Thread: Dwarves in Lord of the Rings
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It seems in the Movie, Lord of the Rings, the Dwarves are Hardly mention, save Gimli. Many people say that, "Hey, why did the dwarves just sit on their butts and just dig for Gold, while the Darkness and Shadow Grew?". Yet, I do not know why Peter Jackson did not include them, because they fended off the Shadow from coming into the Lonely Mountain, or passing its borders. They also were tempted to join the Dark Lord's Forces, and in return, have the Mines of Moria, forever. I would be rather skeptical of this, saying there is no apparent reason the Dark Lord would let the Dwarves live and not crush such a refuge for the Free People's. Either way, The Dwarves do play quite a role in the War of the Ring. And I ABSOLUTELY HATE that the Movie Completely skipped over Glorfindel and Gloin. First of all, it was not Arwen who called the Flood, and yet it was Glorfindel who plead for Elrond to Call up the River. And Elrond did not make those horses you see come out of the River, it was Gandalf. Anyway, that is a whole different story.
The whole thing with the dwarves fending off Sauron at the Lonely Mountain is mentioned, in the book, at the council of Elrond. It seems that, in the movie, they wanted to shorten the council of Elrond and make it more to-the-point. As a result, the mention of the dwarves was eliminated. Because of this, if the dwarves came into the story later, it would have seemed like it came out of the blue. And, in the movie, Elrond explained it away: "The Dwarves? They toil away in their mountains, seeking riches. They care nothing for the troubles of others."
Although I respect the Elves very much, I do not see why they abandon Middle Earth and its ways. I see that they wish to escape evil and live in a world that is only Merry and Good. However, that is the only problem with their race. The world will never be Good, the Shadow will never truly be abolished. Though the Elves have their Grey Haven, and their own World beyond the Sea, I do not see their reason for Abandoning the Free People's of Middle Earth. If The Elves would have come over the Sea in aid to Men and Dwarves, the Battle against the Dark Lord could have been one, which much less Losses. If Haldir had not come from Loth-Lorien to the aid of Helm's Deep, it may have well have been taken over, well before the Morning Light. Just a Small Batallion of Elves could save a Fortress, think of what a Legion could do? Fully equiped with Elven Armor? Well, I just sometimes do not see why Elves think the way they do, however I am not an Elf. The thing that touches me the most in the book is when in the Appendix of the 50th Edition it says "Then Legolas built a Grey Ship in Ithilien and sailed down Anduin and so over the Sea.; and with him, it is said, went Gimli the Dwarf. And when the ship passed an end was come in Middle-earth of the Fellowship of the RIng. To me that is the PERFECT Ending to a PERFECT book. It kind of makes me feel a bit sad inside, that such a Great Book, has ended. I am also very grieved I could not have seen or talked to J.R.R. Tolkien in Person, nor been alive in his Era.
Peace to all and Goodwill to men, and even Elves and Dwarves,
Well Durin, I think "merry and good" is a better description of the Hobbits
. The Elves are the Vulcans of Middle-Earth, and Reason is their way. The Elves were leaving Middle Earth because they knew Magic was fading and that they were coming to the end of the Third Age. They also knew that the next age would be the Age of Man. They had done their work, which was to shepherd mankind through it's infancy and childhood until they (we) could look after ourselves. Middle-Earth was intended to be an alternate past to our current present. I have always been in some ways as disappointed as you that this was so. That is why the ending of LOTR is so bitter-sweet. In a way though, just as Arthurian legend promises the return of Arthur and Christianity the return of Christ, some of us hold out hope that the future holds a return of Magic to the World. If I hold out any musings on what possibilities await on predicted dates such as 2012, it is this; that Magic will indeed return and that the Archaic Revival will meet the future in the Dawning of a true New Age. And maybe, just maybe the return of the Elves.
[quote:1y1tckcd]The Elves are the Vulcans of Middle-Earth,[/quote:1y1tckcd] is quite and odd way to describe the Elves. Now, I wonder why Tolkien has not described how the Dwarves had their fate on Middle Earth, for I have always been curious who would rule Middle Earth, whether it be Hobbits, Men, or Dwarves, or even Elves, who would come back in a New Age, with an un-explicable amount of Magic. If I am missing something, please tell me, because I have read all of the Appendices of Middle Earth many-a-time!
I'm not sure about Dwarves (I think they probably just mingled with humans). But the Hobbits represented the British country folk, though he also intended them to be the "little people" of British legend. It would probably be more accurate to say the Vulcans of Star Trek fame are modelled on the Elves, but they both represent the same principles of Reason and Reverence for Life and Peace. As to the future all we really have is speculation. When we have foreknowledge of an event it gives us a chance to make choices that can change the future; so Prophesies are never certain, only likely possibilities. As a side note; Elves are often considered to possess the ability to see all probabilities, all possible outcomes as illustrated nicely in Peter Jackson's films.
