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Fathers of the Dwarves

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Aulë and the Seven Fathers by Ted Nasmith

The Seven Fathers of the Dwarves were the first of their race.

The Vala Aulë created the Dwarves because he was impatient for the arising of the Children of Ilúvatar (Elves and Men). He created seven Dwarves, and was teaching them the language he had devised for them (Khuzdul) when Ilúvatar confronted him. Aulë offered his creations to Ilúvatar, who accepted them and gave them life.[1]

Aule going to destroy the Dwarves

However, the Fathers of the Dwarves had to wait until the Elves first arrived, and Aulë laid them to rest in various places in the continent of Middle-earth.[1]

The eldest of all, Durin, "lay alone" at Mount Gundabad in the north of the Misty Mountains.[2] He later founded the line of the Longbeards (or Sigin-tarâg in Khuzdul), the Dwarves which were most friendly to the Elves and Men, mostly referred to as Durin's folk. His city was Khazad-dûm.[3]

Two others were laid to rest near Mount Dolmed in the Ered Luin or Blue Mountains, and they founded the lines of the Broadbeams and the Firebeards who later lived in Nogrod and Belegost.[2]

The other four Fathers of Dwarves were laid to rest in the far east, two of them at the northern end of the Orocarni, and the other two near the southern end of the range. These founded the lines of the Ironfists, Stiffbeards, Blacklocks, and Stonefoots.[2] No Dwarves of these lines appear in the tales.

Of the Fathers of the Dwarves, only Durin is said to have "lain alone".[3] This can be interpreted as referring to the fact he was indeed laid down to rest alone while the other Fathers were laid to rest in pairs, but older versions of the story suggest that it meant Durin alone had no female companion. The other Fathers did: references are made by Tolkien to the "Thirteen Dwarves" created by Aulë (Durin and the six pairs).[4]


According to the Tolkien Encyclopedia, Aule's creation of the Dwarves is sub-creation which aims to honor the wider Creation of God/Eru, a concept expressed in Mythopoeia; "and may indicate anxieties about the independent value of art."[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Aulë and Yavanna"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men", Note 24
  5. Michael D.C. Drout, ed., J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, p. 134