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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
Khazad: What is a Dwarf?? tolkien and otherwise

Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 21 2013, 11:41pm

Post #1 of 18 (588 views)
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Khazad: What is a Dwarf?? tolkien and otherwise Can't Post

I have always wanted to start my own forum topic of ideas for Dwarves and fill it with insane ramblings and ideas (that need to escape from my mind). YESS! the voices are calling and YESS I have a love for things Dwarf.

I want to write for me, but that shouldn't stop Dwarf haters and lovers to post as well (I want to hear both bashing and excitement). I bring this discussion up from a discussion topic in the Barliman chat room about Dwarves versus Elves and wanted to expand the topic to Dwarves in general! [maybe somebody can take some of my insanity and run with it to a book, video-game, or movie].

Topics I've been thinking of: Dwarf Weaponry, Dwarf Armor, Engineering, Tools, Building, Construction styles, Dwarf Civilization, Dwarf Heroes, Dwarf Religion, Mounts and Beasts of Burden, Fighting styles, Growth Patterns, Apprenticeships, Tolkien Khazad versus other fiction, RUNES, Jewelcraft!!, Dwarf MAGIC, Dwarven magical items, Dwarf Trades, (etc.)

I also want to talk about differences between Dwarves and Elves a little bit more [Tolkien and in fantasy in general]. I have a couple of ideas that would flesh out the two races and make them more understandable to people.

Opinion: I really feel a lot of movies, artists, and comics don't really have a good idea of a Dwarf (Khazad). I always go back to Tolkien to find and understand their character, characterization, strengths, and flaws. While Tolkien had a fascination with Elves (Eldar), he had a certain fleshing out of a Dwarf race that was what I most envisioned. Hoorah! I have (maybe) a place where like minds can dispel (or even create) stereotypes, if needs be!

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 22 2013, 12:18am

Post #2 of 18 (377 views)
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Dwarven Weaponry [In reply to] Can't Post

Axes and hammers are very stereotypical Dwarven. Gimli and Gloin are a very good show. I like that the Weta crew were discussing Tolkien Dwarf fighting styles in the pre-production cause the talked about the stiff fighting styles and the weapons a Dwarf would use. If they're small folk, I agree, they would want a weapon to even the odds!! a 2 handed mace, war ax, hammer, or pike seems to do the trick. These weapons don't seem universally useful but they seem like they would do the job (a lot of force/hitting power, control, and ability to make problems to the other person's armor/shield).

***The problem is whether these 2 handed weapons are really useful!?? Wouldn't they want to fight with shields as well!!??? Elves or Orcs with arrows and "darts" would "assuage" a dwarf tactician to make "shield walls" so that a group can fight from a small moving fortress! (right??). They would need missile weapons to make up for this disadvantage! If they are using shields they couldn't use a 2 handed weapon but use a hand held weapon (hand ax, hand mace, small flail, short sword like a gladius, Khopish sword "hooked sword used to snag shields", or Kopis sword "Greek- forward curving")

IDEA (deal): I was talking to a buddy about a dwarf I was thinking of taking on a house full of foes. One dwarf against 15 (the humans would win, right!??). First, the dwarf blows open the door with his 2 handed HAMMER (that is jewel and rune enspelled) in two or three hits! As he takes a step or two into the first room several men go for him with knives and other street weaponry. These do minimal harm since they land on enchanted mail and plate. the dwarf bullies his way into the room and gives himself enough space to swing. the first several swings are over head... with the HAMMER cracklin' (runes and jewels lightened up) I easily knocks these down. The next blows are cross body swings (where he can get some momentum) that connect with a couple at a time. (just as with the door) the HAMMER lands a powerful blow that sends his foes flying back a couple of FEET (or meters if you're not from the states ;) The brigands start slowing down as they see that this weapon is dispatching several at a time (with great skill). The leader entices the dwarf into the center of the house where he commands them all to pounce at once (and aim at jarring this fingers or grabbing the weapon... The dwarf jukes and dodges each incomer in turn and gives HAMMER blows to some and butt-end staff shots to others. ***After this disaster the leader order a general withdrawal!! The dwarf, being relieved from the hand to hand fighting, pulls out a crossbow from his back (knocks a bolt) and fires a couple of parting shots. ^^^ All told 6 dead, 3 wounded captives, 2 limp away, and 4 run like hell!! and a small dwarf puffs a breathe, sticks out his chest, and thinks "all in a good day's work"!

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 22 2013, 12:56am

Post #3 of 18 (457 views)
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Crossbow; a stereotypical Khazad weapon. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just as Elves have longbows... Dwarves should have Crossbows. The Crossbow seems stereotypical Dwarven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! think Mechanics, NO Size requirement, The user needs to be strong to lift it and keep it steady, not a "whole" lot of dexterity is required, it can be fired prone (or behind any type of barrier), and it is often a mix of metal to a wood stock [yes! / No!??]

IDEA: I played a game called Drakensang: River of time a while back, ... and I was kicking some butt. Elves, orcs, goblins, (you name it) they were mush! I went into a Dwarf mine... AND... well... (those S O Bs) kicked the living !@#$%^$# tar out'ta me!!!! They did it by good gaming design that was hard to beat. Instead of charging at me they shot at me (crossbows and rock slingers) from behind barriers and over open mspaces. they also retreated behind barriers and had hand to hand warriors block while missile troops continued to pluck be off! If I was their leader (or game programmer) I would have taken this to the next level!! I probably would have had made towers and buildings with "MURDER HOLES" to shot out of!! Against that type of fighting you could hardily win, right!?? ** Add ballista and burning oil ** What about caltrops, snares, or other traps!!! ** Death trap, I call it!!

Crossbows seem perfect for Dwarves but I was reading up in wikipedia about an ARBALEST crossbow. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbalest
The arbalest (my interpretation) was an over-sized crossbow with a winch on the back. It was seen as a mini-ballista in medieval warfare. I would think a fantasy (Dwarf) setting would need two Dwarves to operate it. One dwarf to load and fire, the loader to load and move the tri-pod. this made me think of a modern heavy machine gunner! MG-42 anyone! Sly
If the arbalest was the MG-42 of the Dwarf army then it would be the tactical "heavy-hitter" of the missile weapons! It would used to take on Wargs, hordes of Orcs, and even Dragons!! [Madhear that Peter Jackson/ Philiipa Boyens!... it should have been crossbows and ARBALEST "not spearmen that took on Smaug! you're wrong! Tongue ... pant! breath! ... just kidding

If Elves are seen as cowardly yet wise for using "hit and run" tactics with bows (not a lot of Elves to fight with), wouldn't Dwarves have an equalizer weapon too!! Crossbows, my precious! YeSSSsss

PS: I haven't gotten into my ideas on mounts but I was thinking of Dwarves with seige type weapons and artillery. What if Smaug faced BALLISTA and CATAPULTS coming against him!
Go Dwarf!

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 22 2013, 4:15am

Post #4 of 18 (355 views)
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Magic: Dwarf versus Eldar... POLAR opposites!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien made a great distinction and understanding of magic in his books. It was my understanding that "magic" was what humans named what came more naturally with Elves (that held it in a balance with the forces of nature) and Evil forces (which saw it as a means to their selfish ends). Star Wars- George Lukas, is excellent with the "force" with Jedi and the Sith being the same thing. ***if this is soo, what does / or where are dwarves in this mix of magical might?!! I have a couple of ideas.

Outside of pure technology Dwarves don't seem like they have anything that compares to Elves. Eldar have magic in their beings that allow them to act like angels on earth... such as walk on snow, move with cat-like reflexes, act like athletes, be incredible musicians, heal with a touch (or medicine), and see a-far with their mind! [to name a few]. Did they just act modestly or where there powerful creatures out there as well? Did Dwarves have a power or abilities that made them be able to respected. [from what I remember] Even Elrond and Galadriel (as powerful as they were) had a true respect of Dwarves, their craft, and their magic. What MAGIC??

Elves seem like they had Positive + "magic". Dwarves didn't (in my opinion) have "evil" magic [evil forces had evil magic]. They had items (particularly of metal) that seemed magical,... but I think it went further... ("listen!") Elves have an outgoing magic... Dwarven magic is not "evil",... it is NEGATIVE... like a battery. Elves = +, Dwarves = - Makes sense, right!?? The two races are opposites in a lot of ways already (fantasy speaking!) Elves project spells and craft items to enhance their spell-like "abilities". Dwarves have RUNES... HALLOWED JEWELS... MAGICAL DOORS... WATCH SENTINAL STATUES... TOOLS (WEAPONS/ARMOR)... ETC!

Imagine them "pulling" magical forces into jewels and Mithril like a capacitor! This (magical) device could enhance them much like Elven abilities. They just need runes on their boots to walk on snow, scopes enhanced to see even greater distances clearly, weapons hit harder, armor that repels blows, magical instruments that sound wonderful, jewelry that makes the bearer look incredible, containers for healing balms that enhance healing, beds that give great restful sleep, wagons that move effortlessly over terrain, buildings that are a comfort to friends but a bane to intruders, anvils and smelters that make great metals, workbenches that hold up and are a enhanced to work from... the list is endless!

Runes = the programming language of their magic. think the Door of Durin! ("speak "Mellon" then enter!)
Hallowed Jewels = The batteries of their magic. think Simiril, Nauglamir (Mithril being magical like jewels), the Arkenstone, also think "why" where there stones on the rings of power??!
Statues = personal spirits watching over "the people". think sentinals at the Cirith Ungul (made for Gondor by the Dwarves originally), also the statues in the tombs of Minas Tirith. Sam noticed that they had piercing gazes!
Tools = enhanced with great craft and empowered with hallowed jewels and runes... to name a few (Dwarf and non-Dwarf): The rings of power, the sword Narsil,

PS: remember that Celebrimbor (Eregion and true creator of the rings of power) relied on few save the Dwarves and Sauron! Sauron (for obvious reason)... Dwarves, because they were true students of Aule (master of earth).
PPS: If their was a way to let the makers of The Hobbit to know that Dwarves ARE a magical race... a VERY magical race... they were also more than gold... they were about items that enhanced, beautified, even blessed the world!

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 22 2013, 4:19am

Post #5 of 18 (347 views)
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what happened! [In reply to] Can't Post

for some reason... MY POST WENT FROM THE "OFF TOPIC" SECTION to the "Main" section!!!!

I don't know why!?? I didn't intend on moving it. I really didn't want to attract a lot of attention to myself... just write a little piece of literature on Dwarves.

Could somebody help me switch it back!!!

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 22 2013, 4:25am

Post #6 of 18 (354 views)
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Welcome, Nalin! [In reply to] Can't Post

No worries! Smile Since your excellent posts are related to Tolkien, but not necessarily related directly to the Hobbit or LOTR movies, Main is the place they should be. Off-topic is more for current events, non-Tolkien interests, etc.