It is referenced in the ROTK EE briefly when Legolas says "I think the Dwarves have battles in their own lands" or something like that - in other words, this could refer to Erebor and all that.
The Dwarves do contribute to the story because a dwarf joins the fellowship. The elves are only shown much more because of Arwen's relevance and because they encounter Galadriel and Elrond on the journey.
Gimli says to Legolas....give me a legion of Dwarves, well armed and filthy. to which Legolas replies...I think that war shall come to them.
Dwarves do play a huge role the history of Middle Earth, all the way through..some for good and some for not. Remember, like the Humans they were exploited by Sauron and the Rings of Power during the Second Age, while the Rings drove the Humans to lust for power over one another, it incited unreasonable greed in the dwarves. Although it does not say this in the "Hobbit", in the one of the Lost tales books, Its fairly clear that Thorin is driven by the desire to retake Erebor with force, and that Thorin was driven for revenge for both his kin and the stolen treasure. My understanding of that was that Tolkien was ambivilant as to what was more important to Thorin, Implying the hold of the ring. Given that context, I think Elronds comment in the Fellowship Movie makes more sense. Also, clearly they were at the council of Elrond, so he felt that they had a role to play in saving middle earth. He had just as much disdain for men..."men are weak.."
If I recall correctly from my readings years ago, at the time that Sauron assailed Minas Tirith, he also sent forces to assail the remaining elven strongholds (Rivendell and Lothlorien) as well as the dwarves, both to keep them from uniting against him and just in case one of them was concealing the One Ring from him.
I was not as happy with how Jackson portrayed Gimli. Gimli was portrayed as slovenly and often clueless though loveable enough. He was made the comedy relief. In a way, he reminds me of how men are often portrayed in sitcoms (consider Everyone loves Raymond).
In the books, on the other hand, dwarves were much more refined. Remember at the unexpected party how Thorin and the others were accompolished musicians, playing instruments as refined and elegant as the harp. They were also somewhat formal and refined in their discourse, especially when addressing new people...though that refinement would slip in moments of greed or anger.
In the books dwarves were very much down to business, whether it was working at crafts, playing an instrument, or engaging in warfare. Their weekness was simply their propensity to be greedy. Greed brought out the worst in them, whether it involved a Silmaril or Smaug's hoard.
I didn't see Jackson's Gimli as strictly comic relief. It seemed to me, more that his [i:128f7d4i][b:128f7d4i]relationship[/b:128f7d4i][/i:128f7d4i] with Legolas was played as comic relief. I thought Gimli did seem at times in the films like a "down to business" type of personality, yet fun to be around at parties
Gandalfs Beard mentions elves as sort of Vulcans of Middle Earth, in that they are more logical.
I can see how he would arrive at that perspective, but mine is very different.
As immortals, elves have a more "eternal" perspective. They are able to grasp the big picture more readily, mostly because they've been around long enough to personally witness many historic cycles. They've had time to properly mature on an individual level, and as a people.
We know elves can act irrationally and even immorally. Just look at Feanor and those who followed him (which interestingly enough includes Galadriel). For greed and pride the Noldor went chasing after a jewel, and committed murder against their own elvish kin on more than one occasion and on multiple continents in their quest to get it. It's the reason why, by the Third Age, the Noldor language(Quenya) is all but banished from Middle Earth except in private usage or in ceremony.
And that isn't the only case. I forget his name, but for petty pride and jealousy an elf attempted to murder Turin.
Then there were Eol and Maeglin, both evil elves, with Maeglin being the most evil elf in Middle Earth history.
My point is that Elves are fallible just like dwarves and men. They've just been around long enough to learn from their mistakes (for the most part) and see a bigger picture than men or even dwarves usually see.
Actually, I agree Shane. Vulcans act more logical, but a lot of it is just outward appearance. They are often fallible and arrogant to boot. And I think your point about the "eternal" perspective applies to Vulcans too. I think Vulcans are based on Elves rather than the opposite (they came later after all
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":2uprhfn8]I didn't see Jackson's Gimli as strictly comic relief. It seemed to me, more that his [i:2uprhfn8][b:2uprhfn8]relationship[/b:2uprhfn8][/i:2uprhfn8] with Legolas was played as comic relief. I thought Gimli did seem at times in the films like a "down to business" type of personality, yet fun to be around at parties
It comes out more strongly in the extended edition than in the theatrical release. Gimli chugging ale (with half of it going down his beard), wiping his mouth with his beard, followed by a big belch. That sort of thing.
