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Our Dwarves Are All the Same

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Standard-issue dwarf.note 

Celia: He has an accent. Haley: He likes beer. Haley: He worships Thor. Celia: And hates trees! Cleric of Loki: Can you tell me anything about him that differentiates him from every other dwarf?

'Dwarves': you know what they are. Gruff, practical, industrious, stout, gold-loving, blunt-speaking, Scottish-accented, Viking-helmed, booze-swilling, Elf-hating, ax-swinging, long-bearded, stolid and unimaginative, boastful of their battle prowess and their vast echoing underground halls and mainly just the fact that they are dwarves.

Ever since J. R. R. Tolkien raided the Norse myths for good stuff, dozens of fantasy worlds have included them as one of the Standard Fantasy Races... and most of them have stuck closely to the original. Tolkien's importance to this can be gauged by the fact that the plural form dwarves, which he used to distinguish his dwarves from other dwarfs, [[note]]It was originally a recurring mistake during the writing of The Hobbit (or rather "a private piece of bad grammar" that sneaked into the text), but it quickly became an Ascended Glitch. is now regarded by many as the standard plural (at least regarding fantasy — "dwarfs" is still the accepted plural for humans with dwarfism). Fantasy writers who use "dwarfs", like Terry Pratchett, are now the unusual ones.note  (Many "Tolkienesque" dwarves, however, are more like the Theme Park Version.) Since The Film of the Book(s), they now even all talk the same. A lot of dwarves are Scottish or have some other accent that reads as "rustic" to American or Southern English speakers — Northern or south-western English, Welsh,note  Irish, or Russian accents are common. Oddly, despite the strong Norse influence, dwarves with any sort of Scandinavian accent are extremely rare. An entire race of miners and blacksmiths, with names like Dwarfaxe Dwarfbeard and Grimli Stonesack, who are overly sensitive about any perceived slight, always spoiling for a fight, unable to speak two sentences in a row without calling someone "lad" or "lass," and possessed of a love of gold and jewels that drives them to live in Underground Cities where they dig deep and greedily (often with catastrophic results).

In the decades following Tolkien, they will often be depicted as more technologically minded than other fantasy races, verging on (and sometimes overtaking) Steampunk, but this is in keeping with their engineering and crafting skills both from the classic Fantasy depictions and from actual mythology. Their societies tend strongly toward a Reasonable Authority Figure (usually a warrior king) ruling over a socially conservative but rather egalitarian society of soldiers, miners, and craftsmen. In most settings, dwarves and humans have enough in common to treat each other with respect. They are frequently allies against outside threats.

The dwarf will often serve as The Big Guy (ironic, considering their stature) of a fantasy Five-Man Band, especially since his weapon of choice tends to be either an axe or a hammer. Ranged combat is not their preference, but if they aren't able to force enemies into close quarters, you can expect guns (Fantasy Gun Control permitting), throwing axes, or crossbows — in about that order. Dwarf rogues are rather uncommon in fiction, as their stocky frames make sneaking around look unconvincing, and their culture values honesty and openness; however dwarfs will usually know a thing or two about brawling and fighting dirty, which overlaps with the rogue archetype and being masters of crafting mechanical devices means they tend to know a thing or two about picking locks and disarming traps. Likewise, dwarven mages are vanishingly rare, except sometimes where religion is concerned. In fact, it's not uncommon for the entire race to be at least somewhat magic-resistant. If a dwarf wants to use magic, he'll infuse it into a sword or an axe so he can physically beat the enemy with it instead. If legends speak of an Ultimate Blacksmith from a bygone age who once forged all manner of powerful enchanted weapons and equipment, then he was probably a dwarf. If you happen to come across any of this legendary equipment and discover that the centuries haven't been very kind to it, then the only guy in the world who can help you get it back into fighting shape is probably a dwarf too. Might even be the same one, depending on how long-lived they are in the setting.

Often they get treated as a functional One-Gender Race; one of the only widespread (but not universal) novelties is what the women look like. Even then, the most common ones seem to veer somewhere around "Grandmother from the Old Country"/"adorable" (depending on age) or "you're looking at one now" (with the Girls with Moustaches that implies). And in contrast to elves (which are often treated as universally androgynous and bisexual), dwarves are almost always portrayed as heterosexual, uninterested in sex with non-dwarves (there's a reason that half-elves are a stock fantasy race and half-dwarves are not), and possibly even uninterested in sex for non-reproductive purposes. Female dwarves might occasionally be portrayed as being Butch Lesbian, and the few homosexual male dwarves in fiction are typically Manly Gay.

An exception to this rule is the fantasy setting's Cutesy Dwarf, who is often based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; this variety shares traits with our kind of Dwarves, but will be less of a tough guy and more of a charming man-child, and will scrap the ale-drinking and ax-wielding to focus on craft and mining.

For another fantasy race derived from subterranean fairy spirits and often associated with underground places and metalwork, see Our Kobolds Are Different. Not to be confused with Little People Are Surreal or Depraved Dwarf — once again, dwarves are fantasy creatures; dwarfs are short humans (except in Discworld and Warhammer), and nowadays the polite term for the latter is "little people".

Also see Dwarfism in Media.

These Dwarves are Rather Dwarivative

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: Dwarves are a race from long ago that had special powers like elves, and were short miners who wielded axes. Charmy is revealed to be half-dwarf. While this could explain her short stature, when her dwarf abilities activate Charmy oddly gets much taller.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: It's heavily implied that dwarves largely fit the usual stereotype (smithing, fighting, mining, straightforward). Senshi, the main dwarf of the series, is considered a very atypical dwarf, being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, Nature Hero, and Supreme Chef, who can handle himself in a fight but prefers peace first, and admits to not knowing the first thing about ores. He inherited a pair of priceless, heirloom adamantine shields from his companions — and reforged them into a wok with a matching lid. He has a mithril cooking knife. Nonetheless, he still has a few traditional dwarven elements in him, such as a distrust of magic and favoring an axe. After being transformed into a dwarf by changeling mushroom spores, Laios discovers that dwarves do have one point of divergence from the standard mold: despite being very strong, they have very low stamina. Every dwarf seen so far wears only light armor when they need to fight and has to rest frequently.
  • Nectar of Dharani: The Dwarves zig-zag this. On one hand they're smiths, very strong, prideful, stubborn and distrustful of elves. But on the other hand they can grow the size of a human, and females prefer to act from the shadows.
  • Kiryu's Infernity Dwarf in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is, other than the fact that he's a DARK Monster, pretty much a dwarf. (The burning axe was added for the card game version later.)
  • The dwarves in Tales of Wedding Rings seem to have been typical fantasy dwarves before they went extinct: short, muscular, hirsute people who dwelled underground and were expert miners and craftsmen. They were also pioneers of Magitek, creating robots, perpetual motion machines, and other devices which modern peoples cannot replicate.

    Comic Books 
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Stout, short and bearded? Check. Live inside mountains (and active volcanoes)? Check. Master engineers, miners and smiths? Check. Greedy? Check. Love alcohol? Check. Hate orcs? Check. Fight equipped with massive war machines, heavy armor, axes and hammers? Check, check and check.
  • Played with in DC's Dungeons & Dragons. Khal is what you would expect a Gimli Expy to be, except he was actually kicked out of his dwarven home because he actively spoke against the rigid clannishness of his culture through love poems.
  • The Great Power of Chninkel: The kolds are a small, bearded, industrious people who produce metal weapons for the three warring armies in Daar.
  • Dwarves in Lil i Put are exaggerated for comical effect — barbaric, loud, violent, self-righteous brutes who display fantastic levels of Fantastic Racism against elves. They do enjoy a good sing-a-long... and their songs tend to be about beating elves up.
  • Marvel Comics' use of the Norse Mythos via The Mighty Thor has Dwarves that look like the modern model but otherwise are more like their ancient inspiration. In effect, they are cave-dwelling magical gadgeteers.
  • Violet in Rat Queens is a dwarven hipster: she consciously rejects dwarven stereotypes unless it becomes popular to do so, in which case she enjoys them ironically. Female dwarves normally grow beards, so she shaved hers until facial shaving became "in" among young dwarves, at which point she grew it back (though as that happened during part of an Audience-Alienating Era that was hitting the series, it ended up being one of the elements that was dropped without comment and she's gone back to being beardless again). She also loves drinking as much as the next dwarf, but prefers wine to beer or ale. And she fights with a sword rather than an axe or hammer.
  • The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior: The wizard Ogeode's wife, the warrior woman Shen, is quite attractive despite her short stature, but she is a hot-blooded warrior who will cut anybody down to size who she perceives to be threatening her husband. He's rather embarrassed about her tendency to jump to his defense at the slightest insult (especially anyone calling him "old"), but he loves her dearly.
  • Brokk and Eitri from Valhalla, being based on one of the mythical originators of the trope, play it extremely straight as bearded, short, fond of money and extremely skilled craftsdwarfs. The sons of Ivaldi show up in Loki's Wager and look slightly more like gnomes than stereotypical dwarfs.

    Comic Strips 
  • The subterranean Dawn People, or Thuatha, from Prince Valiant. They're more mysterious and mystical than militaristic, but you seriously do not want to mess with them.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami presents us with three Dwarven Kingdoms. The dwarves here play all the tropes straight, but presents them in a very positive light, contrary to the game world where the story takes place. The dwarfs are honorable, resilient people whose obduracy against Keeper Mercury is justified, since the worst civil war in their history was backed and orchestrated by a Keeper.
  • Harry Potter and the Boiling Isles: On the Boiling Isles, dwarves live deep underground and all have beards regardless of gender (and are in fact obsessed with their beards to an excessive amount). They claim to be the first demons to have spawned from the body of the Titan, and are the pioneers of Construction magic. Willow actually has some dwarf blood from her Papa Harvey, making her significantly stronger than you'd expect a witch her age to be.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hoggle from Labyrinth is a fairly standard gruff Jerk with a Heart of Gold dwarf, apart from not having a long beard. No other dwarves are mentioned in this movie and he works for Jareth the Goblin King before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Eitri's depiction in Avengers: Infinity War is a bit of Shown Their Work, as nothing in the original myths stated that the dwarves were actually, physically short. It has been implied that their 'shorter stature' simply meant 'lesser in power to the gods', and that the image of them being shorter and stouter than a human was brought about later.

  • Dwarves from the Fighting Fantasy series of books follow the stereotypical depictions of dwarves: bushy beards, short in stature, having love of gold and so on. Most of their dwarves comes from two areas, the town of Stonebridge (where the dwarves are friendly, and led by their lawful chief, King Gillibran) and the town of Mirewater (whose dwarves are greedy, hostile and wouldn't hesitate to attack outsiders).
  • Lone Wolf: Although Magnamund lacks most classical fantasy races (elves, gnomes, halflings...), the dwarves from the mountain kingdom of Bor are pretty much standard fare. They're even known for their mechanical prowess and invented guns.

  • Averted in Andy Remic's The Blood Dragon Empire series where the Harborym Dwarves, while physically the standard Fantasy Dwarf, have some very big cultural differences from the standard mould. Firstly their religion is called the Church of Hate, that in itself speaks volumes. They do practice mining and consider it an important job, but not really that much more important than other jobs. The biggest difference however is that they enslave humans, torture them for entertainment, and treat them as disposable miners, food for their captive Dragons, or sex slaves. Each of the Dwarf characters in the series is either evil or just uncaring; the main Dwarf character is a twisted and spiteful hunchback who tortures innocent people because he can and forces young female Dwarfs into his bed, another is a rapist with a fetish for human women, another is a torturer whose sheer sadism would impress Sand dan Glokta, and another is a King quite prepared to have families murdered to tie up loose ends and who believes that he is a God. Additionally, outside of a hardcore few, the Harborym Dwarves don't have the fanatical courage typical of the standard dwarf. They're a lyin', cheatin' bunch of cowardly bullies who whimper and grovel once their victims start kicking their asses.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • The series features dwarfs, who are divided in two types: red and black dwarfs (referring to the color of their hair). The "red dwarfs" are usually good-natured (if often grumpy), while most of the "black dwarfs" are ruthless, greedy, traitorous bastards. Eleven black dwarfs eventually renounce Aslan's existence, and are punished with being blind/insane and abandoned to grovel away at each other (they are, of course, Lewis's allegory for atheists). Both types of dwarfs are skilled craftsmen (the narrator mentions that while there are evil dwarfs, there are no stupid ones — though see below) and in contrast to the usual dwarven preference for axes, Narnian dwarfs are deadly archers instead.
    • The Dufflepuds encountered in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader were once very stupid dwarfs before being punished by being transformed into monopods (hence the name).
  • Alexey Pehov's The Chronicles Of Siala series has bog-standard dwarves, except they wouldn't be seen dead in a beard (to avoid looking like gnomes).
  • Chronicles of the Emerged World: Gnomes are basically traditional dwarves. However there are some original exceptions, including two Master Swordsman warriors (Ido and Dola) and even a sorceress (Reiss).
  • The Company Novels may have slightly different dwarves, although they are more a subspecies (or possibly parent species) of humans. They are partway between Tolkien-standard elves and Tolkien-standard dwarves: small, cranky, subterranean, and complete geniuses of invention; but pale, shy, and weak.
  • Council Wars: Invoked. Dwarfs are humans who have used advanced technology to deliberately change themselves into the standard representation of Fantasy Dwarves.
  • Meredith Ann Pierce had no problem with "dwarrows" in The Darkangel Trilogy. The duaroughs (yes, that's basically pronounced "dwarves") are basically Tolkienian, except sunlight temporarily turns them to stone, forcing them to wear heavy, enveloping garments if they go above ground during the daytime.
  • The Death Gate Cycle: While they vary from world to world like the other mensch races, all dwarves share a few characteristics, including a natural propensity to be a Proud Warrior Race (although they never war against each other if they can help it), a deep love of music and song and a preference for living underground, which manifests in different ways in the various worlds.
    • The dwarves of Arianus, known as "Gegs", are a race of peaceful and unimaginative factory workers oppressed by the Tribus elves. In Arianus' World in the Sky, their subterranean habits manifest by them living inside their floating island and never going outside if they can help it. Their culture revolves entirely around serving and tending a huge machine known as the Kicksey-Winsey. Their ancestors were a more traditional example, and it's stated in the first book that they are oppressed by the elves because the elves are afraid of what would happen if they realized they're actually a Proud Warrior Race. They later realize it. The elves don't like it a one bit.
    • The dwarves of Pryan are a reclusive and commerce-minded culture who dig out their cities within the trunks of their world's miles-high trees. They spend most of their time in the world-forest's shadowy understory, in contrast to the elf and human nations of the canopy, and are the only local culture to ever approach to ground level with any regularity.
    • The dwarves of Chelestra are less reclusive and more friendly, and often play a role as mediators between the more eccentric cultures of the local elves and humans.
    • They're dead on Abarrach, where they are primarily remembered as the mortal race that survived longest in that miserable realm.
  • Discworld plays with the trope — wherefore see a partly overlapping discussion in the Literature folder under "Parodies and radically different versions" below — by having this as the traditional Dwarven image that most Dwarfs aspire to, but many were born and raised in cities and work in factories.
    • This is partly a parody of the way that an ethnic group will rhapsodise the old country more as they get further away from it. No-one in Scotland habitually wears tartan, for instance. Thus, it's noted that dwarfs who led quiet and respectable lives in the mountain mines reach Ankh-Morpork and are seized by a compulsion to dress in armour, carry battle-axes and drink like crazy.
    • Further, extremely fundamentalist dwarfs attempt to never emerge above ground. If they're ever forced to, they wear garments that completely envelop them so they don't have to look at sunlight; the in-story explanation for the outfit, aside from the fact that they abhor sunlight because of beliefs established in their folklore, is that it's a ceremonial version of the protective clothing worn by dwarfs who do the important but extremely deadly job of dealing with gas pockets in mines; originally, the dwarfs who occupied this position in society would have been members of this profession who survived long enough to retire.
      • Though, when you catch that the headgear comes to a point, you see a nice allusion to Klan-wear. Especially when one of the deep-dwellers likes to give speeches on how it isn't murder if it's a troll.
    • Pratchett also subverts the trope with dwarf characters such as Casanunda, the world's second greatest lover (We Try Harder), and Hwel, the Discworld Shakespeare. Also Carrot, the seven-foot dwarf (by adoption), and the openly female Cheery/Cheri Littlebottom.
    • Discworld Dwarves take the "Females have beards" thing even further. All Dwarves are considered male unless otherwise specified. And they only specify otherwise to their spouse, and even then only after a lengthy courtship (as in decades). For Cheri to act and dress openly female on duty is like a human police officer turning up to work in lingerie. And even in her case, "act and dress openly female" mainly means putting rhinestones on her axe holster, wearing a sensible leather skirt and high-heeled iron boots, and grooming her beard differently.
    • Also, a nod to the 'craftsman' stereotype in that they are good at any craft. Mostly the typical metalworking and stoneworking, but they are very good at anything. In particular they are as good at baking as they are at metalwork and stonecarving. However, their bakery is mostly good for weaponry. They grind down rocks to make the flour. The best way to enjoy Dwarfbread is to keep it uneaten, so that any other food will taste good by comparison. The "Scottish" stereotype is brought up here as the Low King (low being better than high for a mining people) of the Dwarves being crowned on the Scone of Stone. In Scotland, Kings were always crowned on a giant stone called the Stone of Scone (pronounced Skoon) because it was held in Scone Abbey, Perthshire. They also practically monopolize the cosmetics industry, most likely because they have real chemistry instead of alchemy.
    • Dwarf folklore is an interesting deviation; it holds that dwarfs and trolls are diametric opposites and will forever hate each other.note Thud! takes it a step further by introducing what may be the oldest of dwarf folklore, the story of the creation of dwarf, man, and troll. The story goes that Tak, a very laid-back not-quite-deity ("Tak doesn't require that we think of Him, only that we think") created a stone egg in a cave, which hatched and released two brothers; one left the cave and found the things that made him man, while the other ventured deeper within and found the things that made him dwarf. Then, unbeknownst to Tak, the stone egg came to life and became a troll, but without Tak's blessing, it was an agonized half-life, without thought, creation, or virtue, such that killing it is not murder, but mercy (the citation when this story is first told mentions that in the original document, the passage about trolls appears to have been added later by a second author). Later, we're given a new version of the troll passage; Tak did notice the egg trying to come to life, and he was overjoyed by it, giving it the last little push it needed to become a troll (this one was recited by a pair of diplomats trying to establish peace between trolls and dwarfs, and insofar as either version belongs with the rest of the story, this is probably the one, considering the book's message).
  • Dungeon Crawler Carl: For the most part, this is played straight, with one small change: Every race appears to have a "dwarf" variant. Humans of course have dwarves, but hobgoblins have goblins, the fish-like gleaners have the kua-tin, orcs have tusklings, and skyfowl have chickadees. Not to mention that every race, including dwarves, have a thousand minor regional variants like fathom dwarves and shade gremlins.
  • Markus Heitz's The Dwarves manages to play this trope perfectly straight, yet gives each character enough Character Development to be an effective character, rather than just the trope. Not surprising, since all main characters are dwarves.
  • In The Dwarves of Whiskey Island, the titular dwarves are pretty standard flavor; they give the accent, horned helmets, and axes a miss, but keep all the other standard traits.
  • In Rebecca Lickiss's Eccentric Circles Malraux is friendly and hospitable but gruff. He later explains that he's caught in the fantasy cliche and doesn't even like mining but he's a dwarf and that's what they do.
  • The Faraway Paladin hews closely to Tolkien's version, with the big difference being their Creation Myth: the dwarves hold that they were once fae of earth and fire who became enamored of humanity, so Blaze, the god of fire, honor, and craft, transformed them into humanoid forms. Most dwarves in the series are also stateless refugees after a dragon and an army of demons destroyed their kingdom in the Iron Mountains 200 years ago (much like Erebor in The Hobbit). Main character Will takes their exiled prince, Al, as his squire in volume 3 and then leads an adventuring party including him to retake the Iron Kingdom in volume 4. Dwarf women tend to be beautiful and fairy-like in their youth, but fill out into feminine versions of chunkier male dwarves in middle age; the weird stories about them arise from the fact that the dwarves traditionally hide their women away from outsiders. One final distinction is that dwarves favor polearms over battleaxes due to their short reach (Al uses a halberd), and are quite good at grappling due to their strength and low center of gravity.
  • The Fionavar Tapestry: The dwarves pretty much fit the mould except for the One-Gender Race, and the one dwarven main character being more of a The Quiet One. Dwarf women in Fionavar are sylph-like and graceful; as one character admits to herself, she should no more reasonably expect them to look like their men any more than she herself resembles her male companions.
  • The gnomes from Forest of Boland Light Railway are all bearded, talk with Northern English accents, and work in the mines. They are also skilled craftsmen, engineers and inventors.
  • A brief mention in Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rein Poortvliet. Quote: "An almost extinct species of the male sex." (Could there be a connection there?) "Height 1 metre 20 cm, often smaller. Can still be found in the middle of inhospitable forests and in the mountains. They dig for gold and silver in extensive mines; they are masters of metalwork. They are good-natured except for a solitary few who are capable of ugly deeds. If a dwarf falls into human hands, he buys his freedom with gold. They do not have beards."
  • Dwarves in the Harry Potter books at least follow the blunt-speaking and stolid parts, which caused Hilarity To Ensue when Gilderoy Lockhart hired a bunch of surly dwarves for Valentine's Day in Chamber of Secrets. Lockhart dressed them up like cupids and set them up working as letter-carriers, which they did not seem to enjoy and nor did anyone else, least of all the other teachers. However, that's the only major appearance of dwarves in the entire series.
    • It is also said Harry spotted a few raucous dwarves in the Leaky Cauldron tavern, so they probably have the drinking down as well.
    • Played With because goblins actually follow dwarf tropes pretty closely—they're smiths, make magical items and are obsessed with money (even running the Wizard world's bank). They are a bit nastier than your average dwarf, but not exactly evil.
  • Inheritance Cycle: Dwarves are short, proud, bearded, mountain-dwelling, fond of hammers and axes, masters of crafts and creators of grandly decorated cities, as is usual. They have a few. quirks beyond that, however: they're a polytheistic and devoutly religious people, have some cities underground and also some aboveground — even with a Lampshade Hanging when Eragon is surprised to find that dwarves have open surface cities and a dwarf tells him that they like the open air as much as anyone else — and have seven toes, and two dwarves hold a bet on whether or not humans actually have only five. According to history, they are the oldest sapient race, and lived in Alagaësia before the elves or humans arrived. Interestingly, when Eragon asks Orik how dwarves know the language of humans, Orik reveals that the Common Tongue is actually the dwarven language.
  • In Chris Evans Iron Elves trilogy Sergeant Yimt is a Boisterous Bruiser Sergeant Rock. The only other dwarf met in the series is a veteran turned unscrupulous merchant. Dwarves were once enslaved by the Empire and brought to it from across the sea, resulting in a a racial claustrophobia of being inside ships. Due to the racial habit of chewing crute, a metal infused spice, most Dawrves are literally Made of Iron, or at least their bones are. While they do use axes other common weapons are the drugar, whose description sounds a lot like a machete, and the shatterbow, a cross between a crossbow and a shotgun that fires explosive bolts.
  • Most Dwarfs in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? fit the usual dwarf archetype, but strangely many of the dwarfs to play a major role within the series are much taller than average in spite of dwarfs supposedly being shorter. Dormul is roughly average height for a Japanese man and Mia would be an unusually tall HUMAN woman. Tsubaki Collbrande, meanwhile, can be excused for being taller than average by virtue of being only half-dwarf, although she's still tall for a woman.
  • Tad Williams' Memory Sorrowand Thorn trilogy features two races that could qualify as Dwarves, both of whom (intentionally) avert the typical stereotypes. The Qanuc are actually referred to as Trolls and borrow many aspects of Inuit culture while living in snowy mountains and taming sheep for mounts. They do brew a mean liquor, though. On the other hand, the branch of the Tinukeda'ya that went underground became known as Dwarrows — superb stonemasons and crafters, they were once the artisans of the Sithi and helped build many of their great cities, but had a falling out over their treatment as little more than slaves. They are most definitely not warlike, shrinking from any sort of combat and trying their best to stay out of the grand conflict with the Storm King. However, when provoked, they are fearsome fighters due to their strength and endurance from millennia of delving in the earth.
  • In Outbreak Company, male dwarves follow the stock-standard dwarf image... from the time they're born, making it impossible for humans to tell dwarven children from adults. Female dwarves, on the other hand, are capable of passing as human children. Both are significantly stronger and tougher than humans.
  • Record of Lodoss War:
    • Ghim the dwarf is very straightforward: short, bearded, gruff, uses an axe, vitriolic banter with Deedlit the elf. Greevus has the axe, and throws in clerical spells. Not surprising since the series was based on the author's Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.
    • The sequel, Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, introduces a dwarf priest named Father Greevas, who subverts the trope by being quiet, gentle, and fatherly, with a bowl-cut and goatee instead of the standard bushy beard.
  • Likely influenced by Dungeons & Dragons, the dwarves that appear in Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Cycle follow this trope.
  • Somewhere between the Norse myths making and Tolkien codifying the trope, there are the seven dwarfs from "Snow White", who are mentioned to be ore miners in the Grimms' fairy tale. They don't live in their mine, though. It is merely their working place, and the dwarfs leaving Snow White alone at their living place (a dwarf-sized, but otherwise presumably ordinary house) every day is a major plot point.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, "dwarf" is a medical condition, not a species (in other words, like Real Life), making it a case of Our Dwarves are Different. However, the only really prominent one, Tyrion Lannister, manages to nail most of the traits pretty well. He fights surprisingly fiercely with axes and crossbows, grows something you could call a beard, makes a big deal about Casterly Rock and its gold mines being his rightful inheritance, drinks heavily, has trouble controlling his temper, holds grudges like nobody else, mistakes a female dwarf for a male one, and gets snuck past the wall of a merchant's mansion in a barrel...
    • Then The World of Ice & Fire reveals that the Ibbenese share a suspicious number of similarities with the standard issue fantasy dwarf. They’re short and squat but ferociously strong, bearded and hairy. They’re skilled craftsmen and badass warriors, but also very greedy, insular and suspicious of outsiders. And top things, the in-universe author implies they might not even be human, since they cannot produce fertile offspring with people from other nations.
  • The dwarves get very little "screentime" in The Sundering, but don't appear to deviate from the standard model very much, which is not surprising given that the story intentionally resembles The Lord of the Rings a great deal. There does seem to be a link to plants, but this isn't really explored in any depth.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: Even though J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are basically the Trope Makers of this in modern fantasy, his version zig-zags the trope:
    • The Dwarvish language of Khuzdul was constructed along the lines of the Semitic languages; none of them ever speak with a Scottish or Welsh accent at all.
    • Like the stereotype, Dwarves are redoubtable warriors and master craftsmen with a love of gems who live underground. Interestingly, though the ones from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have names taken from the Poetic Edda, Tolkien later stated that these Nordic names are actually just "outer" names used when interacting with non-Dwarves, with their real Khuzdul names being more along the lines of something like "Azaghâl" or "Mîm".
    • In spite of their Norse roots, when you combine the quasi-Semitic language with their lost homeland and usual status as a minority in lands ruled by other races, many writers (including Tolkien himself) have considered them analogues to the Jews.
    • The Silmarillion reveals that dwarves are a special race, having been created by Aulë, one of the Valar — not Eru Ilúvatar himself, who made the other "good" races like elves, humans and hobbits. The latter did end up adopting them though, and gifted them with their own wills which a mere Vala could not do.
    • Although Gimli and many other dwarves use axes, others use a variety of weapons, including swords and bows.
    • In The Hobbit, it's a subtle running joke that the dwarves in the Company are so interchangeable that even Bilbo rarely bothers to differentiate them beyond Thorin and Bombur.
    • Gimli is probably the Trope Codifier: thickly-bearded, wielding an axe, clad in armor, proud of his people, wants the Fellowship to travel through a mine, initially disdainful of elves, the list goes on. The film version adds on a Welsh accent.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Naturally, the typical bearded, surly and metal-loving standard-issue dwarves show up in Fantasyland, where they live in hidden fastnesses in the mountains that seem to consist primarily of lavishly decorated hallways. They are suspicious of outsiders and will likely arrest the Tourists for trespassing into their fastnesses, but if properly persuaded they can be useful allies for the forces of Good. The convenient thing for Tourists is that, once persuaded to agree to something, Dwarfs will never go back on their word. Jones also chalks up the tendency for Fantasyland people to dig tunnels in, to and from every halfway notable location to interbreeding with Dwarves and thus acquiring an instinctive tendency towards digging.
  • David Weber's The War Gods trilogy has dwarves. Heavy emphasis on mining and living underground, technology better than anyone else's, and an absurd emphasis on family and clan that no other race can even follow.
  • In E. D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess novel Unlocking the Curse, most of the dwarves are minor characters fitting the type, but one is an It's All About Me soul who wanders the name and curses anyone who thwarts him into a Forced Transformation.
  • The Witcher series may differ considerably from the Medieval European Fantasy archetype, but the Dwarves are still all the same. Short, broad and muscled, have a high tendency to be blacksmiths. The only difference is that they're second-class citizens and may sympathize and collaborate with Elves to the Humans Fantastic Racism against "Otherlings."
    • They do have a few notable differences from the norm. Sure, they're skilled craftsmen, but in this world that specialty goes to the gnomes. Dwarves are known to be shrewd and cunning businessmen, and many prominent Dwarven characters are bankers. There's also a law firm run by Dwarves that specialised in winning cases by making witnesses disappear and arranging mysterious 'accidents' for the enemies of its clients.
  • Vainqueur The Dragon: Their existence is referenced in the first chapter:
    Maybe he should raid the dwarves next? He had heard they collected enough gems to fill underground vaults.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • Prince Durin is designed around the archetypal Dwarf presented by the cinematic trilogies: a stout, truculent, bombastic redhead sporting a large nose and an impressive, braided beard.
    • Like his son, king Durin III is an archetypal Dwarf, albeit more aged, sporting a massive grey beard, a huge nose, and is gruff and he's no-nonsense in personality.

