The title of 'Elf-friend' was traditionally granted by the Elves to their allies among mortals, especially the heroes among the Men of the Edain and their descendents the Dúnedain. Indeed, the first High King of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth, Elendil, had a name that literally meant 'Elf-friend'. The Elves and the Dwarves, however, had a rather cooler relationship. These two peoples were never friendly to one another, but the slaying of the Elf-king Thingol and the theft of his treasure by the Dwarves of Nogrod led to a deep mutual suspicion that only grew as the ages passed.
A very notable exception was the case of Gimli son of Glóin, who joined the Company of the Ring and journeyed with the Elf Legolas through many adventures. Over time the two struck up a firm friendship, and in Lórien (despite some initial suspicion by its people) Gimli came to be respected by the Elves of that land, especially for the reverence he showed to their Lady, Galadriel. Thus Gimli the Dwarf came to be known to history as Gimli Elf-friend. So profound was this friendship that (at least according to legend) Gimli was shown a singular honour: he was said to have been permitted to sail into the West with his friend Legolas, the only Dwarf in history known to have been granted this remarkable boon.
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