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":guqwncc8]Actually, I agree Shane. Vulcans act more logical, but a lot of it is just outward appearance. They are often fallible and arrogant to boot. And I think your point about the "eternal" perspective applies to Vulcans too. I think Vulcans are based on Elves rather than the opposite (they came later after all
Very good point. Well put.
[quote="Shane333":t74zd999]If I recall correctly from my readings years ago, at the time that Sauron assailed Minas Tirith, he also sent forces to assail the remaining elven strongholds (Rivendell and Lothlorien) as well as the dwarves, both to keep them from uniting against him and just in case one of them was concealing the One Ring from him.[/quote:t74zd999]
Well, Sauron [i:t74zd999]thought[/i:t74zd999] had a fairly good idea where the Ring was before he attacked Minas Tirith (after Pippin looked in the Palantir, later revised after Aragorn did the same). But he did send forces to attack Erebor, Mirkwood, Lorien, and even a few towards Fangorn. I don't recall any mention of an attack on Rivendell, though.
[b:1uskliy6]Durin[/b:1uskliy6] - the Elves left Middle-earth largely because their part in the grand cosmic "scheme" of Arda (the "world", but more than just the planet) was finished. They were paving the way for Men, but they were destined to leave Middle-earth. The Valar themselves encouraged this, and eventually even those Elves who resisted realized that the time had come to give the world over to Men. Fortunately for them they still had a place they could dwell: the Undying Lands.
[quote="Durin":1uskliy6]I have always been curious who would rule Middle Earth, whether it be Hobbits, Men, or Dwarves, or even Elves, who would come back in a New Age, with an un-explicable amount of Magic.[/quote:1uskliy6]
[i:1uskliy6]Hobbits[/i:1uskliy6] - the Prologue to LOTR tells us that the numbers of hobbits have dwindled, and The Hobbit refers to their tendency to hide around the Big Folk. One would imagine this tendency has increased since there are no hobbits to be found these days (you may know of Tolkien's "conceit" that his writings were historical records of the long-distant pats of our own earth).
[i:1uskliy6]Dwarves[/i:1uskliy6] - the draft of Appendix A.III given in [i:1uskliy6]The History of Middle-earth XII[/i:1uskliy6] states that eventually "the days of the Dwarves" would end. I take this to mean that they would die out, even though I don't particularly like this sad interpretation. On the other hand, this passage is not given in the published version, though one must still wonder where all the dwarves went. Perhaps they are still hiding belowgrounds.
[i:1uskliy6]Elves[/i:1uskliy6] - before the end of the world (the extremely obscure Dagor Dagorath, similar to the Norse Ragnarok) I don't think this would happen. After that even though - the destruction of the world as it is known - what happens is anyone's guess. Before then though, the world remains under the Dominion of Men.
I prefer to think that Hobbits and Dwarves mingled with certain human populations Eldorion. There is a sizable community of Little Folk in Hollywood for example
, that is made up of dwarves (people whose limbs are disproportionately short compared to there torsos and heads) and...erm...I am uncertain as to the inoffensive term
..."midgets" (little people who are proportioned "normally"
. I hope my use of these terms hasn't offended anyone. I probably should have googled to find the correct terminology.
In any case, Hobbits are like the latter group of people. So the notion that Dwarves and Hobbits live among us isn't entirely implausible
. And judging by the physical appearance of many Brits (such as myself), Hobbit features can be found amongst larger folk...ahem...Susan Boyle...Cough
, which would indicate intermarriage.
Oh, if only Elves were as accessible **sigh**.
You raise an interesting point [b:1ugiv9g3]GB[/b:1ugiv9g3]: whether intermarriage and reproduction would be possible between Hobbits and Men (or Dwarves and Men). We do know that it was possible between Men and Elves (thereby making them, by definition, the same species), and
[quote="The Prologue to LOTR":1ugiv9g3]It is plain indeed that in spite of later estrangement Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves.[/quote:1ugiv9g3]
We learn from this that both Hobbits and Dwarves are closer relatives to Men than Elves, thereby suggesting (to me, at least) that all of the Children of Iluvatar, including the adopted ones, were the same biological species. This would therefore suggest that reproduction - half-hobbits and half-dwarves, as it were - would be possible. Whether or not this [i:1ugiv9g3]would[/i:1ugiv9g3] happen is a different matter though, and more a question of sociology than biology.
The above quote though does mention estrangement between Hobbits and Men, so I wouldn't think that they intermarried in any significant numbers. I can't really say about Dwarves though.