  • Clamavi de Profundis: The dwarves of Hammerdeep and Irna are fairly typical fantasy dwarves — they're short, stout folk with a preference for flowing beards, a great love of wealth and craftsmanship and rowdy natures prone to conflict. They also have a tendency to be brought to grief by their excessive greed.
  • Gloryhammer: In the second album Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, we are introduced to the Astral Dwarves of Aberdeen whose king wields a "Crystal Laser Battle Axe."

    Myths & Religion 
  • Norse Mythology — here's where it all started.
    • Though they were somewhat varied, the basics of common lore go back to this mythology. The long beards, the skill in metallurgy, the living in caves, etc. They also turned to stone (sometimes temporarily, sometimes not) when exposed to sunlight. There was also discrepancy concerning how long they lived. Some myths had them be an adult at three years old and an old man by nine, some myths had them always looking old but being immortal. They had coal-black hair, extremely pale skin, were actually a type of elf and were human-sized at first, but Memetic Mutation changed them a lot even during the Viking era. By the late Middle Ages, they were much closer to the dwarves we'd recognize today.
    • In one version, they first appeared as maggots in the corpse of Ymir, whose body was then made to form the Earth itself. In this light, the stated origin for the dwarves seems an appropriate metaphor, what with their penchant for tunneling and living beneath the surface of the Earth.
    • They usually appeared as cave-dwellers forging weapons and jewelry. Sometimes with remarkable results. It was cave-dwelling dwarves who made Þór's hammer (always hits, destroys its target, returns to the user), Óðinn's spear (always hits its target), Freyja's necklace (shining like the sun), and the nine golden rings (give birth to new rings). Thus the legend of the stunted master forgers in the mountains was born.
    • Experts in Germanic mythology actually believe dwarves began as chthonic death related spirits, which makes the maggot origins and synonimity with the dark elves all the more evident.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Burning Wheel not only plays straight dwarf stereotypes but even builds upon the tale of Moria from The Lord of the Rings by working an attribute called "Greed" into the rule system: all dwarves are covetous. The higher a dwarf's Greed, the more likely they are to betray others, or even go Ax-Crazy, in the pursuit of possessing objects of high value and/or craftsmanship. They get bonuses to rolls made in the pursuit of wealth. However, if the Greed attribute reaches its maximum through indulgence of the vice, the dwarf hides himself away with his hoard of goods in paranoid seclusion, never to be seen again.
  • Changeling: The Lost has the Wizened, humans who were made to work as the Gentry's craftsmen and servants. Like dwarves, there's usually something "diminished" about them (sometimes size, sometimes muscle, sometimes social presence), they tend to be cranky (see "diminished social presence"), and they're very, very good with crafts.
  • The Chronicles of Aeres has two subraces of dwarves, with Gray Dwarves being fairly standard D&D-esque dwarves and Frostgraevyr Dwarves being an offshoot culture of dwarven mystics and mages with a particular knack for Frost Elementalism.
  • Dragon Dice plays it straight with standard, Tolkien inspired dwarves — not surprising for a game from TSR that was significantly inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. They are composed of the elements of earth and fire, have beards, are expert craftsmen and miners, live in the mountains, wield axes, and wear horned helms... Oh, and their cavalry ride on giant lizards and mammoths, just for a change of pace.
  • Dungeons & Dragons — not surprising, given how much it was originally based on Tolkien. There's other differences as well.
    • In early editions, this was outright enforced: much like the other demihumans, Basic had dwarves be restricted to a single "dwarf" class, which was basically a modified fighting-man. Even in Advanced, which gave dwarves the ability to assume more common classes, they were stuck with fighter, assassin, and thief, with cleric being added on in 2nd Edition. So if you've ever wondered why you rarely ever see a dwarf wizard or ranger or paladin in pre-2000s media, well...
    • One widely used D&D addition is the idea that Dwarves are inherently more resistant to magic, being that they're all stolid and stony like the earth and all. Yet in the original myths, dwarves produced all manner of magical artifacts for the Aesir. Even Tolkien's dwarves managed to make mithril, the local Unobtainium. That said, they were resistant to The Corruption, seemingly because they love gold and cunning more than they love power. Didn't stop them from making and using magical weapons and armor either. Just made them resistant to wizard spells.
    • Interestingly, the Races of Stone Supplement for 3.5 provides a special Prestige Class that allows the casting of spells in armor, providing a description that's best summed up as "Nobody thinks there's any Dwarven Wizards because they wear Armor like the rest of the Dwarves." Of course, this is still entirely fitting with this trope.
    • D&D has shown an interesting evolution in the question of Dwarven females — namely, the lore about whether or not they sport beards. Throughout the 80s, the question on whether or not this was true raged in the pages of Dragon — especially when issue #58 introduced the first iteration of the Morndinsamman, the dwarven racial pantheon, complete with a bearded mother-goddess in Berronar Truesilver. However, its actual canonicity in the first editions of D&D are... questionable. Both the Dungeon Master's Guide for AD&D 1st edition and the Player's Handbook for the 1983 "Red Box" of BECMI Revised mention bearded dwarf women in passing, which are the earliest known such references. However, the AD&D Player's Handbook and Monster Manual made no such references, and the lore was removed from the subsequent 2ed Dungeon Master's Guide and the Rules Compendium for BECMI. In the late 2nd edition sourcebook "The Complete Book of Dwarves", it's mentioned in a single line that dwarf women can grow beards, but only the Deep Dwarf women tend to not shave them off. In 3rd edition, the idea was just quietly dropped and never referenced. In the sourcebook "Wizards Presents: Races & Classes", a design teaser for 4th edition, Wizards of the Coast stated emphatically that bearded dwarf women would not be a thing in that edition. Then in 5th edition, a sidebar in the Player's Handbook would mentioned bearded dwarf women as a possible "non-binary gender expression", alongside androgynous or truly gender-fluid elves... unlike the latter, though, bearded dwarf women have made no appearances in canon.
      • The Forgotten Realms were the first D&D setting to make the idea of D&D dwarf women having beards be mainstream. The sourcebook "Dwarves Deep" would establish that Faerunian dwarf women are capable of growing beards, but most prefer to shave. This would be reinforced by the sourcebook "Demihuman Deities", which would explicitly state that all dwarf goddesses are bearded and show at least one bearded goddess. Novels set in the setting that released in the 80s through 90s also mention bearded dwarf women in passing. In post-2nd edition versions of the setting, this lore was quietly dropped.
      • In Mystara, apart from the aforementioned "Red Box", no mention of dwarf women being bearded ever appears. Indeed, the Mystara dwarf sourcebook, "The Dwarves of Rockhome", almost pointedly goes out of its way to not mention the idea, with all of its female dwarf art depicting them as clean-shaven.
      • In Dragonlance, dwarf women do not grow beards, apart from the degenerate Aghar, or gully dwarves. And even then, women do not grow beards so much as "hairy cheeks", which are implied to be basically overgrown sideburns.
      • In the Nentir Vale, because it was built to be integrated into 4th edition, dwarf women lack beards and never had beards. In fact, a subrace of elementally tainted dwarves, called the Forgeborn, are naturally hairless.
      • In Dark Sun, all dwarves are completely hairless, so not only are dwarf women in that setting non-bearded, they're actually bald.
    • Dwarves are noted as being good with Divine magic, and they're one of the go-to races for Clerics. (see: Durkon from The Order of the Stick for an example). Players and Game Masters, of course, can play with or subvert the definition all they wish.
    • Even Eberron — the setting that brought you good undead, necromancer elves, intelligent giants (granted that's ancient history), removed alignment restrictions, among other things — cannot escape this. Its dwarves are the same, with the exception of House Kundarak who are bankers instead of smiths or miners. Though if this article by Keith Baker himself is to be believed, the Neogi (who look like a cross between a wolf spider and a moray eel) were actually formerly dwarves altered by the Daelkyr. That being said, subsequent releases and further Word of God have tweaked them somewhat: fifth edition Eberron dwarves are notably more friendly and outgoing than the standard, with traditions of storytelling and gift-giving, but they're dealing with questions about daelkyr symbionts and other weird stuff found in the corrupted corridors of the Realm Below; some holds have enthusiastically embraced things like living breastplates and tentacle whips.
    • Forgotten Realms with its dazzling level of diversity and details subverts this trope a few times with sub-races like the wild dwarves and arctic dwarves, plus Gray Dwarves (duergar). Shield dwarves and gold dwarves are closer to the stereotype, as a beard-combing grimly determined Proud Warrior Race Guy is never too far. Gold dwarves tend to be tradition-bound, suspicious, greedy, obscenely rich and almost as haughty as elves, though trade with humans and other folk a lot. Shield dwarves are split. Some are "The Hidden", isolationist clans. Most are "The Wanderers" who got a clue from all those empty clanholds that dwarves aren't too far from extinction, and see interacting with the world proactively as their duty. These are borderline Boisterous Bruiser sorts, allying with anyone up to elves and half-orcs if necessary, adventuring, working as smiths in non-dwarven cities. They are fairly traditional, but marry whoever they like including humans, gnomes or halflings instead of checking exact age, social status and opinions of all elders in both clans before starting a family.
    • Dragonlance played with the trope a bit. They had the Hylar, Niedhar, and Daewar clans of dwarves, all of which were in the general neighborhood of Lawful Good, and the Daergar, who were Lawful Evil.
    • Mystara uses this trope 100% straight with its Rockhome dwarves, then subverts it with their Kogolor predecessors, who lived above ground and mostly raised goats for a living.
      • The classic supplement The Dwarves of Rockhome goes out of its way to justify the trope by explaining the modern dwarves' backstory, which they themselves don't generally know: after the Blackmoor civilization accidentally wiped itself out in a quasi-nuclear cataclysm that tilted the very axis of the planet, the Immortal Kagyar — not so coincidentally the patron of craftsmen — took some of the few surviving Kogolors and turned them into a new race highly resistant to poison and radiation (and incidentally magic as well) and a predilection for living underground, so that even if a similar disaster should strike the world again, dwarven culture and its achievements would be able to survive in spite of it. Thus, dwarven underground cities essentially serve double duty as potential fallout shelters for their inhabitants.
      • It also plays with the idea that dwarves are always craftsmen by including a clan of dwarf farmers, descended from criminals who'd been sentenced to the "humiliating" task of growing food. The Wyrwarfs, tired of being treated like riffraff, voiced their discontent by threatening to withhold food from the other clans: if the clans refused to acknowledge farmers as equal to miners and artisans, they could huddle down deep with their trinkets and eat rocks.
    • The largely forgotten Chainmail D&D Miniatures game (the early 2000s relaunch, not the classic '60s version that inspired D&D) ended up using pretty standard D&D dwarves, but oh What Could Have Been. The original design specs called for a dwarf faction that had deposed their king, abandoned faith in their god, and become communist factory workers and miners. The Dwarves would have dressed like something out of a '30s era Soviet propaganda poster and built mecha golems.
    • Just like elves, dwarves in D&D have a subterranean Evil Counterpart: the Duergar, or Gray Dwarves, who are built on the folktales of dwarves as nasty schemers with supernatural powers. The Duergar have limited Psychic Powers and have a grim, humorless society based around slave labor and constant toil.
    • Fifth Edition hammers the trope a little harder by giving dwarven characters automatic proficiency with hammers, axes, and the player's choice of metalsmithing, stonemason, or brewing tools. So Monks or Rogue are likely to be the only classes that see a dwarf not running around with such weapons since the class features don't really use either very well. On top of that, the Mountain Dwarf subrace also gives automatic proficiency with light and medium armors, so in the event that you want to play a Mountain Dwarf Wizard, you'll still be wearing a breastplate and holding a battle axe.
    • Dark Sun Athas's Dwarves play this straight, except for few noticeable differences. They're completely hairless, and they have a tradition of working toward short- and long-term goals that only they know of.
  • Eon: Zigzagged. There are four Dwarven clans; Ghor, Roghan, Drezin and Zolod, each with their own culture putting them somewhere on the Straight-to-Subverted spectrum.
    • Clan Ghor play this trope completely straight, being the most traditional clan who've changed the least since the Dwarven race broke through the surface and entered the world above, to the extent that the clan still mostly live underground and in the mountains. Being the largest clan, the Ghor Dwarves are also responsible for establishing this trope as the in-universe stereotype of what a Dwarf is like.
    • Clan Roghan play this tope mostly straight and is the clan with the worst relationship to the Elves, though unlike Ghor they have split more with the traditions of old and have integrated more freely with other races.
    • Clan Drezin is where things start veering into stranger territories as while their way of living is almost as traditional as clan Ghor's, they are also a clan far more devoted to arcane studies than your average Dwarf and are also subject to great stigmatization from the other clans... not because of the magic, mind you, the Dwarves of Eon generally hold great respect for those who can use such awe-inspiring and unpredictable power without blowing themselves up, but rather because the Drezin clan sided with the Tiraks in the last great war, an act which got them branded as traitors by the other Dwarves. On top of that, Dwarves of clan Drezin also often shave or trim their beards in order to differentiate themselves from the other clans of their kin, instead favoring the mustache.
    • Finally we've got clan Zolod, who are generally mocked by the other Dwarven clans for how untraditional and un-Dwarf-like they are, having almost completely integrated into human society.
  • As a generic system, GURPS can potentially handle any sort of dwarf — but its writers have mostly stuck to the established standard.
    • Dwarves in GURPS Banestorm, the main official GURPS fantasy setting, are a race of natural artificers and merchants. Most adults have at least one point worth of personal "signature gear".
    • GURPS Fantasy offers another variant of the same type.
    • In the GURPS predecessor The Fantasy Trip, dwarves were straight out of the Tolkienian mold. However, some details (mostly concerning dwarf women) were left unspecified, meaning that players could form their own conclusions.
  • The Dwarfs of Kings of War come in two forms the Dwarfs who are very much Tolkien Dwarves with cannons and badger cavalry. Unlike most Dwarf civilizations who are either declining or staying underground, these Dwarfs take an expansionist path. Then there's their evil counterparts the Abyssal Dwarfs, who have thralls and dwarf mutants in their armies.
  • The now-defunct Mage Knight miniatures game had standard Tolkien-y dwarves. All male, all bearded, all craftsmen and miners (some not by choice), and their craftiness led to literal Steampunk tech such as Steam (mecha)Golems and steam-powered mounts. There are some differences from the standard model here. They are actually shorter-lived than humans, an elderly dwarf being about 30, and they play up the resistance to magic. They were actually forced by The Empire of Atlantis into slavery, mining for magic Phlebotinum because they were immune to the deadly radiation. They joined the Black Powder Rebels in order to free their comrades from this slavery.
  • Munchkin: Dwarfs are stereotypically short and stocky. Unlike other games, their racial focus is not strength or durability; it's being capable of carrying more cards and items.
  • The Jotun of New Horizon were once compared to dwarves, except being huge wafans instead of short humans. Subsequently a group of dwarves raided the forum, decapitated the person who made the claim, and told everybody never to compare them to war machines again.
  • Rifts: Dwarves come in a couple different varieties, each of which comes from a different dimension. Regular dwarves come out of the Palladium Fantasy dimension, and exhibit all the classic characteristics, including a deep-seated cultural aversion to magic. Pantheons of the Megaverse has dwarves that represent the dwarves from Norse Mythology, right down to being the creators of Mjölnir. There's also races like the Dwarf Forgemasters from the Three Galaxies setting and the technologically adept and rune magic-using Nuhr Dwarves, but they're all basically variations on a theme. A list that circulates around message boards and other sites called "You Know You've Been Playing Rifts for Too Long When..." has an item in it that reads "You've ever made a Dwarf character whose name did not have 'axe' or 'beard' in it."
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Played about as straight as it comes, though Warhammer Dwarfs are most definitely Dwarfs and not Dwarves. Dwarfs (called Dawi in their own language) are honourable, solid, humourless, conservative beyond imagining and treat everything as Serious Business: a Warhammer dwarf either gives 100% to whatever he's doing, or he's dead. Female Dwarfs in Warhammer are not bearded, despite in-universe rumors to the contrary, but tend to look like plump, braid-haired viking maidens straight out of a Wagner opera; they also make up less than five percent of the Dwarven population, as most Dwarf births are boys. That said, they do have some eccentricities:
    • Dwarfs don't tend to speak with a Scottish accent, but with a thick Yorkshire accent — the ubiquitous English stereotype of Yorkshiremen being that they are gruff, grumpy mining folk with a strong disdain for soft southerners and their airy-fairy ways (and it is no accident that Warhammer's Elves speak just like those refined and aristocratic upper-class southerners). The Gotrek & Felix novels play with the accent, introducing a Dwarf character whose speech is a comically exaggerated version of a real Scottish brogue. Even the other Dwarfs can't understand him half the time.
    • They take immense pride in their beards, which they grow throughout their lives and never cut unless in penance for some great shame or failure. They are often elaborately braided and decorated, and a Dwarf's social status as he ages is determined by the length of his beard — mature adults are called "Fullbeards", while elders are "Longbeards". Forcibly shaving a Dwarf is one of the greatest insults imaginable. The women, being beardless, instead grow out long, pleated braids that serve the same social function as their brothers' facial hair.
    • Their technological superiority is also notable. These Dwarfs have guns. (No Fantasy Gun Control here!) And cannons. And helicopters. And Ironclad submarines. This is in spite of them being so utterly conservative that any widely-used design had to have went through decades of testing and refinement to be considered acceptable (the aforementioned guns still has plenty of Dwarfs grumbling about the troubles with these "new"fanged curios compared to the old reliable crossbows). They also have the "love for alcohol" base covered. They have ale that is so filled with nutrients that they can literally survive on it alone. Bonus points to the fact that they distill their helicopter fuel from it!
    • There's also their most defining trait: Their hat is Revenge Before Reason. Dwarfs nurse a grudge like a human would nurse a family heirloom — in fact, many dwarf Grudges are family heirlooms, passed down through generations. All dwarfholds keep a big book called the Book of Grudges, and if you ever wrong a dwarf from that hold, they write that wrong down in the book and remember it. Forever. Grudges all have set standards for fulfillment, usually disproportionately high, and Dwarfs will never stop until it is repaid. Ever. Classic example: a White Dwarf Dwarf vs. Empire battle report that resulted in heavy casualties for both sides was justified by a backstory that explained why the Dwarfs were attacking: Six years ago, an Empire lord underpaid the Dwarf workers who built the castle by two and a half pennies — as far as the lord (and sane real-life human beings) are concerned, it's simply a matter of a few missing coins, but to the Dwarfs, you have cheated them out of money, and for that, you must die. Common consensus of Dwarf society (only aired by elves and humans when safely out of dwarf earshot) is that they're driving themselves to extinction pursuing centuries-old wrongs.
    • Dwarf tendencies towards Serious Business and honour also leads to the quirk of the Slayer. What does a Dwarf do if he or she is shamed or dishonoured (such as failing to uphold a grudge, failing to not treat something as seriously as it should be treated, or producing shoddy work that injures or fails another Dwarf)? They become shamed in the eyes of Dwarf society and become Slayers, walking out into the wilderness with nothing on but a pair of pants and a mohawk to find the biggest, meanest beasties and hopefully die trying to kill them. Some of the most (or least) successful Slayers are veteran warriors who have killed everything from demonic personifications of primal rage to dragons the length of football pitches. And they do all this because honor demands it. The only alternative to being a Slayer is being a submarine crewman: Dwarfs hate and fear water with unrivaled fervor. The majority choose to become Slayers. Yeah.
    • Interestingly, while the individual Dwarf in Warhammer is fairly slow (it's the little legs), Dwarf infantry is effectively among the fastest in the game. This is because the game mechanics say that you can't march (read: move at double your normal speed) when there are enemies within 8". Dwarfs, by virtue of being Determinators, can ignore that rule, and effectively always march. Apart from when they charge. The result is that army of short bearded guys is going to tactically outmaneuver you by landing their gyrocopters 7" behind your lines and so suddenly everyone but your cavalry is being outpaced.
    • In a way this is not the case in-universe. To the humans of the Empire, Dwarfs have an extremely conservative and homogeneous culture, but in truth, each Karak has its own unique cultural quirks. The Dwarfs of Barak Varr for instance are actually quite progressive and friendly because their Karak is built into a cliff on the coast as opposed to an isolated mountain, and Barak Varr is a major maritime and trade hub so the dwarfs here interact with other races often; the now-extinct "Norse Dwarfs" of Kraka Drak on the other hand were isolated in Norsca away from the main Dwarf centres in the Old World for thousands of years, and as such not only were they lagging behind technologically but their language and culture were practically unrecognisable to any Dwarf from an Old World Karak, and they were much more grim and warlike because of their constant battles with the forces of Chaos.
    • Finally, there's the Warhammer take on Evil Counterpart dwarfs. The Chaos Dwarfs (Dawi-Zharr, "fire dwarfs"), a subfaction whose aesthetics were based on ancient Mesopotamia: Diabolical, slave-driving fascists worshipping a Chaos God in the form of a bull (after a group of dwarfs were trapped by a cave-in and he was the only one to answer their prayers), led by evil warlocks addicted to Black Magic, which gradually turned their bodies to stone. While they've been always been part of the lore, their army list and models were dropped by Games Workshop after 5th edition due to a lack of sales. Chaos Dwarfs still appeared as warmachine crew for Chaos armies in later editions, but sadly missing their traditional magnificent hats. Do not mention their existence to the normal Dwarfs.
  • The Forge Fathers in Warpath are space dwarves through and through. A race of miners and industrialists with very advanced technology that decks their soldiers in Power Armor and builds stompy Mini-Mecha. Not much is known about them, though, mostly because they are very secretive and determined.
  • The Uvandir of Wicked Fantasy basically turn the typical dwarf stereotypes up a notch or three and play it for some mild Black Comedy. They seem to be a One-Gender Race, but the truth is that they're actually genderless Artificial Humanoids psionically shaped from stone — this incidentally makes them a Dying Race because the free Uvandir don't know how to make new ones. They're inherently able to communicate with each other non-verbally, so they hate talking to excess and see it as the mark of a fool, which is why they don't get on so well with other races. They're rude and gruff because they're actually very emotionally sensitive, and are prone to attacks of melancholy so intense they can end up permanently reverting to stone if they get too depressed, and so they try to avoid forming attachments with the shorter-lived races.
  • Winterweir's Bathas are evil sociopathic slavers but still live underground and have an interest in wealth. They also invent things.

  • Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, epic predecessor and undoubted inspiration to Tolkien (the clue's in the title). His Nibelung dwarves are, true to their Norse roots, subterranean miners and metalcrafters. His dwarven brothers Alberich and Mime inspired the thieving dwarf Mîm who appears in The Silmarillion. Oddly enough they are sometimes referred to as black elves. These legends of course all predate Wagner by a fair few centuries. Tolkien was quite adamant his works were not based of Wagner's Operas. The Nibelung are possibly an allegory of Jews. Considering Wagner was quite anti-Semitic this is probably right.

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura,:
    • Played mostly straight including what may be one of the earliest examples of the now-standard Scottish accent as spoken by NPC Magnus Shalefist. Females are never seen, so all dwarves are the same; bearded stocky men. Asking about dwarf women is a surefire way to send a male into a homicidal rage. The "mostly" comes in because it's the Steampunk 1880s, some dwarves exchange their armor for tailcoats, and dwarves are the most technologically-apt of all the races. Even so, however, this mostly manifests in dwarves being master smiths with an advanced understanding of materials science; traditional dwarves would never use a steam engine to replace the power of their muscles, and therein lies a large part of the game's plot.
    • Ironically enough, Magnus Shalefist is a city dwarf (named Malcolm Schuylefest) transparently compensating for his lack of dwarf-ness, something Virgil snarks at: his only information on dwarves is a cringingly bad book of stereotypes (written by a human even) and he cites made-up rules like never revealing one's clan name that other dwarves (or even a dwarf Player Character) have never heard of. Keep him as a follower, though, and he'll turn out to be descended from the legendary Iron Clan.
  • Battle for Wesnoth's dwarf faction are pretty standard-issue, apart from the fact they're fanatical about history and record-keeping: Their "cleric" equivalent in the roster is called the Lorekeeper. They also field the distinctly Ancient Grome-flavoured "Dwarven legionary" (a Stone Wall type that gets stat bonuses from having other similar units in an adjacent hex) alongside some much more Norse-inspired units, including a literal Berserker.
  • In Ghost Ship Games's Deep Rock Galactic, the dwarven protagonists are short, have beards reaching their knees, love beer, are really good at engineering and will dive anywhere for valuable ores, including hostile alien planets no one else wants. So even in outer space and carrying miniguns, a dwarf is the same everywhere. Small exception are that the dwarven accent is Danish and some of them are clean-shaven.
  • Delve Deeper. It's played mostly for laughs, but they're about as generic as it gets.
  • The Mountain and Hill Dwarves in Dungeon Crawl were standard issue. This led to them being Demoted to Extra; they were too Boring Yet Practical and didn't offer any interesting options. Deep Dwarves, described below, are another story altogether.
  • In Gems of War, the dwarven troops fit the typical image of fantasy dwarves exactly — bearded, grumpy, interested in subterranean wealth acquisition, technologically inclined.
  • Golden Sun's dwarves, in the Loho mining camp from The Lost Age, probably don't have Scottish accents, since Funetik Aksent is used for the two humans with Scottish accents but not the dwarves. Additionally, some are historians, which is why the dwarves are in Loho, excavating the ruins there. However, they all have awesome facial hair and a love for digging — "If you live in Loho and don't dig, you just don't belong" — and the only visible female in town is the human innkeeper, so they otherwise fit this trope perfectly.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Two "Dwarven Swordsmiths" can upgrade the Master Sword into the stronger Tempered Sword. They are the only dwarves to appear in the entire series, and nothing is made of their presence in a village otherwise made up entirely of Hylians.
  • Lusternia: Lampshaded. The dwarven people were originally called the Clangoru (having descended from the Elder God Clangorum); when the humans arrived in Lusternia from a different dimension, they puzzled everyone by calling the Clangoru dwarves. They did this because the Clangoru — alone of every other mortal race — were recognisable to the humans, being indistinguishable from the dwarves of their native dimension.
  • In Mace: The Dark Age, a Soul Edge style weapons-based 3D fighter for the Nintendo 64, the dwarves are represented by hidden character Gar Gudrunnson. His people are mountain-dwellers enslaved by despotic Lord Deimos (think Nightmare with his own kingdom) to build his weapons of war. Gar is among a handful of rebels, and his weapon is an enormous steam-powered Warmech, ironically making him the largest character in the game and one of the few who are original. He's rather overpowered though, and is more on par with sub-boss Grendal due to his enormous strength and the fact that he can't be thrown or Executed. The mace enslaves him and the other dwarves and it motivates them to wage war on mankind.
  • Majesty has dwarves as one of your recruitable classes. They fall on the smith/engineer side of the scale; their fortresses can only be built once you have a Level 2 Blacksmith in your kingdom. They have horny viking helmets and are hammer-wielding Mighty Glaciers whose voice lines emphasize how much they love hard work and building things. They're also mutually exclusive with Elves, although they won't come to a kingdom with gnomes either.
  • Master of Magic has a fairly stereotypical dwarves: tough, hard-working, good at mining and climbing mountains, but not fond of ships. They also make golems and steam cannons.
  • Myth: Dwarves there are short, construct underground cities, are good with gadgets, greedy, and have chemistry far beyond that of the other races leading to them becoming explosive and demolition experts. However, instead of sounding Scottish, they are voiced to sound more like crabby old men.
  • Neverwinter Nights: In both games, this is both played straight and averted. When it's played straight, it's hilarious.
    • Averted: Neverwinter Nights features the possible henchman and later a boss in an expansion Grimgnaw. He's a Monk of the Order of the Long Death, which as you can guess from the name, isn't exactly a nice group. He's the only henchman with an Evil alignment, and has a fascination with death that is damn creepy. He isn't loud and boisterous, is bald and has no beard, and doesn't need a giant hammer or axe to kick some serious ass. He loves to send people to the Silent Lord, often in the most violent way possible.
    • Neverwinter Nights 2, on the other hand, features Khelgar Ironfist, who is a stereotypical dwarf to the extreme, drinking lots of ale without paying, being very loud and fantastically racist, and is easily provoked and will start a fight with a group of drunk sailors just because one of them agreed with him. Ironically enough, Khelgar also can become a monk, just like his polar opposite Grimgnaw, a possible reference to NWN1. As with most dwarves, he's not a good fit at all for the class without a lot of nudging, he just knows he likes being able to beat things up with his fists.
  • Overlord deliberately exaggerates all dwarf stereotypes for comedic effect. Drinking, mining gold, hoarding gold, doing something altogether unsanitary to gold, sporting gigantic beards, wielding enormous axes, and harassing elves is basically their entire function. They have even less personality than the elves, which is impressive considering that the elves spend all their lives bewailing their lot and talking about how awesome they used to be. In fact, the only sound you get from a dwarf is a grunt. Followed by axe swing/flamethrower.
  • Barik from Paladins is very much a typical dwarf. Scottish accent, short and muscular, extravagant beard, and a master engineer. The only thing he doesn't do is fight with an axe, preferring to use a blunderbuss.
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords: Khrona doesn't hide her most obvious gender identifiers, but still sports a nice, long beard. The Warlords universe in general plays around with this, in the form of regular dwarves, and Dark Dwarves, playing a somewhat similar role to dark elves. Both are industrious and warlike, but the two are quite different : Regular dwarves are affable, somewhat jolly, love partying enough that they have zero problem going to war drunk, and prefer fighting personally, decking themselves out in heavy armor and carrying magnificent melee weaponry. Dark Dwarves are grim, science-obsessed, disregard nature in the face of progress to the point of resembling Captain Planet villains, and prefer to fight in a more advanced manner than their good cousins, with extremely powerful and advanced siege weaponry and tremendously strong metallic golems.
  • In RuneScape, the dwarfs are an Industrial Era society in an otherwise medieval world, and are ruled by a consortium of major mining companies. Economic inequality between the working class and wealthier dwarfs is a theme in their storyline. Aside from this, they play the trope fairly straight.
  • Shining Series: Dwarves are a recurring race, at least in the older games. They follow the Tolkien/D&D model fairly closely — most dwarves are axe-wielding warriors. They are not slowed down by hill terrain, which makes them surprisingly mobile.
  • In the Suikoden, the Falenan Dwarves all fall into this mold. They live underground, are renowned for their mining and digging skills as well as for being the best blacksmiths in the region. They're are also rather secretive and usually keep to themselves, not over Xenophobic concerns but as a result of a general indifference towards the affairs of the other races in the setting.
  • Two dwarves appear in Tales of Symphonia, with one of them being the foster father of the hero, Lloyd Irving. And of course, they're both short, bushy-bearded, thick-accented craftsmen. In Tales of Phantasia, which takes place about 4,000 years after Symphonia, dwarves are extinct, though their ruins are intact. A skit mentioned that the majority of the dwarves are hidden by Cruxis somewhere in Derris Kharlan as they use them for maintaining machinery, so they may have still be living on the comet.
  • Vambrace: Cold Soul: Short and beardy? Check. Scottish accent? Check. More industrial than the other races? Check. They also usually have generically Scandinavian names, despite the Scottish accent.
  • The World of Mana series has always included dwarves that fit this mold.
    • In Final Fantasy Adventure, you eventually meet a colony of dwarves, but they don't do much besides point you in the direction of a product you have to buy to save one of their dwarf friends. Once you do buy it and go on a quest to save him, you will find out that his only "companion" ability is to sell you basic items that you might need to break him out of the dungeon. Once you do get him out and back to the dwarf cave, he thanks you the only way dwarves know selling back to you the items he made out of the silver you risked your life to get him.
    • Secret of Mana has Watts, which continues this. He is a dwarf who basically knows that your party is out to save the world, and so he only continues to forge your weapons in exchange for increasingly massive amounts of money. He's probably saving up to buy the entire Gold City, and with his smithing skill, he probably could.
    • In Trials of Mana, the Dwarves look like a cross between a Wookie and a teddy bear with glowing eyes, wear Viking-style helmets, and speak like Old West prospectors.
  • ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal: Local dwarves are short, stocky humanoids who reside mainly in the underground village of Monagham. Their language slightly resembles German, and their currency is crystals, rather than coins that the rest of Zanzarah uses. They also dislike magic, preferring to use technology and Magitek, and the dwarf that sells magic spells for your fairies is a blacksmith.
  • Warcraft Several notable dwarf subraces fit the standard dwarf mold well, whilst adding some unique bits.
    • The most prominent dwarves in modern lore are the Ironforge dwarves, they live in the city of Ironforge and are the most archetypal of the dwarfs. Ironforge Dwarves are stout short little men with scottish accents and a love of mining. Downplayed when the revelation of their titan origins led to a surge in interest in archeology and knowledge in dwarven society. Their king Magni Bronzebeard even ordered that the main dwarven industry be switched from mining to archeology. Now you'll find just as many explorers, scientists, archaeologists and scholars among the dwarves as you will miners and blacksmiths. That said, their interest in archeology and exploring, sometimes leads dwarves to {{greed} and even Evil colonization, Depending on the Writer anyhow. Due to their proximity with humans, they adopted, albeit with lesser fervour, the humans' cult of the Holy Light. Another unique aspect of Ironforge dwarves is the ability to temporarily turn into stone which lets them remove status ailments and increase their defense for 8 seconds. Their role in the games are listed below.
      • Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness: Ironforge Dwarves are play mainly a background role as the inventors of the Alliance military's cannons and other artillery. The only Ironforge Dwarf unit is the "Dwarven Demolition Squad", two fast and fragile dwarves that will blow themselves up to destroy obstacles, buildings, and enemy troops.
      • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: With High Elves getting Demoted to Extra and Gnomes disappearing, Ironforge Dwarves get a much more expanded role. Dwarven Rifleman are the new Alliance's ranged troops and the Dwarf Mortor Team replaces the Dwarven Demolition Squad. In the gnome's lieu, Dwarf take the techrole providing an armed gyrocopter and a Steam Tank. Finally Ironforge Dwarves have a Hero Unit, the mountain King, a melee unit that Dual Wields a hammer and an axe.
      • World of Warcraft: Ironforge Dwarfs are the main playable dwarf and gain their interst in archeology. Prior to the expansion pack Cataclysm, Ironforge dwarves mostly fit into the typical melee archetype, with their only available classes being physical damage dealers and tanks, with the exception of Priests and Paladins. But after the expansion, dwarves gained the ability to be Mages, Warlocks, and Shamans (explained in lore by the Wildhammer and Dark Iron clans joining Ironforge, with the Wildhammer teaching Shamanism and the Dark Iron bringing arcane and dark magic), making them the most versatile Alliance race (they can be any class but Druids), and make perfectly viable casters in addition to brawny melee and hunters (though their passive racial bonuses still favor melee more than magic). They can also be any job, so dwarven leatherworkers, herbalists, and fishermen aren't unheard of. They are not limited to mining and blacksmithing like the stereotypical fantasy dwarf.
    • The next kind are the Dark Iron Dwarves, who are an Evil Counterpart Race to Ironforge Dwarves, taking heavy inspiration from the Duergar from Dungeons & Dragons. Dark Iron Dwarves did not appear in the RTS games and were introduced in World of Warcraft. They have the standard dwarf build combined with grey skin and red eyes and were until recently enslaved by a massive fire elemental (that they summoned in a failed attempt to destroy the other two clans). They're pyromaniacs with strong magical abilities and were written as Always Chaotic Evil until their leader joined the Alliance in Cataclysm, live deeper underground than their Ironforge cousins, are much more educated in magic, and stealth. After they joined the Alliance, playable Ironforge Dwarves gained the option to become Mages and Warlocks suggesting an intermixing of culture between the two. The fact that the king of the Ironforge's daughter married the Dark Iron emperor, and her son, and future king, is half Ironforge-and-half Dark Iron, has caused much consternation among the dwarves. As of Battle For Azeroth, Dark Iron Dwarves have become a playable race for the Alliance.
    • Beyond this you have various proto-dwarves. There are the Earthen, which are stone-flesh creations of the titans that the dwarves evolved from. The frost dwarves, who are the frozen counterparts to the Wildhammers. They are descended more directly from the Earthen as indicated by their proximity to the Titan Architecture found around their homeland. And the iron dwarves, which artificial dwarves that serve as Mecha-Mooks for an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Female Dwarves are actually quite common in dwarf settlements and for the most part look like short, stout women of average attractiveness. However, among the player base they are quite rare (perhaps in part due to the fact they are just plain looking compared to other races). Lore mentions bearded women that are considered quite beautiful among dwarves, however, none are shown in game outside of the unreleased Warcraft Adventures Lord Of The Clans.
    • As mentioned above, the technology aspect of the dwarves exists but is typically overshadowed by the gnomes when they're present. The technology basically breaks down into two categories: anything that can be made reliable, cost-effective, and useful on the battlefield will be adopted by the dwarves, i.e. tanks, guns, gyrocopters. The gnomes manage the overly-expensive, unreliable and quirky technology, as per their Mad Scientist hat. If it's cheap, unreliable, and dangerous, that's goblin territory.
    • Ironforge Dwarves are usually shown to not have great relations with the High Elves, as well as their Blood elf successors, though this is typically overshadowed due to their greater enmity with other races like orcs and Trolls. That said, a few High Elves and Ironforge Dwarves do bond over a shared love of history and scholarship. Ironforge Dwarves don't have any beef with Night Elves. The War of the Ancients novels implied that dwarven ancestors helped the Night Elves prior to the Sundering. Whatever enmity dwarves may have with Nightborne subrace of Night Elves has more to do with them being Horde, rather than being elves.
    • Another major difference is relation. Unlike other fiction which tends to put humans and elves as kin, revelations some humans and gnomes were capable of the same "turn your skin into metal or stone" trick dwarves could and further elaboration about each races' histories as the descendants of titan creations showed humans, dwarves, and gnomes had common ancestry. When a human time traveled to before elves knew of humanity, he was mistaken for an extra tall dwarf.

