Son of Durin: 2. Author's Notes

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2. Author's Notes

Author's Notes

The list of names that Gimli is trying to decipher are those of the three Mountains of Moria, which loom large in both the history and the art of the Dwarves:
So they passed into Eregion, and... the travellers saw... the Sun catching three peaks that thrust up into the sky through floating clouds: Caradhras, Celebdil, and Fanuidhol. They were near to the Gates of Moria.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, Many Partings

"I need no map," said Gimli.... "There is the land where our fathers worked of old, and we have wrought the image of those mountains into many works of metal and of stone, and into many songs and tales. They stand tall in our dreams: Baraz, Zirak, Shathûr.

"... I know them and their names, for under them lies Khazad-dûm, the Dwarrowdelf, that is now called... Moria.... Yonder stands Barazinbar, the Redhorn, cruel Caradhras; and beyond him are Silvertine and Cloudyhead: Celebdil the White, and Fanuidhol the Grey, that we call Zirakzigil and Bundushathûr."

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 3, The Ring Goes South
Tolkien's Dwarves strike me as not overly patient, and their lords in particular could be downright peremptory:
They are a tough, thrawn race for the most part, secretive, laborious, retentive of the memory of injuries (and of benefits), lovers of stone, of gems, of things that take shape under the hands of the craftsmen rather than things that live by their own life.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races

Thorin: "[We] were unexpectedly joined by my father and my grandfather with singed beards. They... said very little. When I asked how they had got away, they told me to hold my tongue...."

The Hobbit, Ch 1, An Unexpected Party
However, in some of Tolkien's works, we see evidence that very few Dwarves married, and that they cherished those children they had (especially male heirs, I would imagine) all the more. It is also clear that Dwarves very carefully taught their young. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Glóin to swallow his natural impatience while teaching his very young son!
It is because of the fewness of women among them that the kind of the Dwarves increases slowly.... For Dwarves take only one wife or husband each in their lives, and are jealous, as in all matters of their rights. The number of dwarf-men that marry is actually less than one-third. For not all the women take husbands: some desire none; some desire one that they cannot get, and so will have no other. As for the men, very many also do not desire marriage, being engrossed in their crafts.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Durin's Folk

It is then said that Dwarves marry late, seldom before they are ninety or more, that they have few children (so many as four being rare), and continues:

To these they are devoted, often rather fiercely: that is, they may treat them with apparent harshness (especially in the desire to ensure that they shall grow up tough, hardy, unyielding), but they defend them with all their power, and resent injuries to them even more than to themselves.

The Peoples of Middle-earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 9, The Making of Appendix A: Durin's Folk

The Dwarves... had an ancient language of their own which they prized highly; and even when... it had ceased to be their native tongue and had become a 'book-language', it was carefully preserved and taught to all their children at an early age.

The Peoples of Middle-earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men
The Runes that Gimli is trying to learn are also known as the Cirth:
The alphabets were of two main, and in origin independent kinds: the Tengwar..., here translated as 'letters'; and the... Cirth, translated as 'runes'....

The Cirth were devised first in Beleriand by the Sindar, and were long used only for inscribing names and brief memorials upon wood or stone....

But in Beleriand, before the end of the First Age, the Cirth..., were rearranged and further developed. Their richest and most ordered form was known as the Alphabet of Daeron.... In the country of Eregion..., the Alphabet of Daeron was maintained in use and passed thence to Moria, where it became the alphabet most favoured by the Dwarves. It remained ever after in use among them and passed with them to the North. Hence in later times it was often called Angerthas Moria or the Long Rune-rows of Moria.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, Writing and Spelling: Writing

The Dwarves... had never invented any form of alphabetic writing. They quickly, however, recognized the usefulness of the Elvish systems.... This occurred mainly in the close association of Eregion and Moria in the Second Age. Now in Eregion not only the Fëanorian Script..., but also the ancient 'runic' alphabet of Daeron [used] by the Sindar was known and used.... Nonetheless even in Eregion the Runes were mainly a 'matter of lore' and were seldom used for informal matters. They, however, caught the fancy of the Dwarves; for while the Dwarves still lived in populous mansions of their own, such as Moria in particular, and went on journeys only to visit their own kin, they had little intercourse with other peoples except immediate neighbours, and needed writing very little; though they were fond of inscriptions, of all kinds, cut in stone. For such purposes the Runes were convenient, being originally devised for them.

