Pop Culture And Literary Elves, Ranked

Posted by Rose Moore

[Photo by Kenan Kitchen on Unsplash]

Christmas is going to be here sooner than you think—and while that it true every year, this year it feels particularly sudden, as most people are still on their two-hundredth day of March! So to start building that Christmas spirit and adding a little positivity to the world, General Mills has blessed us with a brand new vehicle for morning sugar: Elf-themed cereal. This maple-flavored corn cereal comes with Christmas-shaped marshmallows, and after a year like this, no one is going to judge you for eating it from now till February.

So in honor of these little bowls of sugary joy, we’re taking a look at some of the most iconic elves in pop culture and seeing which are the best of the best.



Snap, Crackle, and Pop (Rice Crispies)

There’s some argument as to whether Snap, Crackle, and Pop are even elves—as cereal mascots, there’s not a huge amount of lore to go on! However, based on their pointed ears and ageless faces, elf is a good guess. And of course, that’s what puts them bottom of the list. These three may be famous, but most people wouldn’t be able to say which is which, let alone know anything about them beyond their names.




Elfo (Disenchanted)

Elfo may be a fan-favorite character in the animated series Disenchanted, but that doesn’t mean he stacks up next to the greats of pop culture. In this world, the elves are sugar-sweet and always happy, and Elfo wants to leave his town to experience more than just sweetness and light (and boy, does he get it). He’s funny and incredibly well-intentioned, but he’s a bit bumbling, a bit frustrating, and simply not iconic enough to be the best of the best.




Hermey (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)

In 1964, the song and story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was brought to life in a stop-motion TV special, and it’s become a Christmas cult classic. As well as the usual tales of Rudolph and his reindeer-game woes (and eventual heroism), it introduced Hermey the elf…who didn’t want to make toys! With a powerful “follow your dreams” and “be true to yourself” message, we do love Hermey…even if he can be a bit whiny at times.




Link (Zelda)

One of only two elves on this list that are known for their fighting skills, Link is undoubtedly the best-known elf-type in video games. Often mistaken for the Zelda in the game’s title (who is actually the princess in need of rescue in the earliest incarnations of the Legend of Zelda games), Link is the one battling through Hyrule to save the day, and while he may be a little too into smashing pots, he’s still an incredible elf. (Or technically, a Hyrulian, a race inspired by the elves of fantasy.)




Legolas (The Lord of the Rings)

Legolas may be the most iconic elf in literature, and for good reason. One of the heroes of The Lord of the Rings, Legolas is an incredible fighter, a brilliant diplomat, a true hero, and a true friend (especially to Gimli). In many ways, he is the epitome of the high fantasy elf and one that inspired legions of elves to come (although he, and his impressive oliphaunt-kills, could never be replaced).




Buddy (Elf)

Who could possibly top Buddy as the best elf in the world? Others might be incredible fighters, they might be smart or ageless or talented, but no one has the sheer positivity that Buddy does. From his singing to his snowball fighting skills, Buddy is the kind of elf that the world needs more of…even in the form of breakfast cereal.