The Mines of Moria – Lord of the Rings Lore

The Mines of Moria – Lord of the Rings Lore


“Greatest of all the mansions of the Dwarves
was Khazad-dûm, the Dwarrowdelf, Hadhodrond in the Elvish tongue, that was afterwards
in the days of its darkness called Moria.” Hello friends, It’s Karl here, and in today’s
videos we’re going to delve into the history and darkness of the Mines of Moria, the Greatest
realm of the Dwarven people. Khazad-Dum was founded by Durin the first,
one of the seven fathers of the Dwarves. When Durin awoke, he was fascinated with the
world around him, and as he walked, he named the places and things that he saw. He eventually, came across a lake of immense
beauty and he peered into it. There he saw his reflection, but there were
also 7 stars aligned in the form of a crown, and he took this as a sign, and decided to
carve out a home in the mountains above. He named the lake Kheled Zaram and it was
also known as the Mirrormere in the common tongue. It remained a sacred place for all the dwarves
that followed, and Durin’s stone was erected there as a landmark, to mark the location
where Durin is believed to have had his vision. As Durin made the Mountain his home, he was
joined by other dwarves, and together they carved out the great Gates of Khazad Dum which
during his time would be the only entrance into his Kingdom. Durin then led the dwarves further inward,
where they carved out and built the First hall and the Bridge of Khazad-Dum. This bridge served both practical and defensive
purposes, for if an enemy succeeding in breaching the gates they would have to cross the bridge
in single file due to its narrow width, and so they would become easy targets and their
numbers rendered obsolete. Anyway the dwarves kept expanding inwards,
carving floors above, and caverns below. Their realm flourished, and Durin became the
King of Khazad Dum, crowned as Durin the first; the dwarves that followed him, and those of
his line became the dwarven clan of the Longbeards, also known as Durin’s folk. Now Durin’s reign lasted a tremendous amount
of time, and some thought he might be immortal, earning him the name of Durin the Deathless. However he eventually passed way, though it’s
believed that he lived at least 2395 years, which is ten times more than the average lifespan
of a dwarf. Some of his line bore such a strong resemblance
to him that they too were named Durin, as the Longbeards believed that Durin would be
reincarnated seven times as King. As Khazad-Dum flourished, tales of its greatness
and majesty spread fast to the west, to the very shores of Beleriand. This land of Beleriand would host the final
Battle against Morgoth the Dark Lord, and the level of destruction inflicted upon was
beyond measure. Most of Beleriand sank beneath the waves,
and the Dwarven cities of Nogrog and Belegost were laid to waste. The dwarves that survived fled, and remembering
the tales they heard of Khazad-Dum, they chose to migrate there. This resulted in a huge influx of dwarves
in Khazad-Dum, and it was enriched both in number and in raw talent, for these dwarves
were known to be smiths, craftsmen and builders of incredible skill. This resulted in Khazad-Dum experiencing a
golden renaissance and a period of unparalleled prosperity. It was during this time that Khazad-Dum expanded
to the western tip of the mountains. Some Noldor elves that were survivors of Beleriand,
established the Elven Realm of Eregion next to the western border of Khazad-Dum. These elves were led by Celebrimbor, and they
had an unexpected friendship with the Dwarves due to their mutual love for Crafting and
Smithing which developed into a strong trading partnership. By now, the precious metal mithril was discovered
in Khazad-Dum which further increased the wealth of the Dwarves, and the elves of Eregion
discovered a way to turn Mithril into an alloy known as Ithildin that would shine brightly
under moon-light. To make trading faster and easier, the elves
and dwarves agreed to build a new entrance into Moria, the western gate. This door was made by Celebrimbor the lord
of Eregion, and Narvi a dwarf of unmatched skill from Khazad-Dum. In times of peace, the door was left open
so that trade could flow through it, and it was adorned with many symbols and runes made
of ithildin. There was the hammer and anvil, the emblem
of Durin, and a crown with Seven stars that represented Durin’s vision in the Mirrormere. There were also two trees representing the
Trees of the High Elves and finally a single Star which represented the house of Faenor,
who was the greatest elf-smith that ever lived, and of whom Celebrimbor was a descendent. An inscription was etched into the door, reading:
The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter. I, Narvi, made them. Celebrimbor of Hollin drew these signs.” These doors were opened by uttering the Elvish
word for friend, Mellon. This prosperous relationship would not last
forever though, as Sauron appeared in a fair form and convinced Celebrimbor to help him
make the rings of power. The first of the Dwarven rings that was created
was given to Durin the third, the king of Khazad-Dum at that time. Some believe that Sauron gave it to him, while
dwarves believe that it was a gift from Celebrimbor. After the rings’ creation, Sauron ordered
Celebrimbor to hand over the rings, though Celebrimbor refused as he was finally aware
of Sauron’s deceit. In retaliation, Sauron attacked Eregion. The dwarves of Khazad-Dum sent some warrior
to defend their Elven allies though it was futile. The Elves were slaughtered and their leader,
Celebrimbor was shot with arrows and his body was used as a banner. The dwarves then shut the west gate. They had reached their hour of twilight, and
now they would dwindle. Despite shutting themselves away from the
world the Dwarves would not know peace. Orcs had invaded their mountains and taken
control over Mount Gundabad, the place where Durin the Deathless is believed to have awoken
and so a sacred place for the Dwarves. The dwarves would have many skirmishes with
these orcs, and despite the battles on their homefront, they still rallied and helped in
defeating Sauron. For some dwarves from formed part of the forces
of good during the Last alliance, and together with the forces of men and elves they succeeded
in defeated Sauron. If the 2nd age was Khazad-Dum’s sunrise,
the 3rd age can be considered its sunset. Their wealth still grew for there never was
a shortage in demand for Mithril, yet their numbers had started to decline. This dependence on Mithril led them to expanding
their mines, all in search of this precious metal. This metal that defined their kingdom… and
led to its fall. For during the year 1980 of the third age,
the dwarves unearthed something other than Mithril. A demon of Shadow and Flame. A balrog of Morgoth that had lain dormant
beneath the mountains. The Balrog wrecked havoc on the dwarves and
slew their king, Durin the 6th, thus earning itself the name ‘Durin’s Bane’. The dwarves sturdy and stubborn as always,
were not ready to give up their kingdom so easily, and they persevered for another year
under the rule of Durin’s son, Nain the first. Yet their determination could not hold back
such a foe, and their new King also fell to the balrog’s whip. The dwarves then accepted the futility of
fighting back, and they abondoned their home while being led by Nain’s son, Thrain the
first who then founded the Kingdom of Erebor. With Khazad Dum’s fall, it was renamed to
Moria, meaning the Black Pit. It would lie empty save for the Balrog and
