The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Born III 2760; lived until at least III 28641
Race
Division
Family
Settlements
Born in Erebor2
Pronunciation
dee's
Meaning
From Old Norse dís, 'lady' or 'goddess'3

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About this entry:

  • Updated 4 September 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

Dís

The younger sister of Thorin Oakenshield

The daughter of Thráin II, and sister of Thorin II Oakenshield. The mother of Fíli and Kíli, she is the only dwarf-woman named by Tolkien.


Notes

1

Our last definite dated, albeit indirect, reference to Dís is III 2864, when her youngest son Kíli was born. At this date Dís would have been 104 years old, a less remarkable age for a long-lived Dwarf than it may seem. Assuming a typical Dwarf lifespan, Dís probably survived until about the year III 3010.

2

We have very few details about Dís' life, but she was born at a time when her grandfather Thrór was King under the Mountain, and her father Thráin was also known to be dwelling in Erebor, so it's safe to assume that she was born there. She would have been just ten years old when Smaug sacked the Lonely Mountain, an event that she is known to have survived. After this, she seems to have travelled west with her people, dwelling first in Dunland and then in the Blue Mountains. She likely lived long enough to see the reclamation of the Lonely Mountain from Smaug, and was therefore perhaps able to make the long journey back to her childhood home in her later years.

3

As is commonly the case for Tolkien's Dwarves, the name Dís comes from Old Norse, though its translation is far from straightforward. In its original language, it is most commonly seen in the plural form Dísir, which seems to have meant something like 'female spirits' or 'goddesses', with the Valkyries being the most familiar of these supernatural Dísir. The singular form Dís can be interpreted as simply 'lady' (and this is probably how Tolkien intended it to be taken, since Dís the Dwarf was by no means supernatural), though its mythological associations mean that it can also be translated as 'goddess'.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 4 September 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

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