Why Do Dwarves Hate Elves in The Lord of the Rings? Durin’s Story Explains It

Ever since Peter Jackson adapted JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings into three spectacular movies, what we already saw back then was the fact that Elves and Dwarves weren’t exactly chummy with one another and were basically naturally predisposed to being at odds with one another, although they weren’t exactly at war. Meanwhile, in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the Elves and Dwarves had a professional relationship but weren’t too fond of one another. So, why do Dwarves hate Elves in The Lord of the Rings?

JRR Tolkien wrote that the Dwarves hated the Elves because of a past event where they fought one another for a piece of jewelry that the Elves commissioned the Dwarves to create. However, in The Rings of Power, the fall of Khazad-dûm may be the reason why Dwarves will hate the Elves.

It has always been a staple in Tolkien’s writings that Elves and Dwarves never really got along well with one another, as they were seemingly naturally predisposed to hating each other. However, there is a history behind this hatred and why it has continued to fester ever since. Now, that said, let’s talk more about why Dwarves hate Elves in The Lord of the Rings.

Why Do Dwarves Hate The Elves In The Lord Of The Rings?

Those who got their first exposure to The Lord of the Rings in Peter Jackson’s trilogy would know that the Elves and the Dwarves aren’t exactly friends with one another and are always at odds. We saw this in the form of the initial aggressive encounter between Legolas and Gimli, as this turned into a friendly rivalry before it actually turned into a genuine friendship between the two characters.

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However, what was always clear was that the Elves and the Dwarves weren’t exactly chummy with one another and always had some sort of rivalry that made it clear that they were opposites. While the Elves were tall, graceful, wise, and respectful, the Dwarves were short, rude, obstinate, and loud. And this was made clear in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power when the Dwarves weren’t exactly too friendly with the Elves but were still willing to have professional relations with them.

Elrond and Prince Durin IV, however, were the exception as they loved each other like brothers. Still, the fact is that the Dwarves were still quite not as friendly as they were to the other races when they were dealing with the Elves. So, why do the Dwarves hate the Elves?

The history behind the subtle animosity between Elves and Dwarves in The Rings of Power is yet to be told. However, in JRR Tolkien’s Legendarium, the history of the rivalry between the races was explained when the Elves and the Dwarves maintained a civil relationship with one another as they needed each other’s skills and specialties. During the First Age, King Thingol of the Teleri Elves was able to get his hands on one of the Silmarils when Beren stole one from Morgoth so that he could marry Thingol’s daughter Lúthien.

With a Silmaril in his possession, Thingol now wanted the Dwarves to craft a piece of jewelry which he could put the Silmaril into. The Dwarves did their part but were too proud of their creation that they weren’t willing to let the masterpiece fall in the hands of an Elf. This necklace was so beautiful that they wouldn’t give it up. 

Because of this, an all-out battle between the Elves and the Dwarves began. There were no wars fought between them, but Thingol was said to have been assassinated by Dwarves. As such, they have been at odds with one another ever since, as this animosity was carried throughout the generations, such that not even all of the Elves and the Dwarves know why they hated one another.

Of course, there was also the fact that they were always set against each other from the start, as Aulë created the Dwarves instead of Eru Ilúvatar, who is the creator god of the Tolkien Legendarium. As such, the Elves may have seen the Dwarves as beings that weren’t up to par with them. On top of that, they never really liked how the Dwarves behaved. And the Dwarves also didn’t like how the Elves acted all high and mighty towards them.

Will There Be A War Between Elves And Dwarves In The Rings Of Power?

In The Rings of Power, however, there was no exact explanation why the Elves and the Dwarves aren’t too fond of one another. They maintained civil relationships with one another, as seen from the fact that Celebrimbor was able to commission the Dwarves to build a great workshop where he could build his masterpieces. However, the fact that High King Gil-galad secretly desired the mithril in the Misty Mountains was the real reason why he wanted Celebrimbor and Elrond to work with the Dwarves.

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Elrond revealed this to Prince Durin IV because he knew that only the mithril could save the Elves from their death due to the light that it possessed. But the problem was that King Durin III wasn’t willing to sacrifice Dwarven lives for the sake of saving Elven lives, as mining mithril was too perilous for them.

As such, the Elves now have a reason to dislike the Dwarves as they weren’t willing to allow them to get their hands on mithril to save their lives. On the other hand, the Dwarves now had a bigger reason to hate the Elves.

In episode 7 of The Rings of Power, we saw that Elrond and Durin IV continued mining mithril against the orders of the king. They were able to get deep enough to find the vein of mithril deep in Khazad-dûm. However, King Durin III found out about their operation and ordered them to stop. Elrond was banished from Khazad-dûm, while Prince Durin was stripped of his right as the heir to the Dwarven kingdom.

However, the deeper problem was that Elrond and Prince Durin seemed to have woken up a Balrog of Morgoth that had been slumbering deep in the Misty Mountains since the end of the First Age. There is a good chance that Elrond’s insistence on getting mithril for the Elves is what would eventually allow this Balrog to wreak havoc on Khazad-dûm and lead to the loss of many Dwarven lives, which would probably include King Durin III.

This would allow Prince Durin IV to have every right to hate Elrond and the Elves as the Balrog killed his father and forced his people to abandon Khazad-dûm, which eventually became Moria after the fiery monster settled in it.

In that regard, the relationship between Elrond and Durin will probably be soured by this event, as the Dwarven prince would end up hating the Elf he always loved as a brother. And by extension, the Dwarves would now develop a deep hatred for the Elves, as they wanted mithril so much that it led to the loss of their entire kingdom at the hands of the Balrog known as Durin’s Bane.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.