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The Wicked dwarves were the few dwarves who fought (or were rumored to have fought) on the side of Morgoth and later Sauron and Saruman, or in alliances with orcs and goblins during the first three ages of the world. There may have been some from every dwarven house except that of Durin (Longbeards) at least in second age if not earlier, but in particular the wicked dwarves more likely came from the houses of the far East.
The term may also refer to those dwarves who were viewed with suspicion and viewed as evil or influenced by the Shadow by others (due to gossip, rumors, stories, etc), though were actually on the side of good or at least neutral.
All dwarves had been created by Aulë, he who was said to be most like Melkor in thought and powershowever unlike Morgoth, he had remained faithful to Eru Illuvatar. He designed the race to be the most resistant to corruption and influence of Morgoth and later Sauron who had been Aulë's servant. They were designed in their father's own image as creators and workers of the earth and stone. but were also like and unlike Elves and Men. Because Morgoth was yet on the earth he made them strong and unyielding to Morgoth and his servants so that they might resist his corruption and influence. But they were also stubborn and fast in friendship and emnity; But there would always be strife between the children of Aulë, and those of Illuvatar. In particular there was hostility between the Elves and the Dwarves. Though dwarves are not naturally evil and not necessarily hostile.Because of their unyielding resistance, the seven rings of Power of the dwarves did not turn them to evil, but it did amplify their greed and lust for gold which was evil enough. It is said that very few willfully served the side of darkness. Of those who did very little was written.
It is suggested that of the dwarves that turned to wickedness (in first and later ages), they most likely came from the eastern kindreds of the Dwarves of the far eastern mansions (and perhaps some of the nearer ones). They may have awakened under the Shadow of Morgoth and turned to evil, in a similar way as the eastern Men did later. But not by the power of the Rings. It is however unclear if these refer to Dwarves beyond Iron Hills (the most eastern known stronghold of the Dwarves in the Third Age)The dwarves were a warlike race and they would fight fiercely against whomsoever aggrieved them: servants of Melkor, or Eldar, or Avari, or wild beasts, or not seldom their own kin, Dwarves of other mansions and lordships.
At the time of the awakening the dwarves had awoken in four principal locations (in the west this included Ered Lindon, and Mount Gundabad). The other two places were the dwarves awakened were further east (at distances as great or greater than distance between the first two locations). These eastern dwarves included; the Ironfists and Stiff-beards, and that of the Blacklocks and Stonefoots, respectively.
However though the four places of awakening were sundered; the various kindreds still kept communication, and in early ages often held assemblies of delegates at Mount Gundabad. It is known that even the most distant would send help to any of their people in times of need (as was the case in the great War against the Orcs during the Third Age). Which suggests that not all the far eastern Dwarves had fallen under the Shadow.
During this time there came the Petty-Dwarves to Beleriand long before the return of Morgoth. They had been exiled from the places of awakening to the east. The great Dwarves despised the Petty-Dwarves, who it was said were descendents of dwarves who had been driven out from the Communities, being deformed or undersized, or slothful and rebellious. They were masterless and few in number, and took to the ways of stealth. They were a selfish and self-serving lot who were willing to betray others if it meant saving their own lives (unlike most Dwarves in general). They were known to keep to stealth, darkness, and night. It is said they differed from normal dwarves in various ways: they were smaller, far more unsociable, and they freely gave away their names: other dwarves kept their Khuzdul names and language a secret.
Not long after the Eldar had come to Beleriand, they only became aware of the existence of the Petty-Dwarves when they were attacked at night, or when the elves caught them alone in the wild places. They were thought to be only some kind of cunning-two legged animals living in caves, and began to hunt them. But this ended after elves became acquainted with the great Dwarves. But achieving that, and they left the remaining Petty-dwarves alone.. It is said there were no emnity when the elves first encountered the dwarves, but there was no great love between them either. The dwarves were fast in friendship and and in enmity. They aided the elves greatly in their war with the Orcs of Morgoth; though the Noldor believed that some of that folk would not have been loath to smithy also for Morgoth, had he been in need of their work or open to their trade. For buying and selling and exchange were their delight, and the winning of wealth thereby; and this they gathered rather to hoard than to use, save in further trading. 
The great Dwarves still acknowledged their kinship and had resented the injuries done to their lesser kin the Petty-dwarves. It was one of great Dwarves grievances against the Eldar that they had hunted and slain their kin, who had settled in Beleriend before the elves came there. But this was set aside in consideration of the plea that the Petty-dwarves had never declared themselves to the Eldar, nor presented any claims to land or habitations, but had at once attacked the newcomers in darkness and and ambush. However, because the Great Dwarves despised their lesser kin, some say they had no compunction in helping the elves in ousting their brethren from Nargothrond especially for great reward. But for the Petty-dwarves, the grievance smouldered because of it. They hated the Eldar and Orcs with equal passion, and the Exiles most of all; for the Noldar later took their lands; including Norgothond and caused the end of their race.
By this time there were few of them surviving, and they were very wary and too fearful to attack any Elf, unless their hiding places were approached to closely. In time the race dwindled until there was only Mim and his two sons left  After his son, Khim had been killed by Turin and his outlaws, Mim convinced them to spare his own life, and lead them to his home. There he cursed Androg, the one who had fired the arrow killing his son to die if he ever fired another arrow, and he also wished the deaths or hard life of any who took his things and put him into bondage. He took a liking (or at least respect) to Turin; and this increased after Mim learned that the Man had previously had trouble with the elves whom the dwarf detested. But Turin ever admonished Mim whenever he mentioned his hatred of the Eldar. And Mim spied on the men from shadowy corners or a doorways of his home when they thought him elsewhere. He made them uneasy, they began speaking only in whispers.
When Beleg came into his home and stayed, Mim's hatred for the elves grew ever greater (he and his last son began sit in the deepest shadows of his house, speaking to none). During this time Andred's curse took form, but Beleg healed his wound. Mim's hatred burned ever fiercer for his curse had been undone (but he vowed that the curse would bite again). Secondly he was denied Lembas (which he believed would restore his youth), and since he could not steal it, he feigned sickness and begged it of his enemy. But the elf refused him and the seal was set upon his hatred of the elf, and all the more because the elf was loved by Turin. He ever looked on with jealousy for the love Turin bore to Beleg.
Mim was aware of the presence of Orcs in the lands about Amon Rûdh, and the hatred that he bore to Beleg led in resolve in his darkened to an evil resolve to betray the company. One day he claimed he and his son Ibun were going out to find roots for the winter store, he really sought to seek out the servants of Morgoth to lead to Turn's hiding place (another tale suggests that Mim did not encounter the orcs with deliberate intent, but rather that the capture of his son and their threat to torture that led Mim to treachery). After he and his son had found or had been captured by orcs, he laid out his conditions to the Orcs. Thus Mim gave the Orcs his demands that they pay him in weight in iron each man they caught or slew, but for Turin and Beleg he wanted gold. That once his house was ride of the outlaws, it be left to him, and he would be unmolested. He wanted Beleg left behind and bound for Mim to have his way with, and Turin to be left to go free.
For the second time he promised to lead the Orcs back to his home in order to save his own life. Some versions of the tale omit the part that the Orcs threatened to keep Ibun hostage to make sure Mim kept his part of the bargain though they themselves had little intent to keep it; Thus Mim thought at first tried to back out of it, but they had his son and so he was obliged to lead them to his home. After Mim guided them to his home in the middle of the night. many of Turin's men were killed unawares, slain as they slept. Some tales suggest that Turin and Beleg and their watchers saw Mim and the orcs before they even reached the threshold of the dwarven home They and others escaped to the hidden stair leading to the top of the hill, some were shot down trying to escape the steps leading up to the top the hill. Those above fought the orcs and died; only Turin escaped or rather as some tales say he was captured and bound and carried off. It was here on the top of the hill that Androg fell, finally slain by Mim's treacherous curse. Beleg had also fallen, or as in other tales he had been captured and bound and laid on the ground with wrists and ankles tied to iron pins driven to the rock. After which the orcs defiled the dwarf's home. Mim hid in the caves, and after they departed he went up the stairs. Some tales suggest that in hatred Mim attempted to steal Beleg's sword from the fallen elf, preparing to kill Beleg who had fallen but who not died, but the elf resisted, the elf declared that the house of Hador would take vengeance on the dwarf. Other versions the dwarf went before Beleg unmoving and prostrate and gloated over him with a sharp knife. Androg who lay dying from Mim's curse seized a sword (perhaps Beleg's) and was the one who thrust at Mim, and with his last strength freed the elf from his bonds (but his injuries could not be healed by the elf, and Mim had his way).From whomever the slash came from, Mim fled in terror before he himself could be killed.
