A dwarf is a being of short stature from European folklore that often dwelled in mountains and underground. They are heavily associated with mining, smithing, and crafting. In Norse mythology, they were said to live in the realm of Svartálfaheimr.
According to Norse folklore, the race of dwarves came from the the remains of the proto-being Ymir after he was killed by the Æsir brothers Odin, Vé, and Vili. However, this is the main commonality between sources, as Snorri Sturluson's 13th-century Poetic Edda text Völuspá says the dwarves were made from his blood and bones, while the Prose Edda states the dwarves were already festering inside him before the Æsir gifted them with reason.
The Sons of Ivaldi were said to be a group of dwarves who made several key pieces for the gods, including Freyr's magically unfolding ship Skíðblaðnir, Odin's magically multiplying ring Draupnir and returning spear Gungnir, and Sif's golden hair.
In the empty cosmic expanse of Ginnungagap, the proto-being Ymir was cruelly slain by Odin, Vili, and Vé. Even as Odin choked the life from Ymir, and later as the trio set about making the universe from Ymir's remains, the race of dwarves emerged from where they had been growing beneath Ymir's skin, prompting Odin to take pity on them and grant the race the gift of reason. Four dwarves in particular, Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri, were tasked with holding up Ymir's skull that made up the sky.
Some time later, Odin rescued the dwarf Ivaldi from being executed like his brothers in Múspellsheimr and brought him to Asgard, where he was bound to serve the Æsir. He worked to pay off his debt by crafting items of great power such as Gleipnir, the cord meant to hold the great wolf Fenrir until Ragnarök began; this final task earned him freedom and he returned to Svartálfaheimr.
Shortly before the Great Catastrophe, the region was invaded by a joint force of jötnar and Muspels led by Surtr in his search for the Salakar, an ancient elven artifact hidden somewhere in the dwarves' mines. When Odin's son Baldr was captured and taken Svartálfaheimr, the Æsir was compelled to visit the realm and aid local resistance efforts fighting the invaders in hopes of rescuing his child.
Behind the scenes
Unlike traditional imagery in the Assassin's Creed series of Isu towering over humans, the people of Svartálfaheimr take the form of folkloric dwarves. It's ambiguous whether or not the Dwarves, or the unseen Elves they have cultural ties with in Dawn of Ragnarök, are members of the Isu, or represent another species entirely that co-existed with them. Ivaldi does speak of humanity as separate from himself during optional dialogue in the memory "Forging a Bond", suggesting that his people are not intended to be human beings.
Even if they are members of the Isu, it is also unclear if their shorter stature is simply the way Eivor perceived them based on her own cultural expectations, as a metaphor for status differences between the dwarves and their Æsir, Muspel, or jötnar counterparts, or are an example of Isu with restricted growth.
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (first appearance)
- Discovery Tour: Viking Age (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Forgotten Myths
- Echoes of History (mentioned only)
- Dwarf (folklore) on Wikipedia
- Sons of Ivaldi on Wikipedia
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – A Feast to Remember
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarök – 
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Extended Family
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Database: Ivaldi
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Forging a Bond