Khazad-dûm ~ The Founding of Khazad-dûm ~ The Fall of Durin’s Realm into Moria ~ Map of Moria


The Black Pit of Moria

“You know of what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dûm.
Shadow and Flame!”


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It is said that Durin the Deathless, firstborn of the Dwarves, came upon a glen of shadows between two great arms of the Misty Mountains, above which three white peaks were shining. Within this heavily wooded valley, was a long, oval lake, which appeared to have magical qualities. He was able to see stars in its dark still waters, even in the light of day. So he named this lake Kheled-zâram, or Mirrormere in the common speech.

Under the three mountains of Barazinbar (the Redhorn), Zirakzigil (the Silvertine) and Bundushathûr, (Cloudyhead) was founded the underground realm of Khazad-dûm, which translates as the Dwarrowdelf, mightiest of all the Dwarven Kingdoms in Middle-earth. It would only be later much later in the Third Age of Middle-earth the it would be renamed Moria, which is is translated as meaning ‘Black Chasm’ or ‘Black Pit’ in Sindarin. This name was given to Khazad-dûm after the coming of Durin’s Bane… the Balrog of Morgoth.

Some say that the Dwarves delved too deep in their desire for ever more Mithril, the most coveted metal in Middle-earth. Unable to defeat the Balrog, the dwarves had no choice but to abandon their great kingdom. Ever after it became known as a place of darkness and evil, a stronghold for the Orcs and Goblins of Middle-earth.

In the waning years of the Third Age, the Nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring entered the West Gate of Moria to escape the servants of Sauron, who pursed them.

Moria6‘They are the emblems of Durin!’ cried Gimli.
‘And there is the Tree of the High Elves’ said Legolas.
‘And the Star of the House of Fëanor.’ said Gandalf. ‘They are wrought of ithildin that mirrors only starlight and moonlight, and sleeps until it is touched by one who speaks words now long forgotten in Middle-earth. It is long since I heard them, and thought deeply before I could recall them to my mind.
They say only: The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak friend and enter. And underneath small and faint is written: I Narvi, made them. Celebrimbor of Hollin drew these signs.
The star shown out briefly and faded again. Then silently a great doorway was outlined, though not a crack or joint had been visible before. Slowly it divided in the middle and swung outwards inch by inch, until both doors lay back against the wall. Through the opening a shadowy stair could be seen climbing steeply up; but beyond the lower steps the darkness was deeper then the night. The Company stared in wonder.

From The Lord of the the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the chapter ‘A Journey in the Dark’


Moria1Gandalf chides Boromir when he compares Moria to Mordor…

‘You speak of what you do not know, when you liken Moria to the stronghold of Sauron.’ answered Gandalf. ‘
I alone of you have ever been in the dungeons of the Dark Lord, and only in his older and lesser dwelling of Dol Guldur. Those who pass the Gates of Barad-dur do not return. But I would not lead you into Moria if there were no hope of coming out again. If there are Orcs there, it might prove ill for us, that is true But most of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains were scattered or destroyed in the Battle of Five Armies. The Eagles report that Orcs are gathering again from afar; but there is hope that Moria is still free.’

From The Lord of the the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the chapter ‘A Journey in the Dark.




In Balin’s Tomb, Gandalf reads from the Book of Mazarbul…

‘It is grim reading,’ he said. ‘I fear their end was cruel. Listen! We cannot get out. They have taken the Bridge and the second hall. Frár and Lóni and Náli fell there. There are four line smeared so that I con only read went 5 days ago. The last lines run the pool is up to the wall at the Westgate. The Watcher in the Water took Óin. We cannot get out. The end comes, an then drums, drums in the deep. I wonder what that means. The last thing written is in a trailing scrawl of elf-letters: they are coming!’

From The Lord of the the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in the chapter ‘A Journey in the Dark’



“We cannot get out. The end comes … drums, drums in the deep … They are coming.”


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 Posted by at 8:18 am