Following departure of Glaurung and death of Túrin Turambar, Mim found his way to Nargothrond, and took possession of the ruined halls; in greed he fingered the gold and gems; letting them run through his hands. He was left alone for people feared the spirit of Glaurung and his very memory. That was until the coming of Húrin, Turin's father who in vengeance came to slay the dwarf. Though Mim in fear besought mercy, he was slain on the spot before the doors of Nargothrond. The house of Hador had been avenged for Mîm's treachery and deceit. Thus ended one of the earliest accounts of wicked dwarves who had made alliances with orcs and goblins, though the union had been unfriendly and treacherous.
However, there, some say, the curse that Mîm laid upon the gold at his death ‘came upon the possessors in this wise.The treasure of Nargothrond (some say it was half the treasure or only the Nauglamir) was brought Doriath, where eventually the gold was a reason for the Sack of Doriath and the death of Thingol, and soon after the Dwarves of Nogrod. The dark curse filled the Elven house with for a lust for gold and unwillingness to lose any of their treasures. The greed affected even Thingol. The dwarves from Nogrod (Broadbeams) who had smithed for the elven king came to the king for payment, but the curse had also affected them and they also lusted for the gold, the Necklace of the Dwarves, and the Silmaril. Thingol in his paranoia was emboldened to insult the dwarves, but the dwarves under influence of the curse chose to murder him and sack Doriath. They were later destroyed by the Green-elves in retaliation on their return back from Doriath, and the Lord of Nogrod was killed, and the Necklace was lost. Of these actions the Dwarves of Belegost, the Longbeards chose to protest and resist their plans; though their counsel was not taken by the Broadbeams. Still some accounts suggest Mim never had a chance to curse the gold, and that the dwarves committed murder in cold blood of their own free. Whichever the case, these actions had future repercussions in later ages in that Dwarves and Elves maintained a distrust for each other and in some cases hatred for each other and had other wars between them. Though this distrust is known to have mainly have affected the Longbeards in latter times. Both sides blamed the other for starting it. A series of wicked actions shared among a few dwarves and a few elves had ruined relations for future generations.
It is said that Dagorlad, the Battle Plane all living things were divided, and some of every race and creature where found in the hosts of both the Last Alliance and that of Saurons, except for the Elves. Of the seven houses few fought on the side of evil during the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age, and is known that none from the Longbeards, the House of Durin ever fought on the side of evil.
Though the reasons leading the wicked dwarves to fight under Sauron's forces is vague, in the earlier age it was believed that some of Dwarven folk would not have been loath to smithy for Morgoth, had he been in need of their work or open to their trade so as to increase their wealth; so they hoarded treasure rather than using it, except what little was needed to increase trade. Sauron however was more open to working with Dwarves than Morgoth had been, and it was during this time that the lesser rings, and the Rings of Power were forged and other great works. While he could not dominate the dwarves with the rings, for the only power over them that the Rings wielded was to inflame their hearts with a greed of gold and precious things, that if they lacked treasure; all other good things seemed profitless, and they were filled with wrath and desire for vengeance on all who deprived them. The rings fed off of gold. gold was needed to make more treasure. For as long as the dwarves were successful its power remained active; and the rings were the foundation of the Seven Hoards of the Dwarf-kings (later plundered by dragons).
Still loathing the fact that he could not directly control the race; Sauron tried to recover the rings. Two were recovered though it is not known how he recovered them and four ended up in dragon hoards. Perhaps the two were taken from the eastern clans who joined him and of any of other clans that he rallied behind those dwarven kings . Offered promises of greater riches, lands and power, the rings were taken with honeyed words if only they would return the rings (similar to the offer made to Dain in the Third Age) amplified by the gold lust and greed from the rings (they accpted). However they had to have sided with the forces under their own free will (as the rings could not force them to make the choice) nor could they be dominated by Sauron. Perhaps this was boldened by their previous enmity between the Elves and Dwarves caused by the curse of Mim's gold in the First Age and had lead to the death leaders among both races; and wars between their races. ...and if promises hadn't worked perhaps he took the rings with violence. The other three had to have been destroyed either by dragons sent by Sauron against his enemies (or that attacked the dwarven kings in the later age). However Sauron took or destroyed the rings and had betrayed the dwarves.
During this age, Durin III came into power around the year 1600. Durin's folk likely only avoided siding with Sauron for several reasons;
First the Longbeards befriended the elves of Eregion; it had been the first and only time in history in which the normally hostile dwarves and elves made friendship with each other. For all previous encounters with dwarves had either been cool or hostile with no love between the groups; but trade and diplomancy out of need and to fight a common enemy. In this era smithcraft reached its highest development. Secondly, although the increase in smith technology lead to the rise of Sauron and the creation of the Rings of Power causing trouble for all the Free Peoples of the age; the Longbeards of Moria had firsthand experience with the treachery of Sauron and thus were more likely to turn aganst him. The third reason; By suggestion of the Dwarves, Durin had been gifted with the first of the seven and most powerful of the Dwarven Rings of Power by the Elvensmiths including Celebrimbor and not by Sauron's hand (though it evil power was still on the ring). Finally, during most of the Second Age when the war began; the house of Durin locked itself behind the gates of Moria and avoided being conquered by Sauron though Eregion had been destroyed in the war. Thus they avoided the majority of the war (though their people still dwindled in number). But they were better prepared than most to join the Last Alliance and would do to help their friends (while other clans were more open to the highest bidder).
While the Seven Houses could only use their the rings in the getting of wealth; the wrath and overmastering greed of gold kindled in their hearts caused evil enough for Sauron; as in the past they fought amongst the races of the world even between the dwarven houses. But this time divided along the two sides of the conflict.
During the early parts of the Third Age (or at least in legends of the previous), it is known that in some places wicked dwarves had made alliances with the goblins and orcs. Hobbits of the Third Age are said to have encountered hostile dwarves of which they feared and had little trust. These alliances were made before the rise of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur. Because Dwarves are not evil by nature, few ever served the Enemy of their own free will (though rumors of Men suggest it was greater).
By the latter part of the Third Age it is not clear if any dwarves of the eastern houses or otherwise served the Enemy during the War of the Ring, the hobbits of the shire encountered an unusual number of strange dwarves from the east who were trying to flee West from Mordor's influence (as was also noted in Bree). These may have fled from as east as the Iron Hills to further east (and including from the last two places of awakening). It may suggest that the bulk of the good dwarves left the bad lands, leaving any evil ones behind.
Dain was offered a deal by Mordor, that if he helped them find the ring, Sauron would return the three Dwarven rings he had, as well as Moria as their home forever, as well as great reward and friendship of Sauron. Dain refused out of loyalty to the west, but also because they had ever been betrayed by Sauron of old.
Enmity between the Free PeoplesEdit
Throughout the various Ages, since the Awakening of the Dwarves, there has been some enmity between the Free Peoples of Middle-earth over various and often petty reasons. The enmity was not always caused by Morgoth (or later Sauron and Saruman) but it benefited them. The Dwarves were not immune to this enmity either causing suspicion among others, or distrusting others themselves (which may have led to rumors and stories of them being evil among some Men, and other races), or quick to take vengeance against the smallest slights. Even the First Age relations while not filled with emnity was at least cool (there was no love between the) but hostile as well. It is said it wasn't until the Second Age was their a friendship between the elves of Eregion and dwarves of Moria. It was for the first and only time in the history of the world.
Some of the dwarves accused of fighting on the side of darkness may have been in conflict due to enmity between the races due to misunderstandings and suspicion. This may apply to the Petty-Dwarves who became distrustful and had great hatred of the Elves because most of their kind was wiped out, and also between them and other dwarves since they had been exiled by the other clans. Nor did they tend to get along with the humans either. In particular the Petty-Dwarves are said to love none but themselves, they hated the Orcs and Eldar with equal passion, and the Exiles most of all, for the Noldor had stolen their lands and their homes; the Petty-Dwarves had first discovered Nargothrond, and delved its riches.  When the Edain first encountered the Dwarves in Beleriand (Longbeards in particular), they distrusted the Dwarves fearing they were under the Shadow of Morgoth, but discovered they were not and agreed and were happy of their later alliance during the Second Age, leading to esteem and friendship. It was said there was little love between the Dwarves and some of the Noldor, as the dwarves were quick to resentment, and Caranthir was haughty and had scorn for the physical appearance of the dwarves. Still they maintained an alliance for a while over their mutual fear and hate of Morgoth.To the hobbits, dwarves both friendly or hostile were aliens to them, and most relations were uneasy and clouded by fear. It is said that less than decent dwarves do not get along with the elves, the more decent ones consider the elves foolish or become annoyed (for they tease and laugh at them, and most of all at their beards).
