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The Seven Fathers of the Dwarves
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thorinoakenshield
Rivendell


Oct 8 2013, 10:24pm

Post #1 of 26 (443 views)
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The Seven Fathers of the Dwarves Can't Post

In the Silmarrillon, it is said that there are 7 FATHERS of the dwarves. What I am wondering is that if the first dwarves were all males, then how did they reproduce? Are dwarves actually a mixed race with men? Elves?!?!


RosieBaggins
Rivendell


Oct 9 2013, 1:59am

Post #2 of 26 (295 views)
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I am sure he made females as well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps they may have interbred with elves or men if otherwise- but hobbits sounds slightly more likely. Perhaps they were less clannish back when the silmarillian was taking place. But I prefer to believe that there were dwarf women to go with the dwarf men.

My progress so far on my walk to Rivendell
I have traveled 71 miles
I have passed Buckleberry Ferry.
It is 2 miles to the next landmark.
I have 387 miles until I reach Rivendell.
LibriVox.org


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Oct 9 2013, 2:09am

Post #3 of 26 (285 views)
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In a note somewhere in HoME [In reply to] Can't Post

It is said that all of the Fathers (Excepting Durin) were laid to sleep with their 'mate'. This did not make it's way into the published Sil.


RosieBaggins
Rivendell


Oct 9 2013, 2:19am

Post #4 of 26 (266 views)
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That makes sense. [In reply to] Can't Post

I just went off assumption.

My progress so far on my walk to Rivendell
I have traveled 71 miles
I have passed Buckleberry Ferry.
It is 2 miles to the next landmark.
I have 387 miles until I reach Rivendell.
a href="http://www.LibriVox.org">I am the Voice of Books photo Voiceofbooks.gif


Elizabeth
Valinor


Oct 9 2013, 4:24am

Post #5 of 26 (270 views)
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Not hobbits. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hobbits apparently evolved from Men, and would therefore not have been around when the Dwarves were given life. We're talking "dawn of time" here. I agree with Rembrethil's point: there were female Dwarves, they just didn't make it into the records.

For that matter, Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel, who subsequently had children. How was that managed? It really doesn't pay to take the early stages of mythologies too literally.








(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Oct 9 2013, 4:28am)


sador
Half-elven


Oct 9 2013, 5:27am

Post #6 of 26 (258 views)
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Letter 212 [In reply to] Can't Post

An unsent draft of a continuation to the 1958 letter (no. 211) to Rhona Beare (although, as I've mentioned in a different thread, one must be wary in relying on unsent letters!). This was published, preceded by a draft of roughly the same time, in HoME XI, The War of the Jewels, pps. 211-213.

This was JRRT's explanation at the time to the remark that Durin "slept alone" at the beginning of appendix AIII, "Durin's Folk" - which in turn makes explicit what is implied in Gimli's song in A Journey in the Dark.
However, in the very late essay Of Dwarves and Men, published in HoME XII, The Peoples of Middle-earth, there is no trace of this story. Christopher remarks (in note 24, on page 322) that his father apparently changed his mind, and conceived of the other six fathers of Dwarves as waking in three pairs, while Durin only "slept alone".



PhantomS
Rohan


Oct 9 2013, 12:59pm

Post #7 of 26 (239 views)
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it's the beards. [In reply to] Can't Post

They were laid to sleep with a mate, apart from Durin who rose by himself and wandered the world to start his own clan. Also, as Aule was now given license to make Dwarves there's nothing that says he didn't make females later with his boss's permission.

Tolkien says the Dwarves 'are a race apart' meaning that not only is their language unique to them, they do not intermingle (or cannot) with others. Elves and Men, being both original Children of Illuvatar can of course do so, if rarely.


CuriousG
Valinor


Oct 9 2013, 9:43pm

Post #8 of 26 (223 views)
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Or maybe they're like starfish and worms [In reply to] Can't Post

You cut off part of them and it becomes a new Dwarf. Well, sounds rather gross, which is probably why Tolkien didn't give us the detail.

On a serious note, I'm with Elizabeth in not taking it too literally. There had to be 7 Dwarf Mothers.


