Durin’s Tower ~ History of the Tower & The Endless Stair ~ Secret Language of the Dwarves ~ Battle of the Peak
Durin’s Tower was cut from the rock of Zirakzigil
“There upon Celebdil was a lonely window in the snow, and before it lay a narrow space,
a dizzying eyrie above the mists of the world.”
LOTR: TTT B2 C5
This page written and edited by our Dark Historian Grievous
Durin’s Tower was an ancient monument to dwarven power constructed at the peak of Mount Celebdil, at the top of the Endless Stair, and was the highest part of Moria. It was commissioned in the days of Durin I, and was reached only by a long and winding passage from the Seventh Deep to the bottom of the Endless Stair. This stair climbed higher and higher into the mountain for several thousand yards, long to the point where it was called endless. Towards the bottom of the stair were tunnels leading to various mines, halls, and mountains, created early by the dwarf-miners of Durin to reside in. Eventually the passages branching off the stair became few, and halfway up they ceased to exist at all.
Midway through the creation of the Endless Stair it is recorded that Durin the Deathless at last passed away. Progress halted for a little while to mourn him; but when the new king took the throne work on the Endless Stair was renewed. Eventually it breached the peak of Celebdil. On this height Durin’s Tower was erected. The tower was originally built with a host of defensive structures, but it mostly was built as a monument and a place for the Heirs of Durin to stand and look over Middle-earth; after all, it was said, what enemy in their right mind would try to scale the sheer cliffs of the mountain?
It was said that from the top of the tower one could see west as far as the Greyflood, north as far as Rivendell, south as far as Fangorn, and east as far as Dol Guldur. During the First and early Second Ages Durin’s Tower was well-maintained, and a guard was kept there always. Durin II had a straighter road constructed to it from Durin’s Crossroads, allowing for an easier transport of the materials and a strengthened guard. But during the war between the Dwarves and the Orcs in the mid Second Age, during which Mount Gundabad was lost, the guard was severely lessened, for troops were needed elsewhere. After the losses at the Siege of Barad-dûr during the War of the Last Alliance, the outpost was abandoned completely.
As such Durin’s Tower was not attacked by Durin’s Bane during the Balrog’s sack of Moria, and the Moria Orcs mostly left it alone, with the exception of the deeper mines and dungeons. Balin’s Folk failed to locate it during their brief occupation of Moria, and some dwarves believed that it never had existed. But it did; and at the end of the Third Age Durin’s Bane fled there, pursued by the wizard Gandalf, along the ruins of the Seventh Deep road. The Balrog climbed the Endless Stair, and so the two came to the top of Durin’s Tower, where the Balrog burst into flames anew. The Battle of the Peak was fought between them long and hard. In the end the Balrog was slain, and cast upon the mountainside. Durin’s Tower was destroyed by this, and the upper part of the Endless Stair was clogged by debris.