There’s one detail about Elves and Dwarves throughout many representations that is almost always universal: they have a friendly rivalry with each other. It doesn’t have to be openly hostile, they just seem to look at each other with a little bit of disdain that makes them (at least, within the fantasy genre) the greatest example of frenemies the world has ever seen.
But have you ever considered why?
There’s been multiple versions of the story, generally related to some sort of old mishap between them or the fact they both have skills in certain fields, but the real world reasons for it are rarely questioned. In fact, for the most part, people who create fantasy stories today keep the two as rivals because that’s what Tolkien did. And for many people, that’s a good enough explanation as any. Tolkien has been cited by some fans to have created the fantasy genre (which is completely ridiculous to claim, but fanboys be fanboying), so it would make sense that he originated tropes and that’s good enough.
Just one question: Where did Tolkien get it from? Continue reading Mythology Monday: Why Are Elves and Dwarves Rivals?