With the opening of the Hobbit movies, your posts are timely and show a lot of research and knowledge of Dwarven culture. What better place to share them? I look forward to reading more of your input and, welcome again! Smile


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 22 2013, 4:49am

Post #7 of 18 (465 views)
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Dwarven Mounts and Beasts of burden! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think men are the most beast friendly people... 1 they have horses for transport. 2. dogs that have great senses 3. donkeys to carry a pack 3. mules for pulling 4. oxen as primitive machines 5. Camels = horses of the desert 5. elephants = mobile towers of power 6. hawks for hunting 7. pigeons for message delivery 8. food, fur, etc from sheep, goats, birds, and other barnyard animals.
*** in a sense... humans are the master of beasts (*sounds Biblical to me*)

Elves don't seem like they would have a lot of animals unless they were of good temperment and of the best bloodlines... thinking about it, they wouldn't need animals save in emergency or for a purpose!!
During a chat room discussion... somebody made a joke of King Thranduil riding a "war moose" in The Hobbit! Laugh I laughed! Philippa Boyens' probably is doing a fist-palm "dooh" about that! [that is if she heard about that discussion!] Tongue

Dwarves may need not be as animal friendly and patient as humanity but they could still need and use a lot of above animals (particularly the beasts of burden!) Dwarven unique animals could include:

Mountain Ponies and smaller breeds of cold-blooded horses: Being 5 foot could inhibit a lot of them from horses, yes, but the movie was good in using them. That seemed obvious.

Yaks: these shaggy - smaller bovine could be a more handy type of stock to pull carts, seige equipment, chariots (they don't have to be fast, just there [look at post on crossbows])

Ravens: Tolkien was unique in putting "talking" ravens in his books for dwarves! why, I don't know. They seemed a bit too intelligent for a bird, ... but I guess this is a fantasy story!

War dogs: since men are useful as bondsmen and retainers to a lot of the Tolkien Dwarf kingdoms... they could be given the moneys to buy, train, and use large dogs of war against foes (think great dane)!

Med -sized Felines: maybe there were Ocelots (African cat), Bobcats (North Am), Lynx (Arctic), or some type of cross that could be a household pet and personal protection!

Small Bears: bears don't have to be tame... think of a bear or other angry creature being set loose in a goblin mine or bandit hold. They beast would tear the place apart (while the Dwarves outside CHUCKLED!)

PS: Dwarves seem less in touch with nature but can be a moderate user of beasts (for many reasons!)

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Jan 22 2013, 5:21pm

Post #8 of 18 (313 views)
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Short swords vs. spears [In reply to] Can't Post

Short swords would be especially useful for fighting in tight quarters. Dain's five hundred dwarven warriors were equipped with short swords as well as mattocks and shields. When fighting in the open, even the Dwarves should have spearmen equipped at least with short spears (or, alternately, pikemen) against cavalry or to meet a charge in general.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 22 2013, 8:55pm

Post #9 of 18 (312 views)
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Tolkien Dwarf women versus other races: a "delicate" subject [In reply to] Can't Post

I have thought a lot about how to approach a subject about women and Tolkien races. Tolkien wasn't against women and actually seemed progressive for his day. I like to note this in this by writing about how MUCH Tolkien's women had to play. A lot of women today want to "man-bash" because of what they see as an ancient world dominated by men (who persecuted women regularly). To me that doesn't seem so! I think only Primitive men persecuted women (RAPE, INCEST, Domestic Violence, etc). It is not that that didn't occur in the old world (or Tolkien's) but that it probably was prevented by societies that PROTECTED and CHERISHED women!
The main element that historians (with feminist progressive slants) don't notice about a lot of ancient cultures was that as society developed women's roles changed and improved. Even in masogenist Rome, a woman ran the home, spent the money, was considered a matron that a man tried to bring decadence and honor to! For the Celts and Britons, a woman could take place in domestic affairs plus have a voice in political venues (Bodeccea, spelling?).
**Modern women want to put their own spin on yesterdays culture and our fantasy. For Tolkien that seems unnecessary, because it is written in a REALISTIC way. Instead of warrior women and heroines at every page, Tolkien had them where the Middle-ages had them, as the CENTER OF CIVILIZATION.

UnsureA major note that there are many great women in the books that stand out, but not in a Zena, warrior princess way. Instead, these women where realistic because they had MARRIAGES, CHILDREN, HOUSEHOLD responsibilities, a sense of duty to their TRADITION and WAY OF LIFE, not to mention they where influenced by their parents!****** The reason why the authors of today and the movie producers are so out of touch with ancient culture is because they leave out grandparents Shocked, especially grandma and mother-in-law.Angelic The elder generations set up and maintained status quo, traditions, trades, manners, the arts, appreciation of culture, duty to one's country, the APPROPRIATE TREATMENT OF WOMEN, and a whole lot of other things.

Gondor: Tolkien liked to compare Gondor to Byzantium. A lot of western Europeans (French) brought home CHIVALRY from Byzantium and the Middle-East. The Byzantines had women as the center of their value system as well as their households. While they were patriarchal in the home, a matriarch of the greater family was the center of their worlds. They aided husbands in the jobs, made sure sons had what they needed to succeed in life as a provider and protector, groomed their daughters to be mothers (grandbabies) and carry on the LEGACY!!!