Never really thought about this before.
I would like to respond briefly to the point of 'eternal' perspective.
In the TV series Babylon 5 an alien called "lorien" who was the first one. Made the comment that only a mortal species like man can truly believe that love is eternal, and that illusion may be the greatest gift ever given to man."
I think that the elves, while seeming logical or arrogant, were not. Nor were they intended to appear that way. They were quite fallible, as the rebellion of Feanor clearly shows.
I loved Hugo Weavings portrayal of Elrond, but Im not sure that he would have disdain for men, as a resignation on fighting an evil that appeared unstoppable, and that the elves themselves help to empower. Sauron, beguiled the ring smiths in the Erigon and helped to create the rings of power.
The difference between the elves and men in my view is that elves live a whole lot longer to regret thier mistakes.
[quote="anaclangon":2i2hrfdd]I loved Hugo Weavings portrayal of Elrond, but Im not sure that he would have disdain for men[/quote:2i2hrfdd]
The whole "Men are weak" thing that movie-Elrond had going on ruined the character for me. It was far too reminiscent of [url=http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/uncyclopedia/images/d/da/Elrond.jpg:2i2hrfdd]Agent Smith[/url:2i2hrfdd] for my taste (I love that picture
). Elrond's dislike of Men seemed to be a large factor in his dislike of Aragorn in the movies and it got old for me very fast (and sort of killed the homeliness of the Last Homely House when he was scowling constantly, like during the Council).
Hugo Weaving is a quality actor, but I wasn't keen on his Elrond either. I think you're on the money there, Eldorion.
I haven't seen Mr. Weaving in many films but I did like him in [i:3kjeu32y]The Matrix[/i:3kjeu32y] where he was supposed to be evil.
I actually loved Hugo as Elrond, but the first time I watched the film I couldn't get the image of Agent Smith out of my mind
[quote="Durin":m4hjnloy]It seems in the Movie, Lord of the Rings, the Dwarves are Hardly mention, save Gimli. Many people say that, "Hey, why did the dwarves just sit on their butts and just dig for Gold, while the Darkness and Shadow Grew?". Yet, I do not know why Peter Jackson did not include them, because they fended off the Shadow from coming into the Lonely Mountain, or passing its borders. The Dwarves do play quite a role in the War of the Ring. [/quote:m4hjnloy]
Peter Jackson didn't show much of the Dwarves onscreen because the Dwarves weren't present much in the original story. The Dwarves tended to stay at home and mind their own business, and expect others to do likewise, most of the time. Gimli and Gloin were present at the Council of Elrond, and Gimli was chosen to go as an available and willing representative of the Dwarves. Gimli was meant to represent the "everyman Dwarf" much as Legolas was the "everyman Elf", and their point of views were meant to reflect attitudes beyond those of Men and Hobbits, which were rather more familiar to the reader.
So take heart in the knowledge that Gimli was in some ways all the Dwarves as one, more often than not. He diverged from the collective a little, in his love for Lady Galadriel and his ability to become ready friends with other peoples. This was unusual for the Dwarves, whom Tolkien repeatedly described as being loyal to friends, but living apart from other people and having few dealings with them. (It should be remembered that Gloin originally came to the Council to warn Bilbo that the Enemy was looking for him.)
And why didn't PJ have any turn up at Helm's Deep? Oh... he's probably saved them up for TH.... There are going to be dwarves in The Hobbit Movie, aren't there? Oh I sincerely hope so!
Maybe even Shirtless Dwarfs
Knowing now what I know about those Dwarves (or Dwarfs), I hope there will be!
Being a Tolkien fan I am a firm proponent of the spelling [i:1ycle7no]dwarves[/i:1ycle7no], whatever the pedants at publishing houses and dictionaries might think.
(When [i:1ycle7no]The Lord of the Rings[/i:1ycle7no] was being prepared for publication the typesetters changed a number of Tolkien's spellings, including dwarves > dwarfs and elves > elfs; much to Tolkien's displeasure!)
Actually Tolkien preferred the spelling Dwarfs, I'm not certain about whether he preferred Elfs or Elves. I generally spell it Dwarves, but then I figured seeing as i am posting on a Tolkien forum I ought to use his preferred spelling (ya know, being a "purist" and all
I didn't actually know that, GB; I took a brief glance at the [i:2zowol66]Letters[/i:2zowol66] but I'll need to read more in-depth when I'm not so tired. I wonder why he used 'dwarves' in his books though.... Perhaps the answer awaits me in one of the letters. I'm so used to 'dwarves' though, 'dwarfs' feels awkward on my tongue.
Are you sure about this GB???
