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Dwarf Characters Names For LOTRO
Tolkien wrote in the Appendix F of the LOTR, in Return of the King, that:
Gimli's own name, however, and the names of all his kin, are of Northern (Mannish) origin. Their own secret and 'inner' names, their true names, the Dwarves have never revealed to any one of alien race. Not even on their tombs do they inscribe them.
In An Introduction to Elvish, Other Tongues, Proper Names and Writing Systems of the Third Age of the Western Lands of Middle-Earth as Set Forth in the Published Writings of Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien by Jim Allan, the author traces the names used by the Dwarves in the Hobbit to a list of Dwarf names in a Scandinavian epic, found in the old Icelandic anthology of poetry and mythology called the Elder Edda, or Poetic Edda
He says Tolkien 'anglicized' them somewhat, but they are very recognizable never the less. In the poem, among others, are found Durinn, Dvalinn, Bifurr, Bofurr, Bomburr, Gandalfr (surprise!), Fili and Kili. Þrainn (Thrainn) and more. Fili means File, Kili; Wedge, Þrainn; stubborn and Bomburr bulging. A definite connection to character there. Tolkien's anglicization, for the most part was by removing a final 'r' or 'n' from many of the names, and changing 'v' to 'w'. Old Norse itself also changed the 'v' to 'w' in the evolution of the language.
Various sites have created different dwarf name generators where you can find a name to suit your doughty LOTRO character. These are based, in varying degrees, on the background that Tolkien supplied, as well as his sources from Scandinavian legend and myth.
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Slack 'n Hash
The first one we'll look at is the Dwarf name generator at Slack 'n Hash, a site where we have found other useful generators for LOTRO races.
You have the choice of having random elements combined, or selecting elements from a provided list, which the generator will then concatenate for you. Name elements for the dwarf name generator come from Norse and other Scandinavian sources. The site owner gives credit to Viking Answer Lady, and to Kate Monk's Ononastikon. The Ononastikon site is an amazing compendium of name sources from many many different cultures and time periods.
These names are ones that could have been used in Viking times, and Old Norse is the language which Tolkien used to represent many aspects of the 'outer' dwarvish language. I am giving the version of the name without accent, as you would use it in a game, after each entry.
You select Gender of either, male or female for your name.
Using random choices, and selecting either gender, I was given:
Vargbrand: Taken from varg (wolfish) and brandr (sword / sword-blade) Wargbrand
Ástknút: Taken from ást (love / affection) and knútr (knot) Astknut
Furageir: Taken from fura (fir tree) and geirr (spear) Furageir
Kjalmæki: Taken from kjal (keel) and mæki (banner / sign) Kjalmaeki
Gnauthðr: Taken from gnauð (noise) and ðrr (wild / mad / furious) Gnauthor
Húsósorg: Taken from hús (house) and ósorgr (joyful / hopeful) Husosorg
For female names (remembering that other races can not tell a female dwarf from a male dwarf):
Vargkom: Taken from varg (wolfish) and koma (to come) Wargkom
Hlífhrím: Taken from hlíf (shield / protection) and hrím (frost) Hlifhrim
Lothinnvænn: Taken from loðinn (hairy) and vænn (promising) - According to the method Jim Allan found in Tolkien's names, the final 'n' would be dropped, leaving Lothinwaen. Not a name I necessarily would have picked as female- but if you can not tell the females from the males...
Ingfjöa: Taken from ing (descendant / of the lineage of) and fjör (life / vitality) Ingfjoa
Selecting male names gave me:
Sprakaeii: Taken from spraka (to crackle / to gossip) and eir (peace) Sprakaei
Saxedagi: Taken from saxe (short sword) and dagr (day) Saxedagi
Títhfúss: Taken from tíð (time) and fúss (seeking after) Tithfuss
Dróttgangi: Taken from drótt (household) and gangr (going / walking) Drottgang
Kjóllfróthi: Taken from kjóll (ship) and fróðr (wise / learned) Kjollfrothi
Kjötbrandi: Taken from kjöt (flesh / meat) and brandr (sword / sword-blade) Kjotbrandi
I was not able to discern much difference in the choices made for names from any gender based on their meanings. If you use any of these generated names, use them without accented characters, as those will be almost impossible to use in the context of an online game.
There is an occasional boggle in this generator. Sometimes you need to click 'name that dwarf' multiple times before the new name is concatenated. The elements will change, but the name itself stays the same. If you keep clicking, you will get a new name. Or you can take the elements and try to concatenate them yourself, since it still gives you the information on what name elements mean. This happens under all three choices.
