15 Fan Theories About The Dwarves Of Middle-Earth That Actually Make A Lot Of Sense

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Vote up your favorite theories about these fierce fighters.

The dwarves in Middle-Earth are known for four main things: their greed, their penchant for aggressive fighting (usually with axes), their splendid beards, and their general stubborn behavior that often sways into a comedic nature. 

Most dwarves seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit do have all four of these characteristics, but unfortunately, this has given dwarves the reputation for being somewhat uncomplicated and a bit boorish. 

However, fans are sharing their theories about the dwarves of Middle-Earth that prove that there might be more to them than expected. 


  • The Famed Greed Of The Dwarves Was Unintentionally Influenced By Sauron
    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King / New Line Cinema

    From former Redditor u/[deleted]:

    Dwarves have a different creation story from Men and Elves, and it's believed that because of that, Sauron's power didn't really work on them the way he had intended. Instead of ensnaring the dwarves, extending their lives, or making them wraithes, the rings seemed to only "breed gold," as Thror told Thrain. In short, it made the dwarves much greedier. 

    301 votes
  • Dain Thought Balin's Expedition To Retake Moria Was A Fool's Errand
    Photo: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Redditor u/Charlotte_Star:

    My personal favorite theory is that Dain thought [retaking Moria] was a fools errand. During the war of the Dwarves and Orcs, after the battle of Azanulbizar, when Azog was slain there was a suggestion that Moria could be reclaimed, but Dain cautioned against it since he thought Durin's Bane still lived. Therefore he could not have wanted to lend his aid to what he saw, and what ultimately was, a fool's errand. 

    188 votes
  • 3
    243 VOTES

    Dwarves Are Great Dinner Guests, Despite How Bilbo Reacted To Them In 'The Hobbit'

    Dwarves Are Great Dinner Guests, Despite How Bilbo Reacted To Them In 'The Hobbit'
    Photo: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Redditor u/Kiyohara:

    The dwarves were led to believe that Bilbo was their host and thus, had certain duties of providing for guests (including taking their coats, providing adequate repast, and comfortable seating). It's not really the fault of the dwarves that an "adequate repast" is a substantial meal involving meat, cheese, wine, and beer.

    They also provided entertainment in the form of numerous stories and conversation and had a very generous business offer - a full share of treasure for someone they assumed was going to be more or less dead weight until they got to Erebor is an incredible offer. 

    Bilbo wasn't expected to do much scouting, camp set-up, or provide supplies, a pony weapons, armor (and was given a very useful and likely expensive weapon as soon as they found one). He wasn't expected to cook or clean, wasn't asked to fight, and was only there to sneak in and grab the Arkenstone. 

    For a 1/14th share of what is arguably the greatest treasure in all of Middle Earth. 

    Man, I wish I had such rude guests.  

    243 votes
  • Gimli Created A Bridge Of Respect Between The Dwarves And The Elves
    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring / New Line Cinema

    From Redditor u/EowynLinhGranger:

    There is a significance in Gimli asking for a strand of [Galadriel's] hair and her accepting his request. It goes back to the Elder Days where she did not let one of her own people have a strand of her hair because he wanted it for greed. So by him (a dwarf - known to the elves as being greedy) asking for a single hair and receiving three, it creates an unprecedented situation that breaks from the traditional tensions between the races. 

    261 votes
  • 5
    198 VOTES

    It's Not That Gimli Couldn't Fight The Dunlendings, It's That He Didn't Want To

    It's Not That Gimli Couldn't Fight The Dunlendings, It's That He Didn't Want To
    Photo: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema

    From Redditor u/McFoodBot:

    Something from the Battle of the Hornburg caught my interest - when Aragorn and Eomer led an attack from the postern gate, Gimli follows them, but does not actually join the battle until Orcs join. 

    [He blames it on the height of the Dunlendings, but] considering Gimli's valor and combat prowess, it seems out of character for him to hesitate and ultimately choose not to join an attack due to the enemies being slightly too large for him. 

    Some of Durin's Folk lived in Dunland for about thirty years or so after Smaug descended upon Erebor. One of those Dwarves who was likely born in Dunland during this period was Gloin, the father of Gimli, and he would've spent his entire childhood and some of his early adult years there. 

    I wonder if Gloin had spoken to Gimli about the Dunlendings in the past, and as a result, Gimli gained respect for them for seemingly providing some help to Durin's Folk when they needed it most. Thus, Gimli chose not to take part in the fight and only attached when Orcs became involved. 

    198 votes
  • Leaving Kili Behind Was Actually A Smart Decision 
    Photo: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Redditor u/Willpower2000:

    I don't think the film is trying to portray this decision to leave Kili behind as bad to any degree. Sad for Kili, sure - but no questions are ever raised against Thorin. 

    In fact, I'd argue this segment of the film is where Thorin is at his best in terms of being a true king. I feel Peter Jackon didn't intend on leaving Kili behind as something flawed, or for the audience to doubt - but something that anyone should do in that situation. 

    197 votes