So much magic, so many adventures, such a rich and special universe have been given to us by J.R.R.Tolkien. Dwarves are one of them, an interesting, funny, and in some ways peculiar race that lived in Middle Earth. They were a short race, only a bit taller than hobbits, with long beards which they were particularly proud of.
They were skilled individuals, mostly spending their time working in the mines, crafting, and smithing. They were some of the greatest miners ever in Middle-earth, but also very capable smiths and masons. They belonged to Seven Clans and originated from various mountain ranges and underground cities.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look into the most powerful dwarves in The Lord of the Rings and other Tolkien novels.
Balin was one of the 14 dwarves who accompanied Thorin to regain Lonely Mountain. He was a dwarf leader and one of Thorin’s closest friends, advisers and helpers. He was a wise dwarf who always found the time to listen to his fellows. He was killed by orcs when he wanted to re-establish the Dwarf presence in Moria.
He was the one who would notice things before anyone near him. All of them could definitely rely on him and his alertness. He spotted the trolls’ fire and the Elves in Mirkwood, among many other notable things. He was the second eldest dwarf in their company and the only dwarf who volunteered to go with Bilbo to Smaug’s chamber.
9. Fili and Kili
Two brothers and the youngest dwarves in Thorin’s company, being, along with Balin and Bombur, ones who weren’t seen and referred to as a group in Tolkien’s novels, but also portrayed as individuals. They were very active, played fiddles and wore blue hoods. They were Thorin’s nephews and he could always rely on their agility.
They had excellent eyesight and were often sent scouting or searching for something. They were also very good warriors, undoubtedly one of the most capable in the group. They gained much more personal space in Tolkien’s novels than in the movie adaptations. They died as heroes while protecting their uncle.
Balin’s brother and one of Thorin’s best friends, this loyal and protective dwarf is the one you’d like to have by your side. Always there for his family and friends, he might seem aggressive at first, but when you meet him, you realize how good hearted he truly is. He is a kind of enigma, too, since he always looks serious and concentrated, but there is a comical side to him, although rarely shown.
He is a reserved dwarf, who doesn’t like to be touched and often keeps to himself. Bald, strong, and tattooed, he is the first who comes to BIlbo’s door and becomes and remains one of his truest friends.
Highly intelligent and an excellent healer, Oin is Gimli’s nephew and one of the most observant of all dwarves. He was very protective of his patients and his fellow dwarves too and always looked for signs which might show them the way or indicate that it was time to go back to the Lonely Mountain.
Oin is an elderly dwarf, who usually carries a big horn with himself which he uses as a hearing aid. He isn’t a fan of elven music, but enjoys singing and listening to dwarven music. Son of Groin and brother of Gloin, he descended from the royal line of Durin.
Oin’s brother and Gimli’s proud father, Gloin is an interesting dwarf who always says what’s on his mind and has no problems with questioning authority. There were some occasions where he showed his greedy side, but all in all, he is a brave, loyal and honest dwarf and a great friend and warrior.
Similar to his son Gimli, Gloin is also red headed and has a long beard with many braids. Like all other dwarves, he is loud and wants to be heard, often opinionated and ready to protest, but in the end, a good soul who is always there when needed.
A smith among dwarf kings and lords. Telchar comes from the First Age which makes him one of the most ancient dwarves. He is the most famous and skilled smith of all time, a true representative of one of the dwarves’ most popular and respected occupations. His skills are often compared to Feanor’s and Celebrimbor’s.
He forged the sword Narsil, which was later reforged by Aragorn, who also renamed it Anduril. He also forged one of the knives Beren used to steal one of the Silmarils from Morgoth’s crown. Even though he didn’t have any army or will not be remembered as a king, he will live through his numerous fantastic creations.
4. Thorin II Oakenshield
One of the main characters in The Hobbit, also known as Mountain King and most famous as the leader of a company which decided to regain the Lonely Mountain. There are many characteristics that make him not only powerful, but beloved and a great leader. He was brave, smart, intelligent, noble and sometimes stubborn, but always righteous. He never looked down on anyone and considered everyone as his equal which made him one of the most respected of all.
He encountered and faced a much darker side of himself when he succumbed to Dragon Sickness. Fortunately, his true self returned in time and all the negative side effects were soon forgotten. He was Bilbo’s great friend and a valued companion and his death affected him profoundly.
Another dwarf coming from the First Age, Azaghal is considered one of the most powerful and strong warlords ever. He was the leader of the force which drove Morgoth’s armies back to Angband. He stopped this mighty and terrifying creature from destroying Beleriand, but unfortunately died during his battle with Glaurung. Still, he managed to wound the dragon and forced it and Morgoth to retreat.
He was given a beautiful farewell by his army who retreated from the battle, carrying him and singing and completely ignoring their enemies.
2. Durin the Deathless
Durin was the oldest of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves. He founded a line of dwarves called Durin’s Folk and was called Deathless because he lived longer than any other known Dwarf. There’s also a legend that says that he would be reincarnated among his descendants six times.
He is respected among his fellow dwarves and some of them even consider him the greatest of them all. He forged the Kingdom of Khazad-dum and later Erebor and wielded Durin’s axe and helm.
Without any doubt, the most popular and powerful dwarf of all is Gimli, one of the most beloved characters from Tolkien’s universe. His father was one of the members of Thorin’s company, but Gimli is much more important than that. He was the only dwarf in the Fellowship of the Ring. He was a great warrior whose help was much appreciated and needed during the War of the Ring where he killed numerous orcs.
He was a part of many other successful battles, but he also started a new kingdom beneath the mountains of Helm’s Deep. And one of his biggest achievements wasn’t at all related to his fighting skills, but to an allegiance that managed to be brought to life. His strong and honest relationship with Legolas and Galadriel connected these two races, after a long period of disliking each other.
Elves and dwarves became friends again and Gimli was even referred to as “elf’ friend”. He became the only elf who has ever traveled to Valinor when Legolas took him to Undying Lands after Aragorn’s death.