In some cases there was enmity between the races caused by the greed and envy; men lusting after the dwarves' wealth and their handiwork, and possibly between the Dwarven clans themselves. In one story, Fram is said to have sent the teeth of Scatha to the dwarves, after the requested their treasures be returned. It is said that they saw this as a great insult and killed Fram causing loss of love between dwarves and Rohan. Many of the dwarves had become nomadic merchants and smiths without a home wandering and trespassing through foreign and private lands (which may have been viewed with suspicion in some places). There was definitely enmity between the Great Dwarves and the Petty-Dwarves over various reasons.
Still others became estranged from each other for other reasons; the rise of the enmity and distrust between dwarves and elves after the dealings between dwarves and King Thingol ended with the Fall of Doriath, and after the fall of Khazad-dum. Leading to battles between the races. What may at times have been fought in self-defense may be seen as an evil action by the opposing force (for example distrust of the wood-elves of Mirkwood and Thorin's party). But in these cases those involved were never allied with the Enemy or his ambassadors (though the wars between the Free Peoples may have worked to his advantage). The trust and interaction between elves and dwarves was later restored through the friendship of Legolas and Gimli. Other minor and petty reasons some dwarves did not get along with elves in the Third Age was the fact that the elves teased them, especially for their beards (the most decent of dwarves called the elves foolish or got annoyed).
While generally the stuff of legends (in Tolkien's earliest works see The Lays of Beleriend), there are a few references to dwarves having forged fell weapons or at least rumored to have been forged (that sometimes 'betray' their owners or lead to some darker end). In the story of Eol and Maeglin father and son who spent much time around the dwarves. Eol the Dark Elf who hated other elves learned their craft and forged dark weapons and armor some that were poisoned. Some say that their had been a sinister effect with the Elvish association with the dwarves. Perhaps there was as killed his wife with a poisoned javelin, which lead to his own death being tossed over the wall, and later the fall of Gondolin with the help of his own son siding with Sauron. One of his blades Anglachel given to Thingol and later to Beleg was said to have malice in it for the heart of the smith was still in it, and Eol's heart was dark. It did not love the hand that wielded it, and would not abide it long.. It later tasted the blood of Turin's foot. The sword said to sing with gladness for it enjoyed tasting the blood of those in battle, and its own masters. In the end Beleg was killed by his own weapon when Turin used it against the elf thinking him to be an enemy. Losing his friend caused him grief for long periods. Later after the sword was reforged as Gurthang (Mormegil) the black iron sword of death (of black metal tinged with flame) . While using the sword he killed Brandir ignorning the honest information giving to him. Later Turin committed suicide after killing the dragon (though this also had to do with the curse the dragon had put on him and the suicide of his sister and his unborn child). The blade had its own sentience and it it could speak; like Anglachel before it sought to taste Turin's blood. But Turin's grief caused the blade to shatter (yet though it was a cursed weapon it did not like the taste of blood of those killed unjustly as was the case with Brandir). And Manthor had a knife said to be a fell blade from a forge of the Dwarves. Even the legendary Dwarven knife Angrist (the mate of Narsil) forged by the smith Telchar of Nogrod snapped when Beren needed it the most awakening Morgoth</ref>, and likewise Narsil shattered when Elendil was fighting Sauron, and shattered when he fell (though its shard did its job removing the One Ring). But Narsil was later reforged and served Aragon well.
The poem written by Bilbo Baggins, The Hoard from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil also seems to make a nod at darker aspect of Dwarves greed as viewed from Rivendell, Elvish, and Numenorian lore concerning the heroic days at the end of the First Age (echoing bits of the tale of Turin and Mim the Dwarf) from earlier legends.
In the first part of the poem Dwarves and Dragons are compared, with implication that dwarves may have been carved from the pit (perhaps akin to the legends of men, and in Book of Lost Tales that they formed from the earth), and Dragons spawned from Hell.
The poem goes onto describe the greed and fall of the Shadow over the Elvenhome (Doriath), and the treasures they piled up in dark holes. An old dwarf (apparently Mîm the Dwarf or similar) apparently moves into the dark cave (apparently taken over from elven kings before him), with avarice, he holds onto his gotten s of silver and gold. In that cave he worked his fingers to the bone forging coins, and necklaces (described as 'strings of rings'), thought he could buy the power of the kings (he had essentially made himself a king). But as he worked his eyes grew dim and his ears dull, and his skin turned yellow on his old skull. His bony fingered claws had a pale sheen. He could no longer see the jewels he was working on. He couldn't hear the dragon (apparently "Glaurung") that entered his door, where he died alone in the dragon's fire, his bones were turned to ashes. Later the dragon would become old and greedy as the dwarf became and then would be slain by a warrior (Turin as noted).
One strange aspect of this version of the tale besides "Mîm" being killed by the Dragon, by the descriptions he may have already died. As it seems to describe his flesh decomposing from his bone before he is actually 'killed'. Yet he is ultimately slain by the dragon. Perhaps it is suggesting his greed lead to a kind of physical undeath on him, ultimately destroyed by dragon fire.
The hero then apparently the warrior becomes a king, but under his rule the weapons of his thanes became dull with rust. The kingdom's glory fell, and his rule was unjust. But king he was of the elvish gold. He hid the gold the treasure in a chest in secret treasury in the dark ground in strong iron-bound doors. All he could think of while sitting on his throne was that treasure (apparently wasting away). Out of the mountains his land was invaded killing his guards. His halls were burned, and his kingdom was lost. His bones were tossed in a cold pit. This finally left the old hoard in dark, forgotten behind doors none could unlock. At that grim gate where no one could pass grass grew on the mound where sheep fed and larks flew, and wind blew from the sea. It would remain there forever while the elves slept.
The theme of the poem is about kings falling to greed, and then ultimately into darkness, only for their treasure to be captured by a new 'ruler or king', who also falls into darkness, and the treasure falls into the hands of the next king. As if there is a curse on the treasure horde. Also noteable is that the events happen in almost reverse of how they occured in actual tale from; 1. Turin & Gloraung, 2. Mim, 3. Hurin, 4. Elves (to 1. Elves, 2. Mim, 3. Gloraung, 4. Turin (and Hurin?)). In the poem the last character described an old bearded king (apparently wasting away, or dead and skeletal) but it is unclear who this is probably the warrior from the previous lines but may be a mix of Turin and Hurin together. The references to Hell-spawned dragons appears to be taken from the poems in the The Lays of Beleriand.
Much of this tale appears to take inspiration from earlier of Tolkien's tales of Mim's cursed gold hoard (and the necklace Nauglafring ) that led to the downfall of Doriath, and the dwarven houses in the early versions of the tales.
Of note the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings refers in one part refers to The Book of Lost Tales as a source for some of the information (on a topic unrelated to this subject), a note added in The Book of Lost Tales, Part II, may suggest that the "tales of Men" that suggest that dwarves are evil, may be in reference to the The Book of Lost Tales.
Thus from those Men's perspective in telling the story the dwarves involved in early history were 'evil', but it is not the case that all dwarves were evil. It may very well be the source of the idea of wicked dwarves and Goblins in alliances and not so decent dwarves as mentioned in The Hobbit. So it maybe said that some of the material is based on 'truth (but only refers to a few 'bad dwarves', or dwarves thought to be bad, rather than the dwarven race as a whole)', but incomplete knowledge of the actual events and names. Though Tolkien may have made references to earlier versions of his legends in works from periods of his creation (he was constantly revising his ideas, and thus some references may be remnants that remained behind from earlier creative ideas in the published works). What follows is additional information included in those tellings which specifically refer to the more evil dwarves (which were later divided into the Great Dwarves and the Petty-Dwarves).
The Book of Lost TalesEdit
The earliest known legends suggest that Melko (Melkor) created the Uvanimor, bred from the earth, who were monsters, giants, ogres, and the Nauglath (or Nautar).The Dwarves appear to be one of the Úvanimor related to Goblins. Fangli/Fankil/Fukil (perhaps Sauron), the child of Melkor and his servent, entered into the world perverting men. They fought the Ilkorins (elves). The Ermon (Edain?) allied with Nuin at the Battle of Palisor. Fangli's forces were either defeated, but some may have fled away becoming wild and savage tribes who worshiped Fangli and Melkor. Thereafter Palisor was possessed by Fangli and his hosts of Nauglath (or Dwarves). Later Fankil with the Dwarves and Goblins went among Men, and bred estrangement between them and the elves; and many Men aided the Dwarves. Such that only the Ermon alone stood by the fairies in the first war of Goblins and Elves (aka Dwarves and Men).
