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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Dwarf Genealogy
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Dec 27 2013, 9:34pm

Post #26 of 29 (194 views)
Re [In reply to] Can't Post

My head-canon was always 'closest male relative' as well, and yes, it was linked to Eomer's situation, but also similar situations that you see in Aragorn's ancestry. Recall that when Isildur died his surviving son (of four), Valandil, went to live with his cousin Meneldil in Gondor, and even though Valandil was heir to Elendil, he wasn't of age yet and didn't rule, and even though he was High King, he never kept things unified and trusted Meneldil in Gondor and that contributed to the splitting of the kingdoms.

There was also the example of Miriel. She was referred to as the true heir of Tar-Palantir of Numenor, only child as she was to the King of Numenor, but her cousin Ar-Pharazon, son of the younger brother of Tar-Palantir, usurped her throne (via cousin marriage!)

Comparatively, if Thorin died, Dis herself could be considered to be Thrain's Heir (in dwarfish parallel, then, Dain Ironfoot would have married Dis to usurp the throne).

It's entirely unknown whether the Dwarven model is identical to the Numenorean model, but I just wanted to point out there are a couple of precedents out there for the question of proper heirs.

And the language of calling Dain "rightful heir" was mentioned AFTER Fili and Kili had died, so it's not incorrect to call it into question. In the scheme of things ... they did die.

N.E. Brigand

Dec 27 2013, 10:15pm

Post #27 of 29 (195 views)
Valandil went to live with Meneldil? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't remember that. Where is it mentioned in the text?

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Dec 27 2013, 11:42pm

Post #28 of 29 (188 views)
These issues are very culture-specific. [In reply to] Can't Post

In human societies, models range from purely elective leadership to matriarchial societies to the "Salic law," a form of succession that restricted the pool of potential heirs to males of the patrilineage, altogether excluding females of the dynasty and their descendants from the succession. The Salic law applied to the former royal or imperial houses of Albania, France, Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Prussia/German Empire. It currently applies to the house of Liechtenstein.

In Middle Earth, we see the Elves as being fairly arbitrary about who took leadership positions (using a combination of high birth and perceived capability). As several of you have noted, Théoden designated Éomer as his successor, but it would have been acceptable for Éowyn to have ruled if both of them had died.

Dwarven society was 75% male, and many males never married. This has to have had a strong influence on how Dwarves viewed females. If they were very protective of the few females they had, they might have strenuously shielded them from the risks attendant on being a ruler.


Dec 28 2013, 2:47am

Post #29 of 29 (173 views)
I suppose they were far older than Thrór and Thrain I at their crowning. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think age was not the problem, nor I think patrilineal primogeniture would have worked perfectly in a society where the women were few and their own choices for husband were fully accepted as happens in dwarven society. I would rather think that patrilineal primogeniture was the normal procedure, but right of kingship would follow closely the feats of the available heirs.

This line of reasoning seem to be PJ's choice because Balin only embraces prince Thorin as heir after his battle with Azog. And when Thorin asks Fili to join the party going to Erebor, perhaps he understands that to save the line of Thrór their heirs would have to earn the right of kingship by fighting Smaug. The Arkenstone being a second best thing.

So (thinking about the movie), had Thorin died and Fili fought heroically against Smaug, then Fili would be undisputed King Under the Mountain, regardless of the Arkenstone and Dáin's (unexpected at that moment) help, no matter how valiant. In fact no one would ever have disputed Thrór's line after what Thorin does to Smaug in the movie.

But this has nothing to do with the book. There Thrór's line is a complete failure. Bilbo is there to help them from being decimated even before reaching Erebor. Thorin never faces Smaug and his final acts are more of the redemption kind than of right of kingship earning kind. Fili and Kili die to close the book on Thrór, and Dáin is there to restore sanity to the kingdom.

Thanks for your very enlightening posts, Elizabeth.

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