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Old 04-01-2013, 01:08 AM
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LOTR: What happened to the dwarves in the Fourth Age?

So, it's the Age of Men; the music's dying and the Elves are catching the last boats for the coast; what happened to the Dwarves?

They can't catch the boat ride (except for Gimli). Moira's still a lost cause. Where did they go? did they just fade away?
Old 04-01-2013, 02:39 AM
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I'm sure there's speculation, but the sum of the material adds up to: we don't know what happens to the dwarves. Given JRRT's conceits about hobbits, I'd guess the answer is that there are still some around but we're too dim to notice.

Last edited by squeegee; 04-01-2013 at 02:40 AM.
Old 04-01-2013, 02:51 AM
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Yes, like the hobbits, I think they're few in number and keeping a very low profile.
Old 04-01-2013, 03:27 AM
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They went underground.
Old 04-01-2013, 07:53 AM
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Well initially they do well. Gimli opens Aglarond, Durin VII re-opens Moria and and Erebor and the Iron Hills are still a going concern. And that just the Longbeards.

Ultimately though they do just fade away.
Old 04-01-2013, 08:41 AM
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Yep, dwarves had been breeding well below replacement rate for many years. The Petty-Dwarves died out in the First Age (Turin sadly contributed to that, but since the world population was down to three males by then he didn't have that much impact) but the Dwarves were headed that way. Making baby dwarves was just not a high priority; dwarvenkind was only about one-third female according to Of the Dwarves and many of those never married, either because they had no mating instinct at all or because the object of their desires was uninterested and they were not about to "settle". And plenty of male dwarves were more interested in their craftwork than in getting married, too.

It's not quite as bad as in RuneQuest, in which the dwarfs are explicitly averse to sex, have to have the horrible process explained to them and need therapy afterwards to get over the disturbing experience, but it was enough to see the dwarves die out over time. Like the proverbial boiled frog, it just never seemed urgent enough at any given time to need anything done about it, and so it went as the dwarven population dwindled from millions to thousands to hundreds to... .
Old 04-01-2013, 08:42 AM
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Some started shacking up in droves with princesses. Others stood stil in gardens and pretended to be statues. The entrepreneurial ones started banks in Diagon Alley and other non-Muggle locations.
Old 04-01-2013, 09:11 AM
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For other races, however, I think the orcs probably laid low for a few centuries and learned to take on the semblence of men (and women), but then when the industrial age dawned, they seized power and control.
Old 04-01-2013, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Malacandra View Post
Yep, dwarves had been breeding well below replacement rate for many years. The Petty-Dwarves died out in the First Age (Turin sadly contributed to that, but since the world population was down to three males by then he didn't have that much impact)... .
The fact that the elves hunted them as animals, until they formally met the dwarves of Belegost and/or Norgrod, didn't help either.
Old 04-01-2013, 11:23 AM
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Some started shacking up in droves with princesses.
Some represent the Lollipop Guild.
Old 04-01-2013, 11:49 AM
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One of them co-starred in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Old 04-01-2013, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
So, it's the Age of Men; the music's dying and the Elves are catching the last boats for the coast; what happened to the Dwarves?

They can't catch the boat ride (except for Gimli). Moira's still a lost cause. Where did they go? did they just fade away?
They died out after legalizing gay marriage. ()
Old 04-01-2013, 02:07 PM
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Without reading anything but the OP:

I've always assumed the Dwarves simply died out. Only one out of three Dwarf babies were female, and many of them never married because, if they couldn't get their first choice, they wouldn't take any husband at all. I somehow doubt they were much into pre-marital sex, either; Tolkien's mindset wouldn't allow it. It also wouldn't surprise me if they were mutually infertile with humans (read: Men, Elves, & Hobbits).

Remember, the Dwarves were created by Aule, not Eru. And skilled though the former was with inorganic substances, I don't think he was the best at biology. Even though Eru hallowed them (which I took to mean gave them souls), I think they were flawed in many ways.
Old 04-01-2013, 02:33 PM
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For that matter, what happened to the Hobbits, Orcs, Orgres, Giant Eagles, and Tom Bombadils?
Old 04-01-2013, 02:35 PM
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They all faded away. Their age was done and the age of Man was waxing.

For some races, like the Ents and elves, this was already more or less done. But it was inevitable for all of them.
Old 04-01-2013, 02:37 PM
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For that matter, what happened to the Hobbits, Orcs, Orgres, Giant Eagles, and Tom Bombadils?
Hobbits presumably interbred with humans until the two became indistinguishable, although the first chapter of The Hobbit states that they have simply become "rare and shy of the Big Folk". Orcs were probably hunted to extinction by Men during the fourth Age. Ogres are not mentioned by name in Tolkien. Giant eagles, IDK. Tom Bombadil is probably still around somewhere.
Old 04-01-2013, 03:29 PM
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Tom Bombadil is probably still around somewhere.
I saw him at Woodstock, I swear.....
Old 04-01-2013, 04:15 PM
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I saw him at Woodstock, I swear.....
I think he used to show up at Burning Man until it got too trendy.
Old 04-01-2013, 05:19 PM
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I heard the dwarves went on to dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig in the earth the whole day through.
Old 04-01-2013, 07:06 PM
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I believe they went deep, deep into the Earth, and finally surrendered all bonds to the Upper World. And they changed.

Robert E. Howard described their ultimate fate in the short story Worms Of The Earth.
Lovecraft made mention of them, too. Pickman's Model.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:57 PM
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Why was Moria a lost cause? The balrog was dead and orcs had lost their two main sponsors, and a fair portion of their population as well. Moria would have been ripe for recolonization.
Old 04-01-2013, 08:03 PM
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It was apparently retaken by Durin VII, but I don't know of anything more that was ever said about it.
Old 04-01-2013, 09:02 PM
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[The Doctor] Dwarves! On a SPACESHIP! [/TD]
Old 04-01-2013, 09:03 PM
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They got tossed.
Old 04-02-2013, 10:09 AM
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I was thinking about this last night (yeah, I'm a Tolkien geek) and here's my theory. Anyone who knows more about Tolkien's stated views on the topic please let me know if this sounds right.

Up until Sauron was vanquished, the Valar still maintained a sort of covert influence in Middle-Earth, both directly and through the Maiar (Wizards). This accounted for a lot of the "marvels" and "magic" that existed then. After that, they pretty much left Middle-Earth to the men, and things got more humdrum. If this is true, then the Dwarves, being the creation of a Vala (Aule), would be expected to lose their vitality, and the giant eagles, presumably the beneficiaries of Manwe, dwindled to regular eagles. Any creatures that were Sauron's, of course, would also lose vitality. The Elves mostly left Middle-Earth, and those who remained also dwindled; the Ents, originally awakened by the Elves, presumably died out or turned back into trees.

Last edited by cjepson; 04-02-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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