View Full Version : If you could compare the DNA.

01-12-2012, 22:11
I you were able to compare the DNA of Humans, Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, Hobbits would they all share much the same, would they all be able if they choose to mate with and produce viable offspring?

I am assuming that Elves and Orcs would be as we know that Orcs came from tortured and corrupted Elves so are pretty much versions of the same species albeit diverging thousands of years ago.

We also know that Elves and Men are able to produce offspring as there are several examples in the books.

It is kind of hinted at that Orcs and Humans are able to breed and this has been done to produce Uruk Hai type creatures.

So I guess that essentially the biological make up of Humans, Elves and Orcs must be very similar. I'm not a doctor or expert of any sort, just simple speculating here.

What about Hobbits? I get the impression from what I have read that hobbits are little more than a off shoot of men that simply became very small in a similar way to which we have had pigmy type peoples in our own history. As such I assume hobbits would also be able to breed with humans, elves and even Orcs if they so desired.

But what about Dwarves as they had a totally different creation if memory serves? So would they be in any way similar to the other races? They look very similar in so many ways. I am assuming that although they were created before the awakening of Elves that Alue must have had some knowledge of what the races of Elves and Men were going to look like, either that or it was just a lucky guess? Perhaps as he was aware of them Iluvatar was able to guide his hand in ways he did not realise until after they were made.

So what do people think in general, are the races similar enough to all share a common DNA or other biological source?

01-12-2012, 22:28
hmmm, what you do with your free time is private. Thanks ;)

Karak Norn Clansman
02-12-2012, 05:52
In Tolkien's Middle-Earth, the Elves and Humans (or the "Children of Illuvatar") have been able to reproduce with each other and get fertile offspring. The royal line of Nśmenor, Gondor and Arnor are testament to this. Orcs are most likely Elves corrupted horrendously by the dark lord Melkor Morgoth Bauglir, Sauron's boss and the equivalent of the devil, although Tolkien became uneasy with this origin of Orcs toward the end of his life. As such Orcs and Men could probably produce fertile offspring, as Saruman seemed to have achieved with his half-Orc Uruk-Hai.

Dwarves were made out of stone by the blacksmith and craftsman Vala (god) Aulė, whom they call Mahal, the Maker. They were little more than biological automatons at first during their manufacturing, and they resembled Illuvatar's Children somewhat because that's what Aulė and the rest of the divine bunch had seen in their visions of the world during the universe's creation through a hell lot of singing. Aulė longed for living people to teach his crafts and sciences to, and voila he made the beardy ones.

According to Tolkien's mythology in the Silmarillion, the creator Illuvatar discovered this affront, and Aulė rose his hammer in tears, to destroy the seven fathers of the Dwarves (what about the mothers?). Illuvatar than had compassion with Aulė's creations and breathed life into them, although he wouldn't change their nature, which was close to Aulė's own and rugged and tough to survive in the Morgoth-dominated dark lands of Middle-Earth. The Dwarves were then laid to rest on scattered spots beneath the surface of the Earth, to awake not before the firstborn of Illuvatar (the Elves). Then Durin awoke first and became something of a holy forefather for all stunties.

As such Dwarves would have very different DNA compared to Elves and Humans, and they would probably not be able to produce even infertile offspring together. The origins of Hobbits are a mystery. They could have been a devolved kind of Human, or another sapient species created by some god or godess, and in the latter case then probably Yavanna, the fertility Giver of Life and creator of the Ents, because she seem a quiet peaceful lady which wouldn't have minded a fat little people spending a lot of their time farming and eating. My guess is that Hobbits are unable to interbreed with neither Humans, Elves and Orcs, nor Dwarves.

Whitwort Stormbringer
02-12-2012, 09:44
I don't think DNA really factors into it. Viability of offspring hinges on evolutionary relatedness, and none of the races save orcs and elves have shared ancestry, yet there are crosses between elves and men and even an elf and a maiar, and potentially crosses between men and orcs. The point being, clearly modern biological knowledge doesn't apply to a fantasy world populated by races with mythical origins.

The lack of any dwarf-X hybrids could be taken as evidence that they are unable to cross with other races, or may simply imply a very strong cultural taboo against it (which I think would be believable, given dwarves' nature). You could suggest that on account of having been created by Aule rather than Iluvatar they're incompatible, but I don't recall anything Tolkien wrote suggesting that to be the case either so to me it's pure speculation.

02-12-2012, 16:53
Ah yes I forgot about the Ents. I guess Hobbits could have had a similar creator who made them. I thought though over many years of reading the books that I had read that they were an off shoot of the human line but that may be my imagination getting confused due to old age.

As you say there are no mention of half dwarves anywhere so I assume it would stand to reason that they either cannot interbreed or just choose not to for moral reasons.

Karak Norn Clansman
02-12-2012, 17:41
As you say there are no mention of half dwarves anywhere so I assume it would stand to reason that they either cannot interbreed or just choose not to for moral reasons.

Or everyone else thinks Dwarves are too ugly, and they also happen to be too slow-going to catch up with others if some oddball Dwarf would like to interbreed with Elven women. We've all seen what Movement 3 in WHFB does to a Dwarf's mobility. ;)

02-12-2012, 17:42
From all i have read, I was under the impression that the hobbits were one of Iluvatar's little 'surprises' he alone added to the music to help things along.

Karak Norn Clansman
02-12-2012, 17:44
From all i have read, I was under the impression that the hobbits were one of Iluvatar's little 'surprises' he alone added to the music to help things along.

This wouldn't surprise me if Tolkien intended for it to be so. I guess Illuvatar must have got hungry during that long play of music. :D