Rohan: I learned of Scottish women owning homes as a cultural adjustment for their men dying in the cold and in war. Rohan seems like a culture that knows a lot of death and distance as men must meet obligations to defend their country as well as be gone to tend herds and cut stone/ gather wood. I can imagine a lot of single Rohan girls (wives & young mothers) holding their children in the cold; waiting for a miracle to send their husbands back alive (hopefully with a weregild of treasure from Gondor). Grandma plays a role as a champion of these women as they stay over to provide, direct, teach, and comfort her kin. While Rohan resembles Sparta as a warlike society, it doesn't seem like women in Rohan are AS warlike (return with honor or not at all). I'm sure that Eowyn wanted to join her family in battle because she was full of duty and sacrifice ... [not a modern progessive feminist, like Phillipa Boyens]

Elves: While Elf women seem like Zena warriors in the movies, I don't see or think that is how they should be. Yes they are probably very progressive in their societies, but NO Elf grandparents (plus more generation) would insist that Elf women stay traditional, not go Amazon. Think Galadriel and Arwern

Dwarf Women: why did they Hobbit movie show the few Dwarf women as chubby and out of the fifties (big hair). I imagined them being square jawed and regular (even athletic). They would be less tall and slender but square and sturdy, like the men... not always FAT! Unsure I also think that Dwarf women from Tolkien's books were a mix of career women that participated in the family craft, did womanly chores (sewing, mothering, home tending), plus were educated and a part of society a lot like Gondor. Sadly this doesn't translate to being included into a movie but it makes sense to me. Dwarf women and grandparents all worked together to build their society and keep Dwarves progressing and growing. They might have large families even if a few don't marry. They could also know a bit how to fight in case they travel or get invaded at home!

I'm grateful for women's rights! I don't think that makes the rest of culture nothing. I think a lot of people need to think about the whole picture (particularly non-humans) as being progressive but in THEIR OWN way! They weren't BAD, just different and trying to be the ideal in their eyes.

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Jan 23 2013, 1:47am

Post #10 of 18 (321 views)
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Dwarf women [In reply to] Can't Post

Your speculation they might have been involved with work for their family's business matches what is presented in the film, actually. At least one of the Dwarf women shown in the brief Dale scene appears to be selling goods to passers-by from a tray that she is carrying. It also seems likely based on Tolkien's comments on the relative (to humans) rarity of marriage. If there were no other outlets for them aside from childrearing and homemaking accepted by their society, I would expect more Dwarf women to marry.

I liked the way they looked; I did not think they all looked "fat". Bulky, yes, but then so do the male Dwarves. Given they are in other ways more similar to the males (like the beards) the cultural aesthetic may not be towards a willowy look that is in contrast to the male look (as in modern Western supermodels). Certainly the ones I noted all wore dresses with a high waist (taken in just below the breasts) and full, long skirt, which (especially in the heavy, embroidered cloth that seemed popular in those scenes) would lend fullness to the look.

Also, just Googling some female Dwarf faces - I think female faces with beards may tend to be seen by us as "fat" because we are programmed to expect beards to go with the rougher skin and more chiseled facial features typical of adult males. Bearded persons with softer, more rounded facial features may seem fat.


Ruxendil_Thoorg
Grey Havens


Jan 23 2013, 4:31am

Post #11 of 18 (310 views)
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I had this idea about a Dwarven knife-fighting style [In reply to] Can't Post

Dwarves seem physically suited for in-close fighting. I would think they would excel at personal combat with a knife. This style might even come into play on the battlefield, where slender dirks might be used to stab between pieces of armor.

We see from AUJ that Dwarves can be very dextrous, such as with washing dishes and other kitchen chores. The same hand-cleverness could be applied
to the art of the short blade, to deadly effect.

A bag is like a hole that you can carry with you.

http://newboards.theonering.net/...forum_view_expanded;


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 7:10am

Post #12 of 18 (259 views)
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brainfarts [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have always wanted to start my own forum topic of ideas for Dwarves and fill it with insane ramblings and ideas (that need to escape from my mind). YESS! the voices are calling and YESS I have a love for things Dwarf.

I want to write for me, but that shouldn't stop Dwarf haters and lovers to post as well (I want to hear both bashing and excitement). I bring this discussion up from a discussion topic in the Barliman chat room about Dwarves versus Elves and wanted to expand the topic to Dwarves in general! [maybe somebody can take some of my insanity and run with it to a book, video-game, or movie].

Topics I've been thinking of: Dwarf Weaponry, Dwarf Armor, Engineering, Tools, Building, Construction styles, Dwarf Civilization, Dwarf Heroes, Dwarf Religion, Mounts and Beasts of Burden, Fighting styles, Growth Patterns, Apprenticeships, Tolkien Khazad versus other fiction, RUNES, Jewelcraft!!, Dwarf MAGIC, Dwarven magical items, Dwarf Trades, (etc.)

I also want to talk about differences between Dwarves and Elves a little bit more [Tolkien and in fantasy in general]. I have a couple of ideas that would flesh out the two races and make them more understandable to people.

Opinion: I really feel a lot of movies, artists, and comics don't really have a good idea of a Dwarf (Khazad). I always go back to Tolkien to find and understand their character, characterization, strengths, and flaws. While Tolkien had a fascination with Elves (Eldar), he had a certain fleshing out of a Dwarf race that was what I most envisioned. Hoorah! I have (maybe) a place where like minds can dispel (or even create) stereotypes, if needs be!


Tolkien reached back into the mists of the mythic past, grabbed some ancient archetypes, brought them kicking and screaming into the 20th century and gave them back their power. When I read LOTR in 1978, I recognized the Elves. I already knew the archetype (I blogged extensively about it here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1722626/1/That-Darn-Elf-a-random-musing...

