Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

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Timmity Took
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Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Timmity Took » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:23 pm

Or is that notion too discworldy?...
It is a long while since I read the Hobbit and even longer since I read LotR.
But how does dwarf gender roles and perception of gender work again?
The legendarium says dwarf women look and act like dwarf men, right?
A bit up in the air for he reader(gamer..) to interpret maybe?
What do you think? :)

HunterGreen
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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by HunterGreen » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:40 pm

While I think it's clearly not what Tolkien intended, it seems like a pretty good twist to me. He did write that others wouldn't have been able to tell, and the entire tale of The Hobbit is told from Bilbo's memories as he later wrote down, so it could be that he was simply fooled the whole time. One possible hole in this is that Gandalf wouldn't have been fooled, and you'd have to go through to see if there's a time when something he said would be contradicted.

Now, Tolkien also wrote that the females were kept safe at home because there weren't enough of them and the Dwarves didn't want to risk any of them, so it doesn't make sense they'd've gone on this adventure. But that's something any enterprising Loremaster could work his or her way around!
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Obadiah
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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Obadiah » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:23 pm

No it is not so up in the air.

Dwalin and Balin are brothers.
Thorin is described as a he and son of....
Bombur, Bifur, Bofur, Dori, Fili are described as a he.
Fili and Kili are brothers.
Gloin is the father of Gimli and his brother is Oin.

That is just from me scanning through the book.

And for what it's worth, Gandalf is also male, and Elrond and Bilbo.....

Enevhar Aldarion
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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:38 am

It is because of the time period that Tolkien was from and the general British attitude toward women who were more "adventurous" that there is a general lack of female characters in his books, and even the ones that are there are more in the background, even those with great power like Galadriel. This is also why the movies gave both Arwen and Galadriel more focus and more screen time and why Tauriel was invented.

Also, because of the rarity of female dwarfs in Middle-Earth, and no offense meant for anyone who plays differently or for those who created this great game, they would be the one category of adventuring races in the game that I will always have difficulty accepting in my games as a player character without there being a very compelling and strong back story to explain why she is out in the world and not safely locked away, either having little dwarf babies of her own or helping raise the few that are born to other females. Unfortunately, being a female dwarf in Middle-Earth is a Catch-22.

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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:07 am

I never imagined any of Thorin's companions on his quest to have been female; the closest I came to that was to develop a backstory for Thorin's sister.
Dís daughter of Thráin
Dís is the only daughter of Thráin II. She is the sister of the late Thorin Oakenshield and mother to the brothers Fili and Kili who perished defending their uncle in the Battle of Five Armies. Lady Dís joined the rest of her folk in returning to Lonely Mountain after it was reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. However, after a period of mourning for her sons and brother Thorin, she found that she could not remain there; the memories associated with Erebor were far too painful for her. Dís was only ten years old when Smaug claimed the Mountain. Many of her friends and their families were killed by the dragon and devoured. Her younger brother Frerin was slain years later by Orcs in the Battle of Azanulbizar. Most of her happy memories were of the Blue Mountains, where she grew to womanhood in the Halls of Thorin, met her husband-to-be, wed and bore two strong sons.

In T.A. 2944 Dís returned to the Blue Mountains and became the Lady of the Halls of Thorin. She acts as the Mistress of the Halls, ensuring that they are well maintained and that chambers are kept ready for envoys from Erebor, the Iron Hills and the other Dwarf-kingdoms and for special guests. She is educated and wise, and can also be stubborn and opinionated. She is also far too old to be bothered with customs she considers to be outdated nonsense. While Lady Dís carries an air of grace and dignity, she also defies the dwarven convention of 'dressing down' in the manner of a male for outsiders and when in public. Dís is typically garbed in hooded, white dwarven mourning robes, elegant and tasteful. While many conservative Dwarves are scandalized by this, she has accumulated a following among the younger set, especially with Dwarf-women who are themselves widowed or have determined never to marry.

Attribute Level: 8
Specialities: Rhymes of Lore, Leechcraft, Trading
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Relevant Skills: Courtesy ♦♦♦♦, Insight ♦♦♦♦♦, Lore ♦♦♦♦
I do imagine that if one or more of Thorin's companions were a Dwarf-lady, the other Dwarves at least would have been aware of it.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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HunterGreen
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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by HunterGreen » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:30 am

The point of what I said is that, if you really wanted to go this way, you could treat on the fact that the entire story is told by an unreliable narrator. But I said right from the start that it's clearly not the intent of Tolkien so you would be making your own version of the world. There's nothing wrong with doing that as long as you know that's what you're doing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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Falenthal
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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Falenthal » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:11 pm

HunterGreen wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:30 am
The point of what I said is that, if you really wanted to go this way, you could treat on the fact that the entire story is told by an unreliable narrator. But I said right from the start that it's clearly not the intent of Tolkien so you would be making your own version of the world. There's nothing wrong with doing that as long as you know that's what you're doing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Agreed with all of this. I think it would be possible to consider it, given the (fictional) context in which The Hobbit is written: the memories of a hobbit.
Even though Gandalf wouldn't probably have been fooled, it doesn't mean he would have told Bilbo the truth. To what end would he have done that?

In the same way that Eowyn took on adventures disguised as a man, a dwarven woman could have done the same. Making Fili or Kili a twin sister to a male would only add to it.

Enevhar Aldarion
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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:19 pm

Falenthal wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:11 pm
In the same way that Eowyn took on adventures disguised as a man, a dwarven woman could have done the same. Making Fili or Kili a twin sister to a male would only add to it.
Actually, if anyone were to screw with the sexes of any of the dwarfs, these two, and Thorin, would be the ones you absolutely should not change, because Fili and Kili are Thorin's heirs and female dwarfs cannot assume the throne.

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Falenthal
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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Falenthal » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:01 pm

Maybe it was just Fili who would inherit the throne.
Or Kili.
Who knows?

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Re: Could some of the 12 Dwarves have been female?

Post by Timmity Took » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:20 pm

I get your perspectives and views. All good points :)

When it comes to Tolkien's writing, however, the canon i very loose. He used a "writer's perspective" and "historian's perspective" style and have many versions and contradictions when it comes to events described in his various publications and writings. He also had countless drafts as he constantly rewrote both his his minor and major works. Even after publication he went back and made changes and new versions for later publications.
If he lived as long as many of his characters, one of the dwarves would eventually come out of the closet as a female, beard still intact :p

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