Why do elves and dwarves get along so well in Amazon’s “The Rings of Power” while they are notoriously hostile to one another in The Lord of the Rings? There are many bitter rivalries in The Lord of the Rings, such as that between Gondor and Rohan, Samwise Gamgee and Gollum, and Aragorn and the iron helmets, but none last as long as the animosity between elves and dwarves. Even though Gimli and Legolas later become lifelong friends, they initially join Frodo’s Fellowship dripping with animosity from their own nations. The mini-feud between Legolas and Gimli, in which both parties use biased preconceptions, represents a larger animosity between elves and dwarfs in The Lord of the Rings.
The racial dynamic appears very differently in the TV series teaser for Amazon’s The Rings of Power. Elrond, played by Robert Aramayo, is portrayed on a tour of Khazad-dûm while seeing Durin IV for an unspecified reason. Elrond appears to have been dispatched by High King Gil-Galad, perhaps with the intention of acquiring mithril. Whatever Elrond desires, it seems inconsistent with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for elves and dwarves to be contentedly confiding in one another. In “The Rings of Power,” why are elves and dwarfs friends? And what has changed since the time of Frodo?
Although the relationship between elves and dwarves in Middle-earth is complicated and lengthy, J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology is consistent with Elrond being welcomed in Moria in “The Rings of Power.” The conflict between the races has existed since the First Age and is still going strong when The Rings of Power’s Second Age timeline starts. And while racial tensions were generally low or nonexistent, Teleri Sindar elves were mostly responsible for the dwarf-hatred (of which Legolas was a descendant). During the Second Age, the kingdom of Eregion proved to be a sporadic exception to this rule. Eregion, which was primarily inhabited by Noldor, developed a positive relationship with the adjacent dwarves of Khazad-dûm through free trade and cooperation, but after Eregion was destroyed, the two species gradually drew apart over the Third Age of The Lord of the Rings. But because most of the dwarves in “The Rings of Power” are residents of Second Age Moria, they’ll be more friendlier to elves.
Why Were Dwarves and Elves Enemies in The Lord of the Rings?
Up until one particular incident, the populations of elves and dwarves in Middle-earth coexisted very peacefully. The Teleri elves’ High King, Thingol, commissioned his dwarven allies to create a stunning necklace suitable for holding a priceless Silmaril during J.R.R. Tolkien’s First Age. This kind of cooperation was typical at the time, and elves frequently paid dwarfs for their labor in smithing and construction. However, the dwarves’ obsession with gems eventually got the best of them, and after creating Thingol’s necklace (now known as Nauglamr), they felt this piece of art was best left in dwarven hands. After Thingol’s remarks, a brutal fight broke out. The dwarves assassinated Thingol and took the Nauglamr, but on their way back, they were attacked and handed the treasure to Beren. The few remaining dwarves blamed the nefarious elves in tales they told their people about this day. The elves, on the other hand, developed a lifelong mistrust of dwarves.
The elf-dwarf rivalry in Middle-earth came to an end with Thingol’s death, but its actual origins date back to the dwarfs’ genesis. Dwarves were secretly formed by the Vala known as Aul, unlike elves and humans who were created by Tolkien’s mythological god Eru Ilvatar. Eru, in his mercy, allowed the dwarves to exist, but he ordered that they sleep until the elves awakened. In addition, Eru predicted to Aul that “frequently strife shall arise between thy and mine,” indicating that elves and dwarves were certain to clash because of the disparate natures of their respective creations. True enough, elves have always regarded dwarves as inferior beings, and while the Nauglamr sparked a greater level of hostility, another catalyst might have been used in its stead had Thingol decided to make the necklace himself rather than having it done.