Where do LoTR dwarves get food?
May 6, 2016 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Where do the dwarves in LoTR get their food? Do they buy 100% of their food?

Do they farm? Do they raise animals? Do they grow tasty mushrooms in the mountains? Do they eat cave fish?
posted by gregr to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Lonely Mountain ones trade with the elves of Mirkwood and the men of Long Lake - that's where the barrels come in.
posted by Frowner at 8:37 AM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Quora
lotrplaza
stackexchange

tldr trading with Men and Hobbits
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:38 AM on May 6, 2016


Of course, the real question is how the dwarves reproduce. They are the only non-evil people where we don't meet any kids or women. So maybe the answer is that all dwarves are immortal and don't need to eat at all.
posted by Frowner at 8:39 AM on May 6, 2016


(Pterry had a complementary theory...)
posted by runincircles at 8:40 AM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


If one accepts the movies as canon, Gimli talks about dwarf women twice. He mentions early in TTT that they look much like dwarf men (ARAGORN sotto voce: It's the beards), and in ROTK during the drinking: "Yes the dwarves who go swimming with little hairy women heh heh heh."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:42 AM on May 6, 2016


Also dwarves are not immortal, unlike the Eldar. They do die of old age, it just takes a really long time.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:43 AM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Lifted from Wikipedia:
Since they lived underground, Dwarves did not grow their own food supplies if they could help it, and usually obtained food through trade with Elves and Men. In the essay "Of Dwarves and Men" in The Peoples of Middle-earth it is written that Dwarven and human communities often formed trade relations where the Men were the prime suppliers of food, farmers and herdsmen, while the Dwarves supplied tools and weapons, road-building and construction work.
The referenced essay is from the History of Middle-earth volumes that Christopher Tolkien put together from his father's misc. unpublished stuff.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:43 AM on May 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


(Dwarf women: Appendix A notes that Thorin's sister was called Dis and Gimli calculated the no. of dwarf women at a third of the population)
posted by runincircles at 8:44 AM on May 6, 2016


In the movies they must get their food from wherever the heck Minas Tirith gets its food - there are no crops around that city at all, just tatty grass, if I remember correctly. (At least, it's one of the many movies where I mumble "Where are the crops? There are no fields outside that castle!" and shake my head)
posted by BinaryApe at 9:01 AM on May 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


The lack of farms in Gondor is one of Jackson's liberties.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:26 AM on May 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Where do LoTR dwarves get food?

Same place Gold Rush miners got their food: dwarves mine gold. Gold buys a lot of things.

A better question is what happens to the price of stuff when an economy is flooded with silver, gold, mithril and whatever. The inflation must have been horrific at times.

The lack of farms in Gondor is one of Jackson's liberties.

We only see the war-torn Eastern fringe of Gondor. Supposedly, the Western part and the south coast are fertile enough, just as Ithilien is supposed to be after the War of the Ring.
posted by sukeban at 11:51 AM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yes, but we explicitly pass through the Pelennor more than once in the films, and it looks to be just empty fields. Whereas Tolkien explicitly describes it as heavily farmed:

The townlands were rich, with wide tilth and many orchards, and homesteads there were with oast and garner, fold and byre, and many rills rippling through the green from the highlands down to Anduin.

posted by Chrysostom at 12:39 PM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


dragons hoarding gold would help control inflation, fwiw.
posted by andrewcooke at 1:20 PM on May 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


They are the only non-evil people where we don't meet any kids or women.

The Ents being a special case.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:24 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


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