But we are talking Dwarves here, mostly. The point of that was archetype. And that we don't need wikipedia to define it, we KNOW it, somewhere deep inside. Archetypes reflect some truth about the real world, about who we are. Or who we wish to be.

I also recognized the Dwarves. They were the people I knew, sturdy, stout, stoic, stubborn. They drove this Elf-chick up the freakin' wall most of the time...even though I was related to them by DNA, we were NOT the same species. I wanted to shoot a bow and talk to trees and ride a horse without saddle or rein. I did not fit in well with the stout folk of Germanic (yeah, Norse/Germanic = Dwarf) descent in my county.

It took a few decades, some experience, some mellowing, and 13 unforgetttable and lovable Dwarves in a certain film to give me the moment that Legolas gets somewhere in Lorien, when he finally understands Gimli.

^%$#^%$#^#$ Dwarves. There's a point to them after all. They are the balance, the yin to the yang, the see to the saw. They might grump about going to Fangorn Forest and getting squirrels in their hair while their buddy talks to trees... but when Legolas forgets that the Fate of Middle Earth Hangs in the Balance, and goes blithely galloping back into the Huorn Wood because he saw "eyes in the trees!" it is Gimli who knocks him upside the head and tells him to turn around and get back to business.

My cousin worked at a local ski resort one winter. He noted that all the ski instructors were tall and lean and graceful, swishing silently up on their skis (hey, they CAN run on snow!)... while all the maintenance guys were short and stout and very hairy. Really. I kid you not.

Point is, the ski resort needed both of them.

Naturalists at the local county park: Elvish (except the park director, he looks precisely like a Hobbit, only taller). Guys keeping things in working order: Dwarvish. Hot guy in that rock band: Elvish. Guy fixing my overheated car: Dwarvish.

The archetypes are based on truths about the real world. Elves are the Magical Child, the Nature Child, art and literature and our aspirations to be more than we are.

Dwarves are the earthy, the rooted, the dark deep places underground, the secret, the strong, enduring, rock hard, pragmatic, hard working, craftsmen, yin. They are the pit bull, the terrier rather than the greyhound. The boar rather than the deer. The wolverine, not the fox. The sturdy Shetland Pony, not the lithe Arabian.

The beauty of The Hobbit film is it takes a fine classic faerie tale and drags it, and its archetypes, kicking and screaming into the 21st century... and gives them back their power. It blows up the stereotypes of Dwarves in particular, giving us a diverse, interesting, lovable set of characters.

...who are still recognizably Dwarves.

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 7:26am

Post #13 of 18 (263 views)
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pointy things... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Dwarves seem physically suited for in-close fighting. I would think they would excel at personal combat with a knife. This style might even come into play on the battlefield, where slender dirks might be used to stab between pieces of armor.

We see from AUJ that Dwarves can be very dextrous, such as with washing dishes and other kitchen chores. The same hand-cleverness could be applied
to the art of the short blade, to deadly effect.


I have one word for you: Nori.

In the Hobbit Chronicles (the WETA art book) Gus Hunter, WETA Workshop Designer, says: (Jed Brophy) "wanted knives that he could pull out of a double scabbard, and Jed also wanted to have four others hidden around his body so that he'd be one of these characters who was a close combat specialist, with blades that he can pull out of anywhere and stab you."

Pigs, even little ones like potbellies, look fat and unathletic... and then they get to arguing about the bowl of food in your hand and....ShockedPirateShockedShockedShockedFrownPirateShocked... it's surprising how much power is in a critter that is close to the ground... and also has a jawful of teeth. I've also worked with Bonnie the Lecture Beaver (60 pounds, America's largest rodent). On the surface she was a big squishy water balloon... peeved, she was a Force of Nature with really big teeth.

Point is: little folk close to the earth can be deadly.

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 7:30am

Post #14 of 18 (273 views)
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stout women [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Your speculation they might have been involved with work for their family's business matches what is presented in the film, actually. At least one of the Dwarf women shown in the brief Dale scene appears to be selling goods to passers-by from a tray that she is carrying. It also seems likely based on Tolkien's comments on the relative (to humans) rarity of marriage. If there were no other outlets for them aside from childrearing and homemaking accepted by their society, I would expect more Dwarf women to marry.

I liked the way they looked; I did not think they all looked "fat". Bulky, yes, but then so do the male Dwarves. Given they are in other ways more similar to the males (like the beards) the cultural aesthetic may not be towards a willowy look that is in contrast to the male look (as in modern Western supermodels). Certainly the ones I noted all wore dresses with a high waist (taken in just below the breasts) and full, long skirt, which (especially in the heavy, embroidered cloth that seemed popular in those scenes) would lend fullness to the look.

Also, just Googling some female Dwarf faces - I think female faces with beards may tend to be seen by us as "fat" because we are programmed to expect beards to go with the rougher skin and more chiseled facial features typical of adult males. Bearded persons with softer, more rounded facial features may seem fat.


Good observations!

As someone who will never be willowy I have noted the cultural bias toward that affliction. Women in my (Pennsylvania German) family tend to be square and stout and very strong, heavy boned and muscular. We do not fit well in girl shoes or gloves (too skinny for our wide feet and hands). We also do not get osteoporosis. Or complain that it's too cold or that this is too hard or too heavy... We still clean up beautifully...

Go outside and play...