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Oct 9 2013, 9:44pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Oct 9 2013, 9:46pm

Post #9 of 26 (207 views)
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A bit much detail?? [In reply to] Can't Post

ShockedOh how......graphic......Shocked

Perhaps you are...... MUCH TOO CuriousGWink


Eldorion
Rohan


Oct 9 2013, 10:32pm

Post #10 of 26 (209 views)
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There is another way [In reply to] Can't Post

I generally lean towards the Dwarf Mothers interpretation as well, but could always go full "Myths Transformed" and consider the story of the Seven Dwarf Fathers (or Fourteen Dwarf Parents?) to be a legend within the context of the secondary world that is not necessarily internally "true". Towards the end of his life, Tolkien considered revising some of the stories such as the origin of the Sun and Moon as tree leaves from this perspective. He never followed through on rewriting everything that would be affected by this implication, though, and it is not reflected in the published (1977) Silmarillion.



There's a feeling I get, when I look to the West...



Elthir
Gondor

Oct 10 2013, 3:28am

Post #11 of 26 (194 views)
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Dis [a female Dwarf] is noted... [In reply to] Can't Post

... in The Return of the King, for example [Appendix A], and Gimli noted that there were few Dwarf-women. There certainly were female Dwarves, and according to Appendix A Durin 'slept alone' -- but what did that mean in comparison to the other Dwarves?

In texts noted in The War of the Jools this appears to refer to Iluvatar commanding Aule to lay the Fathers of the Dwarves, 'each with his mate' save Durin the eldest, who had none. Tolkien wrote a number of descriptions concerning the awakening, and Dwarf-women, but...


Quote

'... in the final text, as printed in The Silmarillion, my father evidently abandoned the question of the origin of the female Dwarves, finding it intractable and the conclusions unsatisfactory. Moreover in the finished form the element of the Eldest [Durin) being distinct from the others, and without mate, finds no place.'

Christopher Tolkien, The Later Quenta Silmarillion, The War of the Jewels




And in the late text Of Dwarves And Men [ODAM] Durin sleeping alone might refer to the notion that the Fathers were laid to sleep in pairs [3 pairs of 2 Fathers, but Durin slept alone]. In ODAM Tolkien noted [note 24] 'He alone had no companions; cf 'he slept alone'...'

... and JRRT later noted in the margin of the typescript [with Christopher Tolkien's commentary following]:

'He wandered widely after awakening: his people were Dwarves that joined him from other kindreds west and east', and at the head of the page he suggested that the legend of the Making of the Dwarves should be altered (indeed very radically altered) to a form in which other Dwarves were laid to sleep near the Fathers.'


According to this it might be that there were female Dwarves among those Dwarves who were laid to sleep near the 'Fathers'.

I guess!


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Oct 10 2013, 3:54pm

Post #12 of 26 (202 views)
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Yes, but who was the mother of Durin's children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did he wife some of the daughters of the other Fathers? Then all the Longbeards are actually of mixed origin, and Durin himself is the only purebred Longbeard.

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Oct 10 2013, 5:21pm

Post #13 of 26 (180 views)
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Sadly, we do not know... [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the unfinished threads in the Professor's work...

Elthir has a great commentary above. My personal view is that this is a myth within a mythology, and that as such, it is not literal and has been left to our imagination.


Brethil
Half-elven


Oct 10 2013, 5:48pm

Post #14 of 26 (175 views)
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That was my take on it Faenoriel [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Did he wife some of the daughters of the other Fathers? Then all the Longbeards are actually of mixed origin, and Durin himself is the only purebred Longbeard.




That he sought out a wife when the others were rather arranged by Aule. It would mean he wed later in life as well, awaiting the maturing of one of the daughters.

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!





CuriousG
Valinor


Oct 10 2013, 9:13pm

Post #15 of 26 (162 views)
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Pure blood is missing [In reply to] Can't Post

For an author so concerned with pure bloodlines, only mixing in superior blood like a Maia's, it's odd he'd would have Durin *not* but the purest of the pure since his line was the most heroic and most often on the side of the good guys.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 10 2013, 9:15pm

Post #16 of 26 (162 views)
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this forgetting about the need for females [In reply to] Can't Post

 
.... sure does create problems down the line.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 10 2013, 9:24pm

Post #17 of 26 (167 views)
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the lost chapter of the silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