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Khordaldrum (Dwarven) Name Generator
This generator does not explicitly say it uses names appropriate for Tolkien's dwarves, but they do seem to have Scandanavian elements in them, and so would be appropriate. They did not give name meanings.
It is random, you can choose gender, and it gives you the option to be given surname or both. Dwarf names can be realistic, which are the ones using Scandinavian elements, or fantasy, where the surname is an English nickname.
Here are some of the male realistic dwarf names generated:
Rogi Yurdadak / Thorhof Harbud / Babdal Odar / Anur Magadorn / Nosthic Farral / Tybbar Berthral / Drogen Bulrin / Bul Farkaduum / Grugim Agadduum / Beldar Burmek / Azagdas Garthec / Boir Zagpel / Gnok Nortek / Kilzin Odul / Vonis Farkarak / Donarum Kazakul / Rak Davadum / Ril Thodan / Gomgthal Nordorn / Rilo Tordur / Yerthic Reiral / Bikbar Fardald / Dorn Garkadrum / Anor Wermak / Havmar Urgamalk
If you look at the various names, you can see certain name elements repeating, but no individual names repeated in my 50 some tries. Especially in the sunames, you can see that some are only differing by a letter or two, as in Odar and Odul. However, Fili and Kili in the Hobbit also only differed by a letter.
Female realistic dwarf names:
Namna Nurakak / Torda Garamek / Arna Paladul / Tah Kulddar / Huakil Dunadbal / Mana Bazaerg / Agli Urgakul / Vomra Fardlode / Marin Agaddum / Marlali Kaldral / Vonrad Falpal / Almabo Nordun / Belren Gorogdak / Annu Urdum / Teldu Thorekgirn / Tuatu Werlode / Bardeth Heirkak / Dorbela Ograddorn / Nurbera Kolmhad / Cliadeth Tormak / Nola Ovkar / Delamana Azdak / Barla Murdindud / Anra Nanirak / Anra Kolmkal / Yili Okver / Unna Bulrak / Bazina Grazgmek
None of the last name repeated, even with the last names for the male dwarves, but there was a first name repeat, Anra, which makes me wonder whether they have a slightly smaller database for female name elements. In many historic records, there are far fewer female names recorded than there are male names, and if they are specifically trying to use elements from female names, that could cause this.
I am oly going to give a brief sampling of the male and female fantasy names. They are given with English surnames, and it is easy to pick out the individual name elements used in their database. While these names could be used in the game, they would add less to the ambiance than the first sets of names. On the other hand, if you found a first name you liked in this group, you could always use it by itsself or with a surname from another list you liked.
Male fantasy names:
Garnak Ironmaul / Matdik Bloodpick / Thoradvak Earthdig / Matin Metalcrafter / Over Gemfist / Balmir Trollbane /Rorob Trollkiller / Immvak Rockaxe / Dorn Ironminer / Galin Irondweller / Hirseg Shalecarver / Nalo Anvilcarver / Donnar Bluebeard I did get some pleasure from seeing Bluebeard as a name, even if it is in completely the wrong story. Female fantasy names: Marlra Firepick / Bazani Ironquarry / Aglaba Ironhewer / Tuvada Granitebeard / Velm Rockcutter / Tumia Ironsmith / Iloh Spidermaul / Ranna Grayheart / Vulela Ironhand / Phaerad Graybeard / Delamana Silverblade / Nurrim Dragonhewer / Geruki Stonedig / Veylral Pickoath / Tidal Trollbane
While Iron is repeated as an element in both the male and female surnames, only one of the names was an exact match (Trollbane). Brother and sister- or married couple. Take your pick, if you can tell them apart. None of the first names repeated within either group, or between the two groupings, so you are not in serious danger of getting the exact name the person before you generated.
Someone did a very nice job of finding synonyms for words meaning miner, quarry, hewer, carver, cutter, etc. On the other hand, in my sample all the names with beard as an element were given to female dwarves...
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The next Dwarf name generator I looked at was from the site RPGInspirations.com. This was the first time I found this site, and they also had generators for elf and orc names. In the forthcoming article on Orc names, we will review that generator.
This generator also offered no choices for the user. It did generate a number of names for you to look at at a time. It was very difficult to tell if the first names used elements from Scandinavian names or not. The surnames and appellations were in English. The only reason I think there is a possibility that some Norse name elements were used is because some of the first names were accented.
