Throughout fantasy literature there exists enmity between dwarfs and elves, depending on the author it can range from distrust, through to outright racial hatred and war.

Where have these historic issues originated? Has it been taken from the fables and stories that Elves and Dwarfs first appeared in or is there a story or book that first perpetuated this view and writers following on have been inspired by this?

  • Would it be possible to somehow relate the question to a specific author or world? Otherwise literally impossible to answer. In different mythologies, i.e. the Norse, the difference between elves and dwarves is not clearcut, sometimes even used as synonyms. The only world where I know this is possible is in Silmarillion, by Tolkien, during the first age, where they disagreed over the payment for a necklace consisting of white gems. Angry words led to violence, the elven king was killed etc. There is a short scene in one of the Hobbit movies that could be inspired by that event.
    – Johan
    Jun 18, 2019 at 9:53
  • I am trying to understand where the inspiration for the racial issues stemmed from, it seems to standard a trope to not have originated either from a specific writing, or group of texts.
    – Richard C
    Jun 18, 2019 at 9:55
  • @RichardC it's a reflection of the issues that arise between human populations. It's been mythologised since the dawn of man.
    – OrangeDog
    Jun 18, 2019 at 10:42
  • Voting to reopen. The other question (as interpreted by the answerers, at any rate) is about why, whereas this question is about when - what is the earliest example. There's lots of precedent for "earliest example" questions, so I think it is legitimate. Jun 18, 2019 at 21:32
  • Possibly a closer duplicate: What's the Original example of the common fantastical trope of Dwarf vs Elf?
    – user41830
    Jun 19, 2019 at 7:14