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Topic: What became of the Dwarves?

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 13, 2009
What became of the Dwarves?

Hi all

Well at the start of the fourth age, the elves departed or those who stayed in time faded.

Yet what of the dwarves ?

By all accounts the Lonely Mountain was thriving. People relocted to the Gimli's glittering caves. Moiria was free of the Balrog and ripe for the taking.

So what became of the Dwarves ? 

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I think the general view is that they still dwelt in their mountains after the Third Age and eventually simply faded into legendary type figures, solidifying the dominion of Men. Galin may be able to find a quote to this effect.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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In The Making of Appendix A it was said, in draft text, that a Dwarf named Durin arose again:

'... and he returned to Moria; and there was light again in deep places, and the ringing of hammers and the harping of harps, until the world grew old and the Dwarves failed and the days of Durin's race were ended.'

Christopher Tolkien notes that: 'It is impossible to discover whether my father did in fact reject this idea, or whether it simply became 'lost' in the haste with which the Appendices were finally prepared for publication. The fact that he made no reference to 'Durin VII and Last', though he appears in the genealogy in Appendix A, is possibly a pointer to the latter supposition.' The Peoples of Middle-Earth

In The Epilogue Sam writes that Gimli brought many folk from the North, and they worked in Gondor so long that they settled in the White Mountains not far from the city. And of Moria Sam wrote:

'I have heard no news. Maybe the foretelling about Durin is not for our time. Dark places still need a lot of cleaning up. I guess it will take a lot of trouble and daring deeds yet to root out the evil creatures from the halls of Moria. For there are certainly plenty of Orcs left in such places. It is not likely that we shall ever get quite rid of them.' JRRT, Epilogue, second version 

An epilogue was abandoned by JRRT on the advice of others. If we look to what Tolkien himself published we know that Gimli brought south a part of the folk of Erebor, and he became Lord of the Glittering Caves, doing work in Gondor and Rohan. It was said that because of the fewness of Dwarf-women that the kind of the Dwarves increased slowly. And, whatever it might mean, as CJRT noted...

... 'Durin VII and Last' does at least appear on the published chart in Appendix A, as set out by Gimli. It might be argued that Tolkien had his opportunity to say more on the fate of Moria or the Dwarves when he revised The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s, but didn't -- although even if the line about Durin was accidentally left out of the Appendices in 1955, who can say whether or not Tolkien even remembered this, in the 1960s. 

Hmm smile



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I wonder what happened to Hobbits? Elves went to the West, Dwarves simply seem to dwindle away into myth but Hobbits I am not sure of.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Unfortunately Hobbits became: '... a fugitive and secret people, driven to refuge in forest or wilderness: a wandering and poor folk, forgetful of their arts, living a precarious life absorbed in the search for food, and fearful of being seen.'

At least according to a note by JRRT reproduced in Numenorean Linear Measures, Unfinished Tales

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Does that thought seem right. Not doubting the source or Galin but such a wonderful people and of such great import to Middle Earth and LOTR or, I guess I should say, the War of the Ring. From "My friends you bow to no one" to they simply become foragers and are forgotten barely surviving. It doesn't ring true with the rest of the story. Perhaps it's something that Tolkien just didn't have time for.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Well as Hobbits were in fact a race of men, isn't it logical they were also included in the 'Dominion of Men'? In The Hobbit it says:

"I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off."

I'm not sure there is a huge consideration for the overall lore in that quote but thats what we have. They seem to just become a secretive furtive folk that can avoid detection by the Big Folk.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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The discription Galin quoted seems so bleak and hopeless.
Fugitive-Criminal
Wandering-homeless
precarious life-threatened
absorbed in the search for food-starving

Maybe I'm reading too much into the wording.



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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Jul 18, 2009
I don't agree with them being fugatives. Afterall, Sam's daughter Elanor the Fair was one of the Maidens of Queen Arwen Evenstar. And Pippin and Merry were considered PRinces of the Halflings, and were often seen at the courts of Rohan and Gondor, where they were held in high esteem.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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And yet the leadership does not mean that the hobbits faired well after their passing.
While Elanor, Pippin, Merry and Samwise are examples of good, Ted Sandyman, Lotho,and a good many other hobbits followed Saruman as Sharky.
Maybe they did diminish...
That is not my wish...but Galen's quote from "The Unfinished Tales" is irrefutable..

"Unfortunately Hobbits became: '... a fugitive and secret people, driven to refuge in forest or wilderness: a wandering and poor folk, forgetful of their arts, living a precarious life absorbed in the search for food, and fearful of being seen'."
At least according to a note by JRRT reproduced in Numenorean Linear Measures, Unfinished Tales.
(Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > What became of the Dwarves? > Galen > July 16th, 2009)
And Mr. Baggins quote from The Hobbit;
"I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off." (The Hobbit, Chapter I -"An Unexpected Party", pg 4)
(Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > What became of the Dwarves? >Bilbo Baggins > July 16th, 2009)










-- Edited by Bear on Saturday 18th of July 2009 10:54:53 PM

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Guess that the diminishing of Hobbits was necessary to make the complete myth fit closer to our own world. Couldn't really say "Well Hobbits are a prosperous folk but can avoid being seen by magic" if asked where are they now. So making them a very rare and hard to find group kind of makes it a bit more realistic.

