Do the dwarfs and norn share common ancestor? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Do the dwarfs and norn share common ancestor?

Vancho.8750Vancho.8750 Member ✭✭✭

Since i read up that norn might be related to Johtun or Kodan it always bugged me that they fall into most fantasy tropes for dwarfs except with the fact they are tall instead of short.
So are there any links between them?

Comments

  • Not really clear. Norn history prior to GW1 is pretty bare bones to the point where Anet can make up nearly anything they want without contradictions.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    About as likely as quaggan being related to krait.

  • Vancho.8750Vancho.8750 Member ✭✭✭

    Yeah but all the races fill some kind of troupe with a twist. Sylvary look like dryads/wood elfs but act like Arthurian knight humans, Humans fill the ancient race normally taken by the elfs, and char are the warlike good guy that was bad guy like orcs or thieflings.

  • @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    About as likely as quaggan being related to krait.

    I would disagree. Drastic height changes is not undoubtful with evolutionary changes. Biologically speaking, it's more likely that the norn and dwarves share a common ancestor than norn and kodan, at least. But even norn and kodan being biologically related is more likely than quaggan (mammals, as they're based off of whales and dolphines) and krait (reptiles, as they're based off snakes) being so.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    About as likely as quaggan being related to krait.

    I would disagree. Drastic height changes is not undoubtful with evolutionary changes. Biologically speaking, it's more likely that the norn and dwarves share a common ancestor than norn and kodan, at least.

    Who knows, maybe the ancestors of the Kodan were Norn who used bear form too much and it stuck.

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Well you know, a very long time ago when a Norn and an Asura...

    Nevermind.

  • dusanyu.4057dusanyu.4057 Member ✭✭✭

    well GW2 dwarves are shrunken norm so in a way they do. lore wise no idea

  • Dragana.1497Dragana.1497 Member ✭✭✭

    So if the Norn and the Dwarves turn out to have a common ancestor, do you think the Dwarves lost their ability to shapeshift along the way? Or did the Norn learn it at some point? And if so, how?

    "I'm not quite what I thought I was but then again I'm maybe more"

  • Jimbru.6014Jimbru.6014 Member ✭✭✭

    The Norn and Jotun are surviving relics of a magical Age of Giants which predates the last rising of the dragons (10000-ish years ago). The Dwarfs date to that same early era, and their territories certainly overlapped in the Shiverpeaks. But several things make me think the Norn and Dwarfs are NOT related, despite any seeming similarities.

    • Existing lore makes no connection between the Norn and Dwarfs. Therefore the simplest answer is that there is no connection. Either that, or it was so far in the past that it has been completely lost and doesn't matter in the present.
    • Separate creation. The Dwarfs have a distinct creation myth, that they were forged by the Great Dwarf atop Anvil Rock. The Norn have no comparable myth. Rather, the Norn simply remember their race migrating to their current territory from some unknown place "north" -- the unmapped reaches of the Far Shiverpeaks, or even beyond.
    • Physical differences. Dwarfs are short, Norn are huge, and they look nothing alike.
    • Level of civilization and technology. Dwarfs were a technically and magically advanced race; Norn are an above-ground race of semi-wild hunters. The Dwarfs built entire underground complexes with sophisticated stonework and magical construction; run the Deepstone fractal to see a prime example of what the Dwarfs could do. The most common building material used by the Norn is wood, and even Hoelbrak's Great Lodge is little more than just a really big version of their dugout houses. You can walk around Hoelbrak and other Norn settlements and easily see that they use relatively little technology; the Norn probably consider the forge and the still (not necessarily in that order) to be their greatest technical achievements. Norn Engineers are rare exceptions who undoubtedly learned from post-GW1 cultural contact with the Charr and Asura.
    • Some stylistic things, such as the Celtic/Norse knotwork of Norn and Dwarf art, might seem related. But that may just be a relic of past cultural contact, or it could simply be coincidental development and those designs have totally different meanings to the two races. Plenty of examples of both in the real world.

    So based on all that...no. Norn and Dwarfs are not related. Did they have cultural contact in the distant past? Possible, actually even probable. But not related.

  • Jimbru.6014Jimbru.6014 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2019

    @Dragana.1497 said:
    So if the Norn and the Dwarves turn out to have a common ancestor, do you think the Dwarves lost their ability to shapeshift along the way? Or did the Norn learn it at some point? And if so, how?

