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Long before the birth of light there was darkness, and from that darkness came the Dark Elves. Millennia ago the most ruthless of their kind, Malekith, sought to transform our universe back into one of eternal night. Such evil was possible through the power of the Aether, an ancient force of infinite destruction.
~ Odin on the Dark Elves

The Dark Elves or Svartálfar (also less commonly known as Älfeneel or Harudheeniksel) are supporting antagonists of the 2013 Marvel film Thor: The Dark World. They are an ancient race from Svartalfheim and are one of the oldest known races in the entire universe and are the sworn enemies of the Asgardians. They seek to acquire the Aether (a red Infinity Stone) and want to return the universe back into its former state of darkness.

History

Thor: The Dark World

The Dark Elves are a proud and ancient race having been around centuries before the "Great Beginning" (Big Bang). This however, can be explained by their connection to Dark Energy and the possibility that they came from another universe before making it to the Nine Realms where they reigned absolute. When other races and civilizations began to arise across the Nine Realms, the Dark Elves waged war with the other races and sought to return the universe back into its former state of darkness. It was then that the Dark Elf Leader Malekith, created a superweapon made from the substance that existed in the universe prior to its existence and called it the Aether.

The Asgardians, lead by the then-king Bor, waged a fierce war against the Dark Elves eventually driving them back to their homeoworld of Svartalfheim. In the final battle, Malekith attempted to use the Aether on the eve of the Convergence and the Dark Elves sent out all of their troops from the Kursed Soldiers to their advanced technology to slow down the Asgardian advance. Despite their best efforts however, the Dark Elves were defeated and the Asgardians triumphed and Dark Elf ships were crashed down in a last attempt suicide attack by orders of Malekith after the Aether was taken from him by the Asgardians via the Bilfrost. Malekith, his lieutenant Kurse and many other Dark Elves managed to survive and escaped from the battle heading towards an Ark starship. The Dark Elves went into hibernation as the Asgardians withdrew and the rest of the Dark Elf species was killed in the battle.

Following the deaths of Malekith and the Dark Elves, the Aether was turned over to the Collector for safekeeping, as the Asgardians know that having all six Infinty Stones together would be disastrous. Needless to say, the Collector is planning to collect all of them.

Guardians of the Galaxy

In the film, a live Dark Elf specimen was found in the possession of the Collector, implying that he survived his race's extinction before being captured by the Collector. Just as the Collector is about to pay the Guardians for delivering the Orb (a purple Infinty Stone) to him, the Collector's assistant Carina attempted to use the Orb to free herself from servitude, but the power of the Orb only killed all of the Collector's captives and servants, including Carina and the Dark Elf.

As of currently, the Dark Elves are now considered extinct.

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           Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

Movies
Iron Monger | Raza Hamidmi Al-Wazar | Abu Bakaar | Ahmed | Omar | Abomination | Thunderbolt Ross | Kathleen Sparr | Samuel Sterns | Whiplash | Justin Hammer | Jack | Senator Stern | Black Widow | Anton Vanko | Loki Laufeyson | Laufey | Grundroth | Hailstrum | Raze | Jotunheim Beast | The Destroyer | Jasper Sitwell | Red Skull | Arnim Zola | Heinz Kruger | Velt | Adolf Hitler | Roeder | Hutter | Schneider | Thanos | The Other | Georgi Luchkov | Gideon Malick | Aldrich Killian | Eric Savin | Trevor Slattery | Ellen Brandt | Maya Hansen | Vice President Rodriguez | Herman | Jackson Norriss | The Mandarin | White Power Dave | Malekith | Kurse | Duhg | Kronan Marauder | The Collector | Alexander Pierce | Winter Soldier | Crossbones | Jack Rollins | Russo | Georges Batroc | Ferdinand Lopez | Gerald Durand | Wolfgang von Strucker | List | Scarlet Witch | Quicksilver | Ronan the Accuser | Nebula | Korath the Pursuer | Yondu Udonta | Kraglin Obfonteri | Horuz | Vorker | Moloka Dar | Eson the Searcher | Ultron | Ulysses Klaue | Madame B | Yellowjacket | Mitchell Carson | HYDRA Buyer | Helmut Zemo | Vasily Karpov | Kaecilius | Lucian | Karl Mordo | Dormammu | Ego | Ayesha | Sovereign Admiral | Zylak | Taserface | Tullk | Oblo | Gef | Retch | Halfnut | Brahl | Narblik | Huhtar | Abilisk | The Grandmaster | Vulture | Tinkerer | Shocker #1 | Shocker #2 | Randy Vale | Mac Gargan | Aaron Davis | Hela Odinsdottir | Skurge | Fenris Wolf | Topaz | Surtur | Fire Dragon | Erik Killmonger | W'Kabi | M'Baku | Linbani | Linda | N'Jobu

