Dwarves

There are rumored to be many families and clans of Dwarves, but the Dwarves who are known in the West are called Durin’s Folk, or sometimes the Longbeards. Their current king is Dain Ironfoot, and their main settlements are in the Blue Mountains in the distant West, the Lonely Mountain, and the Iron Hills to the East.

It is said that the Dwarves were created around the time that the First and Second Children were, but that they were created by different means, or for a different purpose. Folk-tales speak of Dwarves springing from the ground fully-formed, or reincarnating when the die, or returning to the stone from which they were formed. As a rule, Dwarves do not speak of these things with outsiders, except perhaps close friends.

Though it is a common joke, Dwarf-women do not in fact have beards. At least not full ones. (In the Prose Edda, in the Gylfaginning, Gleipnir, the binding used to restrain Loki, is created from, among other impossible things, a woman’s beard. The Prose Edda also gave Tolkien the names for his Dwarves and much of his source material, and so I take from this the lack of beards. This is in contrast to the scene from the Two Towers film and one of Tolkien’s letters, but it isn’t clear whether those things are said in jest.) There are far fewer Dwarf women than men, and not all Dwarf women marry and bear children. For this reason and others, the Dwarves are slowly diminishing.

Dwarves

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