the corpses of the fallen for 500 years, as in the year 2480 of the Third age, orcs began
to populate Moria and create secret strongholds within the Misty Mountains. Sauron also started to send his own orcs and
trolls into Moria and these orcs plundered the dwarven ruins, sending treasures and any
Mithril they found back to Sauron. In the 2799 The battle of Azanulbizar was
fought outside of Moria’s east gate, between the dwarves and the orcs of Moria. Both factions suffered significant losses,
though the dwarves emerged victorious. Despite their victory and the fact that very
few orcs left in Moria, the dwarves decide not to reclaim their home, as Dain Ironfoot
had looked through the gate and he saw that the Balrog, Durin’s Bane, yet lived. 190 years later, in the year 2989, Balin led
an expedition of dwarves to reclaim Moria. This expedition included others members of
Thorin’s company such as Oin and Ori. At first they were incredibly successful,
and they managed to establish a colony in Moria. Balin declared himself Lord of Moria, and
They even found Mithril once again, and it’s believed that they recovered an ancient relic
of the dwarves, called Durin’s axe. Balin then set up his throne in the Chamber
of Mazarbul. His rule was shortlived however, for merely
5 years later he was slain by an orc arrow while looking in the Mirrormere. He was then buried in the chamber of Mazarbul,
and it was in this very room that what was left of the dwarven expedition made their
final stand, as orcs had once again invaded Moria through the East-Gate, and the Dwarves
were trapped inside, because the pool of water outside the West-Gate had risen and the Watcher
prevented any escape through there. And so the ringing of Dwarven hammers once
again died out in Moria. It would be 30 years before another Dwarf
set foot in Moria. In the year 3019 The Fellowship reached the
west-gate of Moria, after failing to cross the Mountain pass of Caradhras. Frodo solves the riddle to open the door,
and the fellowship are then attacked by the Watcher in the Water. I already made a detailed video on the watcher
which I’ll link above, and so I won’t cover it again in this video. While I was making notes for this video, I
decided to make a map of the Fellowship’s journey through Moria, and I’ll be using
it for the next part of my video. I encourage you to pause at times to read
my notes, also areas highlighted in blue show ascent, while those in pink are descent. So after entering Moria, the fellowship eventually
came across three arches and Gandalf was unsure which one to pick. They therefore decided to rest in the old
guardsroom nearby. This room contained a massive hole in its
centre than used to be a well, and it was here that Pippin threw a rock down the well,
that is believed to have alerted the orcs to the fellowships presence. After they rest, Gandalf decides to take the
right path as the left one had a foul smell and he disliked the feeling of the Middle-One. This path led the fellowship to the Twenty-First
hall and they then travelled north to reach Balin’s Tomb. Here they found the book of Mazarbul that
was a record of Balin’s expedition in Moria, and they’re then ambushed by orcs and two
cave trolls. Though they succeed in fighting off this first
wave of enemies, a nimble orc captain made his way past Aragorn and Boromir and he stabs
Frodo in the chest. Frodo survives thanks to his Mithril vest,
and the fellowship then exit through a small door on the eastern side of the Chamber of
Mazarbul. Gandalf chooses to stay behind however, in
an attempt to buy the others time and he casts a spell of sealing on the Western Door, though
his spell is broken by the Balrog. The fellowship then make their way to the
bridge of Khazad-Dum where Gandalf faces the Balrog and breaks the bridge asunder causing
the Balrog to fall in the abyss below. As it fell, it swung its whip around Gandalf’s
knees and dragged him down with it. The rest of the fellowship then flee via the
Great Gates of Moria, leaving the Darkness of Khazad-Dum behind them. Now Gandalf and the Balrog fall together into
a massive pool of water at the bottom of the abyss. Here, at the foundations of the Earth, Gandalf
fought the Balrog and he seemed to gain the upper hand, for the Balrog fled into dark
tunnels nearby. These tunnels were said to be made by nameless
creatures that were older than Sauron. Gandalf then chased the Balrog down these
tunnels, till they reached the Endless stair that led them all the way up to Durin’s
tower at the highest peak of the Mountain top Zirakzigil. There they fought once again, till at last
Gandalf defeated the Balrog and threw him down on the mountain-side below. With the threat of the Balrog gone, dwarves
could once reclaim Moria, though this doesn’t occur until the Fourth age of Middle-Earth. In the peoples of middle-Earth, Tolkien says
that Durin the 7th eventually reclaims Moria and the dwarves remain there “until the
world grew old and the Dwarves failed and the days of Durins race were ended. Before I discuss some of Moria’s characteristics
I’d like to point out that both Aragorn and Gandalf had journeyed through Moria before
the War of the Ring. So Khazad-Dum was located in the Middle of
the Misty Mountains beneath the three mountain peaks of Celebdil, Caradhras and Fanuidhol. There is a marked difference between the Eastern
part of Khazad-Dum and the Western part. The Eastern part of the city was better built
and less worn out which seems to suggest that it was the area in which dwarves primarily
lived, while the western part contained their mines and stores. The city was divided into layers, having 7
levels above ground, and 7 Deeps below. The treasure holds of the dwarves were spread
out throughout Moria, as Gandalf says that the treasures in the upper halls have been
plundered by orcs, while those in the deeps are drowned in water. We also know that at least one of their armouries
was located in the Deeps as we’re told “Oin to seek for the upper armouries of Third deep”
Since these are said to be the upper armouries, I would understand that there were more armouries
further below this level, in the other deeps. We’re told that there were many stream and
wells in Moria, and I believe these were the cause of the flooding in the lower levels,
as throughout the fellowship’s journey in Moria the sound of water could be heard far
below. In Durin’s time, Khazad-Dum was lit up by
lamps made of crystal, and the eastern parts of the city had natural light as shafts were
cut through the rock. The Second Hall of Moria, had a double line
of large towering pillars down its centre that were shaped like mighty trees holding
up the roof. Across this room, there was a great fissure
of fire, and it’s interesting to note that at first when the fellowship were ambushed
in the chamber of Mazarbul, they considered going back to the 21st hall and taking the
eastern path, which would have led them to the western side of the second hall, and so
trapped between the orcs and Balrog and the fissure in the room. This would have most likely lead to the fellowship’s
defeat, and so it’s quite interesting to note what an important decision it was. Anyway this wraps up the video, and I hope
you enjoyed it! If you learnt something new, please tell me
in the comments below, I’m curious to know! And if you enjoyed this video drop a like
cause it helps this channel immensely, and subscribe to join our fellowship today! I hope to see you all in my next video, where
together can once again explore the magical world and lore of Middle-Earth!