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Jan 25 2013, 10:34pm

Post #15 of 18 (257 views)
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Dwarf Growth Patterns [In reply to] Can't Post

Like I said... I have a bunch of opinions about Dwarves in general and a few ideas about about how (my perception of how) Tolkien created them. With my time off of late, the time off that I've had have been put to good use making my musing of this sort available to other people. I liked the Dungeon & Dragon days but that stayed in high-school. The Dwarf priest I liked to play a traditional and spiritual defender of the "sacred way" rather than the Gimli sort. I always had "the Hobbit" Dwarf in mind. Not a Norse, loud-mouthed, irate, and ax-wielding fiend of the battle field, but a balanced, wise, 180 year old sage with a lot of experience and accomplishments and influence.
In college I grew up but had a fantasy world of my own in my soul. I took bits and pieces of Dwarf characterizations (DragonLance, WarHammer, Warcraft, etc) but MY Dwarf was more civilized and respectible than that.

Anyways,... getting back to my blog... culture ages of other Middle-earth nationalities...
Life Stages (Humans versus Dwarf)

Humanity 5____10___15____20____25____30____35____40____45____50____55____60____65____70____75____80____85____90
Dwarves__7____15___25___30____50____70____90____110___130___150___170___190___210___230___250___270___290___310

Does anyone dispute this. What does the LotR books say... or even the Simarillion???

Tolkien described some Dwarves reaching 500 years (like King Durin).

If this was reasonable Dwarves would have a longer childhood (games and chores) and longer retirement age (to teach the youngest generation, enjoy their riches, research forgotten knowledge, etc...).

Would Dwarf Men be taken care of my their mothers until age 5, then be sent to do menial tasks as youth (teenagers)??? Would they work for their dad and his family?? Could they with their brothers and cousins as well?? ---working for cheap but getting life and laboring experience until they are ready to enter the ADULT world??

HeartWhat about women?? I posted earlier that they could definitely be "career-women". Why wouldn't the majority marry (at least for a little while) while in their youth. They would have family, nation, culture, friend, and boy-friend influences steering them so. Also at a young age they could pawn off younger kids to parents and family.With that type of help they could handle 2 to 8 (average 5) at any one time. Remember that they have a long life to life!! They could work for many long years after and still come back and have another set of kids... maybe with a different husband!??

UnimpressedAnother point is... with 200 years in the working world (above 30 years old to 230) how COULD the Dwarves be barbaric?? If anything... they could/should be around the RENAISSANCE era. They SHOULD be an enlightened people with great skill, education, culture, class, and customes!!

...but I guess that's just my opinion! Evil

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com

(This post was edited by Nalin sternbolt on Jan 25 2013, 10:42pm)


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Feb 1 2013, 11:28pm

Post #16 of 18 (236 views)
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Apprenticeships - the greatest blessing of "the people" [In reply to] Can't Post

The greatest blessing this mythical race has is the opportunity to take a long time to train and become perfected in a craft, art, or skill. Apprenticeships are probably the best chances for young Dwarves to grow in their society to follow a career path. It may be enormously longer than humans to prove themselves worthy of a master craftsman but their skills can be enhanced by year by year perfection in a whole lot of careers and devotion to their life craft (profession).

Elves are immortal, yet Tolkien told of them spending most of their time producing ballads, wandering in the woods, and having parties. I imagine that in emergency or on occasion they would need to produce good and services... ,but not on a regular basis. They would (most likely) produce something of worth if they did, but only magically enhanced for long-life plus skill.
High-Elves were better in craft and even with Dwarves in skill. They were lesser in number and not a power in the Third Age (last war of Men & Elves- death toll). the Simarrilion told of these people having good dealing with Dwarves.

Humans have very wide spread apprenticeships but seldom had the same time, devotion, and backgrounds that (I imaged) Dwarves have. Dwarves would start at age 15 (10 years as humanity) being underlings and go to age 30 (age 20 humanity). Like old-world adolescents they would do household chores, menial tasks in shops, help for their mothers, working alongside their dad, being helps for their brothers (profession taste), and learning Basic Education.

A dwarf of age 25 (15 humanity) would be "focused" on apprenticeships of several devotions. This would last until age 70 (30 humanity) and replaced by a profession to last them until the end of life! Examples as follows:

*Resource gathering: A requirement for a craft or skill would be to have prerequisite resource harvesting before that gains full employment. Stone cutting and rock quarry work would be before going into stone construction and masonry. Woodcutting and woodworking would be a prerequisite to carpentry and skilled (particular) wood craft -[bowyer, barrel-maker, wagon maker, toy-maker, machinist, to-name-a-few]. A Famed jeweler or Weaponmith / Armor would want their apprentices to have years in jewel mines or iron mines. They would know how to gain jewels from the ground, dig iron and smelter them well, and BLACKSMITH them into workable and hard metals with a lot of purity. An Armorer would want its pupils to already know tailoring and leatherworking. A weaponsmith of magical talent would require jewel crafting, rune (calligraphy), and experience in weapon craft using materials they gathered themselves. A jeweler would want their disciple to be ready by having "expert" hands with small files and tiny chisels.

*Household chores: A part of being a younger Dwarf is to accept lesser jobs. They would need to be child sitters, house cleaners, do work for parents, and work for neighbors. This could include a lot of typical "male and female" chores such as cooking, healing, shopping, washing clothes, and minding younger relatives; but also being tinkerers, gathering firewood, making the home larger, working furniture, gardening, moving, and working with tools. Both brothers and sisters would seem to share in these duties yet since more boys are born (according to Tolkien) they would have a lot of these tasks work on. Sisters would have a share of other duties but have a lot of traditional influences directing her to have a large family.