The Nauglath (or Nautar) are the kin of the Indrafangs/Indravangs (the Longbeards). The dwarves are a strange race and none knew exactly where the came from. They served neither Melkor, nor Manwe, and they had no concern for Elves or men. Some claim they had not heard of Iluvitar, or in hearing disbelieve. In crafts and sciences and in the knowledge of virtues of all things in the earth or under the water none excel them; yet they dwelt beneath the ground in caves and tunneled towns; Nogrod was the mightiest of these. It is said they are very old, and that no child comes among them, nor are they able to laugh. They are squat ins stature, and yet are strong, and their beards reach to their toes. However, the beards of the Indrafangs are the longest of all, forked, and they bound them to their middles as they walked abroid. All these creatures have Men called dwarves, and they say that crafts and cunning surpass that of the Gnomes (Noldor elves), there is however little beauty in their works. It is said that some of the Gnomes joined in league with the Dwarves of Nogrod. The Dwarves were freely in trade with the Noldoli selling swords, coats of mail, and other smithwork of great skill. There was a great traffic between the people, and also with the Orcs and soldiers of Melkor as well.
The dwarves desired the gold of the elves, and asked the king to allow them to work their craft on their treasuries. It was agreed under the guidance of Ufedhin the Noldoli (and his own craft skill), that the gold and one of the Silmarils would be loaned to the dwarves in Norgrod to work their skills on. To which the Dwarves claimed they would fashion things for the adornment of the king and queen such that they had never seen, nor any Gnome or Dwarf had made yet.
The king broke his agreement with Ufedhin and the dwarves, capturing them. Telling them they would remain hostages until the treasures had been returned to his halls. He mistrusted them and thought they were thieves, or that their greed would turn them into thieves. In place of Ufedhin the gold was brought to Nogrod by one of the craftmen's companions. Meanwhile Ufedhin manipulated the king with descriptions of the treasures they would make, and began to weave dark plots in order to ensnare the king in avarice and revenge for his capture.
Foalókë, the dragon known Glorund learned from spies that his enemy had born a son. His wrath was terrible and his greed kindled. He set up a guard of Orcs (and some versions also say also fallen Elves), he might trust and to watch his dwelling and his treasury. Mîm the dwarf was appointed the captain of these. As captain of the guard appointed by Glorund he was to watch the treasure in his absence. Then leaving the caves and places of his sleep he crossed the wilderness to battle Turambar and was slain (and Turambar died of his wounds).
Later did Úrin, the father of Turin came to the hoard of Rodothlim as the Orcs and the guard had fled the caves at the death of Glorund, and only one dwelt there still. Mîm sat their still on the pile of gold singing black songs of enchantment to himself. But none had come yet to despoil him, for the terror had lived longer than he, and none had ventured into the caves for dread of the spirit of Glorund. When Úrin and the elves approached he stood before the doors of that cave.
The sorcerous dwarf spoke to Urin saying that he hadn't expected to see him, a man with the elven rabble. Then he issued a warning and a curse, telling him to not touch the gold no more than he would touch fire; for the dragon had lain long years on it and the evil of the drakes of Melko was upon it. He warned that no good could it bring to Man or Elf. For only Mim could ward it, and by many a dark spell he had bound it to himself. Urin waved at first, but anged his men to the point that he ordered them to seize it all. Mim stood by and broke forth into many terrible and evil curses. In response Urin smote him saying that although they had come only for that which was not the dwarf's, they would now take his life for the evil words he had made.
As Mim lay dieing in his final words he issued one final curse saying that Elves and Men would rue the deed, and because of his death; death would follow the gold so long as it remained on Earth. Each part or portion would share that curse as the whole. Urin shuddered, but the elves only laughed. He then ordered the elves to carry the gold away.
The tale is told that so potent were the spells that Mîm had woven about that hoard that, even as it lay upon the floor of the king’s halls shining strangely in the light of the torches that burnt there, already were all who looked upon it touched by its subtle evil.
Wherever the gold was taken men and elves killed each other over greed of the treasure. His hall ran gore, and the gold lay before his throne. Thus did the curse of Mîm the Dwarf begin its course; and yet another sorrow sown by the Noldoli of old in Valinor was come to fruit.
Later the curse of Mim fell on Tinwelint after he put the Nauglafring around his neck. The death of Mim also lead to the two dwarven clans invading Atanar to avenge the dead dwarf, with treachery of another elf who had fallen to the curse. They invaded Artanor slaying the elven king taking the necklace..
Hearing of the death of Mim, at the hand of Urin (Hurin) and the rape of Glorund's gold from Bodruith, new wrath was kindled to their lust, and Naugladur vowed to never rest until Mim was thriced avenged, and more he believed the gold belonged to the people of the Dwarves.
This then was the design; and by his deeds did the Dwarves ever been severed in feud with the elves since those days, and drawn more in nigh in friendship to the kin of Melkor. He sent a secret missive telling the Indrafangs prepare their host for a coming day of his choosing, when the time was ripe. At that time Belegost began a bitter forging of steel in preparation. Meanwhile Naugladur gathered about him a great host of of the Orcs, and wandering goblins, promising them a good wage, and the pleasure of their Master moreover, and a rich booty at the end. He armed the mercenaries with his own weapons. Narthseg, one of Tintwelint's elves came to Naugladur and offered his services to lead the hosts against the magics of Gwendelin, for the elf had also been bitten by the gold-lust of Glorund's hoard (Mim's curse had first come upon Tintwelint and treachery first arose among the elves of Artanor (Doriath)).
Thus the dwarves had proven ignoble, prone to evil to gain their ends, and were exclusively impelled by greed; that Doriath should be lain waste by mercenary Orcs under Dwarvish paymasters.
Then the curse came to rest among his kin. This lead to infighting and murder between the two clans. It wasn't until necklace was drowned in the sea that the curse was appeased.
Not long after the formation of Isle of Íverin from the western half off Tol Eressëa near the Great Lands the Battle of Rôs occurs. The Island-elves and the Lost Elves fought against against Nautar, Gongs, Orcs, and a few evil Men. The elves were defeated. The fading Elves retired back Tol Eressëa and hid in the woods. Men came to Tol Eressëa and also the evil Orcs, Dwarves, Gongs, Trolls, etc. The elves continued to faded with sorrow no longer able to breath the air of the men who were their equals or greater; and men became more powerful and numerous. The fairies grew small and tenuous, filmy and transparent, while the men became larger and more dense, and could no longer see the fairies.
In the Book of Lost Tales, the Dwarves are always portrayed as an evil people and neutral at best.Evil or neutral they traded with both sides (including with the forces of Melkor). The term 'dwarf-natured' (nauglafel) meaning mean, avaricious, representing the personality of the dwarves as viewed by others (this is not entirely outside the bounds of opinions of Dwarves by other races in later years, by those who do not fully understand them). As noted previously, greed-induced by the Dwarven Rings of Power, and some hostility with the Free Peoples could be seen as mean and full of avarice. It is noted that even in published Silmarillion they are portrayed as having dour and hidden natures in their 'unloveliness'.
The Lays of BeleriendEdit
In these early poems, it is said that dwarfs originally dwelled in the burning South from Nogrod. But also lived in the east in black Belegost. They included the Longbeard dwarves whose locks were the longest and tallest on earth. They are smiths and wrights known for making dark weapons though powerful often known to betray their wielders. These include daggers, knives, hauberds, and even arrows. It is also said that dwarvish darts were cruely hooked. The lands were also known to have berries which the Dwarves made into wine and brought north by long ways to the lands where it was enjoyed by the elves of Thingol's realm. They also made a golden crown for Tinwelint, who previously only worn a wreath of scarlet leaves.
The treacherous smiths of Nogrod also made the blade used by Curufin, a cunning blade of dwarvish steel with hard edge, and bitter cold. Many Nogrod songs were told of it. How dwarvish armourers long ago sung slow enchantments over it, where their hammers fell (hammer songs) like the sound of a bell. It clove iron like tender wood and through mail like wool. It was wielded by Flinding/Gwindor/ Beren to cut a silmaril from Morgoth's crown. Even Morgoth's gleaming coat of armor was made of rings of steel no arrow could pierce, made of web of dwarvish craft. He was able to break a silmaril free from iron claws that held it, but the knife snapped betraying him to Morgoth when he went for a second gem.
