Here’s a conversation I had recently with IronyonRye. I’m in Italics.
- The dwarves were allegorial Jews for Middle Earth. He based their language off of Yiddish.
- You could make a similar argument for goblins in Harry potter. They were sneaky and owned banks.
- That one’s a litle more obvious and less flattering. At least Dwarves were brave and fought cave trolls. Goblins in HP don’t do shit except count their Jewgolds– I mean money.
- Trolls were All anti Semites. Let’s take this analogy too far.
- Trolling: a global context.
- Jews: mythological creatures
Tolkien’s Jewish Dwarves
That’s how this post is going to start, because as far as I can tell, these are the only two mainstream scenarios where characters in fantasy novels are Jewish. In case you are wondering what IronyonRye is talking about, at one point Tolkien defended the Jews against some German publishers. He most notably said, ‘I have no ancestors of that gifted people’. Gifted, aka chosen.
Tolkien’s Dwarves were creatures of mythic Jewish proportions. Comedic, bumbling but loveable, meddling, without a homeland, overly proud and obsessed with gold. Their language is based on Hebrew (not Yiddish, per se). But none of these were meant to be negative. Tolkien was merely portraying his honest interpretation of Jewry, and I’d rather be Gimli over Legolas any day of the week. Luscious beard.
Per Wikipedia, he even said, “I do think of the ‘Dwarves’ like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue…”
Harry Potter and the Self-Hating Goblins
J. K. Rowling, besides for being worth over $1,000,000,000, is not afraid to make Jews out to be gold-hoarding large nosed sickly-looking goblins.
And yes, I may be reading something out of nothing, even if the *esteemed* College Humor agrees with my sentiments. I certainly hated the goblins, controlling the treasury with their dick-headed rules and standoffish attitudes. What I’m trying to say is J. R. Tolkien > J. K. Rowling.