Dís, Daughter of Thráin

The womenfolk of the Dwarves are a rare sight, because they make up only one-third of the dwarven population, and because they rarely leave their homes to journey abroad. Even when they do journey abroad, they are rarely recognized by other peoples, so closely do they resemble Dwarf-men in appearance and voice (and in clothing, we are told, when they travel — implying that their dress when at home is distinct from that of Dwarf-men). The only Dwarf-woman to be mentioned in all the annals of Middle-earth that have come down to us is Dís, the sister of Thorin Oakenshield. It was the heroic last stand of her sons, Fíli and Kíli, that earned Dís her mention in the Red Book of Westmarch.

Here Dís is portrayed in her younger years, in the time before the Quest of Erebor, when her kin still dwelled in Thorin’s Hall in the Blue Mountains. Nothing is known of Dís’s appearance, for she was never described, but I have given her the same yellow hair that her sons had. Naturally she is bearded, for all dwarves, both male and female, are bearded from birth. She is arrayed in rich garments befitting her royal status as sister of the rightful King Under the Mountain and mother of his heir. Her gown and mantle are of white silk embroidered with golden thread and girdled in gold mesh, and she wears a gleaming circlet of adamant upon her brow.

Before going any further with this post, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Curved Steel, a LOTRO blog dedicated to the appreciation of female Dwarves. If you are a Dwarf-woman enthusiast, please check them out.

This is the first of a type of outfit I am calling “portraits” — inspired by a particular character from Tolkien’s writing. In some cases there are good descriptions of appearance and clothing to use, in others, such as this one, there may be none. I’ve always been really intrigued by Dís since she is the only Dwarf-woman named in Tolkien. I also think how bittersweet must her reaction have been at the news of the outcome of the Quest of Erebor: the Kingdom Under the Mountain had been restored, but her brother and both her sons had been slain. She must have experienced both fierce pride and crushing grief. For her triumph and her sorrow, she is the only Dwarf-woman whose story and even name we will ever know.

  • Head: Criclet of Adamant (purchased — LOTRO Store), default
  • Shoulders: Shoulders of the Westfold (pre-order — Rise of Isengard), default
  • Chest: Silken Robe of Golden Spledour (bartered — anniversary event games-master/cosmetic rewards), default
  • Feet: Treated Elven Leather Shoes (looted — world drop), sea blue

Tips: Of course the Silken Dress of Golden Splendour (bartered — anniversary event games-master/cosmetic rewards) would be a perfect alternative to the robe for this outfit. Many of the circlets available in-game (festival and anniversary barter rewards, as well as some medallion and seal barter rewards) would look excellent as a replacement for the Circlet of Adamant, if purchasing from the Store is not your thing. If you prefer a hooded and cloaked look, you could add the Cloak of the Shining Star (bartered — anniversary event games-master/cosmetic rewards) which matches the Silken Robe of Golden Splendour, and the Hood of Night (bartered — skirmish camp classic quartermaster/Halls of Night – rare), which is a very pure white colour. Finally, the Songmaster’s Shoulders (bartered — Ost Galadh Minstrel trainer) and Shoulders of the Lady’s Grace (Caras Galadhon Minstrel trainer), when dyed sea blue, look excellent with Silken Robe if you do not have access to the Shoulders of the Westfold.

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10 Responses to Dís, Daughter of Thráin

  1. Freyjuska says:

    i have to compliment the facial design you’ve created for Dís – it’s truly distinguishable dwarven lady! i’ve did some female dwarven outfits myself, but i never accomplished to do the right “face” for my lady Khamrad. well done! (and i deeply regret the Curved Steel blog is idle at the moment, you should be featured there! 🙂

  2. Excellent outfit! The lady looks like a true lady! It’s the best female dwarvess I have ever seen. Truely well done. 🙂

  3. Thanks, Freyjuska and Hymne both! I really enjoyed doing this outfit, even though it is a pretty simple combination. When I was done taking the shots and doing the writeup, she was firmly established as a lady in my mind. After all, her beard is so silky! 😛

  4. Fionnuala says:

    I’ve never thought that the in game model was meant to be for both male and female and that all the female Dwarves running around looked rather silly. But you really managed to make a very distinguished female Dwarf look. Great job.

  5. Baranwen says:

    Great idea to start to do portraits of Tolkien characters. I support it!
    Lady Dis looks very beautiful and bright here.

  6. Curved Steel says:

    She looks splendid! Silky shiny beard, and the circlet is just perfect for her hair. And the outfit colors are very bright and noble:)
    I like your idea of doing character portraits – and this one of Lady Dis is especially great. Her story is often overlooked, and you did a great job of showing how the events of “the Hobbit” could affect her.

    And great thanks for linking to the Curved Steel! My friend used it to nudge me from a too-long blogging break) I’d really love to write about your portrayal of Dis, quoting some part and a picture as a teaser to the link to your full post – would you approve of that?

  7. Pingback: Meet the Ladies – 5 | curvedsteel

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