After doing a bit of research, it is safe to say I have my story backwards (my memory being muddled by age
). "Dwarfs" is apparently the "correct" spelling recognized by spell-checks. However Tolkien did indeed popularize the the more sensible "Dwarves".
For dwarf, the common form of the plural was dwarfs’as, for example, in Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’until J. R. R. Tolkien popularized dwarves; he intended the changed spelling to differentiate the "dwarf" fantasy race in his novels from the cuter and simpler beings common in fairy tales, but his usage has since spread. Multiple astronomical dwarf stars and multiple nonmythological short human beings, however, remain dwarfs.[/quote:2v87lbbx]
I had remembered that Tolkien fought with his publishers over the correct spelling, but apparently had reversed which was which
That clears some stuff up, GB. I'd thought the Letters indicated that Tolkien preferred 'dwarfs' for a moment but then I re-read them with a more awake mind.
If anyone else has a copy, Tolkien makes at statement in Letter 17 about his use of 'dwarves' in [i:2ikpxtmr]The Hobbit[/i:2ikpxtmr] even though it was 'incorrect'.
I thought T used 'dwarves' deliberately. (I also suspect he knew how to spell 'dwarfs'!)
Just to chip in on dwarves in the Jackson film I'd very much like to have seen a few verses of the poem sung by Gimli in Moria- perhaps with a similar "ghost image" to Arwen's of her future son, but of Moria in its splendour.
"A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door."
Surely a better use of time than the "collapsing staircase" sequence. And something I think which would have, for a non-Tolkien audicience, shown and captured something of the spirit and heart of the dwarves.
That's actually a really good idea Petty. I would've liked a glimpse of Dwarf-dom in it's prime (and a few more Dwarves in general). Still, it would've been an awfully expensive set piece for something that might only have a few minutes screen-time.
But they WILL have their day in The Hobbit, so all is not lost
I LOVE that idea, pettytyrant.
That would have been amazing to see and, I think, emphasized both the breathtaking nature of Khazad-dum and the accomplishments of the dwarves as something other than greedy, filthy barbarians....
Part of me wants PJ to pull a George Lucas and release an 'Even More Extended Edition' sometime.
Imagine how poignant it will be when we watch the first LotR movie again and the Fellowship come to Balin's tomb, this after the audience (hopefully) gets to know him in The Hobbit movie! Balin's Tomb was one of the saddest things in LotR for me (I adored Balin) but I was not much moved by the scene in the movie - I guess it had no anchor point in my emotions.
I felt quite the same way Odo. That scene has more emotional resonance in the books, I think largely because we read The Hobbit first. Seeing the LotR films before getting to know the film version of Balin loses us a lot of that emotion
I'm actually looking forward to one day watching the films in proper order, with LotR as Sequel, rather than The Hobbit as Prequel.
Yes, I feel the same, and because I do, I'm willing this once to overlook your use of foul language in making your point ([i:1k6b9azk]'Prequel'[/i:1k6b9azk] that is).
It really is ludicrous to refer to The Hobbit as the "P" word, isn't it. That word should only refer to stories wherein the beginning book or film is literally written after the end book or film. The Hobbit came first! So even though the film is coming out after LotR, it still shouldn't be referred to as the "P" word.
I feel that you are returning to the narrow road, GB - even as Mr Tyrant steps out on the broad! (Or perhaps you take the High Road while he takes the Low?)
If its by chronology then surely the Hobbit is a sequel- to Silmarillion!
Generally speaking, whether something is sequel or prequel is based on publication date. Thus The Silmarillion is a Prequel to The Hobbit and LotR, and neither of those books are its Sequels.
General or not, I'm reluctant to call The Silmarillion a prequel since it's writing predated (in part) that of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and it figured so heavily in the writing of the latter.
Only in the publishing sense can The Sil be considered a Prequel. You are quite correct, Eldorion, that The Silmarillion embodies material that WELL predates TH and LotR. However; as Christopher Tolkien compiled, edited, and published the book after his father's death, it definitely qualifies as a "Prequel" of sorts.
"Of sorts" is, I suppose, true. I'll acknowledge that.
Didn't The Hobbit start as in independant bedtime story for his boys and Tolkien just cribbed and borrowed a bit from the wellspring of his Silmarillion material?
He didn't realize until much of the way through that it was taking place in his larger world. It wasn't till after the first edition was published he started really feeling bad for writing "down" to his children, particularly in his portrayal of the Elves. So he later had to come up with a solid reason (or two) for those particular Elves to have been quite so different from the rest.
But this is the Dwarf thread
, and I'm not certain that Tolkien ever felt too bad about portraying THEM as occasionally buffoonish
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