During the long evolution of the Silmarillion, Tolkien amended and rewrote the various sections many times until the later sections bore little resemblance to the early writings. From all these scripts, his son Christopher had the task of editing them into the Silmarillion we know today. There were a lot of scribbled notes to decipher and a lot of what JRR had written never made it into the Silmarillion. With the early writings this is understandable. Much of it had been amended. Strangely, however, some of the most recent notes did not get used either. To me this is strange because these texts contained JRR’s latest ideas on where he was taking the story. Contained in the HOME book, The War of the Jewels, there is a section about Dwarves which JRR wrote after he had completed LotR. Much of it is contained in the Silmarillion, but some of it is not. Many of you will be aware of most of the following, but for those of you who aren’t, or for those of you who wish to know more about Dwarves, I hope the following is of interest.
No Elf or Man has ever seen a beardless Dwarf (excepting circumstances in which they have been shaven in mockery). JRR says that “the Naugrim have beards from the beginning of their lives, males and females alike”.
Most of us are aware that Dwarven women are few, and seldom seen. Here, JRR goes on to say that the two sexes are so similar that their features, gait and voices are so alike, they cannot be discerned by members of other races. The womenfolk, however, do not go to war, and only in the direst need even come out of their underground halls.
It is widely known that few Dwarves wed, but in this section JRR says generally it is only their kings and chieftains which marry, and so their race multiply only slowly. This seems far fewer than I had ever imagined, but it does explain why in the Hobbit all of the Dwarves are closely related to each other.
Dwarves seldom teach their language to non-Dwarves, preferring to speak the tongue of those around them. JRR mentions here, however, that because the Dwarves encountered Men long before the Elves did, the language of the Easterlings bares many similarities to Dwarven speech.
The Noldor believe that when Dwarves die they return to the earth and stone from which they were made. The Dwarves, however, have a different belief. They believe that Aule cares for them, and gathers them in Mandos in Halls set apart for them. Here they wait, not in idleness, but in the practice of their crafts and learning Lore. They believe that the Seven Fathers were told by Aule that the race will be hallowed by Iluvater, and that they will join with the Children in the End. Their part will then to be serving Aule in the remaking of Arda after the Last Battle.
The Dwarves believe that unlike other Dwarves, the Seven Fathers of the race reincarnate in a similar fashion to the Quendi and return to their people.
The Seven Fathers
From the Silmarillion we know that Aule created the Seven Fathers of Dwarves. JRR seemed to be undecided on mates for the Seven, however, and rewrote texts concerning them several times. Among his notes are the following ideas:-
a) It was Iluvater who created a mate for each of the Seven Fathers, but because he could not amend the work of Aule, and because Aule had only created things of male form, the women of the Dwarves resembled the men.
b) Aule made one Father, and then six more. He then began making mates for them, but after making six mates he wearied. He thus buried six pairs, but the oldest, Durin, was laid alone. This second idea, of Durin not having a mate, was written several times and seems to have been JRR’s favoured option.
If any of you wish to discuss any of the above, add further Dwarven trivia, or generally ask questions about Dwarves, please feel free to do so.