Friday, December 14, 2012

What's it like to be a dwarf?

Richard Armitage, the actor who plays Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit, did an interview recently where he talked about what it was like to be a dwarf. This particular quote struck me as being exactly what being a dwarf is all about:

The one thing I didn’t expect was the fact that we were going to be bigger. When we get into costume, we’re all massive. So these dwarves are huge. I was a bigger version of myself. I was taller and wider than I am (obviously, because Pete shrinks you on the computer). I always thought that I would be small, but I was big. But it was very useful, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but in retrospect, it’s become clear that the growth in size has really helped to form this subconscious ego that I think dwarves have.

When you look at the designs for Erebor, it looks like Mount Rushmore. They built massive monuments to themselves, they accumulate huge amounts of wealth, they think a lot of themselves because they are a forbidden race. They are secondary to elves in the Legendarium.

Without allegory (because Tolkien is just not interested in it), it’s possible that they are like the Jewish people of Nazi Germany. I don’t think Tolkien intended that at all, but that’s how they feel. There’s a pride to them that’s like, “We will not be defeated. We will go back to our homeland and we will reclaim what was taken from us.”

Dwarves build huge underground complexes because dwarves are big!

I'm so looking forward to seeing The Hobbit tonight!

Quick poll - are you going to see it this weekend?


  1. Tolkien DID see the dwarves as like the Jews. You can google/wiki it. Most notably with Khuzdul, their language.

    1. And, no, I'm not planning on seeing the movie any time soon. If reviews are especially good, I might give it a shot.


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