A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 4: Fantasy Squad – Dwarf


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.

by AppleSin Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy©2010-2015 AppleSin
by AppleSin
Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Fantasy©2010-2015 AppleSin

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.

Designed by Doobster (Mindful Digressions)


33 thoughts on “A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 4: Fantasy Squad – Dwarf

  1. I love this theme! Dwarves are definitely cool–I really love the dwarves on Once Upon a Time. It’s cool how their pickaxes are magically tuned to each dwarf, and even names them!

    1. Thanks. I agree, the dwarves in Once Upon a Time are a great representation of the Disney classic – I love the twist they put on the fairy tales. It’s an enjoyable show 🙂

  2. So many A to Z people are bending my brain with spelling variants. Yesterday is was cruller. Now I add dwarves vs. dwarfs. : ) I will be adding so many notes to my spellchecker function.

  3. So dwarves are a different species than mankind’s little people? Did not know that.

    I hope when you get to I, you’ll do invisibility shields. I have a particular interest, especially after looking at the differences between StarTrek and Ironman’s creation of these.

    1. Unfortunately I’m writing about the fantasy creatures themselves, and not their cool toys and tricks! But you know me, I love to talk about anything Marvel related, and Star Trek is, well, Star Trek…awesome. So I might just do an extra post 😀

  4. My first experience with dwarves was in a series called Sword & Chain, and it was basically a D&D campaign gone terribly wrong. Even though the dwarf in this book was a thief, was missing a hand, and despite being nimble still ended up dying, I felt sorry for him. I liked the dwarves in The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings, as well. I just appreciate it when they’re a bit less cartoonish (there for the laugh), and have a deeper history and culture. 🙂

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

    1. Bruenor had to make it to the list! When I was preparing this one, I couldn’t help imagining you and Gene’o, debating about dwarfs – it would be a fascinating discussion indeed 🙂

      1. I would pit Thibbledorf Pwent against any dwarf Gene’O would pick… Problem is it’d be unlikely for them to fight! Dwarfs in the fiction tend to be devoted to each other, brothers in arms not enemies!

      2. Yeah but the smack talk might be fun 😉 You two strike me as ‘brothers-in-arms’ too and a healthy debate is entertainment! I would be entertained. I should have had you write the next one…it’s elves *gulp!*

      3. They are willing slaves in Harry Potter, yes. Hermione fights for rights they aren’t looking for. Dobby is considered weird for being free… And for liking it.

      4. *surprised gasp* I’ve been to the Elephant House in Edinburgh where she wrote it 🙂 I’ve won trivia games. Been to midnight releases. You’ve missed out on all that fun… But you can still read the books 🙂

    1. I know how you feel. I used to have boxes of video tapes and only gave them away last year. I actually kept them for years, though I didn’t have a video player! Thanks for stopping by, I’ll hop on over to check out your A to Z journey 🙂

  5. I’m not a fan of dwarves, generally. I read Artemis Fowl when I was way younger, and I remember that one dwarf was particularly mean, even if he was on the side of good. Honestly, I’m surprised not to see dragons as your D. I love dragons – they don’t get enough love, ever. /contemplates writing a dragon book.

  6. Love Tolkien. Not sure I’ve noticed dwarves in any other books apart from Fairy Tales. I have a friend who is a dwarf and i think you’ll find they are definitely human though, just suffering a genetic anomaly. There aren’t any in Harry Potter, Dobby was an elf.

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