In the Silmarillion, it says that during the Fifth Battle, it was the custom of the Naugrim to wear great masks in battle, hideous to look upon, and the masks stood them in great stead against the dragons.

Is there any more information about these masks in Tolkien's writing? For example, did dwarves wear them in other battles? I don't remember them being mentioned any other time. Does Tolkien say why they wore the masks, how they were able to fight wearing great masks (why didn't they get in the way?), and why did the masks help protect them from dragons? Did they have any magic powers?

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    The only thing I can think about with the masks is that it might have given them some protection against fiery breath, unless it was a direct blast of it. It might have even protected their beards a little :)
    – Jane S
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 12:55
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    In some versions of the story, Turin had a dwarvish battle mask. See here: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/150379/…
    – Buzz
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 14:16
  • Intimidation factor and face protection?
    – Petersaber
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 21:54
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    " Oh no, it's just that they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future. " - the Man in Black Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


There is no further information about the Naugrim wearing masks

There are no other mentions of the Naugrim wearing masks into battle, or at any time. An earlier draft of that same text had "wear great masks or vizors", but "or vizors" was struck out and does not appear in The Silmarillion.

There are only two masks that I am aware of: the Helm of Hador and an unnamed "dwarf-mask", both worn by Túrin. I've gone through the history of both before and there's little else I can add, except for a description of the Helm of Hador that may shed some light on its abilities:

At the head of the page my father noted that something should be said about the visor, 'how it protected the eyes from all darts (and from dragon-eyes)'.

The History of Middle-earth Volume 11: The War of the Jewels, The Grey Annals, p. 143

It had a visor (after the manner of those that the Dwarves used in their forges for the shielding of their eyes), and the face of one that wore it struck fear into the hearts of all beholders, but was itself guarded from dart and fire.

Unfinished Tales, Narn I Hîn Húrin, p. 98

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