I saw a question about the creation of the dwarves and this popped into my mind, bear with me.

The 7 fathers of the dwarves are given life by Iluvatar along with wives, yet Durin didn't have one. Considering all of this, how can Khazad-Dûm, keep of Durin the Deathless, or any other dwarven keep, be populated even after Durin found a wife and had children, because the house of Durin doesn't have that many heirs. And I don't think that any of the other fathers multiplied rabidly just to give Durin servants. They can't be all related either by the looks and their behaviours.

How can there be so many pure clans when there were only 13 dwarves at the beginning?

  • No, asking how can 13 people populate 7 clans. Dec 5, 2016 at 5:15
  • Sorry, deleted comment. Anyway, didn't, like, a lot of time pass?
    – Misha R
    Dec 5, 2016 at 5:18
  • No reason to delete it. A lot of time passed, yes, but they are different clans, each clan is somewhat pure. Dec 5, 2016 at 5:21
  • 2
    So are you asking why there are so many dwarves, or how many descendants did Durin have, or whether the clans were separate? I find the question very confusing. Not sure what you're asking.
    – Misha R
    Dec 5, 2016 at 5:28
  • 1
    Didn't you know? Dwarves just spring out of holes in the ground. Dec 5, 2016 at 12:26

3 Answers 3


If you notice how many mentions of dwarf women there are in the books, you might have your answer. Tolkien's approach to genealogy is similar to medieval literature - men count, women don't.

In other words, as long as the males inherit lordship and titles - and they likely do - it doesn't matter for the clan's purity which clan the females come from. We did it similarly in the past.


According to judeo christian mythology 2 people were the ancestors of the whole human race.

Tolkien wrote a story that may or may not be true in the canon of middle Earth that all Elves descend from 144 elves who awoke at Cuivienan. I never read how many were in the first generation of humans.

Durin was the first dwarf to awake. Suppose that he woke 100 years before the other dwarves. Suppose that the average dwarf generation is 100 years. Then Durin's future wife might be born when Durin was only 200 and they might start having children when Durin was only 300. Most of Durin's sons and grandsons and great grandsons would have married female dwarves from other races and kingdoms, and vice versa.

Suppose that Durin had 3 children at age 300, 9 grandchildren at age 400, 27 great grandchildren at age 500, 81 in the next generation at age 600, 243 in the 5th generation at age 700, 729 in the 6th generation at age 800, 2187 in the 7th generation at age 900, 6,561 in the 8th generation at age 1,000, 19,683 in the 9th generation at age 1,100, and 59,049 in the 10th generation at age 1,200.

But if there were four children in each generation Durin would have 4 children about age 300, 16 grandchildren at age 400, 64 great grandchildren at age 500, 256 in the 4th generation at age 600, 1,024 in the 5th generation at age 700, 4,096 in the 6th generation at age 800, 16,384 in the 7th generation at age 900, 65,536 in the 8th generation at age 1,000, 262,144 in the 9th generation at age 1,100, and 1,048,576 in the 10th generation at age 1,200.

At the time of LOTR dwarves usually lived about 250 years but they probably lived longer during the Elder Days. Maybe the average dwarf lived to be about 500 during the First Age. Durin died before the end of the First Age, but he lived so long that he became known as Durin the Deathless. So Durin could have lived hundreds or even thousands of years longer than than the average dwarf at the time of LOTR, and could have had millions of descendants in his dwarf kingdom at Moria.


I'm not sure that there's any good answer to your question aside from "Aule did it". Their creation myth in The Silmarillion parallels Christian mythology too closely for Tolkien to be interested in plausible models of population growth.

We only see their creation and then jump to first contact with the Sindar however many thousands of years later. Aule could have been going away at it in his forge that whole time, after all, Illuvatar didn't say that he couldn't make more, only that the dwarves couldn't awake first.

  • In Christianity, god created Adam and Eva and when they were banished from heaven were put with other men and women. Dec 5, 2016 at 12:27
  • They weren't limited to only 13, there were entire villages. Also I never saw any Christian stuff in Tolkien's work, only legend and folk. Dec 5, 2016 at 12:38
  • @BalinsonofFundin you haven't seen Christian themes in Tolkien's work? Have you actually read them?
    – user46509
    Dec 5, 2016 at 13:11
  • Yep and currently rereading them. Dec 5, 2016 at 13:12
  • @BalinsonofFundin Suggest you read the Silmarillion to get a better insight into Tolkein's deep basis and links to Christian lore. When I read the LOTR in high school, I didn't notice much overlap with Christian themes/lore. I also was not raised in a church family. When I read it again in my 30's (having since read the Bible from to back and become more aware of Christian beliefs and themes) I started with Silmarillion and then LOTR, it fairly leaped out at me from the page. He doesn't evangelize, he weaves deep moral themes into the story. Dec 5, 2016 at 13:34

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