Ardan Dwarven Sensibilities

A companion piece to yesterday’s essay on Ardan Elven Sensibilities.

  1. Only hero-worship dads.
  2. Never hero-worship any moms. To be fair, you didn’t have a great role model for this. Your creator made seven dads. He only brought women in later. How thoughtless of him! Did he only want seven Dwarves, total???
  3. Call moms “mums”. ‘Tis the same thing, it’s just a dialectical difference.
  4. Do not let your baby follow his father on an adventure to slay a dragon. Absolutely not! There’s plenty of adventures to go on later! Ardan dragons are super hard to slay! You are not meeting Mahal deep-fried and extra crispy!!! You are meeting him proudly as one of the few Dwarves an Elf snuck into Valinor. Not just any Elf: the Prince of the Woodland Realm! He’s going to call me and you ugly―without putting any fire into it at all! I call my hubby ugly all the time! I didn’t marry him for his wit or charm. I married him for his work ethic. And I’m working just as hard as him. I’m working hard to keep you alive and this home in shape for when he comes back! I need the best backup possible: you! I know you want to go on that adventure, but you haven’t grown enough yet. Mother knows best.
  5. Hate the burglar despite 13 of you all barging in uninvited and unexpectedly―at least from his point of view―and all eat like a billion of his people, individually. And when your stupid Wizard friend, who didn’t warn him of your coming, finally shows up only to add more chaos. At least explain to him “Hey, a lot of your food’s perishable. And we like to eat! We don’t want the good stuff getting moldy. Let’s throw a party! Any day Dwarves and Hobbits are alive is a miracle! We’ve lost both our ancestral homes, and there’s barely any womenfolk amongst us. And your people have zero survival skills or fighting skills. Let’s celebrate our miraculous lives together!”
  6. Hate the aforementioned burglar because, compared to you, he’s too domestic. Of course he’s domestic, his entire culture is domestic! Be grateful. He’s considered the adventurous one.
  7. Refuse to bring the burglar that you need on this adventure to slay a dragon and get your people’s favorite shiny rock back from said dragon―until the Wizard shouts at you to do so.
  8. Throw that burglar off a ledge after all his hard work of not only keeping himself alive, but foxing you out of the Elvenking’s Halls.
  9. Don’t have a backup plan in case you, whose men of your family―except your sister-sons―all have gold-sickness, suffer a bout of said gold-sickness once you’ve slain that dragon and gotten that shiny rock back.
  10. Only hang out in the throne room and the treasury. Never go outside or take a break from your work. Leadership is a lot of hard work, it’s the highest-pressure work there is. If you fall, so too, do the people.
  11. Do not offer to help the Humans rebuild their home even though it was one amongst them who slew that dragon. If the treasure’s all you want, you can have it! Y’all have a home in the Blue Mountains; the Humans need a home more, any home at all―including your skeleton-ridden, cobweb-infested one. Winter is coming! The ones who didn’t die by dragon-fire are going to die of cold, or hunger, or diseases from combating the elements and stress of it all.
  12. Hoard the White Gems of Las Galan―treasures that were commissioned for your neighboring king’s wife who’s dead―even though you have plenty of treasures of your own.
  13. Do not respect your alarm system even though digging too deeply is how you lost your first ancestral home. You’re definitely not making the same mistake again.
  14. Do not appoint your sister queen. After all, you only hero-worship dads, and both her sons and her brother just died. You don’t want her becoming gold-sick too amidst all this tragedy.
  15. Call dads “da”. Again, ’tis the same thing, it’s just a dialectical difference.
  16. Be the last to show up for your own journey for your shiny rock because you are too stubborn to ask for directions.
  17. Decide that shiny rock determines who should rule. That’s a terrible way to decide who gets to rule! There’s more to being a leader than owning shiny rocks. This is why the Elves look down on you.
  18. Do whatever it takes to defend the children of Rohan, including being tossed across a gap.
  19. Act like a complete goofball for a mother who had to send her children away on a horse that was too tall for them to ride―in order to raise her spirits. Her children will be just fine. She’ll see them soon enough.
  20. Do not respect Lord Elrond at all, even though he is one of the best healers in Middle-Earth, and giving you respite, and reading the moon signs on your map―simply because he’s an Elf! At least half-respect him. He’s a half-Elf! If you pull this crap at Master Beorn’s house, I’ll murder all of you! Always respect healers, and always respect your hosts!
  21. Call your nephews “sister-sons”, creating the perfect set-up for a prank―if I had any decent acting skills. Pranks are boring anyway. I prefer being honest―too honest for my own good sometimes, but here’s some honesty that’s for your own good. Pretty much all of you idiots are doomed to die on that stupid journey.

Hmm. These are terrible social graces too. I like points 4, 18, and 19 though. Those are great! The Dwarf from points 18 and 19 was raised by the mum from point 4? Well, no wonder! Let’s go meet that mum! And the mum from point 14, too. She needs cheering up. Let us cheer her up with Lost in Sovngarde: the song you hear when you’re fighting Alduin in the Skyrim afterlife! That will remind her that her boys (and brother) died fighting, as warriors!

Mum’s the word, Thorin Idiotshield! Kaysh mirsh solus – “He’s an idiot”; literally: “His brain cell is lonely” (Mando’a proverb).

Now, if the hobbit-burglar you need for this stupid journey for your stupid rock and right to rule starts freaking out, don’t worry about it. He’s one of the members who’s guaranteed to survive. The problem is, he’ll be gone for so long that his nosy neighbors and relations will try to steal your stuff. I can guard your home! That’s something even I’m qualified to do! And all my Muindyr too! Let’s go guard that den very fiercely!

As for the rest of you, develop a backup plan for when your leader inevitably gets gold-sick. Or at the very least, decide what you’re actually journeying for. Guarding your hosts’ home is a nobler goal than hunting down a shiny rock.

Ni dinu ner gaan naakyc, jorcu ni nu copaani kyr’amur ner vod – Honor my offer of truce, for I would not willingly shed my brother’s blood. (Mando’a proverb).

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