Dwarves are a race in Middle-earth also called the Naugrim, Khazâd, and Gonnhirrim. The correct pluralization of Dwarf in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien is noted to be "Dwarrows" or sometimes even "Dwerrows".
History of Dwarves Edit
The Dwarves were made by Aulë, whom they themselves call Mahal, meaning “maker.” Aulë was unwilling to wait for the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar, for he was impatient and desired to have someone to teach his lore and his crafts. Therefore, he made the first Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in secret in a hall under the mountains of Middle-earth.
It was however not within Aulë’s power to create life. After being reprimanded by Eru Ilúvatar and realizing his error, Aulë offered his creations to his father to do with as he would, including their destruction. Even as the offer was made, Ilúvatar accepted and gave the Dwarves a life of their own. So when Aulë picked up a great hammer to smite the Seven Fathers and destroy his presumptuous creations, they shrank back in fear and begged for mercy.
Ilúvatar was however not willing to suffer that the Dwarves should come before the Firstborn (Elves), and he decreed that the Seven Fathers should sleep underground and should not come forth until the Firstborn had awakened.
The First AgeEdit
About a century after the Elves awakened, the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves were roused. Of those seven, only the name of one is known, Durin I, who was called the deathless. Each one of the seven fathers became a king of his own clan, and each built his own great hall. Three major holds are known to have been built in the First Age. Belegost and Nogrod were built in the Blue Mountains (Ered Luin), and the dwarves of these holds formed alliances with the Noldor and fought in their wars. Durin I, on the other hand, wandered into a vale in the Misty Mountains he named Azanulbizar. In a still pool in that vale, he saw a reflection of himself with a crown of seven stars. Ever after, the constellation of stars that the Elves call Valacirca was called by the Dwarves Durin’s Crown, and it could be seen reflected in the water at any time of the day, though only Durin could see his own reflection. Durin I named the lake Kheld-zâram and proceeded to build his great hall, Khazad-dûm, in the mountains above. In the First Age, the Dwarves made alliances with the Elves, and both prospered from trade. Dwarves from Belegost invented the famous Dwarf-mail of linked rings and fashioned the finest steel the world had ever seen. They also constructed the hall of Thingol, Menegroth, and were rewarded with the pearl Nimphelos. They fought alongside Elves and Men and participated in some of the major battles of the First Age, including The First Battle of Beleriand and the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears) in which the Dwarves of Belegost won great renown for being the only ones able to stand against the dragon Glaurung, for 'it was their custom moreover to wear great masks in battle hideous to look upon', which 'set them good stead against dragons', and besides they were 'naturally able to resist fire better than elves or men'. In that battle, Azaghâl the Lord of Belegost was killed by Glaurung, who crawled over him. But in turn he stabbed at the dragon's belly with his knife and 'pricked him so deep that he fled back to Angband'.
The Dwarves of Nogrod were famous for the craftsmanship of their weapons. Most notable amongst their smiths was Telchar. Dwarves from Nogrod crafted the necklace Nauglamír, and Thingol requested smiths from Nogrod to insert a Silmaril into that necklace. Thus were united the greatest works of Elves and Dwarves. Those Dwarf-smiths were driven mad by gold-lust, however, and murdered Thingol and stole the necklace and the stone. The Elves of Doriath pursued the smiths to their deaths and reclaimed Nauglamír. But two of the slayers of Thingol escaped from the pursuit and in Nogrod told how Dwarves were slain by command of the Elven-king, who thus would cheat them of their just reward. The Dwarves of Nogrod lamented the deaths of their kin and their great craftsmen and took thought of vengeance. Though the Dwarves of Belegost tried to dissuade them from their purpose, the Dwarves of Nogrod invaded Doriath.
