Stone Sense

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See alsoDwarves, Dwarven Culture (Tolkien)
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Stone Sense or Stonesense is a concept from from Tolkien fandom. It is a dwarven ability to sense the stone around them. The sense makes mining, stonework, and navigation easier for them, but the form this ability takes in fanworks varies greatly, as do the characters who have the ability. In some works, all dwarves have it at least to some degree; in other works, it's a unique ability limited to a few dwarves.

Stone sense also appears in other fandoms with dwarves in them, such as Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons.

Usage in Fanworks

Stone sense in fanworks is commonly used by dwarves to ensure the safety of their mines and delvings. Many fanworks set after the Battle of Five Armies have the dwarves using stone sense to detect damaged and unsafe areas of Erebor. Other races, such as Hobbits and Men, lack this ability, so in such works the damaged parts of the kingdom are usually said to be unsafe for them to travel in alone.

In some works, Stone Sense is used by blind characters in much the same way that Toph Beifong uses Earthbending to perceive those around her. Examples include Frerin in Per Aspera by northerntrash and Nori in Izzûgh Kidhuzur by Thorinsmut.

In fanworks, dwarves often use stone sense to help them navigate underground. Sometimes this is used to explain Thorin Oakenshield getting lost in An Unexpected Journey - being above-ground, his stone sense was useless and even made navigation more difficult. Example of this trope include Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) Chapter 9 by greenkangaroo and The Misplaced Nephew of Thorin Oakenshield by karategal.

Example Fanworks

Archives and Resources


  • Layers by werpiper (chapter 28 and beyond, stone sense includes a kind of synaesthesia that also allows dwarves to be perceived as if they were stone)
  • Days by Thorinsmut (stone sense is like a song)
  • Tears are Gems of the Soul by akblake (dwarves can sense the emotions surrounding stones that are closely connected to someone)