Dwarves were one of the speaking races of Middle-earth, though they were not counted as the Children of Ilúvatar because they were created by Aulë because of his impatience to see the Children of Ilúvatar. There were originally Seven Fathers of Dwarves that were created in the early First Age. However, Ilúvatar made them sleep until the waking of the Elves. They were then divided into the seven different Dwarf-clans, each with its own king.

It is not certain what would happen to a Dwarf after his earthly death. The Elves seemed to have believed that Dwarves would have no life after their deaths. The Dwarves, on the other hand, believed that they would be sent to the Halls of Mandos, and spend the afterlife with the Children of Ilúvatar.

Dwarves were created by Aulë to resist the power and strength of Melkor Morgoth, the Master of Sauron. Thus they were built short, four to five feet tall, stocky, strong, and hardy. They could work wonders in stone, and were for the most part, axe-wielders. Dwarves could not fall into evil. They were honest, yet proud, and not always generous. They did, however, go to war very frequently. Dwarves loved to delve into the depths of the earth. They loved gems and rocks which they would find deep under the surface of the planet. This is the reason that most Dwarves dwelt in mountains. Dwarves never got along with other races, save early in the First Age, when the Noldor Elves befriended the Dwarves, for they both shared a love of crafts, and both worshipped Aulë. Dwarves could be wrathful and had serious gold-lust.

Dwarves lived roughly two-hundred and fifty to three-hundred years, and usually married around the age of one-hundred. Marriage was hard, for few Dwarf women were born, and usually did not appreciate the men. Sauron hated Dwarves, for he realized that he could not dominate them, and thus resolved to dstroy them.

Dwarves usually spoke their own language, Khuzdul, but since it was a secret language, they used it not in public, and spoke the languages of their contacts, from Sindarin to Westron. Dwarves called themselves Khazâd, the name given to them by Aulë. They were called in Westron the Mountain Folk.

Dwarves were short, as before stated, and strong. They wielded axes and were great miners. Dwarves all had beards, even the women. They lived in mountain cities, and for the most part had no communication with the outside world, save the Dwarves of Erebor, who had much contact the Men of Esgaroth.