 
"the tale of naugrimdil and durin"

naugrimdil grows tired of life in valinor. she's learned a lot, especially as aule's apprentice and chief servant. but she's not so much a planner as a doer. she wants to make use of all the works of arda, not be shut up in the lab.

when her boss creates the dwarves, she's enamored. she synchs her alarm clock with theirs, to be there when they wake up. after only a few eons, durin wakes up, and she's even more enamoured. she looks a him. he looks at her. they lock gazes for about five centuries, then one of them blinks and they laugh and they share some cram under the stars.

she helps him build his kingdom, and protects it with her enchantments, called the Wrist Guard of Naugrimdil.

many years later, their son, thorin oakenshield, dances in a forest clearing in the twilight. his long hair is like a dark cloak, and his utter beauty entraps a travelling mortal, brethil tengwadil (which is another chapter).


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Oct 10 2013, 9:27pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Oct 10 2013, 10:41pm

Post #18 of 26 (139 views)
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True [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
For an author so concerned with pure bloodlines, only mixing in superior blood like a Maia's, it's odd he'd would have Durin *not* but the purest of the pure since his line was the most heroic and most often on the side of the good guys.




I like thinking about him selecting just the right wife though. That feels like it would convey a specialness to the line as well, like the Elves choosing just the right mate.

(Like Thorin in Mac's wonderful, found Sil chapter.) Cool

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!





Brethil
Half-elven


Oct 10 2013, 10:48pm

Post #19 of 26 (139 views)
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I love when you find Lost Chapters, Telpemairo...! [In reply to] Can't Post

...SmileSmileSmile

And provide them to us so eloquently! And beautifully. Sigh. Angelic

............


On the point of Durin choosing a bride...

As I wrote to CG, I do like to think of Durin choosing one of the daughters of the other Dwarves once they grew to womanhood. It feels right somehow and to me it makes the line of Durin great in the sense of how JRRT might feel about the metaphor of the lone Dwarf, awakening and wandering the world before choosing just the right bride. So in that way standing out and enhancing the line of Durin from the sense of wisdom in founding his house.

A tale of how he travelled the Dwarf world for years to find just the right girl...what a story.

It reflects back a bit to the Aredhel topic you brought up. Instead of arranged matches as the other Dwarves had, Durin would have had to find his own wife. What do you think, if, similar to Elves, that choice was made wisely I think it would imply a 'rightness' and fitness to their pairing and their offspring? (If perhaps the inverse may have been true with Aredhel and Eol?)

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!





Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 10 2013, 11:00pm

Post #20 of 26 (135 views)
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re durin [In reply to] Can't Post

 
honestly, i find the scenario of durin waking and waiting for his fellow dwarf brothers to mate with their wives, give birth, and wait for the infant female dwarves to grow up so he might assess which among them might be the best mate for him.... rather squicky. so you and i differ on that one.

apart from +that+ particular aspect... yes... if there were fully-grown, adult dwarf females in existence, and durin spent his time wandering, learning about himself and others, and then meeting the right dwarf-woman... well then, that's a bit different. that is a love story that is both romantic, and tinged with wisdom.

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Oct 10 2013, 11:00pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Oct 11 2013, 12:53am

Post #21 of 26 (141 views)
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Point taken [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
honestly, i find the scenario of durin waking and waiting for his fellow dwarf brothers to mate with their wives, give birth, and wait for the infant female dwarves to grow up so he might assess which among them might be the best mate for him.... rather squicky. so you and i differ on that one.

apart from +that+ particular aspect... yes... if there were fully-grown, adult dwarf females in existence, and durin spent his time wandering, learning about himself and others, and then meeting the right dwarf-woman... well then, that's a bit different. that is a love story that is both romantic, and tinged with wisdom.

.




Ok, the second option might play better then! Wink

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!