Funding was captured and had no way to free himself except a dagger forged of dwarven steel his prized possession, and could cut through iron noiselessly. It had been wrought by the wrights in the realms of the East in black Belegost, by the bearded Dwarves. But the dagger betrayed him slipping from its sheath into the grass.
Beren also defend himself with a grey hauberk of dwarvish craft made in Nogrod; the hammers rang in cavern's when it was forged. The heirloom of his family the Dragon-helm was crafted by Telchar in Belegost in the dark dwarfland in the deeps of time.
The hostile dwarves captured one known as Blodrin. He was an elf, the son of Bor. As a child the bearded dwarves dragged him to their deep mansions, and in Nogrod he was nurtured and tought to spite his blood and birth. To hate both elves and Men. He joined Turin's outlaws, but lusted for treasure (his greed for gold was great as great as the dwarves he had been raised within), but he hated Hurin's offspring and the bowman Beleg. He fled their fellowship and forest dwellings and allied with Orcs. He bargained with them for gold, and thus he betrayed his fellowship to the Orcs in the forest hideouts. The traitor and the orcs killed many men through treachery. Turin was captured. Beleg was buried in a pile of bodies, but escaped death. But in the end Blodin was killed by a poisoned arrow to the throat held fastly to the tree behind him.
The sinister effect of Elvish association with the wicked dwarves had on Blodrin followed after that as it had done to Ufedhin.
The story of Turin's traitor went throughs several revisions, ultimately apparently became the basis for the emergence of Mim as the traitor of the outlaws who had allied with the orcs, and betrayed their location.
Shaping of Middle-earthEdit
In the The Shaping of Middle Earth, The elves came to the Blue Mountains. There they made war with the Nauglir (Dwarves) of Nogrod and Belegost (but the elves did not know where race had come from originally). The dwarves were not friend of Valar' or of Eldar or of Men, nor do they serve Morgoth; though they are in many things more like his people, and little did they love the Gnomes (Noldor). The Indrafangs (Longbeards) dwelt in Nogrod. The dwarves little troubled the peoples of the earth as long as the Gnomes remained great.
"Mim the Dwarf" is just a byline he was a random dwarf who found the halls of Nargothrond and treasure unguarded. He took possession Glorung's gold after the dragon had been killed. He in joy fingering the gold and gems, and letting them run through his hands. While there he had enchanted all the gold with many spells which bound them to himself (a nod back to the black songs and curses he made on the gold as wards while he was the Captain of the dragon's guard). But it is said that the folk of Mim were very few. Out of lust for the treasure Hurin's outlaws slew them, though Hurin would have stayed them (this version adds more than one dwarf with Mim).
Hurin and his band came to the hoard, and all slew Mim, nd at his death Mim cursed the gold. The outlaws took the the hoard (in these versions many were involved in taking the gold instead of just one, though he left out this group in some later revisions at the time). The curse came upon the outlaws each one died or were slain in quarrels upon the road. Hurin sought aid from Thingol's elves carry the treasure the rest of the way and cast it at the feet of Thingol.
Hurin brought the gold Doriath and dropped it before Thingol's feet in anger (he is sent away). The enchantment curse takes hold on Thingol, he summons dwarves from Nogrod and Belegost to make him a necklace for the Silmaril. The dwarves who had been instantly struck by the lust and and desire for the treasure plotted treachery because they believed it was the right of dwarves as it had been stolen from Mim. Because Thingol bitter due to the curse denied them their reward. The two races began to throw bitter words at each other, and there was a battle in Thingol's halls. Many elves and dwarves were slain, and the howe wherein they were laid in Doriath was named Cum-nan-Arasaith, the Mound of Avarice. But the remaining dwarves were driven out without payment or reward. The Dwarves returned aided by treachery of the Gnomes (other elves) who were also bitten by the lust of gold. They surprise Thingol on a hunt and kill him, and sacked Doriath. The dwarves are ambushed later and slain. In this version Beren keeps the necklace though warned of the curse, and the gold is drowned. The curse later goes on to causing more elf on elf war. Only hint of Mim's character comes from the fact that he enchanted the gold (but it doesn't specifically show him to be evil).
This version maintains a touch of the idea of Dwarves being treacherous and this is amplified by the curse on the gold, and that they are said to be like Morgoth's people (in the early Quenta). The Noldor who betray Thingol and help the dwarves appear to be a reference actions of Ufedhin in the Lost Tales (though he is not specifically mentioned).
The book also contains a couple of other note later versions in which the dwarves are further seperated from Morgoth, and also less warlike in the initial appearances in Middle-earth instead both elves and dwarves 'conversed' with each other (apparently having trade together), though Mim's curse still existed to varying degrees in these versions leading to wars between Thingol and the dwarves. Some of the early stuff was modified into the Petty-dwarves, while other stuff was changed and became more neautral & peaceful dwarves.
The Lost RoadEdit
In the Lost Road, Mîm is only briefly mentioned in the Annals, similar to earlier version; Again Mîm is just a random dwarf that had taken over Nargothrond hoard. Hurin slew the dwarf (there is no mention of any others with him), but the dwarf had cursed the treasure, and it is brought to Thingol. Thingol employs dwarves to craft him the Nauglamir. Emnity awakens between dwarves and elves, and he sends them away. The dwarves and elves from Belegost and Nogrod return in force and invade Doriath. They were allowed in by treacherous elves who had been smitten by the curse. Thingol is slain in the caves. Dwarves are later ambushed, Beren keeps the necklace, and gold is thrown into the river. Later kinstrife occurs although this version it is not ascribed to the curse. This version is very brief and does not go into detail of the emnity, though curse appears to be at least partially involved.
Behind the scenesEdit
The term 'wicked dwarves' originates from the Hobbit in reference to certain dwarves that made alliances with goblins, and there is also a reference to less decent dwarves as well.
In discussing The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings this article is concerned with the latest editions published by Tolkien later after he incorporated further revisions in later reprints and he his ideas changed and evolved. Some revisions were minor, others changed details in major ways. Some of these changes are discussed in the notes section (below) if it offers a better understanding how the books both referenced previously material, but also evolved to fit with later ideas as he continued to revise his work.
An important note for Home XI and XII contains material and essays that was contained the later revisions by JRR Tolkien. At least as up to date on the topics had been written until his death. These were ones that were used in putting together Silmarillion or were discovered by Christopher later (and may include changes he didn't incorporate). But as such they are more useful for the main background sections of this topic. By that point the concept of petty-dwarves and great Dwarves (and details such as character names) were largely settled. Most of the material was written during or after LOTR was published, and thus does not directly reference any of the older material other than what it revised from (and less likely to contradict the The Lord of the Rings itself).
HoMEI-V is less useful in the main background section as it is based on material that predates The Hobbit up to about the time the book had been written. The majority of the information may have been the basis for many of the references made in the Hobbit (as discussed in the The History of the Hobbit). Some of the earliest material was clearly revised by the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Most of this information is extremely important for a better understanding of the changes and to acknowledge some of the early ideas of 'wicked dwarves'. As well as highlight certain 'wicked dwarves' that got edited out of later stories or drastically changed allegiences. However most of this material is less reliable in relation to LOTR or some of the material in Unfinished Tales which incorporated included later revised material..
History of the Hobbit is particularly useful in that gives some of the reasoning behind certain references in the hobbit, and included in the notes section below.
HoMEVI-VIII are The Lord of the Rings related and thus built clearly on the "friendly" dwarves and largely to the drafts of the main story. Thus it less helpful as a resource as the drafts are very different than the final released story.
The Silmarillion contains a mix of material that was written by JRR Tolkien (before LOTR and some after), as well as a few things that were constructs by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay (in particular The Ruin of Doriath). It includes materials that were not reprinted in the HoMe series nor Unfinished Tales (but noted in that series where it exists). Other material written post-LOTR was apparently avoided because it was in a different format (poetry vs. essay/prose) and would have required too much work to incorporate, and would have less of JRR Tolken because of it. In some cases the earlier material was different later material. In worst case they were force to construct material where there was very little or only the oldest sources (thus are not necessarily the direction Christopher's father would have taken). As such there may be remnants of the older darker dwarfs peaking under the surface that may have been further edited out if JRR had had the chance or better explained.
Unfinished Tales is more of a cross between HoMe VI-XII in that it contains incomplete material with Christopher's explanations. Although it is more edited than in HoME series to be more accessible (it is more intended to fill in gaps of the history of the world than just be scholarly account of development and revisions by his father). It includes material from all three ages of the world. While many of the texts are "unfinished " they were chosen because missing bits are contained or the materiais its within material published in The Hobbit, LOTR and The Silmarillion offering a more complete history of the universe. Most of the material represents latest versions JRR had written but that did not contradict the main Middle-earth series as a whole but expand on it; but in some cases it include revised information or alternat accounts than those made in The Silmarillion (1977). As such it is intended to be part of the core series and companion to The Silmarillion. It is largely only useful to this topic in so much it gives a different and more detailed account of Mim's history at least up to his betrayal of Turin. Although some details are missing (part of the incomplete nature of the versions included).
