In yesterday’s update of Rebel, I introduced you to Gordi Balebeard, son of Fordi Balebeard, grandson of Bordi Balebeard. Also in yesterday’s comic it was revealed that the dwarf men of Kadaz like to use names for their sons that rhyme with theirs. How common a practice that is has yet to be shown, but it’s a trend among the ruling class, at least.
If you saw the names Gordi, Fordi, and Bordi and were reminded of Tolkien’s dwarves from The Hobbit all with names that rhyme, then I’m glad you noticed. Of course I borrowed that from Tolkien, as much as nearly every fantasy writer has borrowed anything from him.
I got the idea to do this for my dwarves of Kadaz when I read The Hobbit aloud to my son last year. It’s truly a book that is meant to be read out loud, and if you haven’t anyone to read it to I suggest finding an audiobook of it. Whenever it came time to list off the dwarves I found myself giddy with excitement, and my son (eight years old at the time) found equal enjoyment not only in the silly sounding rhymes but the rhythm of them. So I decided to bring that joy with me as I began to explore the dwarves of my own world.
But the similarities stop there. Unlike Tolkien’s dwarves mine aren’t in decline, nor did they dig so deep into their mountain in search of riches that they unearthed a fiery demon.
There’s a lot of serious things going on with the dwarves of Kadaz, from the oppression of women to the rampant xenophobia, so adding funny little rhymes into part of their naming tradition is a bit of levity that I needed.