Dwarves (Middle-earth)

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The Dwarves are a fictional people in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. The Dwarves called themselves Khazâd in their native tongue Khuzdûl; they were also called Kasári in Quenya, and Hadhodrim and Naugrim in Sindarin.

Dwarves are shorter and stockier than Elves or Men, but taller than Hobbits. They have great endurance and strength. Dwarves grow beards, of which they are traditionally very proud, keeping them long and well cared for. Only about a third of the Dwarven population is female; when going out from their homes they appear very alike to the male Dwarves, giving rise to the misconception that there are no Dwarf-women.[1] Dwarves are renowned for being great smiths and miners, having forged many great artefacts. Dwarves make their homes in the mountains, building entire cities underground; for example the ancient Dwarven city Khazad-dûm under the Misty Mountains. Dwarves overall are a rather secretive people, often keeping to themselves, and never telling their language (Khuzdûl) and true names to any non-Dwarf.[2]

The Dwarves were created by the Vala Aulë before the begin of the First Age. Aulë made them tough because Morgoth still ruled Middle-earth while they were made. Aulë taught them his smithing skills, and created their language Khuzdûl. After the Awakening of the Elves, the Dwarves were the next people to come into the world.[3]

The Dwarves appear in most of Tolkien's stories set in Middle-earth. In the more lighthearted The Hobbit a group of thirteen Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield go on a quest. The other twelve dwarves were Balin, Dwalin, Glóin, Óin, Fíli, Kíli, Dori, Nori, Ori, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. In The Lord of the Rings they were represented by Gimli son of Glóin, a member of the Fellowship of the Ring, who was a loyal companion and skilled warrior.


  1. "[...] there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole people. They seldom walk abroad except at great need. They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart. This has given rise to the foolish opinion among Men that there are no dwarf-women, and that the Dwarves ‘grow out of stone’.", J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, III Durin's Folk
  2. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, III Durin's Folk
  3. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

See also