Grookhak Blackshard / Kulmilin Goldenhelm / Brarmrin of the Caveboot clan / Thagrug Gravelshovel / Krolmomli Wyverncleaver / Ogrög of the Wyvernminer clan / Khufrilin Hillstein / Khûrdög Graniteshard / Hurno Copperpick / Sikrrin Kragshard / Grookren Minehammer of the Icebrewer clan / Thubilin Wyverndigger / Krokhog Graydrill / Ovain Gravelshovel / Mormu Ironforge / Darik Graniteshield / Grögnin Mudforge / Khugnrin Copperforge / Grulmilin Oakenbuilder / Adren Trollforge / Dûrön Stoneshard / Bornog Oakenstein of the Alecart clan / Dakhin Blackcleaver / Nelmug Goldencleaver / Krakhön Oakencart / Khûkrarn Ironaxe / Khûrmick Blackshovel / Abrin of the Mountainbeard clan / Brarfi Dragonaxe / Sikrili of the Blackpick clan / Thrafu Dragondrill / Armön Stoneminer / Khukög Alegrinder / Golmilir Bloodaxe / Mobrick Caveforge / Hurgain Gravelshovel / Grornik Kragstein of the Trollcleaver clan / Hogrus Deepboot / Khukrur Wyverncart of the Ironshovel clan / Grofren Deepbeard / Dobri of the Bloodbeard clan
Curiously enough, while there were three different members of the Gravelshovel family listed, none of the clans repeated themselves. This also could have been because my sample was fairly small.
While there where two different names using Oaken as an element, neither of them were Oakenshield, and since there was another name with shield as the end element, I wonder whether Oakenshield was explicitly eliminated from the choices.
Since these names have a somewhat Norse feel to them, and since some of the appellations or surnames are similar to those found in the Hobbit and LOTR, these are viable choices for use in the game, if you eliminate the clans from the names. You could also do some combining of first and surnames yourself to find one that pleased you.
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Christopher Pye's Dwarf Name Generator
This Dwarf Name Generator is also a random generator, with no user choices about the names it generated.
The sample of generated names I got were:
Veinbig Beerwrath / Murdergray Dorfbringer / Eaterhammer Kingbane / Meadbringer McSlayergrudge / Jawmurder Bearbig / Goblinthunder Cragstrong / Mithralsteel Bringerrune / Boarhammer MacFiercegreat / Brazenrock Crushshield / Dorfguts Baneboar / Firebringer Crushaxe / Bearsteel / MacRunegoblin / Axebeard Veinmighty / Doorbringer McMasonpeak / Brazenstrong McHatered / Warheavy McHeavywar / Darkdwarf McMithralhammer / Mightykeg Darkgrudge / Warhands Bigtomb / Wisecrag Granitemagma / Copperred MacGiantbeard / Thundereater MacDiamondblunt
There is some Tolkien influence here, as seen in the names Mithralsteel Bringerrune and Darkdwarf McMithralhammer, but I don't think these are generally names that would add a lot to the Middle Earth ambiance of LOTRO. Other than that, most first names appear to be made from two elements, and some of the surnames seem to concatenate up to three elements, which does add to the variety possible. Most of these dwarves have names that make them someone I'd not want to meet in a dark alleyway. On the other hand, as supporters in a fight they might bring an enormous amount of enthusiasm to your cause or quest. If you like a descriptive name that everyone will understand, this generator will give you some choices better than IdwarfBamBamBoom. But some choices are not much better.
In the names I sampled, I did not find any exact duplicates.
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I hope this look at Dwarf name generators has given you an idea of the variety of places you can go to find a unique name, and a feel for the sort of name you will get from each generator.
For additional information on how Tolkien selected names, and the variety of his sources, I again do recommend Jim Allan's book, An Introduction to Elvish....etc. It contains a great deal of information which can make you seem an accomplished Tolkien scholar in under 300 pages, and also provides dictionaries for multiple Tolkien languages, as well as information on the naming of different races in LOTR. It was completed before the Silmarillion was published, and so while there is currently much more information available on Tolkien's languages, it is quite comprehensive in what it covers on the languages and names allowed to be used in the creation of LOTRO.
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For other name generators you may find useful in other MMOs:
Name generators in general
For a look at some reviews of MMOs where roleplaying is also important:
LOTRO Name Generators
- Elf Name Generators Inspired by Tolkien's Languages For Characters in LOTRO
- A Review of Vampire Name Generators with Random Generators
- Vampire Name Generators for MMOs, Fun and Gothic Pleasures
- Dwarf Name Generators for LOTRO Characters
- Hobbit Name Generators for Tolkien Inspired Names and MMOs
- Orc Name Generators for LOTRO Player vs Monster Character Combat