The Longbeard Dwarves therefore adopted the Runes, and modified them for their own uses (especially the expression of Khuzdul); and they adhered to them even far into the Third Age, when they were forgotten by others except the loremasters of Elves and Men. Indeed it was generally supposed by the unlearned that they had been invented by the Dwarves, and they were widely known as 'dwarf-letters'.

The Peoples of Middle-earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men
In this drabble, I tried to convey some traits that I believe are characteristic of Tolkien's Dwarves. Glóin is both prideful of being a descendant of the line of Durin (tracing his ancestry back to Durin III) and also distrustful of other races:
Durin is the name that the Dwarves used for the eldest of the Seven Fathers of their race, and the ancestor of all the kings of the Longbeards... [In] the caves above Kheled-zâram in the east of the Misty Mountains he made his dwelling, where afterwards were the Mines of Moria renowned in song.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Durin's Folk

They say also that the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves return to live again in their own kin and to bear once more their ancient names: of whom Durin was the most renowned in after ages....

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 2, Of Aulë and Yavanna

[Dwarves] are not evil by nature, and few ever served the Enemy of free will, whatever the tales of Men alleged. For Men of old lusted after their wealth and the work of their hands, and there has been enmity between the races.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races
For JunoMagic's Alphabet Challenge in honor of International Literacy Day, 8 September 2008. Each drabble for this challenge was to both start AND end with the same letter... though there was no rule saying that the first and last words had to be complete....

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Elena Tiriel

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/04/09

Original Post: 06/04/09

Go to Son of Durin overview


WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Son of Durin

Adaneth - 05 Jun 09 - 9:50 AM

Ch. 2: Author's Notes


And to add to your collection of quotes:

To these [their children] they are devoted, often rather fiercely: that is, they may treat them with apparent harshness (especially in the desire to ensure that they will grow up tough, hardy, and unyielding), but they defend them with all their power, and resent injuries to them even more than to themselves (HoME XII: The Peoples of Middle-Earth, p. 285).



Son of Durin

Elena Tiriel - 05 Jun 09 - 7:25 PM

Ch. 2: Author's Notes

Hi Adaneth!


Thank you so much for your kind words, Adaneth! I hadn't written anything about Dwarves for a long time, so it was fun when my muse presented this idea in response to the challenge.

And to add to your collection of quotes...

Oh, this new quote is just perfect! I've added it to my author's notes... (So now I have 100 words of drabble, and 1400 words of author's notes... LOLOL!)

Thank you so much, Adaneth!

- Barbara

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Elena Tiriel - Star Gazings - 180 posts

I am a new author who is serious about improving my writing. Your comments, both positive and negative, will be treasured, evaluated, and incorporated freely!

Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

My fiction includes:

Fell and Fair (for the Sons of Elrond at the Field of Celebrant and the Alternate Perspectives Challenges)

ET's Legolas Song Parodies (for the International Legolas Month Song Parody Palooza Challenge)

Famous First Lines (for the It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Challenge)

Holiday Carols, Middle Earth-style (for the Carols in Middle-earth Challenge)

and numerous drabbles, including: Alas, Poor Ufthak!

I also compiled many entries for the HASA Resource Library, including the following small sampling:

Interesting People to Meet & Greet:
Orophin & Rúmil, The Bardings, and The Beornings

Cool Places to See & Be Seen:
The Elf-path, The Forest Gate, The High Pass of Rivendell, The Old Forest Road, Undertowers, The Westmarch, and Libraries of the Shire

Wild Fauna to Look (Out) For:
Black Squirrels, Butterflies, Hunting Dogs, The Kine of Araw, Giant Bats, Giant Moths, and Giant Spiders

Toothsome Treats to Eat:
Honey-cakes of the Beornings

Magical Powers to Admire (from a safe distance):
The Unlight of Ungoliant

Great Literature to Read:
The Red Book, The Thain's Book - Annotated Copy of the Red Book, Findegil's Copy of the Thain's Book, The Akallabêth, Herblore of the Shire, Old Words and Names in the Shire, The Reckoning of Years, The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, The Tale of Years, and Translations from the Elvish

Important Events to Remember:
The Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs, and The Battle of Dale and Siege of Erebor

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