The Elf (Quendi) is the proudest of all species in Middle-earth, but the time of the elves is waning: the calling of the sea draws each eventually to cross west into the realm of Valinor. First to awake near the waters of Cuivienen in the Utter East, and once the dominant species in Middle-earth, they have now retreated to a few pockets of forest: Lorien (The Golden Wood), Imladris (Rivendell), Amon Thranduil (Mirkwood) and Mithlond (The Grey Havens).
Elves are long-lived and dexterous, and they heal faster than most other species. Their skin is fair and does not scar from battle wounds. They are taller and slimmer than humans. Elves do not require sleep, but do rest and meditate. They are immortal and only die as a result of violence, for they are immune to sickness. When they become weary of the world, they pass west over the sea to Valinor.
The Elves were once a single people. The Eldar (west-elves) were summoned across the sea. Of these, the Noldor made the journey and saw the light of the two trees. The Sindar (grey elves) did not complete the journey, and remained in Middle Earth. The Silvan (wood elves) include both relatives of the Sindar who remained in the Anduin valley, and did not go as far west as the Sindar, and Avari elves who never set out on the journey. The Noldor returned to Middle Earth during the War of Wrath during the First Age.