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Old 11-11-2008, 10:28 PM   #44
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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How Dwarves Age

So, I dug a little further into the question about Dwarves ages and found this reference in a book by two well respected Tolkien scholars:

The Lord of the Rings, A Reader’s Companion by W. Hammond and C. Scull; pages 709 – 710 (About “Appendix A” of LotR) – Under the entry: Dwalin 2772 – 3112:

By Hammond/Scull

Tom Delaney observes in a letter to Beyond Bree, July 1986, p.9, that Dwalin ‘lived to be a 340, a full 78 years longer than every other known dwarf’. In The Peoples of Middle-earth Christopher Tolkien quotes from his father’s ‘Notes on Chronology of Durin’s Line’, made while he was evolving the Dwarf family tree:

“Dwarves of different ‘breeds’ vary in their longevity. Durin’s race were originally long-lived (especially those named Durin), but like most other peoples they had become less so during the Third Age. Their average age (unless they met a violent death) was about 250 years, which they seldom fell far short of, but could occasionally far exceed (up to 300). [Christopher Tolkien comments: It will be found in the genealogical table that the life-span of all the ‘kings of Durin’s folk’ from Thrain I to Nain II varied only between 247 and 256 years, and no Dwarf in the table exceeded that, save Borin (261) and Dwalin, who lived to the vast age of 340 (the date of his death appears in all the later texts of the table, although the first to give dates seems – it is hard to make out the figures – to make him 251 years old at his death.] A dwarf of 300 was about as rare and aged as a Man of 100.

Dwarves remained young – e.g. regarded as too tender for really hard work or for fighting – until they were 30 or nearly that (Dain II was very young in 2799 (32) and his slaying of Azog was a great feat). After that they hardened and took on the appearance of age (by human standards) very quickly. By 40 all Dwarves looked much alike in age, until they reached what they regarded as old age, about 240. They then began to age and wrinkle and go quite white quickly (baldness being unknown among them), unless they were going to be long-lived, in which case the process was delayed. Almost the only physical disorder they suffered from (they were singularly immune from diseases such as affected Men, and Halflings) was corpulence. If in prosperous circumstances, many grew vary fat at or before 200, and could not do much (save eat) afterwards. Otherwise ‘old age’ lasted not much more than ten years, and from say 40 or a little before to near 240 (two hundred years) the capacity for toil (and for fighting) of most Dwarves was equally great. [pp. 284-5; p. 288, n. 17]

So for the average Dwarves who live to be 250:

Until the age of 30, they are considered too young for hard work or fighting.

From 40 to 240, they are fully mature in looks and physique, remain very hardy and capable of hard work and are battle-ready.

From 240 to 250 (the last ten years of their normal lifespan), they begin to "age" - they become wrinkled, and their hair (which they do not ever lose) turns white.

~*~ Pio
Eldest, thatís what I am . . . I knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.

Last edited by piosenniel; 11-11-2008 at 10:34 PM.
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