2 posts tagged dwarves
There were originally seven Dwarf kingdoms, founded by each of the seven Dwarf “Fathers.” The most common to show up in stories were “Durin’s Folk” (also called “Longbeards”) which consisted of guys like Thorin and Gimli. Durin’s Folk were the friendliest with Elves & Men, and were also the ones who founded kingdoms like Moria. Dwarves are largely very secretive and reclusive, so it’s mostly Durin’s Folk, given their relative openness, who appear in Tolkien’s stories.
There are others like the Broadbeams and the Firebeards, who hail from the Blue Mountains and have a large role in the First Age. The other Dwarf kingdoms are place further East, and I don’t believe they have significant appearances in any stories.
I think most of the Dwarves in The Hobbit are part of Durin’s Folk, but by the time of the 3rd Age that ethnic group expanded into several kingdoms, like the Grey Mountains, Iron Mountains, Blue Mountains, Iron Hills and Erebor.
I have a theory that Durin’s Folk are really just the Dwarf race that looks more like what humans would call “Dwarves,” while the others had different appearances.
Silmarillion Project Part 4: The Free Peoples of the First Age
- Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
- Part 2: “Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar”
- Part 3: “The Monsters of Middle-Earth”
The Free Peoples of Middle-Earth consist of Men, Elves and Dwarves. Elves were the first to arise, and are virtually immortal. When they awoke, they were called to reside with the Valar in their continent of Aman, though the journey from their birthplace in Middle-Earth was far. Many Elves never completed the journey, but those who did were known as High Elves, and are considered the most powerful of their race.
There are three houses of High Elves:
- Teleri - The largest of the houses, Teleri are a diverse group that has often found its home in the sea. They are among the most skilled shipbuilders and navigators of their time. The Teleri usually had brown hair and eyes, though those of royal lineage had silver hair.
- Vanyar - The ruling house of Elves, the Vanyar comprise the wisest and most powerful of their race, including the high king of all Elves, Ingwë. The most distinctive element of the Vanyar is that once arriving in Aman, they would virtually never leave it again. As such, their influence in the history of Middle-Earth is brief. Vanyar are exceptionally fair, with bright golden hair.
- Noldor - Easily the most famous of the High Elves, the Noldor are the most ambitious and industrious of their kind. They are above all legendary craftsmen; it was the Noldor Fëanor who crafted the Silmarils, for which the Silmarillion is named. As one might expect, the Noldor are extremely proud, becoming the source of much tragedy in Middle-Earth. Noldor have a strong, muscular build, usually bearing very dark hair and grey eyes.
Of the Elves who chose to stay in Middle-Earth, the most notable are the Sindar. They, along with the Dwarves, comprise the rest of the non-human allies during the First Age of the Silmarillion.
- Sindar- A large population of Teleri never completed the journey to Aman and stayed in Middle-Earth. These became known as the Sindar, and comprise the Elves most familiar to the human history of MIddle-Earth. They largely prefer natural surroundings, creating cities in harmony with the forests.
- Dwarves - Created by Aluë as a crude imitation/homage to the true Children of Illuvatar (Elves & Men), Dwarves were given true life, though their nature and appearance is notably different from the other races. Dwarves are stubborn, hardy, and resistant to both evil and harsh elements. They prefer mining and crafting, surpassing all others in the skill of smithing. Their relationship with Elves is complicated, though they found good friends amongst the Noldor.
In the First Age, the humans who participated in the wars against Morgoth were known as the Edain, who were divided into three houses:
- Hador - The House of Hador was large and fond of warfare. Many of the greatest warriors of the First Age came from these people, and above all the Edain gained the most renown. They were very tall and usually had blonde or goldenhair.
- Haleth - The House of Haleth were the most peaceful and reclusive of the Edain, largely keeping out of the conflicts of the First Age. They were dark-haired, short, and survived well into later times.
- Bëor - The smallest house of the Edain, Bëor consisted of patient, steadfast people who were quick to resist the evil temptations of Morgoth. They endured significant menace and tragedy from the Dark Lord and his armies throughout the First Age.