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Author Topic: Size of Dwarfs
Numenorean Sword Trainer
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In the book, the Dwarfs must have been a good deal bigger than Bilbo, since they could carry him from Goblin-town faster than he could run on his own, and they could reach branches on the tree that he couldn't, and they could fight the trolls, Thorin could pick up Bilbo to throw him down from the wall etc. And I don't think that could all be due to Dwarfs' natural strength. But in the film, they're no bigger than he is, and not apparently much stronger.

I think this is an important point, so would it be accurate to say that the Dwarfs in the movie are undersized from their book-counterparts?

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Bigger, yes, but not necessarily much taller.

From LotR, the Prologue, 1. Concerning Hobbits:
quote:
For they are a little people, smaller than Dwarves: less tout and stocky, that is, even when they are not actually much shorter. Their height is variable, ranging between two and four feet of our measure.
(The Bullroarer), son of Isengrim the Second, was four foot five.)

Some Hobbits are not much shorter than Dwarves, so I don't think the height difference (or lack of such) is way off in the movie.
quote:
I don't think that could all be due to Dwarfs' natural strength.
Perhaps not all, but I think most of it.

The Dwarves should be a lot stronger than Bilbo, and it might show in some way. Some of them are actually more stocky than he, but perhaps there ought to be a bigger difference. In that respect they might be undersized.

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Numenorean Sword Trainer
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I purposely omitted the first quote because of the phrase "even when," indicating that it's an exception. My general perception of Dwarfs is that they were over four feet tall, meanwhile the general story indicates that Dwarfs weren't as big or strong as Men, but were stronger for their size and had more endurance.
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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In the films the hobbits and the dwarves are all meant to be around 5 feet. I think you'll find that it's oversized hobbits not undersized dwarves.

E: My film guides have Thorin at 5' and Bilbo at 4'11, which makes Thorin a tall dwarf and Bilbo a hobbit who's been at the entdraught.

[ 01-19-2013, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Madomir
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quote:
And I don't think that could all be due to Dwarfs' natural strength.
We know the dwarfs are naturally, genetically stronger than hobbits, but if we inject a little real life common sense that difference expands even further. Take 2 men of equal stature, give one a construction job and the other a job in a cubicle and guess which one builds muscle and ends up stronger... that's right, the dwarf.
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Numenorean Sword Trainer
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I think 5' might be tall for a Dwarf as well. But being about the same height as Bilbo is outrageous, it wouldn't make for a very good burglar. And the theme of the book was that Bilbo was very small in comparison to the others.

Madomir: Bilbo wasn't completely sedentary, the story did say that he had favorite maps with his hiking-routes around the Shire; and he was journeying with the Dwarfs for a some time so he'd be able to run as fast at least as fast as they could carry him, they could if he were close to the same size. I simply think that like Marry and Pipping being carried by the Uruk-hai, they were able to carry him faster than he could run because they were a good deal bigger.
In the film, they're almost exactly the same size.

[ 01-19-2013, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: Numenorean Sword Trainer ]

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Madomir
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Bilbo at 4'11" is much too big, he'd be the biggest hobbit on record! If memory serves weren't 'movie' Pippin and Merry bragging about being 4'3" while drinking the ent draughts?
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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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NST:

quote:
it wouldn't make for a very good burglar.
Is smallness of stature a prerequisite for good burgling ability? I think not.

And IIRC, Tolkien used the plural form "dwarves" exclusively. I know you are a stickler for accuracy []

[ 01-19-2013, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: Sauron's Secret Agent ]

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Yes, Bilbo is far too tall (a little research reveals that movie-Pippin announced that he reached 3'8 during the entdraught scene). I believe dwarves are described as being 4'6 to 5' so Thorin isn't outrageously tall.

I don't think that Bilbo's hiking would build up as much musculature as the lifestyle of the dwarves would have, but that's just my opinion. It seems to be perfectly possible that they're just stronger and can therefore carry him with relative ease. It's also possible that it was just easier to carry him than wait for him if they were either faster and/or had better stamina.

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Tigranes
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I imagine Dwarves to resemble Homo sapiens neanderthalensis in build (except for the face, obviously): muscular, with a large chest and strong bones, by default but stocky and somewhat short compared to H. s. sapiens. So they'd actually have a relative advantage in strength regardless of lifestyle.
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Galin
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Dwarves: about 4 feet high at least (JRRT, late note)


At another site I just saw a film chart that gives the heights of the actors and the characters. This chart is simply referred to as Weta's chart in the thread, so I'm not sure where it hails from, but anyway it gives the following details, among others.

Weta's Chart

Bilbo: 4 feet 2 inches

Gandalf: 5 feet 11 inches
Saruman: 6 feet 7 inches
Radagast: 5 feet 4 inches

Thorin: 4 feet 10 and a half inches
Dwalin: 4 feet 11 inches
Kili: 4 feet 8 inches

The shortest Dwarves here are 4 feet 5 inches tall.


Tolkien's descriptions

Hobbits: between 3 and 4 feet (Bullroarer and other notable hobbits excepted)

Dwarves: about 4 feet high at least (JRRT, late note)

Gandalf: '... even bent must have been at least 5 ft. 6... Which would make him a short man even in modern England, especially with the reduction of a bent back.' (JRRT, late note)

Hobbits, a more detailed look

An extract from a letter apparently addressed to Tolkien's American publishers, and probably written in March or April 1938. Houghton Mifflin seem to have asked JRRT to supply drawings of hobbits for use in some future edition of The Hobbit.

(...) The feet from the ankles down, covered with brown hairy fur. Clothing: green velvet breeches; red or yellow waistcoat; brown or green jacket; gold (or brass) buttons; a dark green hood and cloak (belonging to a dwarf).

Actual size – only important if other objects are in picture – say about three feet or three feet six inches. The hobbit in the picture of the gold-hoard, Chapter XII, is of course (apart from being fat in the wrong places) enormously too large. But (as my children, at any rate, understand) he is really in a separate picture or 'plane' – being invisible to the dragon.

JRRT, letter 27

Much later, in one note dated around 1969, as I read the following anyway, JRRT ended up describing full grown males at an average of 3 foot 5 inches.

'... to this: Dwarves about 4 foot high at least. Hobbits were lighter in build, but not much shorter; their tallest men were 4 ft. but seldom taller. Though nowadays their survivors are seldom 3 feet high, in the days of the story they were taller which means that they usually exceeded 3 ft. and qualified for the name halfling. But the name halfling must have originated circa TA 1150, getting on for some 2,000 years (1868) before the War of the Ring, during which the dwindling of the Numenoreans had shown itself in stature as well as life-span. So that it referred to a height of full grown males of an average of, say, 3 ft. 5.'

That's quoted in The Reader's Guide to The Lord of the Rings, Hammond And Scull. Another contemporary note states that at the time of the story the average height of a male adult hobbit: Harfoots at 3 foot 6, Fallohides slimmer and a little taller, and Stoors broader, stouter, and a little shorter. In The Hobbit it's noted generally that 'hobbits are smaller than the bearded Dwarves'.

In one of these late notes JRRT also said that the remarks in the Prologue are unnecessarily vague regarding the height of Hobbits.

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Madomir
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quote:
(a little research reveals that movie-Pippin announced that he reached 3'8 during the entdraught scene).
Would have done that research myself except that would have necessitated watching the movie again, and well.. I've taken oaths and such, and you know what they say, a man's only as good as his word, so, I think it's better this way []
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Snöwdog
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quote:
Size of Dwarfs
I think that is what Tauriel wants to find out.... []
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