Rothbury has today been named as the Dwarven Capital of the World, thanks to a traditional folk tale about the Simonside Hills.
Global video-game publisher and developer, THQ Nordic, has presented a certificate to Rothbury Parish Council in recognition of the traditional North Country folk tale, The Duergar, which tells the story of a band of dwarfs who led travellers astray on the Simonside Hills overlooking the village.
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 dwarfs 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 JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling, fantasy dwarfs are more commonly depicted as long-bearded miners, blacksmiths, warriors and ale drinkers.
The latest interpretation of fantasy dwarfs 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. "It is thanks to ancient folk tales like the Simonside Dwarfs that I was inspired to write The Dwarves," he said. "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 of Northumberland Tourism, added: "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."