  • Alfdis & Gunnora has an all-dwarf cast, of the bearded woman variety.
  • Beaches and Basilisks has a dwarf claim that everything about dwarves can be summarized as "beards, booze, and battle."
  • Dominic Deegan' includes Dwarves in its array of races, and from their first appearance, we have bearded females, and a long-standing rivalry with Halflings. Mostly over beer nowadays.
  • The Dreamland Chronicles: Just look at them.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • All dwarves in the Order of the Stick universe drink beer, have two livers, worship the Nordic Pantheon and are short. A few of them (such as Durkon, "Kaboom" Redaxe, Sigdi, Hoskin and Kandro) have thick pseudo-Scottish accents. The only thing unusual about the dwarves is a shared dendrophobia (fear of trees) for added wackiness.
    • Lampshaded by the Cleric of Loki.
      Cleric of Loki: Can you tell me anything that differentiates him from any other dwarf?
    • However, Durkon himself is a custom model. Unlike other dwarves, he rarely swears or loses his temper. He almost always remains calm and serves as the voice of reason in the party. He is unfailingly loyal and honest. His primary role on The Team is Good Shepherd /Combat Medic instead of a blacksmith or warrior. One wonders how he ended up worshiping Thor (who in this setting, acts like a well-meaning frat boy.)
    • Granted, a later issue reveals that Thor told the dwarf race about the deal Hel and Loki made, in that Hel would get the souls of all dwarves, minus those who died honorably, in exchange for not having normal clerics. As such, Thor's information was what made the dwarves into such the honor-bound race they are today...and why he's so venerated amongst them.
    • Hilariously enough, the Dwarven language is literally just English with said Funetik Aksent. Durkon is unaware of this.
    Roy: reading over a letter Durkon is sending back to his homeland You know, you don't have to transcribe your accent.
    Durkon: Transcribe my what now?
    Roy: Never mind.
    • A huge part of the penultimate story arc's narrative purpose was to make sure there's more to Durkon's character than "is a dwarf".
    • Of all the dwarves to feature in the comic, Hilgya Firehelm, Durkon's onetime lover, is really the only atypical one, and is called out for being such: though she's a cleric who wears the typical heavy armor, she's a Chaotic Evil worshiper of Loki, with her defining trait being her extreme selfishness and total lack of respect for honor. However, according to her, since she worships the god of selfish dishonor, her actions are technically in line with dwarven honor codes.
  • Pieces Of Eights: It turns out that the Island Dwarves used to be astronomers, not miners. This came about as a result of the last big war and shake up in the world.
  • Twice Blessed has Vadim as a main character, who meets most dwarf stereotypes, but comes from a Russian-type culture and has a matching accent, drinks Vodka, uses the word "brother" in place of "laddie", and never seems to feel the need to point out that he is a dwarf.

    Web Original 
  • Diggy Diggy Hole from the Yogscast is a catchy music video for this trope, and neatly illustrates how the song could be about any author's dwarves. The dwarves mine, drink, sing, and fight goblins in their vast underground fortress.
    Born underground, suckled from a teat of stone
    Raised in the dark, the safety of our mountain home
    Skin made of iron, steel in our bones
    To dig and dig makes us free, come on brothers sing with me
  • Dorf Quest's Beardbeard, and every other dorf we've seen, has been this trope taken to psychotic extremes — every problem can be solved with a Drinking Contest, violence, or a violent drinking contest.
  • The Fantasy Novelists Exam warns against the use of this trope.
    Is any character in your novel best described as a "dour dwarf?"
  • In The Salvation War, Belial's Elaborate Underground Base of Palelabor is staffed by a horde of very squat, heavyset demons with long gray beards, who are, for all intents and purposes, dwarves.
  • Tales From My D&D Campaign's dwarves are typical in that they are greedy, stocky, bearded miners, craftsman and merchants, who worship Moradin, like axes and drinking, compete fiercely against each other yet band together all the more fiercely against any external threat, discovered Adamantine (and possibly Mithril), and used to live in mountain dwarfholds. They may slightly diverge as they were driven from the dwarfholds centuries ago, the survivors resettling in more traditional towns all down the Diamond Coast, and they are even know to crew sailing ships (though most don't swim, and their hulls are metal-plated, as you would expect from Dwarf-boats).

These Dwarves are More Dwarvergent

    Comic Books 
  • In ElfQuest even thought they're called trolls, the trolls are identical in every way (except being green) to stereotypical Dwarves. However Two-Edge, a half-troll half-elf looks identical to a typical dwarf but is bat-shit insane.
  • In Castle Waiting, Hammerlings are short, hairy miners and engineers with much fewer women than men. However, they're considered to be notoriously sneaky and devious, and are widely accused of War for Fun and Profit to create a market for their magic weapons. This is because Castle Waiting is more influenced by The Brothers Grimm than Tolkien.
  • Gold Digger Dwarves have optional beards on both sexes, no specific accents, aren't all short tempered and have plenty of non-miners, but otherwise fit the mold. A female Dwarf villain, G'nolga, insists that the beauty of dwarf women is legendary. While she and other dwarf females definitely don't look bad (her bespectacled sister Merigold is downright adorable), one does wonder how much of this comes from G'nolga being acknowledged as one of the ten strongest fighters on the planet.
  • In Magic Powder, the dwarves of Thesz resemble Black people, but shorter and stockier, and their women often have facial hair. While mining is still a part of their culture, the ones in Thesz more often work in organized crime.

    Fan Works 
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: Although Tyrion isn't a dwarf in the fantasy sense (see the entries for A Song of Ice and Fire and Warhammer Fantasy), the Wolf seems to think Tyrion is one, listing his courage (going up to and unchaining two dragons), killing a man with a shield, and ability to hold his drink. Tyrion is torn between finally being recognized for his worth... and said approval coming from a brutal savage even more barbaric than the Mountain.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The film version of The Hobbit took pains to avert this trope. The dwarves are all short, hairy, and crusty, but they have great variety in their faces, beards, clothing, body types, personalities and weaponry. Particularly notable are Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli, who all benefit from varying degrees of Adaptational Attractiveness, with Kíli's Perma-Stubble practically making him a Bishōnen by dwarf standards. They also have accents that range throughout Britain, from Scotland to Ireland and Wales. Glóin, the most stereotypical of the dwarves, is the father of Gimli, who is arguably the modern day codifier of the trope.
  • In Van Helsing, a bunch of wicked, sharp-toothed dwarf-like creatures called "dwergi" reassemble Dr. Frankenstein's equipment for Dracula.

  • Adventurers Wanted features dwarves that mostly fit the standard. Even the women are bearded, A mix of Scottish and Germanic accents, a hard drinking, poison resistant, etc. The one thing that is added is that these dwarves are seafarers. Dwarven raiding parties terrorize the coasts in their long ships as dwarves with dane axes and spectacle helms go I-Viking.

  • The Acts of Caine: They are called Stonebenders ("Dwarves" is a racial slur used by humans) and do all of their stone- and metalwork with their bare hands.
  • While otherwise played straight, a notable subversion in the web novel 'The Beginning After The End' is that Dwarves don't live underground because they want to; it's because the inhospitable climate of their homeland makes it impossible for them to build permanent settlements on the surface. They actually really resent having to live there and envy the more hospitable lands inhabited by elves and humans, because spending their entire lives in dark caves and halls isn't easy or comfortable. This resentment plays a major role in the story and results in their betrayal of the other races when an enemy from another continent promises them better lands and easier lives.
  • Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have tried to avert this. The Death Gate Cycle was basically about what happens to Tolkienesque races' cultures when put in completely different worlds, and The Sovereign Stone trilogy recast them as Mongol-style nomads (the Elves were Japanese). Didn't really work, because the dwarves always got the least characterization, but they tried.
  • R. A. Salvatore's Demon Wars saga has dwarves who are also called powries. They've got a lot of the typical dwarf traits — short, stocky, tough, and bearded. However, they're also an incredibly aggressive Proud Warrior Race who mostly interact with humans only when raiding them, live on an archipelago and are famous for their "barrelboats" (low-slung ships that the powries, with their superhuman endurance, paddle fast enough to catch most human ships), and maintain their physical prowess with Blood Magicnote . They're all around nasty pieces of work, and while not quite Always Chaotic Evil (they demonstrate loyalty to each other and extend respect towards non-powries who they consider sufficiently badass, at least) most humans hate and fear them — a reputation the powries themselves are happy to encourage.
  • The urZrethi of The Dragon Crown War initially appear to be bog-standard dwarves, but are gradually revealed to be quite different. They are a race of short, stocky expert smiths and miners who live in elaborate subterranean mountain fortresses and have a lifespan measured in centuries. However, they're also a matriarchy, have limited Voluntary Shapeshifting powers, were created by overthrown elder gods to dig them out of the prisons the dragons stuck them in (a cause most urZrethi ended up abandoning after a disastrous war with the dragons), and the fem!Sauron-esque Big Bad is actually a half-urZrethi (and half-dragon) who uses her shapeshifting abilities to look sort-of-elven. Turns out that they're not actually restricted to the "short, stocky humanoid" model, they just find it fairly utilitarian.
  • Flint Fireforge, from the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy, was originally going to be a well-dressed fop. Eventually, though, they decided against this, and just made him the standard dwarf. The well-dressed fop concept later became the preferred mortal guise of Reorx, god of the forge.
  • In Jenna Rhodes Elven Ways series, the dwarf-like Dwellers are a stand-in for both Tolkien's dwarves and hobbits. They are the first race of the particular world and while they have some affinity for underground, their earthly link is more towards forests and fields. They have a Dwarf's usual inhuman toughness, but they have the Hobbits love for home, comfort and good food.
  • The First Dwarf King plays with the standard dwarf model. On one hand, men have wicked-looking beards, dwarves can fight with the best of them, and they wield axes and warhammers in battle. On the other hand, dwarven women lack facial hair (and are cute but tough), the entire race is not so much a nation as a loosely-connected country of hunters and farmers, and most (though not all) of the population live above ground, going underground only in times of great need.
  • Averted comedically in Grailblazers by Tom Holt. Toenail the dwarf (brother Hangnail, cousin Chillblain) is about 3 feet tall, clean-shaven, and decidedly not a warrior. He goes and hides in baskets or under tables when trouble threatens. Dwarves in general are servants to the knightly class; they're the ones who clean the floor and polish the armor. They are also extremely clever at solving puzzles, riddles, and crosswords; since they're too short to reach the pool table and too weak to throw darts, that's all they have to do at the pub on their nights off. note 
  • The Valerians of the Lensman: The Valerians are a strong, tough, axe-wielding Proud Warrior Race, but they're really human Heavyworlders, not fantasy dwarves. Also, the shortest Valerian described stands at above 7ft tall in his stockinged feet.
  • The dwarves in The Lost Years of Merlin are pretty standard, but contrary to the "masculine" and "magic-hating" tropes, they're ruled by a queen, Urnalda, who is also one of the most powerful magic-users in Fincayra.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard keeps the bit about being skilled smiths (with the exception of the main character's friend, Blitz) but retain some odd tidbits from Norse Mythology: they evolved from maggots and come from a world of pure darkness, with sunlight gradually turning them to stone. Also, in this setting the "Svartalfar" (usually translated as "dark elves") are actually a subrace of dwarves with Divine Parentage, making them taller and more attractive (by self-proclamation).
  • Possible example: Gregory Maguire's Mirror, Mirror, in which the eight (yep) dwarves are, at least initially, shapeshifters. They're also far more, well, mineral than your typical humanoid character.
  • Humboldt in No More Heroes is a sensitive, snack-serving Dwarf who is part of a clan cursed to maintain the traps and monsters within the Crypts of Ramen, and who seems genuinely sad knowing that everyone who comes though the Crypts will almost certainly die. His greatest passion is reading love poetry and he's reduced to a mess of tears when our heroes tell him a modern love story from Earth: Titanic.
  • Oracle of Tao: The dwarves are basically played to very Germanic archetypes. Male dwarves meaning a classic size of about three feet, built like a barrel and loaded with muscles (to the point where they apparently can't run). The women wear dirndls, are almost two feet taller and lean yet buxom, with no muscle mass to speak of. They are just as capable of punching a hole in a rock wall however. Dwarves are apparently very shy, only meeting each other at drinking festivals or when tunnels overlap. Also, those not around humans much (Phim seems to ignore this) talk like Scottish miners or something, using words like "lass" and "derned". They have skin so tough as to be runeproof (though indirect effects like earthquakes or hot ground can still harm them, a fireball would just singe their clothes).
  • A Practical Guide to Evil: The dwarves, (nearly five feet tall, very tough, leathery skin, big, owl-like eyes, very longliving and as strong as orks) rather than a dwindling remnant, are depicted at the height of their power with an empire that spans the entire continent of Calernia beneath the surface. All of their traditional negative traits are amplified — they believe that no one but a dwarf can actually own property and so dwarves travelling the surface customarily steal everything that isn't nailed down. Surface dwellers are generally too fearful of the power of the Kingdom Under to object, due to their habit destroying entire surface cities when vexed. They also lay claim to all the mineral wealth on the continent below a certain depth, regardless of whether or not they are actually mining it at the time.
  • Rogues of the Republic: A calm, industrious race known for clever machines and a near-utopian society where everyone tries to help everyone else. Also, they don't live underground, though they do mine as much as any other industrial race would have to.
  • In Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series Beetle-kinden are essentially clean shaven dwarves in a Clock Punk/Steampunk setting. Short, stocky, technological and capitalistic with the Collegium beetles emphasizing the tech side and the Helleron Beetles emphasizing the capitalist side.
  • The Shannara series has dwarves mutated from human stock (like most of the races of the books) but with the added caveat that, due to their ancestors' millennia of hiding in shelters, they are claustrophobic and dislike going underground. They actually appropriate the typical elven skill in that they are skilled woodsmen, and their crafts are mostly carved from wood rather than stone, and are famous for their gardens and dams.
  • Dwarves in The Spiderwick Chronicles resemble much like most depictions, but draw more from their depictions in European fairy lore. They are entirely subterranean (they can't stand bright light), reproduce by carving others of their kind from stone, and are miners and craftsmen. However, their centuries-long lifespans means they greatly pity the shorter-lived beings and try to improve on nature with mechanical replicas or preserving living beings in glass coffins for immortal slumber. They serve as the antagonists of the 4th book in the original series, under Mulgarath's orders.
  • In Trash of the Count's Family, there are several tribes of dwarves, and while they aren't described in detail, none seem to fit the standard dwarf model. Most tribes are known for their proficiency in inventing and making magic tools. The Dwarves of the Flame Dwarf Tribe are unable to use magic, and therefore can't create magic tools, but their inventions are of much higher quality. Cale recruits a half-dwarf, half-Mouse Beastman to design and build things for him.
  • The dreth in A Chorus of Dragons are also called dwarves, and hit most of the expected points - they're physically hardy, mostly live underground, and have a reputation for being exceptional miners and craftsmen. However, while they're stereotyped as being shorter than humans (hence the nickname 'dwarves') it's noted that this isn't really true. It's also not specified if they have beards. Thurvishar, one of the books' main characters, is half dreth; in most ways he's indistinguishable from a pure-blooded human, but is noted to be more resistant to drugs and poisons.
  • In The World of Lightness, drawing on Northumberland folklore, the hill-dwelling Duergar enjoy malicious pranks on unwary humans. The book reveals their spiritual subjugation by Queen Olga, whose banishment of their Muses erased their capacity for affection and inspiration - while they remain skilled builders and sculptors, their emotional range has been reduced to anger and malicious glee.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Physically the Liberata of Defiance fit the trope perfectly and Word of God says that they used to be a Proud Merchant Race before being conquered by the Castithans and joining the Votan. Now they are a Proud Servant Race. They also breathe nitrogen and their hair and beards (found on both sexes) are stark white.
  • Dwarves in Ik Mik Loreland may be small and occupy their time mostly with masonry and stoneworking, but they are more akin to a Rock Monster in some aspects.
  • Star Trek:
    • The Tellarites, one of the founding members of the Federation. They had a fierce rivalry with the Vulcans, are stubborn, undiplomatic, and generally have the competence to back up their boasts, all dwarven hallmarks. They are also short and often show up in mining contexts — again, all dwarven hallmarks. Customized by also being pig men.
    • The Klingons are also a Proud Warrior Race who frequent dimly-lit great halls, drink a lot, and have an ongoing feud with the Romulans.

