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The subject of this article or section originates from non-canonical sources.
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The Dourhands were an ancient clan of Dwarves that inhabited Eriador.

Portrayal in adaptations

The Lord of the Rings Online

In ancient times, their King Skorgrim led the clan to attack the Refuge of Edhelion, an Elvish settlement, seeking for the power of immortality within the relics the elves kept. He managed to destroy most of it but was stopped when an Elf named Talagan brought the library's walls down upon them both, killing them and ending the conflict. The Dourhands, leaded by Gormr Doursmith, took over Thorin's Halls, near the ruins of the Refuge of Edhelion, sometime after the Quest of Erebor and the consequent death of Thorin Oakenshield, where Skorgrim's body had been discovered a few years before. They were hostile to the Longbeards residing in the region. They initiated a plan to revive Skorgrim with the help of sorcery and were ultimately successful but a party led by Dwalin was able to defeat them afterwards, killing Gormr and kicking the Dourhands out of Thorin's Halls and surrounding regions. A few years later, the Dourhands presence in the Thorin's Gate region had diminished but there were some Longbeards who believed the Dourhands, under the now reborn King Skorgrim, to be preparing something. The Dourhands shared the ideals of the First Age Dwarves and hated the Elves deeply. (The Lord of the Rings Online)

Behind the scenes

Dourhands introduction stories and background for Skorgrim and Dourhands underwent a few major revisions in the games Updates. This occurred when the epic prologue events went through updates. First change involved dividing the Dwarf and Elf starting areas on the map (both used to start in same place). Then finally underwent streamlining, removing many of the old quests and simplifying others, and changing many of the situations and enemies involved and certain characters motives in their dialogue (such of that as Tvistur). Quest progression was made more linear (all optional quests were removed). Finally much of the western side of northern Blue Mountains under a major change, as the formerly 'lazier' and 'cowardly' Dourhands that just let the place fall into rot, wouldn't get their own food (and couldn't be bothered to hold back invading goblins), handful on allied with the goblins. Turning the previously pristine Blue Mountains into a place of quarries and terrible machines. Some of the other geography changed and certain locations removed. Most of the wildlife had been removed or changed to corrupted varieties. One of the latter quests involved hunting Dwarves inside of their cave, was turned into hunting fell spirits inside of a mine. Skorgrim appearance and role in the introduction zone was expanded on a little.

See Wicked dwarves. Of the races, Dwarves are the most resistant to corruption and influence of Morgoth and later Sauron. The seven rings of Power of the Dwarves did not turn them to evil, but it did amplify their greed and lust for gold. It is said that very few willfully served the side of darkness. Of those who did very little was written. During the early parts of the Third Age (or at least in legends of the previous), it is known that in some places wicked Dwarves had made alliances with the goblins and Orcs.[1] Because Dwarves are not evil by nature, few ever served the Enemy of their own free will (though rumors of Men suggest the total was greater).[2]

A note by Christopher Tolkien in the Lost Tales, Part II, describes Dwarves as 'dour'.

In Lord of the Rings, the Rangers are described as 'dour-handed'.



  1. They did not hate Dwarves especially, no more than they hated everybody and everything, and particularly the orderly and prosperous; in some parts wicked Dwarves had even made alliances with them. Tolkien, J.R.R. (2009-04-17). The Hobbit (Kindle Locations 1057-1059). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
  2. But they [Dwarves] are not evil by nature, and few ever served the Enemy of free will, whatever the tales of Men may have alleged. For Men of old lusted after their wealth and the work of their hands, and there has been enmity between the races. (Appendix F to LoTR)