Since the death of the King and the silence of Melian the captains of the Grey-elves were cast into doubt and despair and offered little resistance. There was a hard battle in the Thousand Caves in which the Dwarves of Nogrod were victorious and took Nauglamír and the Silmaril. On their return journey to the Blue Mountains, the Dwarves of Nogrod were assailed by Beren and his son Dior with many Green-elves of Ossiriand. There, many of the Dwarves were slain and Beren himself slew the Lord of Nogrod and wrestled from him the Necklace of the Dwarves. Some of the Dwarves escaped from the battle, but they were ambushed in the slopes beneath Mount Dolmed by the Shepherds of the Trees.
Some stories from the first age tell of petty Dwarves who were called Noegyth Nibin. Those were Dwarves exiled from their homes during the Peace of Arda and were the first Dwarves to enter Beleriand. It was petty Dwarves who first inhabited and carved out The Caverns of Narog, which they called Nulukkizdîn, but were later taken over by Finrod and called Nargothrond. The last of this line were Mîm and his two sons who lived at Amon Rûdh and aided Túrin in his adventures.
The Second AgeEdit
After the First Age most tales telling of Dwarves are about the Dwarves of the line of Durin, who are commonly called Durin’s Folk or Longbeards. Durin I enjoyed a very long life and lived through most of the First Age. Every now and then through the following ages a Dwarf was born of this line that was so alike to Durin that he was considered to be Durin reborn. Prophecy told that Durin would be reborn seven times and the coming of Durin VII would mark the decline of the Dwarves.
Durin II was born in the Second Age. It is not known exactly when, but he was in power when the smith Narvi built the west gate of Khazad-dûm in the year 750. His reign was an era of great prosperity in which the halls of Khazad-dûm were greatly expanded and the Noldorin Elves of Lindon moved into Eregion to trade with the Dwarves for mithril. Population boomed because many refugees from Belegost and Nogrod, which were destroyed at the end of the First Age, moved to Khazad-dûm.
Durin III was in power around the year 1600 of the Second Age. He was gifted with the seventh and most powerful of the Dwarven Rings of Power. It was the Elven smith Celebrimbor and not Sauron who gave him the ring. The rings of power did not have the effects that Sauron had intended, possibly because Aulë had made the dwarves especially resistant to evil domination. The only apparent effect of the Dwarven rings was that the Dwarves became more greedy, but they were not turned into wraiths like men. Sauron tried to recover the rings. Two he reclaimed fairly soon and four ended up in dragon hordes. Sauron did not reclaim the ring of Durin until the 2845th year of the Third Age when he captured Thráin II.
50,000 of Durin's folk helped the Last Alliance, and alone of the Dwarf clans none of that folk served Sauron.
The Third AgeEdit
Durin VI was born in the 1731st year of the Third Age. At that time the race of Dwarves had already begun to dwindle. In the year 1980 of the Third Age the Dwarves were deepening their mithril mines when they stumbled upon a Balrog of Morgoth. Durin VI was slain by the Balrog, and a year later so was his son Nain I (TA 1832 - TA 1981). After that the Dwarves of Durin's line fled and abandoned Khazad-dûm — but the Balrog remained.
Most of Durin’s Folk went to the Grey Mountains (Ered Mithrin) where they built new halls. However Thror's son Thrain I (TA 1934 - TA 2190), now King of Durin’s Folk, went to the Lonely Mountain and founded the kingdom of Erebor in the year TA 1999. Deep within the mountain he found an extraordinary jewel that he called the Arkenstone and regarded as the greatest treasure of his house.
Thrain’s son Thorin I chose to stay in the Grey Mountains rather than in the Lonely Mountain, so between TA 2190 and TA 2590 the Grey Mountains were the seat of Kings. In TA 2589, however, the Dwarven halls in that region were attacked by cold-drakes from the north. The King at the time, Dain I (TA 2440 - TA 2589), was slain along with one of his sons, Frór (TA 2552 - TA 2589). His older son Thror (TA 2542 - TA 2790) fled with his people to the Lonely Mountain.