  • Classical Mythology:
    • The Cabeiri of Greek mythology in many ways resemble standard fantasy dwarves yet have many traits all their own. They're short craftsmen who work under Hephaestus (who is said to be the father of at least two of them). They're marginally chthonic, meaning subterranean, beings, and if a fragment from an ancient Greek play is to be believed, they enjoy a good drink and some rowdy partying now and again. However, they also have a strong association with fire, sometimes even said to have fiery eyes. They're also tied to the sea as their mother was said to be a sea nymph, and they are said to protect sailors.
    • There are also the Dactyls, who in addition to being smiths like their cabeiri counterparts, are also magicians and healers. They came into being when a Titaness, either Rhea queen of the Titans or Ankhiale the Titaness of fire, dug her fingers into the dirt of the cave she was giving birth in, and the first ten dactyls sprang up from the soil.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Castle Falkenstein has dwarves based more on the ancient Germanic myth model — supernaturally strong and resistant to fire, with chicken feet (which they hide by wearing big boots), and no females at all. When they marry, they marry Faerie women — the male children are more Dwarves, the girls are Faeries like mom. They do have the whole mining and beer obsession, but are more likely to fight with big wrenches than axes as they are the master technologists of their world. The Dwarves started out as more typical Faerie, but gave up most of the classic traits thereof in exchange for the ability to handle iron with impunity. Young Falkenstein dwarves are also raised and named by their mothers. Their main drive toward industrialism and workmanship is so they can make or discover something impressive enough to make a name for themselves with, so they don't have to introduce themselves as "Buttercup" or "Morningblossom".
  • Chronopia has dwarves follow the physical tropes - short, bearded, strong and enduring plus they're also slightly more advanced technology than the other races of the world. The divergence is how dwarven clans base their individual traditions and culture on their animal totems and therefore their gods (who in a moment of Heroic Sacrifice, saved dwarf-kind from magical annihilation but suffered a Forced Transformation into Animalistic Abomination) including equipment used (for example the Blood Bones clans are known for using Wolverine Claws). The clans have Blood Totems (caretakers of their fallen gods who have been contaminated by their divine charges's blood), who can now transform into bestial demigods. Also, while honor is important to most clans - the Vulture Clan is rather disdainful and pride themselves instead on a mercenary tradition and outlook, while the Jackal Clan utterly despise the idea of honor and have since joined a Religion of Evil. Additionally in the history of Chronopia, the Dwarves were the Token Good Teammate in the Triad with the cruel Elven Houses and the bloodthirsty Blackbloods which overthrew the human Firstborn and reduced them to slavedom.
  • The Dark Eye: The dwarves, which name themselves Angroshim, are one of the main playable races. They're a short, bearded people who usually live between 300 and 400 years. Legend says that they were created to guard to treasures of the earth and originally lived in a single empire, but have since fragmented into numerous peoples.
    • The forge dwarves live in an eponymous mountain range and embody the stereotype of bearded mountaineers who live in great underground halls and only interrupt their forge-work for adventures and mighty battles. They also view forging as a religious vocation.
    • The ore dwarves are unyieldingly conservative, obsessed with mathematics, and still live the original dwarven homelands. They distrust the open air and rarely leave their richly decorated underground holds, and scorn the other dwarves for abandoning their old traditions and for their love of excitement and celebration.
    • The hill dwarves are a hobbit-like race who lives in low hills alongside humans, and abandoned their old traditions of warfare and hardship in favor of agriculture and indulgence.
    • The diamond dwarves are former refugees who have created a new culture that places great value on art, beauty and cultured society. Ore dwarves think of diamond dwarves as happy-go-lucky dandies who have lost the fire of dwarven heritage. The diamond dwarves reply that at least they don't waste their lives sitting in the dark and brooding over long-gone glories and outdated traditions and grudges.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has produced a few dwarven subraces that break the mold.
    • The wild dwarves from Forgotten Realms are barbarians who live above ground in jungles and hunt with poisoned blades. Still very gruff and loyal, though. The same setting also has arctic dwarves, or Innugaakalikurit, who are white-haired, have no affinity for metalwork or living underground, are expert hunters and trackers, are immune to the cold but love to sunbathe until their skin burns, and favor spears and harpoons over axes. They're also short and squat even by dwarfish standards.
    • The derro are a race of insane sorcerers with traces of dwarven ancestry. They have scrawny builds, bluish skin, pale hair, and huge, pupil-less eyes, and many go beardless. They were inspired by an alien race of the same name in the works of science-fiction author/conspiracy theorist Richard Sharpe Shaver.
    • Several dwarven subraces in Dragonlance. Clan Daergar resemble common dwarves in appearance and culture, but are ruthlessly evil — or may be straight-up expies of the Duergar. Clans Theiwar and Klar are an Expy of the derro, but split into two halves; the Theiwar keep the magic and generally evil attitude, the Klar keep the appearance and the rampant insanity (racially Chaotic Neutral, but prone to being manipulated by their fellow Deep Dwarves the Daergar and Thiewar). Clan Zakhar are hairless, diseased outcasts. Finally, Clan Aghar, more commonly known as gully dwarves, are diminutive, weak, cowardly idiots who inhabit the fringes and unwanted places (garbage heaps, gullies, ruins, etc) and serve as Plucky Comic Relief (or The Scrappy).
    • 3.5 presented several environmental variants with only minor differences from the standard hill dwarf. Desert dwarves are gruff miners who are good at finding water. Glacier dwarves are gruff miners who are good at surviving in the arctic. Seacliff dwarves are gruff miners who are good at swimming. And so on.
    • Duergar, essentially the dwarf equivalent of drow, have shown up in a few settings. They tend to be grim, regimented, joyless workaholics and slave-traders.
    • Dwarves in Dark Sun are completely hairless, have absolutely no knack for metalwork at all (as metal is almost extinct on their world), are completely illiterate, have superhuman stamina, and are workaholics to such an extent that the setting's equivalent of a Banshee is created from the soul of a dwarf who died before his or her current focus-task was complete.
    • The Kogolors of Mystara play around with this trope quite heavily. They look like typical dwarves, but they prefer to build houses atop mountains rather than to live in deep underground lairs (though they do enjoy making suitable caves more livable). They aren't particularly more artistically talented than humans, save in the field of brewing liquor, in which they are masters. They also hold no particularly great reverence for builders/miners/sculptors and if anything are more appreciative of hunters and farmers, as they make most of their living as farmers, loggers, trappers, furriers, goat-herds, brewers and woodworkers. Finally, in place of the traditional dwarven grumpiness and stubbornness, Kogolors are friendly, cheerful, gregarious, and welcoming, eager to make friends with anybody who seems nice enough. Further twisting the mold, in Mystara back-lore, Kogolors are the original model of dwarves; the more iconic dwarves are an off-shoot species created by a somewhat paranoid Immortal from the heartiest Kogolors, after they began to die out in the wake of the radioactive Blackmoor disaster. The only Kogolors alive today are those preserved in the Hollow World, with the other extinct races and cultures. For icing on the cake, Kogolors have a very heavy-handed Swiss motif, complete with wearing lederhosen and those triangular hats, and having a racial proficiency in yodelling.

