Dwarven weapons and armour are famed for their exceptional quality. The skill of Dwarven smiths are unmatched, so they are in high demand across the land by all races (except maybe the Elves).

Meanwhile, magic is an intrinsic part of the nature of Elves. This is the reason given that weapons and armour produced by their smiths, though not physically as good as those of Dwarven make, are compensated for by the enchantments imbued within them. Such magical weapons are similarly favoured, especially when facing special foes such as the more elite servants of the Enemy.

In the LotR universe through the Ages, which of the two is more highly prized in the various great wars?


If we consider the famous weapons and armour - by which I mean it has a name and a story.


Perhaps the most well known dwarven smith was Telchar, his works included

  • Angrist, the dagger that was used to remove a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth - one of the most heroic deeds ever.
  • Narsil the sword of Elendil, later reforged by the Elves as Andúril
  • The Dragon Helm of Dor-lómin

Other dwarven works include

  • the Mithril shirt of Bilbo/Frodo
  • the black arrow used to kill Smaug


Named eleven swords include

  • Glamdring and Orcrist, forged in Gondolin and later used by Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield. They are recognised and feared many 1000 years after being recognised by the goblins in the Hobbit.
  • Sting, a short sword of Gondolin wielded by the Hobbits Bilbo, Frodo and Samwise
  • Ringil, the Sword of Fingolfin that he used in battle against Morgoth.


From this small sample it would appear that the weapons of the Elves are very well known and feared, but they seem to be lacking on the armour front.

I would have to conclude it a draw, with Dwarves winning the armour category.

  • Are the Elven Rings weapons? -- Also, iirc, Celebrimbor taught the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm a thing or two during his days in Hollin. – user23715 Oct 14 '16 at 0:38
  • @user23715 no they are not – user46509 Oct 14 '16 at 4:57
  • If they are not weapons, what was their purpose? -- "Armaments" cover more things than melee weapons and armor and the three Elven Rings weren't made to be fashionable. – user23715 Oct 15 '16 at 0:48
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    @lfurini “Arrow!” said the bowman. “Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!” – user46509 Oct 15 '16 at 18:19
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    @user23715 "But they were not made as weapons of war or conquest: that is not their power. Those who made them did not desire strength or domination or hoarded wealth, but understanding, making, and healing, to preserve all things unstained." That is Elrond's own words on the purpose of the Three rings. – suchiuomizu Oct 16 '16 at 13:55

The Dwarves.

From the Silmarillion, chapter 10: Of the Sindar:

Their smithcraft indeed the Sindar soon learned of them; yet in the tempering of steel alone of all crafts the Dwarves were never outmatched even by the Noldor, and in the making of mail of linked rings, which was first contrived by the smiths of Belegost, their work had no rival.

(My emphasis)

  • Yes, but what about Mithril? – user23715 Oct 14 '16 at 0:33
  • @user23715 the dwarves controlled the source of mithril, so it would make sense that the elves didn't do much mithril smithing. – y7vc Oct 14 '16 at 13:22
  • @y7vc -- Khazad-dûm was a source of Mithril. -- When I hear Telchar forged something as stunning as a single Silmaril I'll reconsider Dwarven handicraft. After all, one taste of a Silmaril slew Anfauglir - pretty potent weapon if you ask me :D – user23715 Oct 15 '16 at 0:36
  • @user23715 khazad-dûm was the only source of mithril – user46509 Oct 15 '16 at 5:46
  • @Po-ta-toe -- In the Third Age, yes. Not so before the fall of Númenor. – user23715 Oct 18 '16 at 18:05

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