*Education: Dwarves seem like an intelligent lot. They would want to educate their kin to the highest levels. Women seem the best teachers of lower level skills and knowledge (like elementary s teachers here). Language, math, medieval age science, history, heraldry, philosophy, and basic arts are a few topics they could teach. Whole families or clans could ban together to hire a good teacher or a community (or wealthy/influencial Dwarf) could sponsor a school of sorts. They could even find a teacher of advanced subjects. These could include: accounting, medicine, herbalism, geography, geology, horticulture, or like.

*Militia: It would seem that Men, Goblins, and Orcs are in larger numbers, would be a threat to Dwarf civilization, and necessitate universal conscription. ALL DWARVES MUST FIGHT! Maybe an old Dwarf of ancient wars would semi-volunteer at an armory with the support of clans and families of the local community. The youth and older would be required to come there to learn weaponry of all kinds, physical training, soldiering discipline, formation training, how to fight as a team, training in tents on great treks (in far off countries). They would also teach specialized weapon and fighting training to certain Dwarves that show potential of a sort.

The basic story I'm trying to relate that instead of being just creatures from fantasy, Dwarves seem very real to even our real world. With a lot of experience in the world, they could attain skills that would make modest all except they greatest craftsmen of humanity and Elf-dom. Have fighing skills to counter-act their size... and... education to match the greatest of their neighbors...

So why are Dwarves great????????????? They prepare and develop their youth to be excellent!!!!!

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Feb 2 2013, 6:14am

Post #17 of 18 (243 views)
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Professions and Dwarven Pride [In reply to] Can't Post

Like a lot of creatures, Dwarves try and find purpose in "something". Since they are great craftspeople their art and craft makes the most sense. A lot of tales stand of Dwarves challenging anyone who take their great artifacts and relics. if they put a lot of love and care into their GREAT creations, this would motivate them to place them as kin.

I figure that there are only a few career groups that Dwarves divide themselves into: CRAFTING; CONSTRUCTION; ECONOMY; LEADERSHIP; SERVICE; WARFARE; & MISCELLANEOUS.

Crafting: is probably the stereotypical Dwarf profession that focuses on creation of items of beauty, utility, and power! The JEWELER making gems that have perfection and luster. BLACKSMITH that makes great cauldrons and tools (etc). WEAPON-SMITHS that create magical weapons of great power and purpose when not building up fantastic weapons of non-magical. ARMORERS with talent to make clothes, helmets, chest, legging, pauldrons, gauntlets, shields (etc) of surpassing skill (with a few master works being slated for magic). WOOD-CARVERS that make anything from toys, machine parts, furniture, (etc).

Construction: Most of the major works of the Dwarves are buildings (more than great items). STATUE-MAKERS would be artists of stone yet with scaffolding expertise. MASONS would expert in above ground building (walls, buildings, aquaducts, stairways, roadways). PUBLIC-WORKS would be specialists that would make advanced stone-works like plumbing, lights, transportation (elevators), water-wheels, mills, moving large objects, (etc).

Economy: These professions would be the essential parts of Dwarven life. These professions would have the highest of women Dwarves a part of their numbers. SHOP-OWNERS would own general stores and specialty shops for merchandizing their goods. TEAMSTERS would cart or wagon goods back and forth from Dwarf lands to the world in general. HORTICULTURISTS would supply grain, fruit, veg., meat, and juices to market. This would include a Dwarvish system of farming/ranching that is workable in protected lands plus despite difficult terrain.

Leadership: Younger Dwarves living under apprenticeships would be earning money and items for their "craft-masters". They would be under leaders in professions of resource gathering. MINE-BOSS would be a master of a particular vein of metal (etc). QUARRY-BOSS would be responsible for the supply of good stone. LUMBER-BOSS would be in charge of a mill in a certain region. HAUL-BOSS would be responsible for short delivery of raw materials to the right users. TUNNELING-BOSS would have a crew just for making a quality tunnel in the earth.

Service: Dwarves can have specialized professions of great worth. SCRIBES could be writers and bookkeepers for the nation, businesses, messages, and families. MEDICS could be varied from doctors of medicine, pharmacists, surgeons, care nurses, or veterinarians (etc). TEACHERS would be a very useful profession from basic education up to specialized subjects (I would imagine a civilization equal to high middle-ages/ Renaissance)

Warfare: Like humanity, Dwarves could have professional warriors (and part-time ones too) that have specialized units and formation. They could be varied and have a chosen purpose. GUARDS are either for a community, city block, palace, or for a great leader [bodyguards]. HAULBERKS are a Northman warrior tradition were the warriors are a combination of spear and missile troops as support of champions that use 2 handed weapons. PIKE-MEN are just that pike, spear, or pole-arm warriors (sometimes with shields) that use close formations that are killing machines by using cooperative fighting. MISSILE-TROOPS (as in the earlier post) these crossbow, arbalest, or other missile weapon users are support for ground troops and defenders of buildings. ENGINEER/ARTILLERY are support troops meant for use with seige equipment, catapults, ballista, manderil, or trap use. These troops could be present to defend the home land (gates) but useful in mercenary use with attacking forces. CAVALRY for Dwarves may be limited but a mountain pony rider or chariot pulled by yaks or something would be useful as a counter for riders of larger races. SKIRMISHERS would be light infantry meant for wilderness fights and ambushes. They could have skills and crafting meant to use and make weapons in the wilderness.

