Friday, September 16, 2016


Listening to Wagner's Ring Cycle and thinking about dwarves.

They're a pretty standard character in the fantasy writers' domain. Hardworking, honest, industrial: they're the background of many a far-flung economy, the quiet toilers who get the ore dug and smelted and don't ask for much in return besides some music and ale.

Though there may be whole cities or kingdoms of dwarves, in fairytales they're associated with loners and outcasts. They scuttle about rocky moors after dark or entertain misshapen hunchbacks and lost travelers.

Folklore speaks little of dwarven women; Tolkien supposed that they, too, sported beards, and so were indistinguishable from the men. Others have supposed that dwarves have no women and simply spring fully formed from the stones.

Mostly I suppose that dwarven women keep to themselves, and do not dally in human company. But on nights when the rain falls like a river and the power goes out, I favor the stones.

I am quite fond of dwarves.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia: Wroclaw's dwarfs

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