The Children of Hurin is a complete story combined from various sources of the story published previously or from further discoveries made since the release of HoME and fills in gaps of the story left out in previous released versions. Thus it is intended to be the most detailed and accessible version of the story. It includes a more expanded account than the version included in The Silmarillion some cases revising the account there-in. It is mainly useful only as far as information about Mim which gives a more complete account of his time with the outlaws, and restores sime of his darker traits, and also more detailed informatiin anout the cursed Elven/Dwarven sword and later reformed and wielded by Turin.
In addition the term 'wicked dwarves as mentioned before there is an offhanded remark in relation to dwarves and their emnity with the elves that ponts out there is a difference between 'decent dwarves' and other dwarves (who are apparently not so decent).
Though the reason for their dislike is rather 'tame' is inspired by frivolous elves in the Book of Lost Tales and The Father Christmas Letters of Edwardian and Georgian fairy sentimentality. Their personality as shown in the hobbit represented the last appearance of "elves as faeries" in the main line of the legendarium, as Tolkien focused later primarily on medieval style elves. (in comparison to the more mature writings later written).
Dwarves don’t get on well with them. Even decent enough dwarves like Thorin and his friends think them foolish (which is a very foolish thing to think), or get annoyed with them. For some elves tease them and laugh at them, and most of all at their beards.
Still less petty reasons for the distrust is explained later on in the hobbit by a reference back to the Sack of Doriath and the death of Thingol.
An early draft of the Hobbit when Tolkien 's dwarves underwent a transformation into 'decent enough people', if "commercial-minded" states in regards to goblins and dwarves;
They did not hate dwarves especially; in some parts wicked dwarves had even made alliances with them.
This may have been a reference to early versions of the The Fall of Gondolin in which Goblins fought alongside balrogs and dragons in sacking Gondolin, and goblin-mercenaries aiding dwarves in looting Artanor (precursor to Thingol's Thousand Caves of Menegroth in Doriath) from The Book of Lost Tales.
Thus Naugladur, the dwarf-lord of Nogrod, hires Orc mercenaries to aid in the assault on Artanor, and in the outlines for the unfinished ‘Gilfanon’s Tale’ it is a host of Dwarves and Goblins in the service of Melko-Morgoth who attack the first Men and their elven allies in the Battle of Palisor.
Further aspects of the dwarves association in the past with darkness as spellcasters and sorcerers of dark curses and malefic magic (as seen in the story of Mim) in an early draft the book described;
...buried them very secretly not far from the track by the river, with a deal of spells and curses over them, just in case.
The Tale of Turambar’s portrayal of Mîm the Fatherless, the first dwarf of note in the legendarium, establishes Tolkien’s dwarves as guardians of vast treasure-hoards as well as the originators of inimical curses. The image of ‘an old misshapen dwarf who sat ever on the pile of gold singing black songs of enchantment to himself’ and who ‘by many a dark spell . . . bound it to [him]self'.
This is only hinted at in the final version;
...putting a great many spells over them,..
The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
They beat on it, they thrust and pushed at it, they implored it to move, they spoke fragments of broken spells of opening, and nothing stirred. At last tired out they rested on the grass at its feet, and then at evening began their long climb down.
“ we still mean to get it back, and to bring our curses home to Smaug— if we can.
In some of Tolkien's earliest writings Dwarves were a mostly evil race created by Melko/Melkor, as seen in the The Book of Lost Tales. In those early versions there were but two races of dwarves (a concept that made it into early drafts of the Hobbit, and even the first edition published, though later revised to seven)..But this idea was revised in later writings (and line removed in second edition of the hobbit). A few of these ideas were reused in the history of the Petty-dwarves. Although they were not necessarily evil (however selfish and would make deals with any side to protect their own lives), but misunderstood tragic individuals hunted by those who thought them monsters or stupid creatures.
In The History of the Hobbit it is ntoed that the The Book of Lost Tales is filled with 'elvish' bias (and thus is more anti-dwarf, than the more equitable narrative in The Hobbit). Thus like the explanation stories told by Men that denegrated Dwarves accusing them of evil, so to did the elves tell negative stories about the dwarves as well. Which may explain why some of the early stories paints the dwarves in a more negative light.
Here we see the ‘elvish’ bias of the Lost Tales at its most blatant (a bias altogether missing from the more equitable narrative of The Hobbit), with the elvish narrator of the Tale unwilling even to unwilling even to give the dwarves credit for creating beautiful objects without elven help.
It is also mentioned in the History of the Hobbit, that the Hobbit predates the stories of Aule's creations of the dwarves in the Quenta (written and revised between Hobbit and LOTR or after the LOTR). Thus it makes references to some of the earlier legends in earlier versions of the Quenta or Lost Tales on the formation of the dwarves. As such while it may have been written after he was moving away from the idea that the Dwarves were created from the earty by Melko/Morgoth. He still was toying with the idea of dwarves having been formed from stone (and returning to stone in death), and it is mentioned within the text. The story did however lean away from Dwarves having any connection to Melkor but more of a neutral race tied to no powers (he had been moving into early versions of the Quenta at the time). However, the story does make some of the earliest references to female dwarves ("nieces" and the mother of Fili and Kili) suggesting that they do not all arise from stone. In The Lord of the Rings the idea that they were formed from stone would be described to be rumors and legends by other races, and not based the the truth as they know it.
In many of the early writings Dwarves are said to be created by "Melko', or at least moved closer to friendship with him. Inbetween it is ambiguoulsy suggested they came out of stone spontaeously. It was only later in development following the Hobbit that the ideas of Aule creating them was introduced. Ironically it is said that Aule and Melkor are actaully the two Valar that are closest to each other in personality and skill. Both sought to 'create' life of their own. Both created (or case of Morgoth 'corrupted') life that was in the image and likeness of their creators. But only Aule never worked against Illuvitar interfere or destroy what Eru was creating. But ironically in an indirect way the dwarves would share likeness to Morgoth, if only in the way Aule was similar to him. But Dwarves were also both like and unlike elves and men as well, and made resistant to Morgoth's will. This is alluded to in the The War of the Jewels in the The Later Quenta Silmarillion;
Wherefore, though the Dwarves are like the Orcs in this: that they came of the wilfulness of one of the Valar, they are not evil; for they were not made out of malice in mockery of the Children, but came of the desire of Aulë's heart to make things of his own after the Wherefore, though the Dwarves are like the Orcs in this: that they came of the wilfulness of one of the Valar, they are not evil; for they were not made out of malice in mockery of the Children, but came of the desire of Aulë's heart to make things of his own after the pattern of the designs of Ilúvatar.
In earlier versions of the Silmarillion as detailed in The History of Middle-earth series, Mîm the Dwarf was a much more evil character, who was a minion of Glaudring, and actively betrayed Túrin (the latter idea was resurrected in the complete published The Children of Hurin). But as dwarves gradually changed in Tolkien's writings from evil orc-like beings to the dwarves they later became, Mîm's character was changed, and in the final texts he is no longer a true villain, but almost a tragic character in his own right. However, the Children of Hurin restores some of the darker aspects of Mim's story and his selfish and evil nature, and turning towards the darkness, but leaves some details ambiguous referencing two versions of the same account in the same story with an account more sympathetic to the dwarf in the footnotes.
Dwarves become actively involved on the side of Melko, during the Battle of Palisor, the death of King Tinwelent, and the Fall of Gondolin in the earliest writings. Though at times they seem to be working of their own will, and betray others, and befriending other evil forces. This is described as "drawn more nigh in friendship to the kind of Melko."
These dwarves do not appear to always be evil, but sometimes neutral, they are said to neither serve Melko nor Manwe. But they start to lean ever closer to Melko due to their avarice, greed, and sense of revenge to anyone who wrongs them. This ultimately leads to them towards darkness and they are always at odds with the elves for all times to come. The neutral evil persists in Tolkien's writings as late as some of the material associated with the Lost Road.
The Shaping of Middle-earth, The War of the Jewels, and The History of the Hobbit notes that Tolkien had to essentially turn his older more evil dwarf race (of two races) into a new race to separate them from the newer more pleasant Seven Houses;
Ultimately the need to 'explain' Mim led to the conception of the Petty-dwarves.
