Sunday, January 15, 2023

Invoke the Dwarves

Dwarves. The deep mountain dwellers, bearded, gruff and undeniably proud, yet the dictionary definition of loyal and brave – willing and able to fight to the death in the protection of home, kith and kin. A people who, unlike the nature-loving Elves, pour their skill and devotion into mining and smithing, delving into the deep places of the world to wrest gems and metals free from their dark prisons in order to forge them into works of breathtaking beauty or unyielding armor. Peerless they are in the working of stone, yet share with the Elves a love of song to record the great deeds of their forebears. As in so many things Fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien's effectively created Dwarves as they are thought of today, most notably in The Hobbit yet also in the wonderful character of Gimli in The Lord of the Rings. Describing the race as a whole (in The Silmarillion): "Since they were to come in the days of the power of Melkor, Aulë made the dwarves strong to endure. Therefore they are stone-hard, stubborn, fast in friendship and in enmity, and they suffer toil and hunger and hurt of body more hardily than all other speaking peoples; and they live long, far beyond the span of Men, yet not forever."

Truly a great race, often employed in classical Fantasy. However, in lyrical music few can invoke them as Tolkien did in The Misty Mountains Cold and The Song of Durin. Yet at least one musical ensemble can, that being Clamavi De Profundis. So enjoy The Song of Hammerdeep!

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