Fantasy video game The Dwarves commemorates the role that the Simonside Dwarfs folk tale played in establishing fantasy dwarves in the world of popular culture
Today, global video game publisher and developer THQ Nordic has named the market town of Rothbury in Northumberland, UK, the “Dwarven Capital of the World”. Rothbury Parish Council has been presented with a certificate in recognition of the traditional North Country folk tale The Duergar, which tells the story of a band of dwarfs who led travelers astray on the Simonside Hills overlooking Rothbury.
The story of the Simonside Dwarfs helped establish the concept of a race of small people living and crafting underneath the mountains and hills of the earth. The depiction of fantasy dwarves from the menacing creatures first seen in the Simonside folk tale has evolved over the centuries in literature, film and TV. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, fantasy dwarves are more commonly depicted as long-bearded miners, blacksmiths, warriors and ale drinkers.
The latest interpretation of fantasy dwarves is the new, action role-playing video game The Dwarves, based on the best-selling, fantasy novel series The Dwarves (Die Zwerge) by German author Markus Heitz.
Markus Heitz, author, The Dwarves, said:
“It is thanks to ancient folk tales like the Simonside Dwarfs that I was inspired to write The Dwarves. The tie-in video game breathes new and vibrant life into this amazing, long-bearded, ale-drinking fantasy race, which I hope will play a part in keeping the mythology alive for a whole new generation of dwarf fans.”
Jude Leitch, director, Northumberland Tourism, said:
“We’re delighted to see Rothbury recognised as the Dwarven Capital of the World. Like the Simonside Dwarfs, Rothbury might be small in stature, but it has played a giant part in establishing the fantasy dwarf in popular culture, and we look forward to welcoming fans from across the world to Northumberland.”