      If these dwarves remind you a little of gnomes, there's a good reason for that: they're also the progenitor race of gnomes, who were created by a Kogolor turned Immortal, Garal Glitterlode, to preserve his people "more accurately" than Kagyar's dwarves did, and encouraged to spread from their mountainous homes to live elsewhere and just be more adaptable.
    • In addition to the mold-twisting dwarven subraces, the gnomes of Dungeons & Dragons fall under this as well. Whilst D&D dwarves derive quite heavily from Tolkien's depiction of the dwarves, and are thus dour, heavily armored, non-magical warriors who can produce incredibly fine and even enchanted smithcraft, D&D gnomes are thus humble forest & burrow-dwelling little people with an innate affinity for magic, especially illusion, and enigmatic connections to The Fair Folk. This means they draw more heavily upon many mythological depictions of dwarves and dwarf-like fae from throughout Europe, such as Germany, Russia, Sweden and Scotland.
    • The Korobokoru in Kara-tur are inspired by the Korpokkur, little people in Ainu mythology, but are isolationist Asian dwarves. They live closer to nature than Faerun ("Western") dwarves, and this differing culture is reflected in their lack of metalwork and wild appearance.
    • Third-poarty setting Arkadia, which puts a Classical Mythology spin on D&D, is home to two dwarven subraces; the Volcano Dwarves and the Field Dwarves. Volcano Dwarves are closest to the traditional mold, except they are as famous for their glassblowing and jewel-working skills as their metalwork (which is largely based on bronze and copper rather than iron or steel). Field Dwarves split away from their volcano-dwelling kinsfolk to inhabit the gentle lowlands and worship the wilderness deity Phaedrus; they are largely a race of farmers (especially vintners), potters, masons and stoneworkers, and are renowned for their friendly natures and love of partying, making them functionally the Hobbits of Arkadia. Volcano Dwarves are teetotalers, whilst Field Dwarves love to drink — but they drink wine, not the beers, ales and other grain-based liquors traditionally associated with dwarfkind.
  • In Earthdawn dwarfs are not only known for mining and axe-swinging, they're known as builders, and not just of physical things, but civilizations as well. As a result they're the dominant race in Barsaive instead of the usual humans, especially after they built the underground "Kaers" where the Namegiver races hid out the Scourge.
  • Exalted: The Mountain Folk are a race of great craftsmen and engineers who live deep beneath Creation's surface in a rigidly ordered society within a number of underground cities. They worship Autochthon, their creator and the Primordial of machinery and invention, and seek to emulate him through acts of craftmanship and creation. They're also a diminishing people, their past glories and power shaken by many cataclysms and now beset on all sides by enemies. How closely they fit this trope varies between their castes. Workers reach between three and four feet in height and serve as their society's miners, builders and minor technicians, while Warriors grow to five feet and are stoic, steadfast and disciplined warriors. Both tend to be stocky, muscular and heavily built and are often depicted as bearded, and Workers are often shown carrying mining picks. The Craftsmen who rule Mountain Folk society are more slender and as tall as humans, and resemble elves more than anything else. All castes have pointed ears.
    • It should also be noted that the more elfin Craftsmen are actually the closest to the natural state of the Mountain Folk, the species souls having been shattered and the smaller chunks forming the Worker and Warrior Castes while only a few of the less damaged ones made the Craftsmen.
  • In La Notte Eterna, the dwarves went into self-isolation centuries before the coming of the Eternal Darkness, and consequently, most other inhabitants of Neir think they're just legends. Their place in the hierarchy of fantasy races has been taken by the Karevi, a race of short, skinny thieving bastards who live in underground cities and excel at lying, assassinations, and mercantilism.
  • Pathfinder has a somewhat complex relationship with this trope.
    • Generally, dwarves are divided into three broad groups who fit this trope to different degrees:
      • The Grondaksen, or underground dwarves, are a reclusive folk live their lives in massive cavern cities, are excellent smiths, grow full beards in both sexes and have little contact with surface-dwellers. They still have their own divergent cultures, like the Kulenett of Geb who live nomadically in a country-spanning tunnel system to avoid the notice of the undead who rule the surface.
      • Holtaksen, or mountain dwarves, are dwarves as warriors fond of battle, song, and gold, who live in beautifully decorated fortresses amidst the peaks. They've been in fairly steady decline since the fall of their old empire, and are generally the setting's default dwarves.
      • The Ergaksen, or surface dwarves, live scattered across the world and do not form, or think of themselves as, a homogenous group, and can be mildly to wildly divergent from the usual dwarven mold. They include the dour, monastic Pahmet of Osirion, who live on the outskirts of civilization and can control sand; the dark-skinned Mbe'ke and Taralu of the Mwangi jungles, who worship their ancestors, elemental spirits and dragons; the mercantile Paraheen of Qadira, who worship the sun goddess Sarenrae in aspect tied to forge fires; and the monastic, devoutly atheist Vahird of the Eternal Oasis of Rahadoum.
    • The dwarven iconic characters — premade characters used to illustrate and exemplify player classes — tend to be wildly divergent from the mold and follow classes rather outside of dwarves' traditional fighter/cleric/paladin archetypes.
      • Harsk, the iconic ranger, fights with a crossbow, dislikes being indoors, spends most of his time wandering around the woods and dislikes alcohol — it dulls his senses, which in his profession is a very bad thing — and guzzles tea instead.
      • Shardra, the iconic shaman, is a trans woman more interested in history than anything else who has been Walking the Earth since her self-imposed exile from her home.
      • Nhalmika, the 2nd iconic Gunslinger, indeed honors her family's traditions, but is also an Action Mom packing a large scattergun who left to become an adventurer after her husband's passing.
    • The duergar also appear as their grim, unpleasant and slave-driving selves, but are actually the corrupted descendants of the original dwarves, tracing their lineage to those dwarves that didn't burrow up from the heart of the world at the start of the race's history and made a dark pact with Droskar, the dwarven god of toil and slavery, to survive.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, F.A.T.A.L. partially averted this. There are 3 types of dwarves in the game, and while "white dwaves" are pretty standard issue, "black dwarves" are based off the more evil variants of The Fair Folk, and "brown dwarves" are based on the more recent faerie tales and particularly modeled off brownies.
  • In Fellowship, the one thing all types of Dwarf have in common is being tough and determined; they have a unique core stat, Iron, which they can use to outlast opponents while trying to Finish Them or to "Clear the Path" for themselves and their allies. The variants available for Dwarfs include Deepdelve (who can see in the dark and can glean extra information using "the secrets that can only be found deep underground"), Firebeard (fierce warriors who can take damage to their Blood stat to get a chance to finish an enemy), Ironblast (Mad Scientist dwarves who come equipped with powerful but dangerous explosives), and Stoneborn (naturally-tough dwarves who can render themselves immovable as long as they're standing on solid ground).
  • Iron Kingdoms dwarves are short, squat and master mechanics, often being creators or users of guns and Magitek robots, but are typically beardless.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Dwarves appear somewhat uncommonly, having originally featured in several early sets before being dropped from the game. They live in the mountains and like to fight so they belong to the Red color/philosophy, but the stoic and orderly culture of traditional fantasy dwarves is more White. Furthermore, goblins are the primary race used for person-sized Red creatures, making dwarves fairly redundant. They reappear in a number of later sets, where they occasionally replace goblins where dwarves are more thematically appropriate; more commonly, however, they're cast as a faction aligned with both Red and White magic — modern Magic is much more comfortable with hybrid-color groups than early Magic was, and this helps dwarves fit a more unique niche while maintaining their Red traits (such as love of battle, boisterousness and mountain homes) and their White ones (orderly societies, strong sense of honor and stoicism) alike.
    • An early take on mono-Red dwarves appears in Odyssey block, where they're portrayed as passionate artisans and warriors with a strong affinity for fire magic. This was done as a part of the block's attempt not to use the usual set of fantasy races — White humans, Blue merfolk, Black zombies, Red goblins and Green elves — most other sets employ and shake up character and card lineups a little.
    • The later kithkin of Lorwyn are portrayed as sort of a cross between hobbits (which is what they were originally intended to be called) and dwarves, combining the Little Folk's general smallness and pastoral living with the Stout Folk's tenacity and well-organized communal defense; the kithkin become even more dwarflike in Shadowmoor, where they have abandoned their country villages for heavily fortified castles and become rabidly xenophobic. The Eventide expansion to the Shadowmoor block adds actual dwarves known as duergar, with affinities for both white and red, and modified the design of dwarves to axe the hair and make them up more pasty. These creepy dwarves are based on the folklore of Britain.
    • Kaladesh, a plane where artisans and craftsmen are the norm rather than the exception, sees the first debut of modern Red/White dwarves. In addition to being good at making and repairing things, these dwarves also have an affinity for piloting vehicles. They also make up a decent portion of the security forces and police of the plane.
    • The fairytale-inspired plane of Eldraine has them as fairly typical miners. They are essentially a walking reference to Snow White, though they do rule over the knightly court of Embereth.
    • On Kaldheim, the Norse Mythology plane, the dwarves live in the realm of Axgard, where they built a beautiful city beneath their realm's mountains, and enjoy very long lives — they only become adult at a hundred years of age. They're a passionate and driven people whole live for only two things: crafting beautiful things (all dwarves spend their youth creating a weapon they'll carry their whole lives, and which they become named after) and legends of epic deeds (dwarves rely on skalds for lore-keeping, as they don't use written language, and most dwarves dream of passing into myth themselves).
    • Dwarves are also (unsurprisingly) present on Arcavios, where they are strongly associated with the red-white Lorehold College.
  • Res Arcana portrays dwarves as miners who love gold; there's an artifact called the Dwarven Pickaxe (which lets you spend Elan to "mine" gold) and a Place of Power called the Dwarven Mines (which generates gold, and has abilities that let it put gold on itself). Also, the Cursed Dwarven King is a heavily gold-based card whose illustration features the king with a pile of gold, mesmerized by a coin.
  • RuneQuest: Gloranthan dwarfs are immortal as long as they do their assigned tasks, regard themselves as servants of the World Machine, and are the only users of firearms in the world. They also invented iron. Not "discovered", invented. They are essentially a Robot Republic of Golems made by Mostal the Maker and taught how to build themselves (hence why female dwarves are so rare — they're actually products of a minor glitch in the process) before he was broken in the Chaos War. Flesh (Clay) dwarves are actually an invention to make up for lack of resources and time to build more dwarves (and a deeply resented one since they're softer and have less raw intelligence than "pure" Mostali). They're also something of an antagonist to everyone else, being deeply xenophobic Well Intentioned Extremists (literally the only thing that matters to them is Mostal's repair) with a severe case of Blue-and-Orange Morality (what everyone else calls greed, the dwarves call keeping track of their projects and resources, down to the last coin — actual trade is regarded as something of an oddball heresy). They live in a complex social system divided in mineral-based castes, with a further division between regular dwarves and true Mostali (the ones handmade by Mostal, who have been steadily dying out because Mostal's not around to make more), and only eat artificial food refined from minerals (they find organic food repulsive).
  • Shadowrun: Dwarves are one of the major metatypes and first appeared in the 2000s with the birth of 'spike babies' shortly before the start of the Sixth World. They're essentially a global, tens-of-millions-strong demographic of regular, everyday people with dwarfism and pointy ears, though not without a few quirks:
    • There are three common stereotypes for dwarves; they're all good with machinery, they hoard gold and they all have major Napoleon complexes. The average dwarf has a tendency to get loud and belligerent when any of these stereotypes is applied to them. This does not change the fact, however, that the dwarf willpower bonus is so useful to certain professions that almost every rigger you'll find is a dwarf. Of course, that just fits the stereotype all the more: Riggers are the nearest thing you will find to a blacksmith or miner in the setting. Gameplay-wise Dwarves also make really good magic-users (mages, shamans or adepts) due to their willpower bonus, and have enough physical bonuses to make decent Street Samurai as well.
    • Dwarves in the setting typically grow beards because they get sick of being treated like children (which a lot of people think they resemble as adults due to their height) without them, which may explain why the stereotype of the "hot headed halfer" came about (as one dwarf tells you in Third Edition in the Dwarf racial description, "you spend a day getting patted and pinched and see how calm you are."). The same essay voices the opinion that dwarves seem to prefer living underground because basement apartments tend to be cheaper, and low ceilings aren't a problem for them.
    • Of the main non-human metatypes, dwarves are the only ones who never established their own separate nations or subcultures. This is in part because they're the metatype that's best managed to integrate with baseline humanity, and in part because they maintain a strong sense of cultural unity regardless of political and corporate ties. Almost all dwarves share a common set of values, typically focused on honoring one's word, stoicism and community. Their skill with technology also helps here, as dwarves are usually comfortable enough with the Matrix that they can easily keep in contract with large numbers of other dwarves across the world.
    • As with all other metahuman strains, a number of divergent metavariants have emerged among dwarf populations. These are gnomes, European dwarves with no facial hair and even shorter statures than normal; hanuman, Indian dwarves with extensive body hair, longer limbs and prehensile tails, who were originally thought to be Awakened monkeys; koborokurus, Japanese dwarves with thick body hair and large noses; menehunes, amphibious Hawaiian dwarves with even thicker hair, nictitating membranes and webbed toes, and claimed by myth to descend from Mu or Atlantis; and querx, blue-skinned German dwarves.
  • Symbaroum: Dwarves are still short, beardy humanoids with an intense focus on wealth and family honor, but taken some interesting places. Dwarves in Symbaroum are greedy, yes, but they are primarily incredibly clan-focused, to the point that they don't consider non-clan members to be worthy of moral consideration. These traits have, in turn, led to dwarves becoming (not unreasonably) stereotyped as criminals and savages, and forced them to move constantly... basically turning them into what the 19th century believed Romani were.
  • In Talislanta, the Yassan and Vajra races are both short, stocky artificer/miner types resembling the classic fantasy dwarf. However, this being Talislanta, the Vajra are scaly, ovoviviparous, and have a berserker rage ability (which can usually be used exactly once), and the Yassan are silver-gray, six-fingered, and flat-faced. Additionally, both races are hairless and closer to the short end of average human height.
  • Despite originally being a Recycled In Space version of Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40,000 has surprisingly strayed away from including traditional dwarves for a long time, only tackling the concept in somewhat unorthodox means.
    • The earliest editions had the Squats, which, naturally, were Dwarfs IN SPACE, albeit in the context of the setting, they are a Heavyworlder Human Subspecies that are mostly independent of the Imperium of Man. However, the designers couldn't quite decide on their overall theme. Some models were straight Dwarfs, while others were more like really short biker dudes IN SPACE, so they got removed from future editions — i.e., they Dropped a Hive Fleet on Them. However, the "space Dwarfs" concept, if not the models, seem to be returning in the form of the Demiurg (Greek for "craftsman"), a mercenary alien race that has worked for both the Imperium and the Tau in the past, and a few Squat models would be introduced in the Spin-Off game Necromunda. However...
    • The Squats as a faction would not be properly reintroduced until 2022 with the Leagues of Votann, along with the added reveal that the species refers to themselves as Kin and the terms "Squat" and "Demiurg" being appellations used by the Imperium and T'au, respectively (the former being a pejorative term). While their reintroduction still has them appear to be straight-up Dwarfs IN SPACE, albeit with several elements from their previous iterations undergoing a case of Reimagining the Artifact, they have several unique traits that diverge from the standard model. While still a Human Subspecies (which makes them one of the younger species in the setting barring the T'au), the Kin are Designer Babies generated through mass cloning for specific roles, having altered their DNA through genetic engineering. While still mostly dim-souled and resistant to the Warp, they do have the occasional psykers known as Grimnyrs, who act as the priest caste in their culture. Their culture revolves around their access to better preserved technology from the Dark Age of Technology that the modern Imperium (especially the Mechanicus) would find heretical, in particular the eponymous sentient supercomputers from which they derive their name, and A.I.s and robots are prevalent in their culture. Several pieces of their characterization are borrowed from the below-mentioned Kharadron Overlords, such as being progressive and innovative regarding their technology and their plutocratic governments and intense focus on aquiring and maintaing material wealth. Much like The Hobbit Trilogy, there is a far greater variety in their faces and beards and in stark contrast to the absence of female dwarves in most media, Gender Is No Object among the Kin with most of their units being mixed gender. While the Elves Versus Dwarves conflict is averted in their new lore, they still act as sort of a Foil to the Aeldari. While the Aeldari are a race of Space Elves that predate humanity and only resemble them through convergent evolution, the Kin are a Human Subspecies that have altered themselves through millennia of genetic engineering and cloning. In fact, the Kin have diverged genetically, politically, and technologically from humanity so much that they are effectively considered a Xenos faction rather than an Imperium faction.
    • The T'au themselves seem to fulfill some of the functions of dwarves in the 40K Verse. They are shorter and stouter than humans (given that they resemble The Greys but with hooves), they have a weak presence in the Warp (meaning they're not very magical), they have a highly ordered and stratified society, and a strong warrior culture... At least when it comes to the Fire Caste. And only when compared to other T'au, who are largely peace-loving and lack any aggressiveness. Their technology is also far beyond the Imperium's in many cases, with sleek Mini-Mecha and hover tanks that can run circles around their more traditional Imperial counterparts and standard issue guns that can reach further and hit twice as hard as a bolter. What they do lack compared to "traditional" dwarves is physical strength - the T'au have a reputation for being the faction with the worst melee capabilities as T'au infantry are even frailer than Guardsmen and will die quickly in the face of meaningful assault - and longevity, as not only are the T'au the youngest species in the setting, but they are among the shortest-lived ones with individuals usually not living past their 40s (save the Ethereal Caste who live for much longer).
  • Whilst dwarves in Warhammer Fantasy are basically standard dwarves with the stereotypes exaggerated and given a Grimdark tweak, their successors in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar are more unusual.
    • It should be noted that they were renamed to a original name of Duardin. Although that was mostly changed so Games Workshop has a copyright-enforceable name, some other races recieved similar treatment.
    • The Fyreslayers are a race of religiously motivated mercenaries, who will take up arms for and against anybody to recover the magical substances "ur-gold", which contains the essence of their fallen patron god. Whilst they highly value honor, they also only honor the very letter of the word, which has given them a reputation as, ironically, untrustworthy and fickle. They shun the typical dwarven reliance on heavy armor, instead fighting almost naked, trusting to fate and the protection of enchanted rune "tattoos" made of ur-gold that they literally weld into their bare flesh. They have a limited affinity for fire magic, in contrast to the traditionally unmagical nature of Warhammer dwarves, and make use of Magmadroths as steeds and war-beasts.
    • The Kharadron Overlords double-down on the "dwarves as engineers" angle, with an entire civilization built around steampunk-flavored magitek. They express the common dwarven aversion to magic and preference for science, but are noted as being hypocrites for doing so, as their "science" is actually just sorcery given a technological veneer. Most of the Kharadron are actually highly progressive and innovative, in stark contrast to their Warhammer Fantasy counterparts, who were so conservative and traditional-minded that it was called out as one of their greatest weaknesses; this includes abandoning the New Technology Is Evil and Revenge Before Reason traits that defined the Warhammer dwarves. They're also an overtly meritocratic plutocracy, in contrast to the traditional "Scottish Feudal" array of clan-lords, thanes and high kings. But the biggest difference is that, whilst the Kharadron are still miners, they're a race associated with the sky rather than the earth: they live on artificial Floating Islands and their society revolves around hunting for "aether-gold", a magical mineral that normally exists as a gas until artificially condensed into a solid.
    • It should also be mentioned that another Duardin faction, the Dispossessed, essentially continue the original Dwarfs faction normally but it is mentioned that they now live in Sigmar's cities after losing their Holds during the Age of Chaos, having just set off to reclaim them in the present Age of Sigmar.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Mythology goes back to the roots of Norse myths, making Dwarves simply good craftsmen and gold-diggers. They don't use axes, except for gathering wood or when transformed into Heroes of Ragnarok by the Ragnarok godpower.
    • Eitri uses an axe to fight in the campaign, though he can use it to cut wood. His brother Brokk has a hammer instead.
    • Mountain Giants have a special attack against them... which is to kick them a certain distance, often making the dwarves into a projectile weapon.
  • The Dvar from Age of Wonders: Planetfall are descendants of human miners and engineers left behind on an uninhabitable mining world when the Star Union fell. They're small because they're Heavyworlders, trapped inside their pressurized survivor suits because they've spent so long in hostile environs that they can't survive outside them, and are naturally inclined to strip-mine everything in sight because they've spent their recorded history fighting the environment on their homeworld and seek to master their environment at every turn. Stereotyped as stubborn, materialistic and conservative, the Dvar fulfill most dwarven stereotypes except that their names and accents are Russian, not Scottish, and a lot of their buildings, units and technology have a definite 'Soviet industrial' aesthetic to it. They don't have beards (that we can see) but several of their encounter suits have oxygen piping shaped like stereotypical dwarven beards.
  • The Durin from Arknights are child-sized, and their race is named after a dwarf from Norse mythology. However, they don't have any particular association with mining or the earth beyond living underground, and all male Durin playable or seen in event cutscenes so far are clean-shaven. Their rarely seen appearances on the surface had Rhodes Island assume that they were all like Operator Durin who was lazy and sleepy but the other Durins they employ very much push against that with their own unique quirks, one of whom even complains that she's creating a bad name for everyone else.
  • In Battle Fantasia, Donvalve is the biggest character in the game and he's dressed in very Steampunk-ish armor.
  • Chrono Cross has dwarves that pilot tanks, wield worker tools in battle, and are short and stocky like normal. They also live in a swamp and seem to hate the fairies, enough to capture them to feed their protector Hydra and murder them for living space.
  • The Darksiders games have the Makers, who are similar to your stereotype dwarf in every way except one: instead of being short, they are about four times as tall as your average human. They're also presented as a cosmic level race, being known as "The Makers" because they use their magical crafting abilities to forge planets, and preserve the souls of their dead by imbuing them into massive stone golems, which actually mesh with the dwarven archetype pretty well, but still aren't really standard depictions for them.
