- This page refers to the occupation; for individuals of that name, see Discworld characters.
Ages ago, dwarfkind, and soon mankind discovered the sovereign protection from Elves and it was iron. Iron contains and repels Elves and smiths are the retail end of iron. The ore is probably mined by Dwarfs, smelted and cast or rolled by Dwarfs, but every village and farmstead needs a forge within a day's round trip and wherever Dwarf or Human civilisation goes, there's a smith. We are assured that the world's oldest profession is that of flint-knapper; the smith brought a flint substitute that bent and stretched without breaking, could be re-sharpened and re-cast and repelled Elves. His craft helped feed the village by day and protect it by night. The smith was the one person in the area with the skill to provide the "high-tech" of the time. His physical, mechanical, inorganic expertise complemented the Witch's biological and psychological practice and they both enjoyed the status of those who Know Things Other People Don't Know. On Roundworld, the masons gained more respect than those who made their tools. Roundworld smiths may have been too effective against the Elves (faeries, as we call them), so that they were no longer a threat.
Two of the Discworld smiths we know well are from Lancre: Jason Ogg, the Smith (and expert farrier) of Lancre, with the extra responsibility of that title, and Gordo Smith of Bad Ass - father of the only known female wizard. There are also the earthy Herr Fassel in Bonk and his sometime apprentice Nutt. Ned Simnel works as a blacksmith in Octarine Grass country in Reaper Man. Jethro Jefferson is the hotheaded smith in Snuff.