Kicollette
Registered User

Jan 20 2014, 3:03pm

Post #22 of 26 (60 views)
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Durin the Wifeless [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien's 13 Dwarf creation tale does bring up some difficult questions. Durin woke up first and alone, while the other six Dwarf Fathers woke up with mates? So, where was Durin's wife? It is like that awkward Sunday school question from Genesis, "If God only made Adam and Eve, who did Cain marry?"
A fan brought up this question, and wrote a very eloquent reply: http://askmiddlearth.tumblr.com/post/72864017254/durin-the-wifeless
The most likely explanations are 1) Durin eventually married a grown daughter of one of the other 6 original Fathers or 2) the creation story was symbolic, and the Dwarves all woke up with a Dwarven entourage similar to the 144 Elves Iluvatar made for his semi-divine pairs.
I don't find the theory of Durin marrying a daughter of another Dwarf Father compelling. By the time the other dwarf Fathers had grown daughters to choose from, they also had even more grown sons, putting them far ahead of Durin in the accumulation of wealth and power. But Durin's Longbeards were supposed to be the superior tribe. That could not happen if Longbeards started a generation behind the other six tribes.
I also don't like the Dwarf entourage scenario when it comes to explaining the Longbeards. Tolkien wrote during a time of rigid class structure (same as all other grand epics and fairy tales). If Durin took one of the entourage (handmaiden) Dwarves as bride, while the other six Fathers had mates crafted as their queens by Aule, the Longbeards would NOT be the superior tribe. They'd have been less "royal" and more "common" based on what we now consider an antiquated and repressive system of thought.
The heirs of the senior line of Durin (Thorin, Fili, and Kili) are more human looking or majestic looking than their peers. An Elf wife of Durin explains why the royal family looks slightly different than other Dwarves. OK, that was probably just a smart marketing ploy on the part of Peter Jackson. However, Tolkien also subscribed to the fairy tale theory that an extra dose of beauty was parceled out to the good of heart and noble of birth. A dose of Elf blood, in the form of Durin's anonymous wife, would explain many of the traits of the Longbeard royal family.
The reason there is no mention of an Elf wife is simple - Dwarves controlled their creation story. They omitted her because they felt it diminished their Dwarfness. The other races could point to the Longbeards and credit every success with being mixed blood, something the Longbeards did not want. Eventual war between Dwarves and Elves turned the notion of an Elf matriarch into a source of actual shame, versus something they merely wanted to de-emphasize.
Another way in which the Longbeards are different from the other Dwarves - there is a strain of mental illness in the senior line of Durin. It isn't just gold sickness - Thrain and Thror seem to fall into deep despair and dangerous delusion after the fall of Erebor. I hate to fall back on the old stereotype of the crazy wife in the attic - or cave as the case might be. It is more intriguing to think that Durin was sick. He was, after all, the first creation of an amateur (Aule) and woke up alone in the world. It is interesting to speculate that it was an Elf wife, skilled in healing, that salvaged Durin's sanity and gave him a family. Durin's weaknesses as well as his strengths popped up in the family line.
Just as Durin's blood was so powerful, he was repeatedly reincarnated in his descendants, the Elf blood may have come forth every few generations. In the dark times of the First and Second ages, Dwarves may have even exposed male children born with no facial hair to the element (very similar to Spartans culling the weak). The reason was to hide all evidence of Elf blood. The original reason may have been lost, but Dwarves continued the tradition, mistakenly thinking they were removing weaklings from the tribe. The tradition was gone by the Third Age and Kili's birth.
Again, the "hot Dwarf" design of the Heirs of Durin in the movies in a smart marketing ploy - it appeals to the fangirls, and an actor can display facial expressions far better without a thick layer of prosthetics. But Thorin, Fili, and especially Kili's appearance happens to dovetail with the Elf wife creation theory. Kili is taller than his older brother and possibly still growing (Fili and Kili are both still minors?). Kili is also more physically agile and has the proportional arm length and keen eyesight of an Elf to be a good archer. Kili also has less facial hair than Gloin's wife and young son Gimli, so you can't blame lack of beard on youth alone (not when Tolkien mentions that some Dwarf babies are born fully bearded). More likely, Kili shows recessive Elf characteristics in the line of Durin's royal family. That also explains why he is infatuated with Elf maidens. He'd be biologically drawn to them.
That's my theory.


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Jan 21 2014, 4:40am

Post #23 of 26 (52 views)
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Welcome, Kicollette! [In reply to] Can't Post

I admit that when I first read your idea, I scoffed. But the more I ruminate on it, the more sense it makes. While I ponder some more, I'll just leave this here:




They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Jan 22 2014, 1:21am

Post #24 of 26 (44 views)
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Haha!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Where did you get that? Too funnyLaugh!!!

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Jan 22 2014, 2:34am

Post #25 of 26 (60 views)
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It was on facebook. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.

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