  • Dark Souls 2 introduces the Gyrm. They have many dwarvish traits: very strong, stockily built, bearded, enjoy drinking heavily from tankards, live underground, wield hammers and axes... however, while they're stocky, they are also just as tall as a human, so they are in general much larger than an average human. They aren't very good at engineering, as the game describes most of their handiwork as "crude" (albeit very tough). Further, they don't live underground by choice (they were driven there by humans motivated by Fantastic Racism), nor are they particularly interested in mining. Given the aforementioned getting driven underground, they despise humanity. Only one Gyrm in the game will even speak to you (and he's not that linguistically proficient), while the rest will attack on sight.
  • Deep Rock Galactic noticeably plays with this. While all the player characters are beer-loving, pickaxe wielding miners who hate elves and dedicate themselves to mining (and killing bugs by the hundreds with their guns), only two of them have beards by default, the other two are clean shaven. On top of that, they all have Danish accents instead of the typical Scottish ones. Mission Control is ambiguous on whether or not he's a dwarf too, as while he's got the build, there's no indication as to who else works at DRG, and he's got a smooth British voice. There's also no indication if DRG has other mining teams of different species or if dwarves are the only miners they hire. Humorously, if you turn off all hair and helmet options on the dwarves, you'll find they all look exactly the same - they have the same face and head model underneath! They even all have the same voice actor, just pitch shifted to fit the different classes.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dwarves speak with North American accents (except Bodahn, who may be trying to affect the accent of humans), and while beards among men are fashionable, many others go with mustaches or even clean-shaven, and the women can be very feminine and beautiful. Also, their society practices a rigid caste system and the capital city Orzammar is a Decadent Court. Beyond these things though, they heavily overlap with other traits commonly associated with dwarves: great underground halls; skill at mining and smithcraft; axes, hammers, and crossbows as their preferred (though not only) weapons, and heavy plate as their favored armor; squarish, angular motifs in their equipment and architecture; a fondness for ale; and so on and so forth. While they love ale, Dwarven beer is brewed from lichen, mushrooms, dead rats and other stuff that can be found underground, and tastes exactly the way you would expect fermented lichen-and-rat to taste. So the typical Dwarven quality of being master brewers is subverted. Oghren cites the quality of beer on the surface as a contributing reason to the large emigration of Dwarves from Orzammar.
    • Varric from Dragon Age II seems to be a deliberate aversion of this trope; he's a clean-shaven, sophisticated, charismatic urbanite who loves the surface, hates the underground, and is a crossbow-wielding rogue. His brother Bartrand, on the other hand, is as traditional as can be, having been born and raised in Orzammar before their noble family was exiled for fixing Proving matches.
      Varric: You know what Orzammar is? It's cramped tunnels filled with nug-shit and body odour, and every person there thinks he's better than you because his great-great-great-grandfather made a water clock or something.
    • Surface Dwarves seem to intentionally avert this. After the entire Merchant caste left Orzammar for the surface to get better trading deals, Orzammar declared them "Lost to the Stone" and decreed that all Surfacers were to be considered Casteless from that point onwards. The Surfacers responded by simply abandoning the caste system altogether and many other Dwarven traditions, with many going completely native. Varric is a prime example of the cross-cultural mixing, invoking both the traditional Paragons and Ancestors venerated by Dwarven religion, as well as the Maker and Andraste worshipped by the Human Chantry.
    • Among the playable races (Human, Elf, Dwarf, and later Qunari), the Dwarves are unique in one way: they cannot be mages. For whatever reason (believed to be their severed connection to the Titans, though this is unconfirmed), they lack a connection to the Fade, and thus cannot draw on it to use in spells like the other races can. They also are incapable of dreaming, as in this setting one visits the Fade when they dream. The only Dwarves who are anywhere near averting this restriction are Dagna, a scholar who learned how to enchant things through sheer optimistic determination, and a Dwarven Inquisitor, who was given the ability to open and close Rifts between Thedas and the Fade by ancient Elven technology and being either insanely (un)lucky or being guided by the hand of the Maker (in whom most Dwarves don't believe, because of the aforementioned Fade insensitivity). In the DLC expansion The Descent, Temporary Party Member Valta seems to become the first Dwarven mage through a rather convoluted series of events. Oddly enough, Dwarf-descended Darkspawn that can use magic are fairly common.
    • Another manner that Dragon Age Dwarves stand out is the Carta, a Dwarven crime syndicate modelled after Latin American cartels. They freely move between the surface and underground and are best known for selling lyrium on the black market, though they engage in all manner of criminal activity. In Origins and Inquisition, a Casteless Dwarf player character is a former member.
      Cassandra: I never would have guessed organized crime would be a Dwarven pastime, but there you have it.
  • The "Dwarf" character of Dragon's Crown is a stocky, heavy-set brawler, wielding hammers (and occasionally axes) and possessing strength enough to pick up and toss most foes. The Dwarf's ending reveals the Ancient Dragon had chased the Dwarfs out of their subterranean homes, forcing them to become nomads and driving them to the brink of extinction. The player character's Dwarf becomes a hero and leader among his people, helping them prosper. He does have some traits that make him distinct from dwarves in other games. Where typical dwarves are heavily armoured or wearing workman's clothes, this guy wears little more than a cape and a loincloth. He's also friendly with the Elf of the team if various Vanillaware art pieces are canon.
  • The first Dungeon Keeper has two classes of dwarves, the Tunnelers; who dig the tunnels for Heroes to reach the Keeper's dungeons, and the Mountain Dwarves who specialize in fighting rather than mining. They're rather weak and frail compared to all other humans and even elves, while also being one of the fastest creatures in the game. They're attracted to gold and will go straight for the Keeper's Treasure Rooms, and they're so skilled at digging they can even do it using axes instead of pickaxes.
    • The sequel gets rid of Mountain Dwarves entirely, turning Dwarves into the weakest type of Heroes available, but a must to tunnel through the maps. Converted Dwarves act as slower Imps, less useful for gathering gold and claiming land, but able to dig through even enemy walls with amazing efficiency. A keeper with even one dwarf can attack an enemy dungeon from any direction with almost no warning. Unlike their DK 1 counterparts, Dwarves don't need lairs, food, or money either.
  • Deep Dwarves in Dungeon Crawl are a variant. Unlike the now-background Mountain Dwarves (who are typical), they never left their underground homes. They are highly resistant to damage, but lack the Healing Factor all other species have, relying on a Heal Wounds ability. They're decent with the typical dwarvern weapons, axes and crossbows, but prefer stealth, divine magic, and certain kinds of arcane magic: necromancy, translocations and especially earth magic.
  • Dwarf Fortress actually creates a fairly complex dwarven society. They have elected officials and a rudimentary police force and bureaucracy, as well as a larger-than-usual range of professions; you have dwarven tailors, cooks, millers and even beekeepers as well as the usual blacksmiths and miners. But at the end of they day, they're also manic-depressives that require alcohol to get through the day, even from birth. And the creator has even said explicitly that he's keeping Dwarves relatively close to the norm — while he's been designing complicated algorithms to generate deep and varied cultures for other races, he intends to leave dwarves more or less identical so they'll be easy for players to step into as a playable race.
  • Dwarves are commented on as being rather out of place in the world of Elona, populated by the likes of kitsune, samurai, and mecha. They only seem more so when the setting is revealed to be a full scale quasi-urban fantasy as of the later patches of Elona+, glaringly being rather technologically simplistic compared to most of the human factions (using plate mail and tonfas when everyone else has for the most part moved onto machine guns and fighter jets), in spite of possessing the trademark dwarven craftsmanship.
  • The Elder Scrolls plays with it when it comes to the extinct Dwemer, also known as the Dwarves. To note:
    • Playing the trope straight, the Dwemer did build technologically advanced cities, typically deep into the ground, complete with gold/bronze architecture and Eternal Engines. They warred with just about every other race they came into contact with, particularly other races of Mer. They were known to have glorious beards and were master craftsmen, with their equipment still being among the best and most sought after in Tamriel even thousands of years after their mysterious disappearance, in some way related to them digging too deep beneath Red Mountain and discovering (and then attempting to tap into) the Heart of Lorkhan, the dead creator god of the mortal plane.
    • On the "aversion" side, the Dwemer are a sub-race of Mer (Elves), with their name meaning the "Deep Elves" or "Deep Ones," referring to their philosophical depth. They were of average size compared to the other races of Tamriel and the term "dwarf" is an archeological misnomer. They were the first "normal sized" race to encounter the Giants of the Velothi Mountains, who referred to them as "dwarves" in size comparison to themselves. Later, the Nords (and through them, the other races of Men) picked up the term and it stuck. They weren't known to have any stereotypical "Dwarvish" accents, with the only Dwemer spoken to in the series to date having a nasally, nerdy voice of all things. While the Dwemer did create all manner of extremely advanced technology, much of it was magically derived in one form or another, with it being said that they were also master enchanters. They created numerous forms of Mecha-Mooks and even Humongous Mecha programmed with some sort of rudimentary (and often dangerous) AI. They were Naytheists in a world where gods of all sorts exist, though the Dwemer did not believe these "gods" were truly divine. They'd summon Daedra just to test their divinity. Finally, they followed a very Blue-and-Orange Morality. Former series developer Michael Kirkbride puts it best:
      "That's why the Dwemer are the weirdest race in Tamriel and, frankly, also the scariest. They look(ed) like us, they sometimes act(ed) like us, but when you really put them under the magnifying glass you see nothing but vessels that house an intelligence and value system that is by all accounts Beyond Human Comprehension. (...) There isn't even a word to describe the Dwarven view on divinity. They were atheists on a world where gods exist."
  • Endless Legend's Delvers are relatively standard-issue dwarves in appearance, but they are actually the descendants of human miners that were trapped underground in a cataclysm that swept across Auriga. They swing warhammers in a Spin Attack and have vast beards adorned with skulls (probably from their fellow Delvers that died). The Vaulters are human, but their heavy armor, beards, and overall high level of technology make them look like dwarves. The Vaulters remember their origins in space, and utilize Lost Technology salvaged from their vaults and augmented or repaired with magic. Prior to the start of the game, they lived almost completely underground.
  • In Fall from Heaven, the Khazad are pretty standard; short and stout master miners and engineers who live underground, use axes (but most everyone uses axes in this setting), are terrible at using magic, have the finest cannons and trebuchets in the setting, and gain benefits from a full gold vault. However, the Luchuirp dwarves are very different, resembling gnomes in a lot of respects. They live above ground (though they're still connected to Earth magic) and are one of the most magically-adept factions. In fact, they are second to none as magical artificers and enchanters, which allows them to rely on golems for labor and warfare. Neither group has a particular problem with Elves, though Elves in this setting are The Fair Folk and really do not like other races in general.
  • In Fallout and Fallout 2, like the Super Mutant orc stand-ins dwarves are simply mutated humans but are still subjected to Fantastic Racism at times, forcing them to act as servants for baseline humans. In the developed societies of New California they eventually found their niche as a Proud Merchant Race.
  • They have appeared sporadically in the more High Fantasy installments of the Final Fantasy series. Their main distinctions from other fantasy dwarves are their catchphrase of "Laliho!" and the fact that they are almost completely faceless with only glowing yellow eyes (and a beard) visible beneath their helmets.
    • Final Fantasy's dwarves live in Mt. Duergar, which is the old Norse word for Dwarf, and are skilled miners; their tunnels are filled with rails for spoil.
    • Final Fantasy IV plays it straight, and heck, so do most dwarves in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. However, Luca is clean-shaven and doesn't have much love for dwarven fashion. The one thing she gets right is a love of technology, with two custom-built clockwork dolls at her command, but she'd rather study under the human Cid than other dwarves.
    • Dwarves in Final Fantasy V strongly resemble their counterparts in IV, and like them live in an "underworld" (this time an undersea trench rather than just above the earth's mantle) and love to tunnel, although their great kingdom is less populated than most villages and not relevant to the plot.
    • The Dwarves of Final Fantasy IX are perhaps the least dwarf-like Dwarves in the series. They spend their time above ground, albeit on a mountain, and the sun is a big part of their society and religion.
    • Moogles in Final Fantasy XII are also fairly dwarf-like: short, mechanically inclined humanoids.
    • Final Fantasy XIV's dwarves play around a bit. A beast-tribe from the alternate world of The First, on the outside they appear to be the classic Final Fantasy dwarf, never seen without their face obscuring helmets and beards. But the beards turn out to be elaborate scarves, and taking off the "beard" and helmet reveal them to be the First's versions of Lalafells, a cute, gnome-like race. Cue Lalafell/Laliho jokes.
    • The Lilties of Crystal Chronicles also fit the archetype fairly well, but in appearance resemble childlike humanoids with plant features (besides Crystal Bearers, in which a wide variety of Lilty types appear). A big difference is, before they began weapon smithing, they were primarily alchemists. And while they've always been mediocre at using them, they were experts at creating the Green Rocks required for spells.
  • Brok and Sindri from God of War (PS4) and God of War Ragnarök are the dwarf brothers responsible for forging Thor's hammer Mjölnir, but they deviate from the stereotypes prominently. They're short, bearded men and gifted craftsmen, but Stout Strength doesn't apply to them: Sindri is considerably thinner than his brother. They also are naturally magical, and use that as an inherent attribute of their work, both forging weapons and selling them. They both have American accents, not Scottish, and they don't hate Elves (in fact, Brok got in trouble for having sex with Elves in the past). Neither of them are fighters or warriors, and they don't drink, but they do seem to trade in silver. Brok is foul-mouthed, Sindri is a germophobe and Neat Freak, and both have the natural ability to go into the "realm between realms" to instantly travel through long distances and between different realms, which they use to help Kratos and Atreus throughout their journeys, although not all dwarves know how to do it and it doesn't work on dragons. Also, Sindri has grey skin, and Brok has blue skin. There are two differing accounts on how this happened. One account says that his skin went blue from overexposure to silver, another states that his skin turned blue after he accidentally beheaded himself and Sindri brought him back to life.
  • Gilius Thunderhead from Golden Axe. He's apparently competitive enough to test his mettle at tennis and kart racing.
  • Guild Wars mostly follows the standard, although the dwarves come off a bit more Scandinavian than Scottish. This trope is partly averted by the Stone Summit clan, a bunch of xenophobic slavedriving hatemongers, then it gets taken to its conclusion at the end of the Eye of the North expansion pack. The dwarves seek to awaken the Great Dwarf to battle the destroyers pouring out from beneath the earth. What happens is that they become the Great Dwarf, their bodies turning to solid stone and their hearts consumed with an eternal thirst for battle, so they can fight the destroyers for eternity.
  • Even Kingdom of Loathing doesn't stray from the path too far. Yes, their dwarves are 7-Feet Tall, but other than that they act exactly the same as here.
  • In The Legend of Zelda series, the Goron race derives heavily from the stock Tolkienian dwarf. They're physically strong, have a mining culture, and (in later games) have great battle prowess. Hyrule Warriors even gives them a rivalry with the token elf-like race the Zoras. However, they're physically larger than the mundane Hylians, and they don't mine because they're obsessed with gold and precious stones, but because they eat rocks.
  • Partially subverted in the Lineage MMORPGs: The male dwarves are about what you expect, but the female dwarves resemble cute elves, only half the size.
  • In Lost Technology, while Apotikara is a society run by blacksmiths sporting an army of dwarves with axes, the dwarves of Mount Arsia are a rebellious faction of coal miners, and the dwarves in Cerberus Hills are a fairly peaceful agrarian society. Plus, dwarves have a sophisticated grasp of earth magic.
  • In Magical Starsign, dwarves are basically tiny balls of fluff who consist mainly of a beard with hands, feet, and beady little eyes. Not much is made of their physical prowess, but they're the best starship engineers in the galaxy.
  • The Dwarves of the old Might and Magic verse customized their dwarves by removing one of the traditional details: rather than hating elves, they were allies (up until Heroes IV). Well, except for Might and Magic VIII, but the Dark Dwarves of that game customized the model by being xenophobes to the point that no one is really sure if they are allies or servants of the Earth Elementals instead.
  • Even though he's 100% human, Torbjorn from Overwatch follows every dwarven trope to a T, although with a Swedish accent.
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker: Harrim is an interesting example. From the get-go he seems to diverge from the dwarven stereotype: While a heavily armoured warrior-priest who's decent at combat, he's also a perpetually downcast Death Seeker and Straw Nihilist who worships Groetus, a deity that personifies the inevitable decay of everything. The more you talk to Harrim it's also made clear that he'd like nothing better than to be a stereotypical dwarf, but his complete inability to craft anything from metal or stone (which is implied to be a divine gift/curse) is a cause of great bitterness and shame to him and turned him into his current self. As a result, his pride in being a dwarf is conflicted at best and he has a Berserk Button concerning the dwarf chief god Torag, which he refers to as the "traitor god".
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduces the Pokémon line of Tinkatink, Tinkatuff, and Tinkaton. They are Fairy/Steel type and are highly reminiscent of classic dwarves, being short fey creatures with Stout Strength that forge scrap metal into hammers that they use as weapons, although they very much avert the “gruff bearded man” stereotype by being pink, all-female sprites instead.
  • Rift's dwarves seem to be rather more inclined towards magic use than the usual, and don't always have beards. Also, the women are ridiculously cute.
  • Rune Factory 3 introduces two dwarves. One is a craftsman and blacksmith — downright obsessive and extremely talented — but is incredibly friendly and laid-back, to the point that he considers his job as a blacksmith to simply be a hobby. The other is your typical belligerent warrior dwarf. Both are human-sized and beardless, with pointed ears — the warrior complains that the whole "short, bearded man" thing is simply a racist stereotype.
    • Rune Factory 4 Takes this a little further. While Gaius and Zaid from the previous game were at least among the shorter characters, Bado, the laid back and downright lazy dwarf blacksmith in the next installment is quite possibly the tallest humanoid character in the series. Doug, the other dwarf in Rune Factory 4, is also rotten at crafting. (Dwarfs being good at making weapons is the one trait associated with dwarfs that the series makes a point of telling you still holds true.)
    • Rune Factory 5 introduces Darroch, who fits the dwarven stereotype for the most part, being a stoic, hard-working blacksmith and the strongest of the initial cast. He even has a beard. On the other hand, like Bado he towers over most of the other characters. Lastly, he was a Shrinking Violet as a kid, which the older women in town love to tease him about.
    • Despite this, there is one character who fits the common dwarf mold perfectly, having a short stature, long messy beard, talking in a gruff accent, etc. Leo, from the first Rune Factory game claims he picked up these traits while training under a dwarf, but he himself is human. The most dwarf-like character in Rune Factory is a human.
  • Smite actually touches some particular traits about how dwarves were in the Norse Mythology with Fafnir. He's a dwarf that excels in mining and creating jewelries and armed with a hammer. And just like the rest of his kin, he's a selfish, easily-jealous, greedy jerk, as opposed to the normally 'honor-bound' dwarves in other medias. Just for this game, he also lacks the usual Scottish accent and love for wine (it is replaced with his love for gold).
  • Suikoden: Unlike their Falenan counterparts, Toran dwarves live above ground in the Great Forest, have mastered the art of Alchemy that allowed to developed electricity and artificial light and are one of the most technologically-advanced races in the setting. Aside from that, they really hate elves (and the feeling is mutual) and consider Human skill to be inferior to their own.
  • One dwarf appears in Stardew Valley in a secret area of the mine. He seems to be modeled after the Final Fantasy IV dwarves in that you never see his face directly although he appears to lack the beard. In true dwarf fashion, he sells items related to mining, and can be befriended by giving him gemstones but you have to learn dwarvish before you can do so. Interestingly, the dwarves are apparently Ancient Astronauts from another planet, with the horns on their helmets appearing to actually be protrusions for antennae.
  • In Tales of Maj'Eyal.
    • Dwarves are pretty standard. A race who live in the mountains, are strong, tough and not too good with magic, mine for gold and are empowered by it, and the second starting area for a Dwarf PC involves a mining expedition. However, they're unique among races in that they use both natural power and magic (though they're not very good at the latter) in a setting where the two are generally politically opposed, and the one class that combines the two is the Dwarven Stone-Warden; as they say, "gold doesn't take sides."
    • However, deeper in the setting's lore is another quirk. Dwarves are descended from a spacefaring race who crash-landed on Eyal and initially came from a batch of clones. The spaceship's cloning machine has malfunctioned, and is now creating Drem, who are a race of highly mutated dwarves who border on being Dwarven Abominations. They have no faces and stony, spiked skin, as well as a connection to devouring eldritch magic.
  • Warcraft : Features some dwarves that break the mold
    • The Wildhammer dwarves, initially known as Feral Dwarves of Northeron, live above ground, are at peace with nature, and ride gryphons as a major part of their culture. They live mainly in the cold and moutainous areas to the north of Lordaeron and in the east of Khaz Modan, where they are divided into smaller clans. Them sporting blue tattoos and their clan feuds give them strong Scottish vibes. They also are actually close allies to the High Elves and initially avoided humans and the more archetypal dwarven relatives from Ironforge before joining the Alliance. They were the representatives when dwarves were first added to the franchise in Warcraft II. Wildhammer Dwarves were originally depicted as leaner, slightly taller and more human-like in proportion to regular Ironforge Dwarves, but this trait was dropped over the years.
      • Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness: Feral Dwarves are introduced aerial gryphon riders ridden by Feral dwarves from Northeron. As units, they ride Gryphons and toss down Stormhammers to wreak havoc on their foes.
      • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: Renames the feral Dwarves as Wildhammer Dwarves'' and again features them as Gryphon riding units, though this time the Ironforge Dwarves are more prominent.
      • When World of Warcraft hit, however, the playable dwarves were mountain-dwelling, ale-drinking, blacksmiths and miners from Ironforge, with the Wildhammer dwarves relegated to a minor NPC faction that were a mere re-skin of Ironforge Dwarves. The Wildhammer NPC skins were eventually made available to player dwarves, though the story still treats the Player Character as an Ironforge Dwarf.
  • From Whale Rock Games's We Are The Dwarves, gun-toting Forcer and axe-wielding Smashfist are your standard dwarves — albeit they're dwarven astronauts on an alien world. It's the third dwarf, Shadow that breaks with convention. Shadow is a dark-skinned ninja dwarf with a longbow, who relies on stealth and sniping foes with his longbow in contrast to the direct force used by his comrades.