For 200 years the wealth and fame of Lonely Mountain grew, until the coming of the great fire-drake Smaug the Golden in TA 2770. Thror managed to escape through a back door with his family, but most of the Dwarves of Lonely Mountain were slain by the dragon and the wealth of Durin’s folk was lost. Some time later Thror gave his son Thráin II (TA 2644 - TA 2858) the Ring of Power and started wandering the world with his friend Nar. He ended up in Khazad-dûm where he was murdered and mutilated by the Orc king Azog. This was the catalyst of a war that was called the War of Dwarves and Orcs. The war lasted seven years and ended in the Battle of Azanulbizar, in which Dáin Ironfoot (TA 2767 - TA 3019) killed Azog.
In the years to come the Ring of Power slowly poisoned Thráin's heart with greed, and in 2845 he (Thráin II)set out alone to reclaim Erebor. This resulted in his being captured by Sauron, and he died in the dungeons of Dol Guldur. In 2941 Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thráin II, along with 12 other Dwarves and the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, reclaimed Erebor (with the help of three or four armies), but at the cost of Thorin’s life. Dain Ironfoot took up rule in the Lonely Mountain after that, and for a while the kingdom prospered in trade with the Elves of Mirkwood and Men of Dale.
In TA 2989, one of Thorin’s companions, Balin (2763-2994), took a host of Dwarves from the Lonely Mountain to reclaim Khazad-dûm. For five years they fought the balrog and an army of orcs. Balin was killed by an orc arrow in 2994 and the remainder of his host was cut off when the orcs captured the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and the east gate. Not so much as one dwarf lived to tell the tale.
Gimli son of Gloin won considerable renown for the role he played in the War of the Ring. After the war he founded a new Dwarf Kingdom named Aglarond in the caves behind Helms Deep. Near the end of his life Gimli is said to have sailed with his Elven friend Legolas to the undying lands of Valinor which, if true, would have likely made him the only Dwarf to ever have made that journey.
After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, a force of 30,000 Longbeards and 20,000 Men of Dale (Bardings) held the Lonely Mountain in a similar siege against 200,000 Men of Rhun who had taken all of Brand's lands, leaving only his capital city of Dale. The Dwarves and Men of Dale stood for three days against the Easterlings, and once the news of Sauron's death spread to the Lonely Mountain the Easterlings retreated, having lost over 100,000 troops, as opposed to the defenders who lost 14,000 Dwarves and 12,000 Men. The sturdy nature of the Mountain Rock, combined with the Dwarven masonry and the Dwarven quality of the defenders' weapons, reduced the hitting power of the Easterlings' two-armed catapults and semi-automatic ballistas, and allowed the defenders to drive the attackers from the Mountain and out of Brand's realm.
- " It was a dwarf with a blue beard tucked into a golden belt, very bright eyes under his dark-green hood."
- — The Hobbit
When Aulë created the Dwarves he had only a vague idea of what the Children of Ilúvatar should look like. Because of the threat of Morgoth over the world, Aulë made them very strong, both in body and character.
Dwarves were a short, stocky race, little taller than hobbits but much broader and heavier. They grew thick, luxuriant beards in which they took great pride, and often forked or braided them and tucked them into their belts.
They seem to have favoured simple durable clothing, coloured hoods and heavy cloaks for travelling, and belts of gold or silver. For battle they would have elaborately crafted armour and helmets bearing masked symbols (after the manner of those used in forges for shielding the eyes) that were hideous to look upon.
Dwarven women were alike in manner, voice and appearance to their menfolk. They were typically bearded and grew their thick hair long, often braiding it in intricate patterns and decorating with simple yet functional pieces. They were few in number, less than a third of all dwarf-kind, and they were seldom seen outside their own halls, often not venturing far due to their duties as caretakers and crafters in Dwarven society. This often led other folk to believe there were no women among the Dwarves, that Dwarves grew from stone when created. Few female Dwarven warriors were known, but some tales say that female Dwarves were as fierce as their male counterparts, especially in protecting their families and offspring.