    According to Jotun lore, the Age of Giants ended when "the gods" took away the giant races' magic. Lore does not say exactly when this event occurred, but one can reasonably assume it was caused by the last rise of the dragons (who were consuming magic from the world) and the creation of the Bloodstone (locking magic away to protect it from the dragons). The Jotun fell and devolved into what they are in the GW2 present, but the Norn saved themselves by turning to the Spirits of the Wild. That is almost certainly how the Norn gained shapeshifting; it's a magical gift from the Spirits.

    Reinforcing the idea that it's a magical gift, note that Norn NPCs often shift into animal forms in combat -- usually the form of their preferred Spirit. I've seen Bear, Snow Leopard, and Raven for sure. Can't recall any Wolf shifters at the moment. But Owl followers don't shift into Owl form, since their Spirit is supposedly dead; I beg to differ, but that's its own discussion. Similarly, the hare-brained followers of Hare don't shift, and the wiki notes that Hare might not even really exist.

    So yeah, Norn shapeshifting is certainly tied to the living Spirits, and was most likely learned as a magical gift when the Norn began following them.

  • Dragana.1497Dragana.1497 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2019

    I knew of the Jotun lore and the Norn saving themselves by turning to the Spirits of the Wild. But I had never considered it having anything to do with their shapeshifting. That's very interesting. :)

    Edit: I've never seen a Wolf shifter either. Not that I recall anyway.

    "I'm not quite what I thought I was but then again I'm maybe more"

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The shamans of the big four each shift into their respective spirits. The JP in Wayfarer's is probably the easiest place to find them.

    As a general rule, all non-shamans default to Bear when they change, hearkening back to GW1, when Bear was the only form and almost every norn in the game used the skill.

    We've never seen a norn take the form of a spirit outside the big four. We've heard that they're all either less powerful or less interested in the norn people, which is probably the reason for it, but it's not impossible that it does happen and we've simply never seen.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • @Jimbru.6014 said:
    According to Jotun lore, the Age of Giants ended when "the gods" took away the giant races' magic. Lore does not say exactly when this event occurred, but one can reasonably assume it was caused by the last rise of the dragons (who were consuming magic from the world) and the creation of the Bloodstone (locking magic away to protect it from the dragons). The Jotun fell and devolved into what they are in the GW2 present, but the Norn saved themselves by turning to the Spirits of the Wild. That is almost certainly how the Norn gained shapeshifting; it's a magical gift from the Spirits.

    You're talking about Thrulnn's claims, but we know that he's wrong about the fall of the jotun. It wasn't caused by confusion over The Six taking away magic (and he does specify the gods as later turning their favor to humans who arrived as primitively as grawl, which is also false), but rather infighting caused by greed and pride, as established by none other than Thrulnn's ancestor, Elder Thruln, in one of the norn PS instances.

    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Echoes_of_Ages_Past

    Thrulnn the Lost is an intentional situation of unreliable narrator ArenaNet tossed in and then added in about a dozen countering NPC statements that agree with each other but not Thrulnn.

  • Magek.4718Magek.4718 Member ✭✭✭

    By definition of a common ancestor, everything shares a common ancestor.

    So yes, probably.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Magek.4718 said:
    By definition of a common ancestor, everything shares a common ancestor.

    So yes, probably.

    Humans are extratyrian life forms, though.

  • Vancho.8750Vancho.8750 Member ✭✭✭

    Also to point out that height is common genetic mutation to help the survival of a species in special areas and environment. Asura and dwarfs live underground where the is't much space while norn and char come from large open areas.

  • @Jimbru.6014 said:
    Similarly, the hare-brained followers of Hare don't shift, and the wiki notes that Hare might not even really exist.

    I got a mental image of a Killer Nornhare of Caerbannog reading this.

  • why should they share a common ancestor?

    The correct approach is to assume: there is none.

    Now we will look:
    do they have similar biology?
    apart from being humanoid mammals, no

    do they come from the same geographical area?
    no

    do they have anything in common that is not culture based?
    no

    so, with this on the board, we can safely conclude: dwarfs and norn are not more related than humans and baboons.

  • cptaylor.2670cptaylor.2670 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I've never been that interested in Norn or the spirits, but I have always had interest in Jotun and their backstory. If anything I would have thought Jotun and Norn could share a common ancestor more than Norn and Dwarf or Norn and Kodan.

  • Judging by the walls of ale kegs, yes.

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