    Web Animation 

  • In Baskets of Guts dwarves look like the ones of the standart flavor, but their personalities are as variable as of any other race. Many of them do sport long beards, but it's probably because dwarves are physiologically inclined to have them, since they grow even on females.
  • Although we have not actually met any dwarves in Digger, they seem to go at least a little off model — they apparently use large amounts of magic in the construction of their underground cities. Digger the wombat does not approve, as that magic tends to wear off after a while if not carefully maintained, leaving abandoned dwarf cities as veritable deathtraps. Come to think of it, the wombats seem to fit the traditional dwarf mold pretty well, themselves.
  • Flintlocke, of Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth plays around with this one. While he adheres to several Dwarf stereotypes, including a love of combat, boisterous loudness, a strange sort of Scottish accent, a few demonstrated instances of marked greed, and some impressive facial hair, he also happens to be something of a cross between a Gadgeteer Genius and a Mad Bomber, and where most of the other Dwarves are shown as sensible individuals, Flintlocke is about as dumb as a pile of hammers. On more than a few occasions he's managed to outwit himself. It gets to the point that the Spirit Healer had to get a word in.
    Spirit Healer: Dumbass.
  • Goblin Hollow features a girl who revolts at her dwarf character's having a beard.
  • The Gods of Arr-Kelaan featured a group of dwarves who worshiped the Mesoamerican sun god Inti, shaved, and moved above ground. Up until Inti decided it was time to leave Arr-Kelaan and destroyed their temple, then most of them moved back to the mines.
  • Guilded Age: At first, seemingly played straight by Gravedust. Something-hammer last name? Check. Big beard? Check. The Comically Serious? Check. Standard dwarf. However, later we learn that dwarves are desert nomads who have been driven from their mountains. Furthermore, their women are lustful, their children don't respect authority, and, most atypical of all, some of them DON'T HAVE BEARDS! Gravedust Deserthammer isn't your typical armored hammer/axe warrior either. He's a shaman archer who can speak with the dead and ask them to lend their strength to his arrows. He is among the most level-headed in the group, as well as being mannerly and polite. He's never been seen to drink, ever. His name is the only thing truly dwarfish about him.
  • The dwarves of Hitmen for Destiny were bred for their stature, grooming and attitude to be just the same as Tolkien-ian dwarves. Thing is, when you breed for one quality, another might tag along, so they also ended up completely Ax-Crazy as well (yes, even more so than the usual dwarf).
  • Most of the Dwarves in Looking for Group are evil, black leather-wearing, pierced punks. And Pella is quite shapely and fan-servicey, not fat and dumpy like dwarven females are so often depicted as. However, they are exceptionally skilled architects, blacksmiths, and sappers.
  • Oglaf has the "fukken" Dwarves, a group of vertically challenged, utterly deranged pests who make disturbing, useless and lethal inventions. They seem more like a parody of the tinker gnome stereotype.
  • The Pigs Ear: Angus is a retired adventurer who now works as a pub chef, but otherwise fits the trope straight. So straight that the Scottish creator of the comic gave Angus (and Angus alone) a Scottish Funetik Aksent.
  • Rice Boy: The Horned fit the stereotypical archetype nicely. Short but honest, most of the Horned are obsessed with war. They also live on and/or underneath a ridiculous-looking mountain structure. In times of peace, they're miners and woodsmen. Furthermore, the prequel "Vattu" implies that the Fluters are a variant of halflings/gnomes and Vattu will mutate/evolve in her story to become the first Horned.
  • Twice Blessed has Vadim as a main character, who meets most dwarf stereotypes, but comes from a Russian-type culture and has a matching accent, drinks Vodka, uses the word "brother" in place of "laddie", and never seems to feel the need to point out that he is a dwarf.
  • Unforgotten Realms averts this about as far as is possible. Any character which isn't obviously another species is invariably a Dwarf. Probably the only character who even has a beard is Sir Schmoopy of Awesometon, one of the two main player characters.
  • In Vanadys: Tales Of A Fallen Goddess, dwarfs (note the plural spelling) are the second most numerous race in the world next to humans, and live and work close to humans. The stereotypical dwarf is a keen businessman with a great talent for making money, and many human businesses employ a dwarf, or several, to handle their finances. Berrok, the main dwarf character in the comic, is a trenchcoat-clad Deadpan Snarker with a shady past.

    Web Original 
  • Dwarves in Aegeroth: A Checkered History use the Germanic name, dwergaz. Little else is known about them, save having chalky skin and statue like features.
  • The dwarves in Arcana Magi are techno savvy. One dwarf is on the Board of Directors for Avalon Tech Enterprises as head of the metal works division. One dwarf works there in the technology department.
  • Krayn's character Grunlek in Aventures has the technology side, using a mechanical arm for diverse purposes. However he doesn't have racism against elves (the game master said the rivalry doesn't exist in his world), is closer to nature and doesn't have a drinking habit. A live adventure showed that his brethren are more cyborgs than dwarf and even for them Grunlek is different.
  • Cracked offer some suggestions on how to deviate from this trope.
  • Limyaael's Fantasy Rants: Limyaael suggests that customizing the model is a really good idea.
  • Dwarves in Shagahol, the latest creation of Rapscallion Games are the remnant of the previous world from before the gods got bored and dropped a new world on top of it, literally. They had already been living underground and their forging and architecture skills meant their civilization survived the cataclysmic event. They retain their industrious ways due to the stories of their ancestors, but those that come to the surface are those looking for a more adventurous life. They are short and stocky but unlike most stories, they have lost their melanin as a result of living underground for so long, giving them white hair and pale skin. All Dwarves have beards from birth with female beards ranging from mutton chops that can be hidden by their long hair to full beards depending on family genetics. All of them grow hair so quickly it can grow inches in a day and a clean-shaven face is a sign of immense wealth for being able to afford so much time and service. They also do not use magic, being surprised that the surface world "still uses it". Their language is very hard sounding. Finally, they have taken most of the iron in the world due to living underground and using it long before anyone else can discover it, leading to the surface world staying in the bronze age. Several strips have shown their culture is very sex conservative, to the point that several dwarves have trouble understanding sex for pleasure.
  • Dwarves in Tales of MU mostly follow the model, with a few additions. Their names have a Germanic flavor, they count in base seven, and while they seem like a One-Gender Race, it's been explained that male and female dwarves just don't get along. The one full-blooded female dwarf who appeared was not described with a beard. MU dwarves have a strong disposition for secrecy and privacy, though the college-going ones are willing to make exceptions for attractive women of other races. One recurring minor character, Gebhard, shows a somewhat fussy and fastidious nature.

These Dwarves are Too Bizarre to Have a Suitable Pun

    Anime & Manga 
  • In One Piece, dwarves are extremely small, have animal tails and pointy noses, and are extremely fast and strong. They do not seem to take up mining but rather have a connection with plant and animal life. In general, they are extremely gullible. Beards are also not very prominent.

    Card Games 
  • Matt Cavotta, art director for Magic: The Gathering, wrote a column about the lack of dwarves in Magic. He starts with the stereotypical dwarf, somewhat unfitting for the Red philosophy and aesthetic, and changes it step by step into a more logical interpretation of "digging Red-aligned creature." Results are ... interesting.

