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Old 06-03-2002, 10:37 AM   #15
Hungry Ghoul
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Join Date: Jun 2000
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Dwarf women need not have beards, and, if you ask me, the idea that in Tolkien's fiction dwarven women had beards is entirely off the table anyway, strange and probably disgusting as it might have appeared to the author.
It was said by Gimli that there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole people. They seldom walk abroad except at great need, They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart. (App. A III, Durin's Folk)
Voice, appearance, and garb -- this does not mean they had beards. Basically, that this quote leads to the assumption of bearded dwarf-women is because of the common prerequisite that all male dwarves had beards. However, this is never explicitally stated!

Almost all dwarves encountered in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (and thus the only ones really described) are of Durin's Folk, which is also called the Longbeards. Hence, long beards are a special trademark of this line of dwarves that sets them apart well enough from the other six lines so that it gains a unique name. We can therefore assume that in other dwarven lines beards were considerably shorter. It would only be logical that in this case clean-shaven dwarves are not uncommon -- either that, or we assume that all male dwarves would look the same; completely unlikely in the light of the rest of the Legendarium.

Dwarf-women would, in my opinion, to the greatest part intentionally, look like shaven male dwarves, probably hiding their femininity as far as possible, being that the dwarves in general are a very secretive people.

As a last, off-topic note, noone is really interested in your beards; unless you are a dwarf or maybe the author this board is dedicated to. A general "chat" forum, which we are not, may be better suited for that.
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