Characteristics EditDwarves were a proud and stern race and were made to be sturdy to resist the dangers of their time. They were physically much stronger than humans, elves, and hobbits, and had great endurance, especially in the ability to resist great heat and cold, and they made light of heavy burdens. Dwarves lived up to two hundred and fifty years and had the ability to learn new skills quickly. A normal dwarf was usually stubborn and secretive, but they had the capacity to be loyal friends. Most of the time, the only thing they cared about were mining and crafts, drawing the hatred of the elves. Dwarves were not hurt by insults, but they had a propensity to hold a long-lasting grudge. Dwarves were greedy, but their stoutness prevented this from corrupting them, as shown by what happened to the Dwarven Rings of Power and their owners. Whereas the Men who owned the nine Rings were corrupted and became the Nazgûl, the Dwarves were unaffected. The only power that the rings had over them was the power to inflate their greed for gold. Some of the wicked ones, likley Blacklocks and perhaps Stonefoots made alliances with Orcs and Goblins. Dwarves were taught special skills by Aulë and lived by mining for precious minerals such as gold, iron, copper, and silver from all over mountains in Middle-earth. In ancient times, the dwarves also found Mithril in the mines of Khazad-dûm. They were also able masons, and smiths. They crafted many famed weapons, armours, and items of art and beauty, amongst them Narsil, the sword of Elendil, the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin, and the necklace Nauglamír. They built many famed halls including Belegost, Nogrod, Khazad-dum, and Menegroth. Dwarves also reforged the gates of Minas Tirith and rebuilt the walls of Helm's Deep after the War of the Ring. They had a knack for starting a fire almost anywhere out of almost anything. Dwarves did not farm and herd because they lived mostly underground. They traded smithcraft to men and elves in exchange for food. The number of Dwarf women were few, only about 1/3 to 1/4 of their total number, which is the reason for the slow Dwarf population growth, and is in peril when dwellings are scant. Because of their rarity, Dwarf-men oft kept them concealed within their mountain halls to protect them from other races. Dwarf women were seldom seen walking about and seldom do they travel except in great need, and when they do, they dress as Dwarf-men. They are rumored to be similar to dwarf-men in voice and appearance, usually other peoples cannot tell them apart. For this reason, Men have the opinion that there are no dwarf-women and that the Dwarves grow out of stone. Dwarves usually take only one spouse in their lives (unless their spouse died) and, as in all things, are jealous of their rights. Less than one-third of dwarf-men take a wife. Many dwarf-men do not wish to marry, as they are too busy with their crafts. Also, not all dwarf-women take husbands, as they may not have an interest in marriage, or some desire dwarf-men they cannot have and will settle for no other.
- "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!"
- —Ancient dwarven battle cry meaning "The axes of the dwarves! The dwarves are upon you!"
The Dwarven language was a harsh sounding tongue created by Aulë and was called Khuzdul. The Dwarven language sounded strange and harsh to other races, and no other non-dwarf did they permit to learn their language (save Eöl The Dark Elf only, who befriended the Dwarves and dwelt in Nan Elmoth), for it was guarded jealously. The dwarves used the Elvish runes Cirth as their written language.
The Dwarves called themselves the Khazad, the name Aulë gave them; this translates as the Hadhodrim in Sindarin, and the Casari in Quenya. Casari was the common word for Dwarves among the Noldor, but the Sindar usually called them the Naugrim or Nogothrim, the Stunted People.
Dwarves would, as a rule, not tell people of other races their real names, but take names in Westron instead, and keep their real names secret.
Many dwarven names in the works of Tolkien are taken from the poetic Viking prophecies, Völuspá (Old Norse: Vǫluspá). A significant part of the prophecy describes the pagan world view of the Vikings, and in that part can be found the Count of Dwarves, which is mostly a list of names. All the dwarf names from the Hobbit are taken from that source as well as the name of Gandalf. Some other names, such as Gimli (meaning shelter from fire), and Harlan are taken from the Icelandic language, but not from Völuspá. Only a few Dwarves in the works of Tolkien have original names in Khuzdul. These include Azaghâl, and Telchar.