    Comic Books 
  • In the 2000 AD comic Sláine, dwarves are almost completely the opposite of their Tolkien counterparts. Sláine's dwarves are a race of utter cowards whose cowardice is only matched by their lust for human women and the propensity to steal anything not nailed down. Often clean-shaven, they have pointy ears and are rather weak but quite agile because of their skinny physique. The butt monkeys of the comic, Sláine gives his dwarven sidekick Ukko daily beatings to keep him at least somewhat honest and it's implied that this is a common fate for dwarves. The only thing shared between Sláine's dwarves and Tolkien's is the lack of height.
  • In Sylvain Runberg's Konungar, the Dvergar are dwarves that are red-skinned, very agile and have pointed ears. They live in the forest and pose a great threat to travelers as they eat horses and other livestock, as well as attack humans for their eyes. The Dvergar are an accursed race that Odin and the other gods did not bless with eyes, so they try to gouge them out of humans in the hopes that they can put them in their empty eye-sockets.
  • The Last God from DC Black Label, has two unusual Dwarven species in the Dwarrow and the Djorukk. The god of the forge, Mol Kalakko was dying of old age and wished to create a race before he died, but was afraid to spill out his lifeblood to animate the small statues he crafted. He hatched a plan involving his "brother", the evil god/Eldritch Abomination Mol Uhltep to get his blood. Instead Mol Kalakko got killed. Bleeding out on the statues, these came to life and became the Djorukk. They had his kind nature and power of magical craftsmanship, plus they'd never die of old age or disease. Unfortunately, they couldn't reproduce either. After Kalakko died, the Djorukk put his body away but the corpse was tainted by Mol Uhltep's poisonous claws and from the rotted flesh came the Dwarrow. This Always Chaotic Evil race were flesh and blood mortal, but had a grey stone-like skin and Long-Lived. They were also cannibalistic savages fond of rape and preferred going nude. They also lacked the crafting skills and magic of their Djorukk counterparts, so they made crude weapons from stone if they weren't hunting and consuming Djorukk for their abilities.
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard: Andravi the Dwarf is both an aversion and not. He is a dwarf who loves his gold, and has taken to guarding it twenty-four seven... in the form of a giant, magic-proof Pike. Unfortunately for Andravi, he's not bazooka-proof. As he's dying, he's seen to be a regular dwarf in his normal form, complete with beard.
  • In Doug Moench's '70s-'80s story Weirdworld -- Warriors of the Shadow Realm, dwarves are the main inhabitants of the world (at least until Weirdworld gets retconned). They are a non-militaristic somewhat cowardly folk who live above ground — whether it's in a forest village or in the City of Seven Dark Delights doing all varieties of occupations except fighting (this would lead to countless dwarves getting mulched in the series) and have a degree of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism. Male dwarves are Gonk, they have huge ears and huge noses plus even males who are otherwise thin have a noticeable potbelly. Female dwarves are much better looking with the most beautiful dwarven girls looking exactly like a round-eared elf girl (elves in this world are short).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avengers: Infinity War the dwarves were actually giants, though with Peter Dinklage's proportions (or at least his character King Eitri does). They also forged Thor's hammer in the fires of a neutron star captured in a Dyson Sphere, and the Infinity Gauntlet, after which Thanos killed all of them but Eitri.
  • 7 Zwerge: The dwarves are simply seven men who had traumatizing experiences with women, so they decide to live in the woods alone. They are all clean-shaven and only wear a beard when working in the mine. They are also relatively average in size, with the exception of Bubi, who is relatively small, and Ralfie, who is two heads taller and two times wider than anyone else in the films (and also is a Gentle Giant). A running gag is that a character remarks that they thought that dwarves were supposed to be small, to which one of them responds that this is just an old prejudice.

  • Alviss from American Gods is king of the dwarves because he's the tallest at 5'9".
  • And about as averted as you can get in Artemis Fowl where Dwarves are human/mole/earthworm hybrids with prehensile beards that burrow through the dirt by eating it and then crapping it out as fast as they do. Also, they can suck in water through their skin (a dehydrated dwarf can use this to Wall Crawl!), and their saliva is a fast-hardening, glow-in-the-dark anaesthetic.
    • Also, far from being traditional, they tend to have a healthy disregard for the law. They also tend to eat anything regardless of whether it is alive or sentient. Plus, rather than fighting elves, they have a long standing rivalry with goblins, who are able to shoot fire, which dwarves are incredibly vulnerable to and afraid of. The main dwarf character, Mulch, lampshades how ridiculous it is to form a cultural conflict with the only beings on Earth capable of conjuring your major weakness.
    • In many ways, it's more of an elaborate Justified Trope than a direct aversion. They live underground and collect gold and jewels because they're evolved to live underground, and hoarding valuables is only natural when you find yourself in a society that values those shiny rocks you come across on a regular basis. They hate elves because a lot of them are criminals, and most of the police are elves. They have long beards because their beard hairs are ultra-sensitive whiskers for probing around in dark tunnels, and can be used to pick locks.
  • In Discworld (where it is spelled "Dwarfs", just like Tolkien noted in the preface to later editions of The Hobbit). Policeman Vimes' experience with them points to countryside dwarfs usually being quiet industrious types who don't cause trouble, and putting on airs of being rowdy and violent seems to be a trait only annoyingly common in his city. This is probably because, unlike their home mines, the city won't cave in on their heads if they're noisy, and there's more beer available. Also they are German and Welsh as well as Scottish. Interestingly, given the Semitic roots of Tolkien's dwarvish language, there are theories that Pratchett's dwarfs are Jewish-ish (quiet, hard-working, thrifty, very respectful of ancient traditions that they don't feel they necessarily follow as closely as they're supposed to.
    • The above description also fits many other ethnic and/or immigrant groups besides Jewish-ish.
      • The "Dwarfs as Jews" groupthink probably came from that one Watch book that had multiple jokes about Dwarfs being in love with gold. "What? No, we only say that to get it into bed."
      • One should note, however, that somewhat similarly to Judaism, where it is forbidden to destroy a text that mentions the name of God, for the dwarves, it is forbidden to destroy any text at all.
      • The love of gold, of course, is very probably from the miner/craftsman aspect (especially since it is often compared to their love of iron) making things seem very recursive. The Dwarfs seem to have the tendency of being put in the place of any immigrant ethnic group whether black (in Soul Music they come up with "Rap" or "Rat" music) or Muslim (Thud) or yes, Jewish. Trolls on the other hand, seem to be just sentient rocks.
      • Trolls and Dwarfs do share a tradition of "Hole Music".
    • Dwarf women are also often seen — however, they are physically indistinguishable from male Dwarfs. This has had an effect on their culture somewhat, in that many Dwarfs do not use female pronouns, courtship is largely devoted to very carefully finding out what sex, under all that leather and chainmail, the other Dwarf is, and a Dwarf identifying herself as female is treated akin to coming out as gay in a conservative society. Exemplified by Sergeant Cheery Littlebottom of the Ankh-Morpork Watch, who "comes out" as a female, wearing boiled leather skirts, high-heeled boots, and makeup, much to the chagrin of other dwarfs, but is never without her iron helmet, battleaxe, and beard. Upon suggestion of shaving, she's outright horrified of the mere idea of losing her beard. She may be willing to come out as female, but she's still a dwarf.
    • Being a dwarf also seems to be more a matter of culture than a biological thing, as Captain Carrot is considered a dwarf (by adoption) despite also being a nearly seven-foot-tall human.
      • Carrot's making a nature/nurture point — culturally he's a dwarf. He was raised as a dwarf, by dwarven parents and went through all the normal processes of growing up as a dwarf. He may not be as hardline dwarfish as the Deep Uberwald dwarves — mainly due to coming from a surface dwarf community near Lancre — but is still more dwarfish than many an Ankh-Morpork city dwarf. He questions the relevance of being (genetically) human in the light of all this.
      • It's pointed out several times that according to dwarf law and custom, Carrot actually is a dwarf. This tends to disturb other dwarfs meeting him for the first time, because they know something's not right but can't quite put their finger on specifically what it is, since their definition of "dwarf" doesn't actually say anything about height. In the dwarf creation myth, the original dwarf and original human were created identical, and only physically diverged thanks to adopting different lifestyles.
    • Unseen Academicals gives us two dwarfs who between them sum up the whole thing. Pepe is a human that converted as an adult, although unlike Carrot he's short enough that this is not obvious, and explicitly a gay man. He is in a long-term romantic and sexual relationship with Madame Sharn, a dwarf that identifies as female but explains it to the protagonist in a way that leaves her biological sex ambiguous and may just be an elaborate "queen" pun. This brings up all sorts of questions as to whether Discworld dwarfs consider gender identity and anatomical equipment at all linked, and for that matter whether a culture that traditionally only has one gender has a concept of sexual orientation at all.
    • All of this plays into the above: in addition to ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, the dwarfs often serve to represent sexual minorities, be it gays or just particularly feminist women.
    • On a more parodic note, the image for dwarfs in the "Art of Discworld" book is essentially the page image, but with a loaf of bread in place of the axe (dwarf pastries are renowned for being more useful as primary weapons than emergency rations).
    • The later books subvert this with the grags, an extremist faction that becomes the Discworld version of Islamic terrorists (bearded, live in caves, have very specific views on women and what they're allowed to do and use violence against those they deem deviants...). Thankfully, these don't last long.
  • In the Dragaera novels written by Steven Brust, Easterners, who are identical to real-world humans, are sometimes called "dwarfs" by the tall, elf-like Dragaerans. Easterner society is based on medieval Eastern Europe rather than anything resembling Celtic or Nordic. The Serioli come a bit closer, living underground and forging powerful magical weapons, but are otherwise completely different.
  • Niven and Barnes were probably playing homage to this trope with Mary-Martha "Mary-Em" Corbett, an eccentric live-action Gamer from the Dream Park novels. Though human, she's 4'1" tall, is built like a muscular fire hydrant, wields a halberd (~battleaxe), is The Big Guy of her adventuring party, guzzles beer like a pro, calls a spade a spade, and sings repetitively while she's marching. Although her songs tend to be a hell of a lot raunchier than this trope usually allows.
  • In Lyn Abbey's Jerlayne, dwarves are a servitor race to their elven parents. A dwarf is born when an elf mates with an elf (an elf mating with an elf will result in a random variety of fantasy beings such as rusalkas). They have bronze-coloured skin and are all homosexual. Finally unlike the standard dwarf, these dwarves do the farming and household grunt work — they don't mine. In fact, they can't use metal items that haven't been processed by a female elf (only female elves can manipulate and detoxify metal items, and they get their metal by having male elves come to our world to scavenge our junk and bag it).
  • The Soddit, being a parody of The Hobbit, starts by exaggerating the traditional portrayal of dwarves, although with ludicrously exaggerated Welsh accents, rather than Scottish ones (well, what would you expect a race of miners to sound like, look you, bach?). It's revealed early on, however, that dwarves hate having beards, it's just that they're allergic to shaving soap. Later, when Bingo Grabbins questions how they could have possibly carved the great caverns of the Mines of Black Maria with hand-axes (or, as the dwarves themselves claim, trowels), they're forced to admit that they didn't. All the mountains in Upper-Middle Earth are naturally hollow. And at the end of the book it turns out that dwarves are the larval form of dragons.
  • The Drin of Tales from the Flat Earth are the 3rd caste of demons from the Underearth after the Vazdru nobility and the mute Eshva dancers. Unlike the previous castes who are all astonishingly beautiful, the Drin are ugly stunted dwarves though they have lustrous black hair. They are universally skilled in magical engineering and crafting beautiful objects, so they're often in service to other demons (including their king, the Lord of Darkness Azharn) and human magicians. The Drin are all male, so barring a rare sex for items/services trade with an Eshva girl or female human, the Drin are relegated to copulating with reptiles and large insects which they do with relish. Within the Drin, there's a subclass called the Drinendra that are even worse off - the Drin are at least sentient and occasionally valued, the Drinendra are demonic animals that are usually treated as a mangy cur.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Inverted. Lucia is slender, skilled with magic, avoids fighting, and holds little interest in gold or industry. Thus, he's closer to an elf than a traditional dwarf. Whether all dwarves are like this is unknown because he's the only one in the setting.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sontarans from Doctor Who are like typical dwarves in that they're a short, stocky, all-male Proud Warrior Race, but that's about where the similarities end. For starters, they're an alien clone race with muddy skin, potato-like faces, and virtually no hair. Also, unlike most other dwarves, Sontarans are usually villains, and they're a ridiculous exaggeration of the Proud Warrior Race Guy trope in that they view everything as part of the war effect and thus take everything with military seriousness.
  • In Once Upon a Time, dwarves are always "male", are asexual, and are hatched in groups of 8, fully grown (and fully clothed) from eggs. Their names are magically given to them by their pick-axes based on their personality, and it's their job as a species to crush diamonds into fairy dust.

    Video Games 
  • Armageddon (MUD) has a race of dwarves that is completely hairless, used to be enslaved, are immensely determined to their personal task to the point where every one of them is a Determinator. They are no more fond of mountain homes, alcohol, forging and axes than people of any other race are.
  • The Ura of Bastion live underground and use crossbows. In all other senses, they're a civilization of Wutai humans.
  • The Tiny Tina DLC of Borderlands 2 parodies this trope. Not only do all dwarves fit the classic stereotype, they all look like Salvador.
  • In Class of Heroes, dwarves have the same typical culture of other dwarves, but they look more like beastmen. Or furries.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, dwarves are largely absent (replaced by gnomes) until the "Legend of Dead Kel" DLC Referred to as "Dverga", they look like the classical fantasy dwarf, although a) they have women, and b) their women are visibly female, complete with lacking beards. The weird thing about them is that they are associated with the sea, not mountains; they're a race of sailors, renowned for their skill, but also hated by most other races because they are pirates, conquerors and slavers; their obsession is with colonising the islands of the Frostbreak Sea, and so they raid other races and carry people off into slavery to give them the labor pool they need to found settlements so quickly. Whilst they do create underground bunkers beneath their settlements known as "fastings" to retreat to if beseiged, these are built out of mud and wood, and otherwise they live on the surface. In fact, the tradition of dverga is to erect the first structures of a new settlement from the repurposed ships that brought them to that island.
  • Kingdom of Loathing, where dwarves are 7-foot tall miners. They are all the same, but not like dwarves in other fantasy fiction.
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2: They're sturdier than humans and elves and even their women have beards.
  • While no actual dwarves, or any other conventional race, appear in the series, the Godom of Paladin's Quest certainly invoke this archetype. They're a subterranean race who excel in weaponsmithing and explosives, but are generally bad at magic. Their appearance, on the other hand, is anything but. They actually resemble large bipedal dinosaur, insect, ram... things.
  • Pillars of Eternity has two types of dwarves.
    • Mountain Dwarves are largely widespread across the world and aside from appearances don't really have any traits of the classic archetypes. They're typically found as members of multi-racial cultures, and blend in there. Those found in the Vailian Republics , where mountain dwarves are most common, inherit the Vailians' colorful Renaissance fashion sense, passionate tempers, and sort-of Italian accents. Dwarves found in the Dyrwood are often cynical, stubborn, and terse, but the same can be said of Dyrwoodan humans. And Glanfathan dwarves make their homes in mountains rather than forests but otherwise display the same Iroquois-meets-Celtic culture as other Glanfathan.
    • Boreal dwarves seem to be what you get if you cross a dwarf with an Inuit or Tlingit (or an Icewind Dale barbarian): tundra-inhabiting surface dwarves that coexist peacefully with caravan elves.
    • The dwarven recruitable companion, Sagani, is a femalenote  boreal dwarf ranger who carries a bow. Her outfit also combines a tastefully restrained amount of bare midriff and legs while making no attempt at armor and both concept artworks of her revealed so far show Tribal Facepaint (along with paint or tattoos on said exposed midriff in one -it wasn't visible in the other-). Finally, it has already been established that in her people's homeland of Naasitaq the boreal dwarves coexist peacefully with caravan elves who roam along the coasts.
  • A Primer On The Capture And Identification Of The Little Folk Of Myth And Legend: The entry on Dwarf-s has a confrontation of stereotypes, being defined as "About the size of a child", "Looks human", "Not mischevious", "Has Round Ears", instead of Pointy Ears, and hair-free feet:
    Ah, well then your specimen simply must be a DWARF. You're probably wondering why it doesn't have a beard, carry an axe, mine for gold or drink copiously. There's not another breed of little folk that's quite so steeped in stereotype as the dwarf. Really they're simple, peaceable creatures, who would never dream of hurting another living thing. Their teeth are quite valuable though, so pop it in the mouth and gather up a handful of white gold before sending it on its way.
  • The Rune Factory series has some very non-dwarfy dwarves. They're all of average or above-average height, live above ground like anyone else, may or may not have any forging skill, and often have no beard at all (those who do have a beard only have a small one, and it's only the older dwarves who do; the younger dwarven men are Bishounen like the rest of the young male cast). They also have pointy ears, though usually not quite as long as the elves' ears, and don't take any issue with elves or outsiders.
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant features a monster called Duergar note  that was once a stereotypical Dwarf but his hatred of humankind warped him into a creature resembling a bug-eyed alien of some sorts.
  • Valhalla Knights have Dwarves who are tall and have somewhat dark skin; they also have a lot of Markings/Tattoos and the males don't seem to have anything more then a goatee if even that. According to the manual, although the Males are still stereotypical Bruisers, Females have increased intelligence and resistance, which leads one to believe they can be fairly good spell casters, although they are still great front liners (which when you think about it, means they'd probably be the least 'Squishy' Spellcaster). They also don't appear to have any issues with Elves.

    Visual Novels 
  • Loren: The Amazon Princess gives the character of Ramas, who plays the trope straight with a few twists (he's a merchant and doesn't live underground), but massively averts the trope with Dora. She's a Genki Girl, a Lovable Rogue, lives above ground with the humans, and has no problem with elves or anyone in the party.

  • RiceBoy: The Horned take the role of dwarves; short blood-knights who have a long history with stone. They're also small-headed with hidden mouths.
  • In DM of the Rings, Gimli brings up the characteristics of dwarves. Aragorn, Legolas, and the DM mention a handful of other things than what he meant.
  • The Dreadful gives us Ax-Crazy Burke, who is less like a typical dwarf and more like an Expy of Yosemite Sam.
  • Dwarves in Nodwick are actually Halflings with steroids and fake beards. Halflings made up both Dwarves and Gnomes in order to get additional royalties from the writers of splatbooks.
  • In Tales of the Questor dwarves are practically blind, their toes are prehensile, and their beards are actually a thick coat of fur sprouting out of their chests.
  • Thunderstruck
    Sharon: So you're a dwarf? You're taller than I expected, um, you get that a lot don't you?
  • The Korean webtoon Tower of God has Evan Edrok, member of the Silver-haired Dwarf race. They are small and they tend to birth Guides, who can navigate wonderfully through the cave like middle section of the Tower. That's how traditionally dwarfish they are, because Evan and his father Alumik defy stereotypes.
  • The Basitin of TwoKinds are a sort of three-way cross between dwarves, orcs, and Beast Men. They're short, hairy (to the point that they're actually covered in fur), and well-muscled. They are consumate warriors, and have, through most of their history, been going through a civil war that they actively refuse to end because it's just so darn much fun. They can't use magic (not even enchanted weapons, although nobody seems to make those anyways), are slightly regenerative, and are immune to most poisons. Wether they're dwarven or orky comes down to culture; with the westerners being clad in bronze armor, and the easterners in kilts and tattoos.
  • Baalbuddy features several nonstandard dwarves (although they are noted to be cultural exceptions by their kin, who are essentially Warhammer dwarves), such as Ragmar the shaved dwarf or a dwarf who leaves the mountain brewery to start a vineyard with his orc wife(/wives).

    Web Original 
  • Merle from The Adventure Zone averts most, if not all, dwarven cliches. He's a cleric who worships Pan (a nature god) who is frequently associated with plant life. Before the events of the campaign, he lived not in a mountain or a mine, but on a beach. He also has an American accent, but very briefly fakes a Scottish accent when disguising himself in the Murder on the Rockport Limited arc.
    • Speaking more broadly, one unusual trait of dwarves in The Adventure Zone is that they all have absurdly large families: Merle being Gundren Rockseeker's cousin means basically nothing because there's so many of them (although it does help him open Wave Echo Cave), and when the Voidfish attempts to remove Boyland from the memories of his family after his funeral, the fish nearly dies from the effort of wiping so many minds at once.
  • This motivational poster, depicting a Lineage dwarf.
  • It may be difficult to find these days, but an old Gamespy comedy feature article were two writers comparing various things (like sorcerers versus warriors) and once, Elves vs. Dwarves came up. They pointed out that there are many different depictions of elves, but dwarves tend to all be the same.
  • In Yogscast Minecraft Series, dwarves are mostly the standard model, but in Hole Diggers Duncan Jones jokes that male dwarves can be impregnated as well, while Simon Lane jokes that dwarves lay eggs that need to be fertilised before any offspring are born.

    Western Animation 
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: The dwarves launch an attack on the elves, in revenge for being stuck farming mushrooms while the (Santa-esque) elves got the much more profitable cookie business.
    • There was also the moment with Dean Toadblatt siccing a giant one on Nigel Planter.
    "Release the GIANT ONE-EYED DWARF!"
  • The dwarves in Niko and the Sword of Light are definitely very different, being living mountains that play "rockby" rather than forge things (though they still have Scottish accents). In a twist, however, they're practically identical to the setting's giants.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Our Dwarves Are Different


"Fantasy Races"

In "Fantasy Races", dwarves are reclusive blacksmiths with no interest of expanding their territory with their scientific prowess.

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