By the way, what about those tiny people found on that island somewhere or other? About Hobbit size. I'll have to check it out on the internet and get back to you with more info.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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LOL That is so funny!! I read your post and thought about the "hobbit" skeleton that they found in a huge cave somewhere obscure. One of those late night, whole bottle of wine, NatGeo things.


I had to go back to see how we went from  dwarves to hobbits.
-- Edited by lomoduin on Monday 20th of July 2009 03:41:40 AM

-- Edited by lomoduin on Monday 20th of July 2009 03:42:33 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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'I don't agree with them being fugatives. Afterall, Sam's daughter Elanor the Fair was one of the Maidens of Queen Arwen Evenstar. And Pippin and Merry were considered PRinces of the Halflings, and were often seen at the courts of Rohan and Gondor, where they were held in high esteem.'

I think the context must surely be many (many) years after these Hobbits lived. King Elessar had issued an edict that Men were not to enter the Shire, and made it a free land under the protection of the Northern sceptre. And it was said the Fairbairns of the towers dwelt at Undertowers for many generations.

Tolkien's note concerns the diminishing stature of the Halflings and Numenoreans. Perhaps I shouldn't have cut the quote as I did, but the fuller version (but still not full version) reads: 'The much later dwindling of Hobbits must be due to a change in their state and way of life: they became a fugitive and secret...' (continued as above).

Although 'much later' is vague of course, I think the reader can assume Hobbits enjoyed the Shire for a very long time after the passing of Elessar. Ultimately however, at some much later point in history, the 'fantastic folk' must fade. Incidentally, Tolkien's note probably refers to the prologue comment: 'They seldom now reach three feet; but they have dwindled, they say, and in ancient days they were taller.'

Also, Hammond and Scull have now published an even fuller version than appears in Unfinished Tales, which introduces some Men usurping Hobbit-lands and even hunting them for sport.

'The much later dwindling of Hobbits must be due to a change in their state and way of life; they became a fugitive and secret people, driven as Men, the Big Folk, became more and more numerous, usurping the more fertile and habitable lands, to refuge in forest or wilderness: a wandering and poor folk, forgetful of their arts and living a precarious life absorbed in the search for food and fearful of being seen; for cruel men would shoot them for sport as if they were animals. In fact they relapsed into the state of 'pygmies'. The other stunted race, the Druedain, never rose much above that state.'

Tolkien himself did not publish these notes of course, but they do appear to reflect his late thoughts on the matter.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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You're right in so much that it doesn't seem to gel very well with the 'Hobbits saved the day' theme in The Lord of the Rings. I guess thats what a few thousands years of hiding away will do to you, all of that stuff is ancient history. The Hobbits would have been better off mingling with the folk of Rohan and Gondor while they had the friendship of the Kings there, like they had done in Bree. That way they may have had a brighter future than skulking around in the shadows.

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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Date: Jul 28, 2009
Questions like this are why I prefer to ignore the idea that Middle Earth is supposed to be our world long ago, even though it is the canonical representation made by Tolkien. You can certainly find some answers to your question in Tolkien's writings, such as what has been quoted in the thread so far. However, I personally prefer to think of Middle Earth as it as in the Third Age and let alone the parts of the future that Tolkien left vague and inconclusive. I don't like to think of a future where only Men exist and all of the other races have faded or were driven out. Be that as it may, my opinion doesn't contribute to the answering of your question, so here's my best stab at it:

I recall that somewhere (most likely in a letter) Tolkien said this:

"The Hobbits are just rustic English people, made small in size because it reflects the generally small reach of their imagination."


This suggests that he based Hobbits off of his idealized view of the British people - simple, rustic, and ignorant, with a love of the basic things in life (food, drink, and the pipe), but yet kind, decent, and clever in their own earthly way.  Thus, if Hobbits did indeed endure that fate, to be forgotten, driven out, and only just able to survive, it may be a subtle allusion to the loss of the type of life that Tolkien idealized that grows rarer and rarer today. 

Tolkien had a great distaste for machinery and mechanical warfare.  I often have felt that Hobbits and their beautiful Shire were his idealization of the traditional British lifestyle that is being lost in our modern times.   Therefore, I tend to view Hobbits as an offshoot of the Kingdom of Men, given to the same birthright to take dominion over Middle Earth, but perhaps failing to do so due to their small size, lack of interest in warfare, and their peaceful and rustic nature.

But what of the Dwarves?  When Iluvatar found that Aule had created the Dwarves, he said:  "But when the time comes I will awaken them, and they shall be to thee as children, and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice".  Based on this and the few references by Tolkien to Dwarves in later times, it seems to suggest that Men would ever be at odds with the Dwarves, and eventually, Dwarves might be defeated by or at least exist under the dominion of Men.  If you prefer a cheerier alternative for them, perhaps they are still around and have taken refuge underground where they can be free to mine forever.  Who can really say?

In short, I don't believe any conclusive answers were given by Tolkien on this subject - it is just another of many that is open to interpretation depending on your opinion of the available text sources.




-- Edited by The Secret Fire on Tuesday 28th of July 2009 01:38:10 AM

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