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Tolkien's Middle-earth:
Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators


Unit Two: Runes, Riddles, and a Ring of Power


Handouts

The Catalog of Dwarfs

Excerpt from "Voluspo,"
the first poem in the Elder Edda

There was Motsognir | the mightiest made
Of all the dwarfs, | and Durin next;
Many a likeness | of men they made,
The dwarfs in the earth, | as Durin said.

Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.

Vigg and Gandalf | Vindalf, Thrain,
Thekk and Thorin, | Thror, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath, | now have I told
Regin and Rathsvith | the list aright.

Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
Heptifili, | Hannar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori, | Fręg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.

The race of the dwarfs | in Dvalin's throng
Down to Lofar | the list must I tell;
The rocks they left, | and through wet lands
They sought a home | in the fields of sand.

There were Draupnir | and Dolgthrasir,
Hor, Haugspori, | Hlevang, Gloin,
Dori, Ori, | Duf, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir, | Skafith, Ai.

Alf and Yngvi, | Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalar and Frosti, | Fith and Ginnar;
So for all time | shall the tale be known,
The list of all | the forbears of Lofar.


(adapted from the Henry Adams Bellows translation of the Old Norse Poetic Edda, also known as the Elder Edda; original text in the public domain)


Translator's note: Most of the names presumably had some definite significance, such as Northri, Suthri, Austri, and Vestri ("North," "South," "East," and "West"), Althjof ("Mighty Thief'), Mjothvitnir ("Mead-Wolf"), Gandalf ("Magic Elf"), Vindalf ("Wind Elf'), Rathwith ("Swift in Counsel"), and Eikinskjaldi ("Oak Shield"), but in many cases the interpretations are sheer guesswork.


Unit Two Content

Overview
Comments for Teachers
Preliminary Quiz
Key Terms
Handouts
Discussion Topics
Suggested Activities
Bibliography

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