Episode 78: Solitary Fae: Dwarfs
The folklore of dwarfs in a nutshell, how I reimagined them for my writing, and this faery translated to Afrikaans.
Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.
Copyright 2023 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.
Learn more about dwarfs in folklore here.
Get the transcript here.
Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com
You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.
I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With nearly a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.
This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.
Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.
This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.
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We’re continuing our exploration of Solitary Fae.
Today’s Faery: Dwarfs
Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel
I’ve looked at the more violent dwarves of folklore in a previous post, Duergar, but this is about the dwarfs who enjoy playing with their trinkets dug from the earth.
Dwarfs from Scandinavian and Teutonic folklore are a species of faery that inhabit the interiors of mountains and the deepest parts of mines. They are of small stature, ranging from 45cm high to about the size of a two-year-old child. They usually look like little old men with long beards. Dwarfs live in tribes with their own chieftains. They have grand halls filled with precious stones and gold. They are quite skilled at metalwork and forging grand treasures. In some myths, they have the power to foresee the future and make themselves invisible.
Dwarfs are connected to the Earth and are often portrayed as miners and craftsmen. In Norse mythology, they are expert craftsmen who made Thor’s hammer (among other things). They are also known for their moral ambiguity – stories like the one about Fjalar and Galar who killed the god Kvasir to make an extraordinary mead, comes to mind.
There are famous dwarfs in ancient Germany, including Alberich who had the strength of twelve men and was defeated by the hero Siegfried, and the dwarf king, Laurin, who fights against the hero Dietrich in his rose garden when the hero comes to free a woman Laurin had abducted.
They are part of the hidden people, yet living quite openly in the mortal realm, still producing exquisite objects valued by gods, fae and mortals.
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Dwarfs
Dwarfs are diminutive in size compared to humans and high fae, and prefer it that way. They are shorter than the Galno, if only by a bit. In some clans, anyone too tall, is thrown out. They live in mountains and dig their own mines – far below that of humans. There are ways to travel between Mines – which includes the treacherous Labyrinth. Their children play with uncut gems. Their skin is tough enough to withstand fire, lava and molten gems. Having shiny things from the earth around them is a way of life. They do make marvellous trinkets that they sell to other fae. They take on the ethnicity of the local humans.
As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: dwergies
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.
Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!
You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.
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No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.