
Within the harsh society of the Drow lies a figure even more terrifying - The Valsharess. Known as the Queen of the Drow in Neverwinter Nights, she commands fear and respect amongst her subjects, aided by her powerful rule over fire magic and a team of elite assassins at her disposal.
4. Mannimarco – The Elder Scrolls Online
The enchanting Elder Scrolls universe presents us with Mannimarco, the formidable Lich King. Boasting his immortal reign and an unquenchable thirst for power, this elf launched an invasion by a Daedric Prince, elevating the fear he evokes manifold.
5. Eredin - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The enigmatic 'King of the Wild Hunt,' Eredin, lurks in the shadows of The Witcher trilogy. Ghoulish in appearance and diabolical in demeanor, he leads a band of spectral riders who invoke dread wherever they go while he plots his ascension to the Elven throne in the background.
6. Management – Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic intrigues with hints of an unseen immorality. Though elves never grace the screen, it is the subtle suggestions pointing towards an Elf-led corporation exploiting the dwarf miners that ooze an unsettling evil.
7. The Thalmor - The Elder Scrolls Skyrim
Finally, we encounter the Thalmor in The Elder Scrolls Skyrim. These supremacist elves harbor the power to instigate wars, uproot divinity, and cause cataclysmic chaos in their relentless pursuit of godhood. They stand as the embodiment of an aloof and calculated malevolence, making them the most detestable elves in Skyrim and ranking them highest on our list.
In closing, whether portrayed as charming tricksters or ruthless overlords, each of these sinister elves adds depth and intrigue to the narratives they inhabit. They prove that even amongst beings of seemingly eternal beauty and wisdom, a disquieting darkness can hide. So the next time you find yourself in the fantastical realms of these video games, tread with caution, for an elf’s smile may conceal intentions far more deadly than its arrows.