But the Dwarves of [sic] How did Man find it? He must come of a different race.8...is this the first reference to the Petty-dwarfs?
Unedifying though it may be, 'The Nauglafring' does offer us the first extended view of Tolkien’s dwarves – one so much at variance with that race as developed in The Hobbit that Tolkien was eventually obliged to create a new name for the old race, the ‘petty dwarves’, to distinguish the people of Mîm from Durin’s Folk and their peers, the kindred of the Seven Houses of the dwarves.
This became important in later revisions in that elves encounter dwarves in which they don't necessarilly love have general peace and trade with. In contrast to those they went to war with the moment they saw them. The former became the dwarves of Nogrod & Belegost dwarves, and the treacherous ones became the Petty-dwarves.
The Wanderings of Hurin contains very little material concerning Mim, and while it may have included the latest revisions and updated information about Hurin. It was still predated some of the other material about Mim. Some of the notes appears to have the first references to 'petty-dwarves' that tolkien ever made, when he decided to convert dwarves into two races from the good ones and the bad ones. The chronology include, probably one of the last references Tolkien made to Hurin killing Mim. In the descriptions while no curse on the treasure is directly mentioned (as in earlier versions) it does include the idea that Hurin and his men took the whole treasure out of the hoard and not just Nauglamir as told in the published Silmarillion. The chronology however ends before Thingol is killed (thus no details about the dwarven conflict).
Several things of note from this later published versions of Mim's story as they appear in the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Children of Hurin, and the latter two books of the HoMe series (Wanderings of Hurin). Is that Petty-dwarves are portrayed as a race of dwarves that was actively neutral in the War hating both sides. Having decended from some of the more ill-virtued of dwarves who had been exiled for their slothful, and rebellious, and darker behaviour. They were selfish and greedy, stealthy and treacherous (ambushing others from darkness and night). But they were also more concerned with their own success and well-being and willing to betray others in order to stay alive. They are also willingly issue dark curses on those who injure them. The Children of Hurin leaves things somewhat more ambiguous mentioning both tales that Mim was ambitious, devious and with a mind for betrayal, as well as greedy willing to turn over others for riches, whose heart had darkened and he had become evil (but also sympathetically mentions that some tales suggest that his betrayal was initially unintended). He is however, not as dark as the lieutenant figure who guarded Glaurung's treasure, and used dark magic to curse treasures with wards. Even still there is the question if he ever did put the curse on the treasure upon his death at Huron's hands.
In the Silmarillion it notes that dwarves may fight among themselves and any other race;
A warlike race of old were all the Naugrim, and they would fight fiercely against whomsoever aggrieved them: servants of Melkor, or Eldar, or Avari, or wild beasts, or not seldom their own kin, Dwarves of other mansions and lordships.
The reference to dwarves fighting among themselves may be a remnant of a reference to those dwarves such as the Petty-dwarves that were exiled, and it may also be a remnant reference to the two clans of the Lost Tales who ended up fighting each other after the curse of Mim struck. Indeed the term "Naugrim" is derived from the Nauglath in Tolkien's earlier version (and the Nauglath themselves became the Petty-dwarves). The feuds between the kindreds of dwarves had all been erased with the loss of the story of Ufedhin and theft of Necklace from the Lord of Nogrod, and the killing of the Lord of Belegost in later stories, and the fighting between the two clans of dwarves.
The killing of Tinwelint by the Nauglith and Indrafang in revenge was revised in later and published versions of the Silmarillion as the Nauglim dwarves of Norgrod taking revenge on Thingol. Though some of the particulars were different. The revenge in former was over the death of Mim (and a few other insults). In the later it was due to an insult by Thingol who refused to pay what he had promised the dwarves. A remnant of darkness of the former stories are alluded to in that the dwarves in their greed are thought to covet the silmaril and his treasures. While the dwarves resorted to hiring orcs and ogres to attack Doriath, there is no evidence of this in later and final published version of the story.
In the The Lays of Beleriand Christopher Tolkien notes, that there is was a sinister effect of Elvish association with Dwarves in the early stories giving the examples of Blodrin and Ufedhin he mentions it is not altogether absent in the tale of Eöl and Maeglin as it appears in The Silmarillion. In that tale the Dark Elf and his son spend much time with the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost forging dark weapons and armor (similar in description to the weapons in the The Lays of Beleriend and wielded by Beren in one of the stories in The Shaping of Middle-earth). One of these weapons a javelin proved to be poisonous. His son would later go to betray Gondolin to Sauron. Blodrin was revised into Blodren in the later The Gray Annals an Easterling.
The concept of sinister or cursed dwarven weapons that betray their masters such as Beren's knife Angrist appears throughout the earlier material and even hinted at in the The Grey Annals written in the 1950s after LOTR.
Mim's curse is a concept that appeared in some the early writings including the Lost Tales but is not mentioned in the Silmarillion by Christopher Tolkien and the co-author Guy Kay, and thus is not wholey J.R.R. Tolkien. In that construct the Dwarves were already in Doriath. They chose to murder Thingol under their own greed and lust for his treasures, the necklace and the Silmaril (which in a way paints them in a darker light than even one under influence of a 'curse'). Christopher and Guy Kay also took the liberty of removing the other individuals in Hurin's band from the story in their adaptation in the Silmarillion as well, which removed their part in the role of the curse (as well as most of the treasure hoard).
- In the story that appears in The Silmarillion the outlaws who went with Húrin to Nargothrond were removed, as also was the curse of Mim; and the only treasure that Húrin took from Nargothrond was the Nauglamír - which was here supposed to have been made by Dwarves for Finrod Felagund, and to have been the most prized by him of all the hoard of Nargothrond. Húrin was represented as being at last freed from the delusions inspired by Morgoth in his encounter with Melian in Menegroth. The Dwarves who set the Silmaril in the Nauglamír were already in Menegroth engaged on other works, and it was they who slew Thingol; at that time Melian's power was with- drawn from Neldoreth and Region, and she vanished out of Middle- earth, leaving Doriath unprotected. The ambush and destruction of the Dwarves at Sarn Athrad was given again to Beren and the Green Elves (following my father's letter of 1963 quoted on p. 353, where the Ents, 'Shepherds of the Trees', were introduced.)
This story was not lightly or easily conceived, but was the outcome of long experimentation among alternative conceptions. In this work Guy Kay took a major part, and the chapter that I finally wrote owes much to my discussions with him. It is, and was, obvious that a Step was being taken of a different order from any other 'manipulation' of my father's own writing in the course of the book: even in the case of the story of The Fall of Gondolin, to which my father had never returned, something could be contrived without introducing radical changes in the narrative. It seemed at that time that there were elements inherent in the story of the Ruin of Doriath as it stood that were radically incompatible with 'The Silmarillion' as projected, and that there was here an inescapable choice: either to abandon that conception, or else to alter the story. I think now that this was a mistaken view, and that the undoubted difficulties could have been, and should have been, surmounted without so far overstepping the bounds of the editorial function.-The War of the Jewels, "The Tale of Years".
While the The Children of Hurin reintroduces many of the darker ideas from Mim's story ends, it before the events of Hurin and Mim's encounter, and so it is not clear if the entire 'curse' subplot was reintroduced.
In Other MediaEdit
The Eastern Dwarfs is a book series about the four dwarf houses in the far east of Middle-earth.
- Racism in Tolkien's Works: Dwarves as Jews
- ↑ Of the fabric of Earth had Aulë thought, to whom Ilúvatar had given skill and knowledge scarce less than to Melkor; but the delight and pride of Aulë is in the deed of making, and in the thing made, and neither in possession nor in his own mastery; wherefore he gives and hoards not, and is free from care, passing ever on to some new work. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 8). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ Melkor was jealous of him, for Aulë was most like himself in thought and in powers; Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 18). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ Among those of his servants that have names the greatest was that spirit whom the Eldar called Sauron, or Gorthaur the Cruel. In his beginning he was of the Maiar of Aulë, Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 23). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ They are a tough, thrawn race for the most part, secretive, laborious, retentive of the memory of injuries (and of benefits), lovers of stone, of gems, of things that take shape under the hands of the craftsman rather than things that live by their own life. J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings (p. 1132). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ in whose hearts still burns the ancient fire of Aulë the Smith, and the embers smoulder of their long grudge against the Elves; J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings (p. 1137). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ Of their strange beginning, and why they are both like and unlike Elves and Men, the Silmarillion tells; but of this tale the lesser Elves of Middle-earth had no knowledge, while the tales of later Men are confused with memories of other races. J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings (p. 1132). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ Therefore they are stone-hard, stubborn, fast in friendship and in enmity, and they suffer toil and hunger and hurt of body more hardily than all other speaking peoples; Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 39). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ they shall be to thee as children; and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice.’ Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 38). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ There arose a friendship between the usually hostile folk (of Elves and Dwarves) for the first and only time, and smithcraft reached its highest development. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion . Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ Letters 156: "They are not naturally evil, not necessarily hostile, and not a kind of maggot-folk bred in stone: but a kind of incarnate rational creature."