Weapons and Armour Edit
- " Each one of his folk was clad in a hauberk of steel mail that hung to his knees, and his legs were covered with hose of a fine and flexible metal mesh.... In battle they wielded heavy two-handed mattocks; but each of them had also a short broad sword at his side and a round shield slung at his back. Their beards were forked and plaited and thrust into their belts. Their caps were of iron and they were shod with iron, and their faces were grim."
- —The Hobbit
For armour, dwarves favoured chain-mail and other metallic armour — the most expensive and precious of which was ring mail made of mithril. (A vest of mithril was given to Bilbo by Thorin before The Battle of the Five Armies. It was worn during the battle and later protected his nephew Frodo throughout his quest.) It was said that the this small coat was worth more than the whole of the Shire combined. The dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod wore heavy helms with mask-like visors that were hideous to look upon.
Dwarves, being excellent masons and builders, also show finesse in taking down structures as well. Their catapults fire two projectiles instead of just one, and their battering rams are heavily armored and sport a massive ram for taking down the sturdiest of structures. When lacking these weapons, dwarves are just as destructive swinging massive hammers, pounding stonework to rubble and rupturing heavy iron with repeated strikes.
The Seven Clans OGC Edit
The Dwarves' seven clans were:
- 1. Longbeards. Durin's Folk. Originally from Mount Gundabad they also founded the great Dwarf Mansion of Khazad-dûm (a.k.a. Moria or Dwarrowdelf) in the Misty Mountains, the Iron Hills, the holds in the Grey Mountains and, finally, Erebor (under the Lonely Mountain).
- 2-3. Firebeards & Broadbeams. Originally from the Blue Mountains, they were paired but Tolkien never cleared which tribe built Nogrod and which Belegost.
- 6-7. Blacklocks & Stonefoots. Originated somewhere (else) far in the East.
- The Seven Clans of the Dwarves descended from the Seven Dwarf Fathers created by Aulë
The Dwarves lived and mined in several places throughout Middle-earth many times, which included:
- Moria or Khazad-dûm and other places in the Misty Mountains.
- Lonely Mountain or Erebor.
- Mount Gundabad.
- The Iron Hills.
- The Blue Mountains or Ered Luin, where the cities Nogrod and Belegost existed during the First Age.
- The Grey Mountains or Ered Mithrin, although the dwarves were later driven out by dragons.
- They possibly lived in the Orocarni or the Red Mountains of the East.
Earlier Versions of the LegendariumEdit
Races of the Creatures of Arda
|Dwarves of Middle-earth|
Azaghâl | Balin | Bifur | Bofur | Bombur | Borin | Dáin I | Dáin II Ironfoot | Dís | Dori | Durin(s) | Dwalin | Farin | Fíli | Flói | Frerin | Frár | Frór | Fundin | Gamil Zirak | Gimli | Glóin, King of Durin's Folk | Glóin | Gróin | Grór | Ibûn | Khîm | Kíli | Lóni | Mîm | Náin | Náin I | Náin II | Náli | Nár | Narvi | Nori | Óin | Ori | Telchar | Thorin I | Thorin II Oakenshield | Thorin III | Thráin I | Thráin II | Thrór
|Dwarven Realms of Middle-earth throughout the Ages|
|Years of the Trees & First Age:||Bar-en-Nibin-Noeg | Belegost | Khazad-dûm | Mount Gundabad | Nogrod | Nulukkizdîn | Orocarni|
|Second Age:||Khazad-dûm | Mount Gundabad|
|Third Age:||Grey Mountains | Iron Hills | Khazad-dûm | Lonely Mountain | Northern Blue Mountains|
|Fourth Age:||Glittering Caves | Khazad-dûm | Lonely Mountain|