First, before we delve into this wonderful subject matter, a brief note. The plural of dwarf is dwarfs, but when it comes to discussing creatures in a fantasy world, dwarves is generally accepted (in other words, I will be deferring to Tolkien!)
Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff. No squad would be complete without a dwarf. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or an alternate universe, you’ll be familiar with the Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Most of us can name them; Grumpy, Bashful, Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Sneezy, and…and…*brings up google*… and Doc.
If you refer to Norse mythology, dwarves were often described as humanoid in nature, usually short and stocky, and connected to the Earth. This is certainly accurate for Snow White’s hard-working little friends!
Dwarves are represented as being craftsmen; miners, engineers, blacksmiths, and stone workers. But according to Norse mythology they were also seen as selfish, greedy and cunning creatures. The most common interpretation in media relates to the hardworking nature of these creatures.
Tolkien’s dwarves were typically blacksmiths and stone-workers by profession, having skills which rivaled the elves (in certain areas). Most people would recognize Gimli, thanks to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but Tolkien created prominent tribes or houses; each with a rich and varied history.
Marvel too, concentrated on the artistry of their dwarf race – a race who live in Nidavellir, within the realm of Asgard. These hardworking craftsmen and farmers created weapons for the gods, though it is Odin who enchanted the weapons with magical properties. The most well known dwarf is perhaps the Dwarf King, Eitri.
There are numerous examples in film and literature, because no fantasy world is complete without dwarves. Many are warriors; strong and resilient. A good example would be Bruenor Battlehammer (Dungeons and Dragons) who can be found in the Icewind Dale Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore.
Perhaps my favourite depiction of dwarves in literature reflects their loyal nature. I always knew I would one day create my own fantasy world and that dwarves would be part of my team. I played with the idea of dwarves being part of the Earth and expanded on this within the Fractured series. I also gave my dwarves a unique weapon, forged from the earth and gifted as part of a coming of age ceremony.
But I want to hear from you. Who is your favourite dwarf? What do you like most about these mythical creatures? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by.