This month I started reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit to my daughter, and we’re still at the scene where Thorin Oakenshield and all his Dwarves are invading Bilbo’s hobbit hole. I’ve also been continuing my research on Vikings for my next novel. Well, lo and behold, while studying a book called The Norse Myths, I came across a group of Dwarves that sounded very much like Tolkien’s.
Specifically, in the tale of Loki’s Children, the Norse gods get the Dwarves to make a chain to bind the monstrous wolf Fenrir. And among those chain-making Dwarves were Bifur, Bafur, Bombor and Nori. This sounds a lot like four of the Dwarves in Thorin’s party: Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Nori. I suspect this is not a coincidence.
|Where did these Dwarves come from?|
Incidentally, some of the other Dwarves I stumbled across in The Norse Myths include Durin, Dain, Dvalin (Dwalin), Nain, and Nar. All of these Dwarves are mentioned somewhere in Tolkien’s mythology, including The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien took actual mythology and used it to build his own world – one that is much more memorable to today’s readers.
Now, I’ve found no evidence that Snow White’s Dwarves are derived from Norse Mythology. But if I find reference to a Grumpy or a Sneezy while finishing my research, I’ll let you know.
|This picture of Odin the Wanderer looks a lot like Gandalf the Grey.|