Miscellaneous: Though humans and Elves have better talents in cerain skills a dwarf could be useful in these professional fields. HERDERS would raise anything from sheep, goats, horses, ponies, bur-roughs, yaks, wild beasts (etc). COURTESANS are diplomats for non-Dwarf communities. They could be handy with languages, teaching, economy skills, professional skills, (etc) for gaining favor with the "host" nation. EXPLORERS would be needed in finding new resources, homes, and peoples to work with. They would need a variety of survival and adaptability skills and talents to be successful.

Whew!! I tried to make a greater professional tree to expand beyond certain "typical" professions most accustom for Dwarves. It was meant to be a lot alike with humanity but with a Dwarf Kingdom in mind! My mind is already spinning, thinking of how and who these people would be!!

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com


Nalin sternbolt
The Shire

Feb 4 2013, 8:47pm

Post #18 of 18 (269 views)
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The mix of professions [In reply to] Can't Post

Khazad... being focused on professions and economy (prosperity) would have a combination and try and get a broad education by crossing disciplines even after they have a career profession lined out. They are savvy on many levels... coinage trading / bargaining / "horse-trading" / favor swapping / and in primiture banking ("I owe you" notes). A lot of their goals could be outside of just gaining money. They could make favors to travel, hunt, play games, cross profession learning, or be mentored by family, friends, and work acquaintances all at the same time.

Humanity is a great level for this type of trade and learning. Say a neighboring settlement meets a 4 dwarf company that wants to make a long term agreement of economic and political alliance. **Say 1 Dwarf is a trader with a cart with Yaks do exchange human hunting furs, herd animal meat, and grains / vegetables. He could exchange for Dwarven finished goods from the Dwarfish settlement. **The second Dwarf is (perhaps) a warrior. His services as a disciplinarian militia trainer, warrior attache to the fighting core of the tribe, and representative to the chief of Dwarf military (weapon procurement and strategy). **The third Dwarf can be no less of an asset as a master craftsman. With skills in steel, wood, clothing, and/or stone-construction he can lend a lot of development to the human community and give a lot of strength as a peacemaker. After a few buildings get improvement, tools are made with quality, resources harvested properly, culture is lent as artwork is added to the craftsmanship; the humans may think that these Dwarfs MUST be kept as "allies" to keep their training improving! **The fourth Dwarf could be a missionary. He could teach reverence for eternal truths, a love of ancestors, and a greater spirituality that improves life and meaning. [A lot of Dwarf religion and virtues, I haven't hit on yet but this is a start!]. The old missionary could also be a teacher of basic skills like reading and writing (to include writing down spoken histories and genealogies! He could also share the "good-things" Dwarfs do and can offer the human community!!

Missing professions I thought of (or edits I wasn't allowed):
TAILOR: This craftperson is a professional with skills much needed by Dwarfs everywhere. This craft would need agricultural background, foraging skills, hunting prowace, and wood craft for loom making / repair.
HUNTER: I didn't think this as a profession because any old or young Dwarf can take this as a skill from a young age (esp from home duties and militia time). Since many humans are hunters, many Dwarfs can be too.
HUSKARL: I meant this in the last post rather than haulberk (a long suit of chain mail). The huskarl was a Scandinavian warrior retainer (Tolkien had many in his novels) that serves a lord but travels with his friends / company is search of adventure, war booty, glory, and honor. The huskarl had a two handed weapon like a spear, battle ax, great sword, with chain mail, shield and broad sword, pauldrons, and helmet. The fellows have varying armor and weapon that usually accomplish the "hero" huskarl in fight plus skills for camp life. The Northmen of Dale, Lake-town, and in the countryside could/would have the same type of warrior system. The Khazad would also see the beauties of a "mixed" warrior fighting unit with a combination of warriors (especially in small battles). The Dwarf HUSKARL could have mixed battle ax / hammers with spears / pole-arms as back up. All would have short sword of some type with shields for missile protection. A back up contingent would be crossbow / arbalest men yet all could have a throwing weapon and / or short-bow or small crossbow.

I haven't hit of priest professions but here's a sampling.

SPIRITUALIST: These teachers and animists could be a "naturalist" type of priest. They could be devoted to the spirituality of the Dwarf community plus an animist of wind, earth, plant life, animal spirits, death, ancestors, astrology, and foreigners. The spiritualist may be on a "trek" or spirit walk for a lot of their life in order to find spirit awakening, enlightenment, and signs of the world. The SPIRITUALIST could be like, disliked, or thought crazy but someone to turn to when chaos and turmoil threatens the Dwarf community.
ANCESTOR VENERATORS: Unlike the spiritualist, the ancestor venerator devotes the majority of his piety to the tending and keeping of rites and rituals centered on the Dwarfen dead. This Dwarf may have ceremonies throughout the year, preparation for funerals, missionary work to Dwarfs that don't follow "the ancient way", and pilgrimages to holy sites and holy places (old battlefield, lost homes). The Venerator is also teacher, ceremony leader, and counselor of the Dwarf people. [I would think that a lot of rulers would promote these people with money support as well as shrine and grave-site sponsoring].
PRIEST: The Khazad should have a diety / belief system. Tolkien didn't go into depth into religion in general but made clues that the Dwarfs believed in Iluvatar ("the one" great creator) with Aule (Makar) as his "choice" Vala. With virtues and a religious institution these priests could do any number of things to promote their "cause" and attract followers. They could also promote their religion with church schools, heirarchy of church leadership with the highest for the Dwarf royalty, and a brotherhood of MONKS that try to attract a congregation in order to be promoted to a lay Priest (then promotions from there).

Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, or Fran Walsh (or anyone else on the Hobbit production) NEED to come out to the Seattle Comicon, @ www.emeraldcitycomicon.com

 
 

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