Artemis Fowl

Dwarfs are one of The People.

In a rather more creative reworking, the Artemis Fowl series' dwarfs act as a sort of earthworm, tunneling through soil and loose rocks and getting nutrition thereby, excreting it just as fast as they eat it except when they need to build up pressure to break through a layer of solid rock.


They are short, round, hairy, have large tombstone teeth, and unhinging jaws. Most also grow long, thick, furry beards.


It is well known that dwarfs unhinge their jaws and ingest earth, ejecting the recycled dirt and air through 'the other end'. They use this method to excavate tunnels. They also have extremely sensitive beard hair which acts as an antenna, able to pick up minute vibrations when tunneling and detect different types of the surrounding soil. These hairs also, if done right, can mimic the shape of even the smallest keyhole by first plucking one such hair, quickly and gently inserting the malleable shaft into the keyhole, then waiting for it to stiffen, then twisting the rigid hair to open the lock. Many believe that this feature is one of those elite talents that allows dwarfs to become such masterful criminals.

They also possess suction-cup-like pores that, when deprived of liquid, are able to stick and hold onto any surrounding surface. A dwarf has the ability to recycle the air dwarfs get from eating, this "air" can be used to propel the dwarf via bum-flap. Furthermore when a dwarf's heart rate reaches a certain height they "trim the weight", this involves losing one-third of its body weight, via bum-flap, in order to escape the danger that caused their heart rate to heighten. Dwarfs also feature luminous and hardening spit that has a natural sedative in it and are incredibly foul-smelling.

Other Traits

They are very intelligent and have tendencies for becoming criminals. Dwarfs are also known for loving gold and gems, tunneling, and the dark. They are very sensitive to light (even artificial) and have a burn time of three minutes, thus their uniform hatred toward the sun. Dwarves also have a bacterium, methanobrevibacter smithii, in them caused by their emissions that allows them to rapidly decompress without experiencing the bends, such as when a dwarf may occasionally accidentally tunnel into the sea (in reality, this bacterium is found in the human digestive tract and is crucial in breaking down refined sugars). Mulch Diggums used this to help him escape from an Atlantis prison sub-shuttle in the Opal Deception.

Even though in the first book it says dwarf gas can only go down and not up Mulch (a dwarf) has burped on several occasions.

"The problem with dwarf gas was that it couldn't go up, only down. ... Imagine, if you will, the catastrophic effects of burping while digesting a mouthful of clay."

Dwarf Code

Mulch Diggums, a dwarf on the cover of The Opal Deception.

There is a code in the British 2005 paperback, which talks about the special abilities of the Dwarfs:

There has never been a regulated scientific study of dwarfs' special abilities. What we know about them is based on folklore and hearsay. The most famous of these abilities is the dwarf tunneling methods by which they eat dirt and air before expelling them out the other end. Though the actual force of this expulsion has never been measured, several witnesses have reported windows breaking more than twenty meters away. It is said that a master recycler can fine-tune his gas emissions so that instead of a widespread blast of flatulent he shoots out a concentrated column of wind. Legend has it that one such master recycler, a certain Blurt Diggums, was so accurate with these columns that he could turn on a light switch from the other side of the room. Dwarfs themselves use casual terms to refer to the strength of their gas emissions. A 'Shirt Flapper' is a gentle emission that would barely inflate a child's balloon. A 'Pants Ripper' is a sturdier blast and would certainly blow a hole in even the sturdiest material. A 'Nought to Sixty' is a right whopper and could accelerate whoever dropped it to dangerous speeds. A 'Strap Yourself Down' is about as strong as it gets and could help a dwarf achieve flight. And finally, the legendary 'Dark Side of the Moon', or simply 'Dark Side'. If released on a mountain top, it could put a dwarf into orbit. There is no evidence that a Dark Side is anything more than a myth. All the same, if you see a dwarf on a mountain with a red face, take cover. You can't be too careful around dwarf wind.


Mulch Diggums unhinging his jaw to tunnel in the Artemis Fowl film

In the Artemis Fowl film, Mulch Diggums is a "giant dwarf," or Dwarfus Giganticus. He has the same unusual abilities as other dwarves, such as being able to unhinge his jaw and tunnel, as well use his hairs for picking a safe. Despite this, the other dwarves do not accept him as being an actual dwarf. In a deleted scene, he tells Artemis Fowl Jr. that he does not have any magic due to being a giant dwarf.

Notable Dwarfs

The Eight Fairy Families: