J. R. R. Tolkien’s books, such as The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, have inspired a new wave of fantasy novels that take place in a highly detailed, fantastical worlds. Though Tolkien had an incredibly imaginative and ingeniously creative mind, he drew his ideas heavily from Norse mythology. Not only did he find the concepts of elves, dwarves and magical rings from Nordic tales, but he also gathered names for his characters from Scandinavian mythology—especially the dwarves. For example, almost all the names of the J. R. R. Tokien’s dwarves in The Hobbit can be found in one passage from The Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson. The dwarves in The Hobbit are Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Thorin Oakenshield. You will find most of their names, and that of Gandalf, in the following excerpt from The Prose Edda:
- From The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, translated by Jesse L. Byock (Penguin Classics edition). This passage is in chapter 14 of the Gylfaginning, within The Prose Edda.
Written by C. Keith Hansley