In Germanic and Norse myth, dwarfs are small humanoids living in holes or mountains. The Germans often depicted them as ugly and, of course, short. In Norse myths they were born of the bones of Blain, the first frost giant. They were maggots before ol’ Odin and the rest gave them brains. Then the gods put one dwarf at each corner of earth to make directions. Dark elves, or Svartalfal, are either the same as dwarfs, or just fellow citizens of Svartalfheimer. Perhaps the dwarfs moved in after being given brains. They murdered Kvasir, the wisest man, and mixed his blood with honey, making Mead of Suttungr. For this they were brought to court and condemned to live underground with the worst ones keeping the core of Earth burning.
SEVEN DWARVES AND THE SONG THAT KEEPS GREMLINS SINGING
The Brothers Grimm were collectors of Germanic fairy tales. One of their more notable stories was Snow White. Seven dwarves, Blick, Flick, Glick, Plick, Quee, Snick, and Whick, or Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey, to name a few versions. They work as miners and live in a miniscule cottage. Snow White was a princess who, when driven away, took refuge in the cottage as a maid. You probably have seen the movie, in which the dwarfs sing a FANTASTABABULOUS song- “Hi-ho, Hi-ho!” As for singing gremlins well…
This is important to seeing the difference between the Hobbit movie and the Hobbit book, and also noticing where stereotypes of fantasy creatures come from.*
The founding father of dwarfs in our modern Pop Culture is J.R.R. Tolkien. In his books featuring the world of Arda, they are also known as Khazad, Stunted People, or Masters of Stone. The Dwarves were made by Aule, one of the Ainur primordial spirits, who was impatient waiting for Elves and Men to come into the world. After being told off by Eru the One and only Illuvatar, he prepared to kill the creatures he had made. However, Eru showed mercy, gave the Dwarves souls, and put them into hibernation until the Children of Illuvatar come. Dwarves are a miner race and love building giant caves. Unfortunately, many events caused dwarven folk to lose their power. First, in 1980 of the Third Age, a Balrog, or Fallen Maiar, was uncovered. Doubtless this Balrog was a survivor of Morgoth’s fall who took refuge in the mines. This mine was evacuated! Durin’s Folk went to the Grey Mountain and made a kingdom. However, one, Thrain, went to the Lonely Mountain, here found the Arkenstone. The Grey mountain kingdom was attacked by cold drakes (a smaller type of dragon) and Thror fled to the Lonely Mountain. Two hundred years later, Smaug, the last Fire Drake, attacked and drove the dwarves out, taking the jewels and gold deeper into the mountain. Thror gave his son his son Thrain the Ring of Power and became a wanderer. He was killed by the orc king Azog the defiler in Moria, starting a seven-year war that only ended when Dain Ironfoot slew Azog. Thrain ll was corrupted by the Ring and captured by Sauron. In 2941 a streak of hope came, Thrain’s son Thorin Oakenshield reclaimed the Lonely Mountain but died in the battle. Dain Ironfoot took over the Kingdom and it prospered. Later Balin fought a war to reclaim Moria, but it failed and they all died. Gimli, of course, is the dwarve who fought to destroy Sauron’s ring, which succeeded. Now that they made movies based on this, dwarves can talk the same as well, with a thick Irish accent. I hope you can also see where the stereotype of a dying race comes from, and if you watch the film, you will notice that Dwarves hate Elves every which way.
DWELMER AND OTHERS
The Dwelmer, aka Dwarves, Deep ones, or Deep Elves, are a “lost race” in The Elder Scrolls. They were a powerful race with lots of technology that hated magic. In Dungeons and Dragons they are a primary playable humanoid race. Female and Male dwarves grow beards, and all are enemies of goblins. In Narnia Black Dwarfs and Red Dwarfs exist on the mainland. They are called Sons of Earth by Aslan and were created along with Fauns, Satyrs, Dryads, and Nyads. Black Dwarfs served alongside Minotaurs, Wolves, Hags, Werewolves, Ogres, Toadstool People, Spirits of Evil Trees, Bat People, and many more under the White Witch. Renegade Dwarfs are half human and live among the Telmarines after Old Narnians were driven into hiding. Duffers, later Monopods and even later Dufferpuds, are foolish one legged dwarves who became one-legged when they angered their master, Coriakin.
Well, I hope you liked it! By the way, you may have noticed it was spelled two different ways. “Dwarfs” is the mythical way, and “Dwarves” is the Tolkien way. Next, Tree Dudes! Also new guys read the original articles and Mimi’s corner. Bye, till we meet again…
*For seeing non-stereotypical dwarves read “My dwarves are different” from Reinventing Fantasy Creatures Terminally Incoherent. Tell your parents to read it first, obviously.