Television
John Garrett | Grant Ward | Ian Quinn | Deathlok | Camilla Reyes | Franklin Hall | Raina | Blizzard | Lorelei | Daniel Whitehall | Sunil Bakshi | Werner von Strucker | Absorbing Man | Jiaying | Calvin L. Johnson | Lash | Vin-Tak | Katya Belyakov | Johann Fennhoff | Dottie Underwood | Whitney Frost | Kingpin | James Wesley | Leland Owlsley | Vanessa Marianna | Madame Gao | Nobu Yoshioka | Bill Fisk | Hive | Hellfire | Kilgrave | Will Simpson | Dorothy Walker | Audrey Eastman | Punisher | Elektra Natchios | Blacksmith | Diamondback | Cottonmouth | Black Mariah | Shades | Eli Morrow | Lucy Bauer | Aida | Anton Ivanov | Ellen Nadeer | Holden Radcliffe | Harold Meachum | Bakuto | Alexandra Reid | Sowande | Murakami | Maximus | Agent Orange | Jigsaw | Lewis Wilson | Jonah | Geoffrey Wilder | Kasius | Sinara | General Hale | Ruby Hale | Alisa Jones | Karl Malus | Pryce Cheng

Organizations
Ten Rings | Strategic Operations Command Center | Hammer Industries | Hammer Drones | Frost Giants | HYDRA | Chitauri | Leviathans | A.I.M. | Dark Elves | Marauders | STRIKE | Kree Empire | Sakaaran Mercenaries | Yondu Ravager Clan | Celestials | Ultron Sentinels | Watchdogs | The Hand | Winter Soldiers | Zealots | Sovereign | Bestman Salvage | Berserker Army | Sakaaran Guards | Fire Demons

           Thor Villains

Comics
Abomination | Absorbing Man | Air-Walker | Annihilus | Arcade | Ares | Arnim Zola | Beyonder | Bi-Beast | Blackheart | Blastaar | Circus of Crime | Collector | Crusader | Desak | Destroyer | Doctor Doom | Dormammu | Dracula | Ego the Living Planet | Enchanters Three | Enchantress | Executioner | Fafnir | Fenris Wolf | Firelord | Frost Giants | Galactus | Gorr the God Butcher | Graviton | Gog | Grog | Growing Man | Hela | High Evolutionary | Impossible Man | Immortus | Jormungand | Juggernaut | Kang | Karnilla | Knorda | Korvac | Kurse | Living Monolith | Loki | Lorelei | Magog | Malekith the Accursed | Man-Beast | Mangog | Marauders | Masters of Evil | Megatak | Mephisto | Mercurio the 4-D Man | Mister Hyde | M.O.D.O.K. | Mongoose | Nebula | Onslaught | Perrikus | Piledriver | Pluto | Purple Man | Quicksand | Radioactive Man | Ragnarok | Sandu | Set | Seth | Shatterfist | Skrulls | Space Phantom | Stilt-Man | Stranger | Super-Adaptoid | Super-Skrull | Surtur | Terminus | Thanos | Those Who Sit Above In Shadow | Thunderball | Titania | Titanium Man | Valkyrie | Worthy | Wrecker | Wrecking Crew | Ulik | Ultron | Umar | Ymir | Zarrko

Movies
Thor: Loki Laufeyson | Frost Giants (Laufey, Grundroth, Hailstrum, Raze & Jotunheim Beast) | The Destroyer | Jasper Sitwell
The Dark World: Malekith the Accursed | Dark Elves (Kurse the Strong) | Loki Laufeyson | Marauders (Duhg & Kronan Marauder) | Jotunheim Beast | The Collector
Ragnarok: Hela Odinsdottir | The Grandmaster | Loki Laufeyson | Berserker Army (Skurge & Fenris Wolf) | Sakaaran Guards (Topaz) | Surtur | Fire Demons (Fire Dragon) | Thanos

           Guardians of the Galaxy Villains

Comics
Alkhema | Annihilus | Badoon | Blastaar | Black Order | Collector | Chitauri | Dark Avengers | Doctor Doom | Ego the Living Planet | Galactus | Grandmaster | Kang the Conqueror | Korvac | Kree | Loki Laufeyson | Maelstrom | Magus | Nebula | Ronan | Skrulls | Space Phantom | Super-Adaptoid | Super-Skrull | Supreme Intelligence | Thanos | Ultron | Universal Church of Truth | Venom

Movies
Guardians of the Galaxy: Ronan the Accuser | Kree Empire (Nebula, Korath the Pursuer & Sakaaran Mercenaries) | Yondu Ravager Clan (Yondu Udonta, Kraglin Obfonteri, Horuz & Vorker) | Celestials (Eson the Searcher) | Chitauri (The Other) | Moloka Dar | The Collector | Dark Elf | Thanos
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Ego | Sovereign (Ayesha, Sovereign Admiral & Zylak) | Yondu Ravager Clan (Yondu Udonta, Kraglin Obfonteri, Nebula, Tullk, Oblo, Taserface, Gef, Retch, Halfnut, Brahl, Vorker, Narblik & Huhtar) | Abilisk | The Grandmaster | Thanos