- "Therefore Thingol took thought for arms, which before his people had not needed, and these at first the Naugrim smithied for him; for they were greatly skilled in such work..."
- —Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Sindar"
Throughout their existence, the so-called Naugrim, or Dwarves, have been experts at making and using various weaponry, with no equal. This skill comes from the Vala Aulë the Smith, who crafted the Dwarves at the beginning of Arda. The list of common Dwarven weaponry goes on and on, and from their very origin each type, including bows, swords, axes, and mattocks, have retained a unique Dwarven identity and respect among other cultures.
Axe EditThe Dwarven axe is the most famous and likely the most common weapon for any Dwarf soldier. Used extensively throughout the wars fought by Dwarves, the axe probably came into use by the time Khazad-dûm was founded, somewhere in the Ages of Stars. The idea of the use of the axe is to drive forward while attacking; therefore, it is not good in defense. Being a weapon that is hard to control, the axe takes great skill to master, which shows the skill and temperament the Dwarves have in warfare.
The Dwarven sword is less commonly wielded than the axe. Yet, certain famous Dwarven figures have wielded this weapon to great effect. The warriors of the Iron Hills carried a broad shortsword as a sidearm.
The war-pick was the favored weapon of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills. Their skill with them appears to have been well-known, for in most instances where they are mentioned, their mattocks are named as well.
Though not commonly associated with the Khazad, it appears bows were utilized by them as well. Thorin and company used bows given to them by Beorn in Mirkwood, and Thorin was the only dwarf of the company to hit the stag they saw, implying skill with a bow. Thorin also scavenged a bow from the armories of Erebor, and used it to shoot at emissaries sent to negotiate with him.
Perhaps the Dwarves are best known for their armour above all other things battle-related. Dwarf armor would be iron or steel chain-mail, which was invented and used by the Dwarves to great effect by the time of the Wars of Beleriand. Of course, iron or steel helms and shields would accompany this chain-mail. Dwarven helmets are recorded to have covered the face, with the use of a forged mask. This mask was particularly helpful when fighting Dragons, as the face would be shielded from the flames, thanks to the expert craft of the Dwarves. Lastly, with the use of Mithril, their armor changed more dramatically than any other of their works did. Having such properties as to make arrows bounce off, Mithril became an invaluable substance to the Dwarves, so much, so that a single mail shirt could be "worth more than the value of the Shire and everything in it". However, the use of Mithril in arms and armor became very limited after Orcs of the Misty Mountains and the newly awakened Balrog of Morgoth overran the Dwarf mines of Khazad-dûm. Dain and the folk of the Iron hills invented a metal mesh which they made in to armor for the legs.
Dwarven shields are little-known, but the warriors of the Iron Hills wore a circular shield on their backs.