- ↑ For the Dwarves had proved untameable by this means. The only power over them that the Rings wielded was to inflame their hearts with a greed of gold and precious things, so that if they lacked them all other good things seemed profitless, and they were filled with wrath and desire for vengeance on all who deprived them. But they were made from their beginning of a kind to resist most steadfastly any domination. Though they could be slain or broken, they could not be reduced to shadows enslaved to another will; and for the same reason their lives were not affected by any Ring, to live either longer or shorter because of it. J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings (pp. 1076-1077). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ The Dwarves indeed proved tough and hard to tame; they ill endure the domination of others, and the thoughts of their hearts are hard to fathom, nor can they be turned to shadows. They used their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and an overmastering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts, of which evil enough after came to the profit of Sauron. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (pp. 345-346). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ 28. For they had met some far to the East who were of evil mind. [This was a later pencilled note. On the previous page of the typescript my father wrote at the same time, without indication of its reference to the text but perhaps arising from the mention (p. 301) of the awakening of the eastern kindreds of the Dwarves: 'Alas, it seems probable that (as Men did later) the Dwarves of the far eastern mansions (and some of the nearer ones?) came under the Shadow of Morgoth and turned to evil.']Peoples of Middle Earth, HoME 12
- ↑ A warlike race of old were all the Naugrim, and they would fight fiercely against whomsoever aggrieved them: servants of Melkor, or Eldar, or Avari, or wild beasts, or not seldom their own kin, Dwarves of other mansions and lordships. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion pg. 104. Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ People's of Middle Earth pg. 301
- ↑ HoMe 11, pg 388
- ↑ HoMe, pg. 352
- ↑ HoMe11, 204
- ↑ HoMe, pg. 352
- ↑ HoMe 11, pg 389
- ↑ The Silmarillion, pg. 243
- ↑ The Children of Hurin pg. 149
- ↑ The Silmarillion pg. 276
- ↑ HoMe 11, pg. 354
- ↑ Of the Dwarves few fought upon either side; but the kindred of Durin of Moria fought against Sauron. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion pg. 352). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ HoMeXI, pg
- ↑ three he has recovered, and the others the dragons have consumed. J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings (p. 51). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ The Seven are taken or destroyed.’ J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings (p. 250). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ It is said that the foundation of each of the Seven Hoards of the Dwarf-kings of old was a golden ring; but all those hoards long ago were plundered and the Dragons devoured them, and of the Seven Rings some were consumed in fire and some Sauron recovered. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 346). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ They used their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and an overmastering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts, of which evil enough after came to the profit of Sauron. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 346). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ They did not hate dwarves especially, no more than they hated everybody and everything, and particularly the orderly and prosperous; in some parts wicked dwarves had even made alliances with them. Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Locations 1057-1059). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ Peoples of Middle-earth pg. 311
- ↑ But they [Dwarves] are not evil by nature, and few ever served the Enemy of free will, whatever the tales of Men may have alleged. For Men of old lusted after their wealth and the work of their hands, and there has been enmity between the races. ([[Appendix E to LoTR)
- ↑ There were, however, dwarves on the road in unusual numbers. The ancient East – West Road ran through the Shire to its end at the Grey Havens, and dwarves had always used it on their way to their mines in the Blue Mountains. They were the hobbits’ chief source of news from distant parts – if they wanted any: as a rule dwarves said little and hobbits asked no more. But now Frodo often met strange dwarves of far countries, seeking refuge in the West. They were troubled, and some spoke in whispers of the Enemy and of the Land of Mordor. J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings pg. 43. Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ LOTR, pg 153, 155
- ↑ "As a small token only of your friendship Sauron asks this,” he said: "that you should find this thief," such was his word, "and get from him, willing or no, a little ring, the least of rings, that once he stole. It is but a trifle that Sauron fancies, and an earnest of your good will. Find it, and three rings that the Dwarf-sires possessed of old shall be returned to you, and the realm of Moria shall be yours for ever. Find only news of the thief, whether he still lives and where, and you shall have great reward and lasting friendship from the Lord. Refuse, and things will not seem so well. Do you refuse?"J.R.R. Tolkien (2009-04-17). The Lord of the Rings pg. 241. Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ There arose a friendship between the usually hostile folk (of Elves and Dwarves) for the first and only time, Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion . Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ The Silmarillion, pg. 243
- ↑ "They were brave and loyal folk, truehearted, haters of Morgoth and his servants; and at first had regarded the Dwarves askance, fearing that they were under the Shadow (as they said). (pg. 303 Peoples of Middle Earth)"
- ↑ ...no great love was there between them; for the Dwarves were secret and quick to resentment, and Caranthir was haughty and scarce concealed his scorn for the unloveliness of the Naugrim, and his people followed their lord. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 129). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ "Dwarves or Elves, whether friendly or hostile, were aliens, with whom their relations were uneasy and clouded by fear.": Peoples of Middle-earth, pg. 311
- ↑ "for they did not love dwarves, and thought he was an enemy. In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay. If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of old." Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Locations 2650-2655). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ ‘There is malice in this sword. The heart of the smith still dwells in it, and that heart was dark. It will not love the hand that it serves; neither will it abide with you long.’ Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-04-17). The Children of Hurin pg. 97. Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ the lore of Rivendell, Elvish and Númenorean, concerning the heroic days at the end of the First Age; it seems to contain echoes of the Númenorean tale of Túrin and Mim the Dwarf. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2011-05-03). Tales from the Perilous Realm: Roverandom and Other Classic Faery Stories (Kindle Locations 2160-2161). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ Ere the pit was dug or Hell yawned, ere dwarf was bred or dragon spawned, Tolkien, J. R. R. (2011-05-03). Tales from the Perilous Realm: Roverandom and Other Classic Faery Stories (Kindle Locations 2934-2935). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ HoMe2, 136
- ↑ HoMe 2, pg 224
- ↑ Dwarves in the original conception were altogether more ignoble than they afterwards became, more prone to evil to gain their ends, and more exclusively impelled by greed; that Doriath should be laid waste by mercenary Orcs under Dwarvish paymasters Tolkien, J.R.R. (2012-02-15). The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two: Part Two (History of Middle-Earth) (p. 247). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
- ↑ HoME Part I, 215
Palisor was possessed by ‘Fangli and his hosts of Nauglath (or Dwarves)’. (In the early writings the Dwarves are always portrayed as an evil people.)Tolkien, J.R.R. (2012-02-15). The Book of Lost Tales, Part One: Part One: 1 (History of Middle-Earth) (p. 268). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.</span> </li>
- ↑ Nauglath GL gives the following words: naug and naugli ‘dwarf’, naugla ‘of gives the dwarves’ nauglafel ‘dwarf-natured, i.e. mean, avaricious’ (see p. 236). QL has nothing corresponding, but in GL the Qenya equivalent of naug is said to be nauka.Tolkien, J.R.R. (2012-02-15). The Book of Lost Tales, Part One: Part One: 1 (History of Middle-Earth) . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ they are eminently recognisable in their dour and hidden natures, in their ‘unloveliness’ (The Silmarillion pg. 113), Tolkien, J.R.R. (2012-02-15). The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two: Part Two (History of Middle-Earth) (p. 247). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ Dwarves were secret and quick to resentment, and Caranthir was haughty and scarce concealed his scorn for the unloveliness of the Naugrim, and his people followed their lord. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (pg. 129). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ History of the Hobbit </li>
- ↑ Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Locations 865-866). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ History of the Hobbit </li>
- ↑ History of the Hobbit </li>
- ↑ Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Location 770). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Locations 299-300). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Locations 3186-3188). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Locations 478-479). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. </li>
- ↑ HoMeXI, pg 207 </li>
- ↑ "‘Durin, Durin’ said Gandalf. ‘He was the father of the fathers of one of the two races of dwarves, the Longbeards, and my grandfather’s ancestor.’" </li>
- ↑ HoMeXI, pg 208 </li>
- ↑ HoMe 203 </li>
- ↑ HoMEIV </li>
- ↑ But Thingol perceived their hearts, and saw well that desiring the Silmaril they sought but a pretext and fair cloak for their true intent; Tolkien, J. R. R. (2009-05-05). The Silmarillion (p. 279). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition. </li></ol>