Durin’s Story Explains Why The Dwarves Hate Elves In Lord Of The Rings

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episode 7When Durin III describes how Dwarves were created during The Rings of Power episode 7, he’s also tacitly explaining how the entire feud between Elves and Dwarves from The Lord of the Rings started. It’s no secret that Middle-earth’s Elves and Dwarves share a permanently frosty relationship. Though each race largely stayed out of the other’s hair, meetings that did occur between Elves and Dwarves were always rife in tension and animosity – as seen initially with The Lord of the Rings‘ Legolas and Gimli. The working relationship between Moria and Eregion depicted in The Rings of Power is a rare exception to that rule.

The Rings of Power episode 7 (“The Eye”) sees Durin III recount the Dwarves’ creation story to his son, telling of how the Vala known as Aulë made them from fire and stone. Though Moria’s King is attempting to teach his son a lesson here, he also teaches the audience about how the feud between Elves and Dwarves began. Eru Ilúvatar – the God of J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology – is the only entity capable of creating life. Aulë defied this rule by making the Dwarves, but as the disobedient Vala prepared to toss his stout stone people into the recycling, Eru took pity. After accepting Aulë’s unauthorized side project, Eru allowed the Dwarves to exist and blessed them with sentience.

Why The Dwarves & Elves REALLY Hate Each Other

Eru had a stipulation, however. He insisted that since Dwarves were not proper Children of Ilúvatar, they must sleep dormant until the Elves had awoken. Eru also decreed, “Often strife shall arise between thine and mine.” At this moment, the tempestuous dynamic between Elf and Dwarf was forged. The Elves would forever look upon Aulë’s children as inferior, while the Dwarves would look upon Elves as arrogant, nurturing an unyielding pride of their own in response. Equally significant is that Middle-earth’s Dwarves look the way they do because Aulë wasn’t entirely sure how his father’s creations of Elves and Men would turn out. The Dwarves, therefore, were actually built in the warped image of their fiercest rivals.

The OTHER Major Reason Elves & Dwarves Feud In LOTR

While interracial bickering in Middle-earth was destined to arise due to the manner of how Elves and Dwarves were each created, key events helped their hatred along. By far the most important came during J.R.R. Tolkien’s First Age – long before even The Rings of Power takes place. The Dwarves crafted a beautiful necklace known as the Nauglamir for Galadriel’s brother Finrod, since their relations with Elves hadn’t yet deteriorated, and Finrod wasn’t pretty friendly as Elf-rulers went. After Finrod’s kingdom fell, the Nauglamir eventually came to King Thingol of Doriath, who requested the Dwarves add a precious glowing Silmaril to its collection of jewels. The Dwarves agreed but, like so many before them, became entranced by their wondrous creation and demanded to keep it. Thingol responded with a stinging rebuke, leading to several bloody battles and deaths on both sides. The Dwarves present at the time weren’t entirely truthful about how the Nauglamir incident played out either, stoking further hatred from their kin.

Elves and Dwarves rubbed along okay before their disagreement with Thingol, but their dispute over the Nauglamir marked the beginning of centuries filled with mistrust, fulfilling the prediction Eru made when Aulë first unveiled his secret creations. Only in rare instances (Moria & Eregion in The Rings of Power, Legolas & Gimli in The Lord of the Rings, etc.) would these two races truly join hands in Middle-earth.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video.

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