Concerning Dwarves

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#1 » Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:35 am

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.

Dwarven Beards

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”.

Dwarven Women

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.

Dwarven Marriage

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.

Dwarven Language

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.

Dwarven Afterlife

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.

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#2 » Wed Aug 04, 2004 6:06 am

interesting....I like dwarves although i'm an elf... ;)

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#3 » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:58 am

Does anyone know anything about the Dwarves' secret names? I remember the quote:

Not even on their tombs do they inscribe them.

Do we know any more than this?
A mind full of fire and a fistful of steel.

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#4 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 3:32 am

I recall reading that myself too, Peredhil, but a quick search hasn't revealed anything extra. I'm pretty sure I haven't come across anything in the books I have already read, because I tend to be able to recall things I have already come across. There are a few HOME books I still haven't had time to read yet though, which might contain this sort of thing. I'll keep looking, though I don't have a lot of free time at the moment.

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#5 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:49 am


I was wondering where Gimli is from? I reckon he wasn't from Moria because the place was deserted when the company arrived. Where else have drawves lived in Middle Earth?

Thank you.

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#6 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:40 am

Gilmi is Gloin's son, they lived in exile in the Blue Mountains until Smaug was driven from the Lonely Mountain. I read somewhere that Gimli had not traveled with Thorin's company because he was still to young.
I will never raise the white flag.

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#7 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 3:01 pm

I always wondered if there was dwarves left but now I rember that there is some still in the lonely mountains.
Just wondering did any dwarves make it out of Moria before the orcs came?
Where did Gimli live after the War of the Ring and before he sailed over the Sea?

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#8 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:54 pm

Where did Gimli live after the War of the Ring and before he sailed over the Sea?
From LotR near the very end of Appendix A:
After the fall of Sauron, Gimli brought south a part of the Dwarf-folk of Erebor (the Lonely Mountain), and he became Lord of the Glitering Caves (located at Helm's Deep). He and his people did great works in Gondor and Rohan. For Minas Titith they forged gates of mithril and steel to replace those broken by the Witch-king.
It goes on to tell of Legolas and his people settling in Ithilien and then, after the death of the King, of Gimli and Legolas departing by boat for Valinor, with speculation both about Gimli's reasoning for leaving Middle-earth and the Valar's for accepting him.

This was the final bit written in the Red Book of Westernesse, presumably by one of the decendents of Samwise Gamgee, as the book was entrusted to them via his daughter Elenor, when Sam left the Shire that last time on his way to the Grey Havens. (In the above quote, the parts in parenthese are my additions.)
'Share and enjoy'

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#9 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:55 pm

No thread about dwarves is complete without this link. The names of all the dwarves comes from this poem, including Gimli, listed one by one. And of course he becomes the lord of the Glittering Caves, Gimle was a great shining hall, one of several halls for the dead.

She sees a hall standing
fairer than the sun,
thatched with gold
at Gimlé.
There the nobel
lords will live
and spend all their days
in pleasure.

Voluspå-The Seeress's Prophecy
"Don't complain under the stars
about the lack of bright spots in you life."
Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian writer

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Concerning Dwarves

Post#10 » Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:27 am

Veig and Gandálf,
Vindálf and Thorin,

Gandalf was a dwarf???


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