100 thoughts on “The Mines of Moria – Lord of the Rings Lore”

  1. Cool video. But wasn't it goblins that were crawling the walls in Moria? Small detail but isn't that what Gandalf said?

  2. Btw in the movie he didn’t threw a rock down the well he was just touching a skeleton nearby and it’s skull fell in the well and shortly after the whole skeleton fell in (pretty funny moment in the movie xD)

  3. I understand that your first language is not English, and I love your vids nonetheless, but when you try to say 'third' it sounds like 'turd' and it just cracks me up.

    Simple conversation between Gimli and Frodo:
    We dwarfs have a long history and the greatest are Durin and his kin.
    There is Durin the first, the first of his kin
    There is Durin the second, the great architect
    Then there is Durin the fourth, battlemaster
    "Wait, aren't you missing one?"
    "Aye laddy, Durin the Turd, but we do not speak of him"

    Legolas: What are these grotesque sculptures?
    Gimli: Aye Elf, this was built in the Turd Age…THE AGE OF SHIT!!

  4. In the year 2019 of Third Age when the Fellowship traveled through Moria.

    It's nice that we can still celebrate LotR Lore in our own 2019.

  5. One thing I remember from the book was that there was no traces of Dwarf bodies in Moria when the Company passed through it, 
    unlike in the Jackson film when Dwarf bones and body fragments were scattered all over Moria.
    That kind of always made me wonder if 
    A. the Orcs had cannibalized the Dwarve's bodies after the final battle for Moria?
    B. the Balrog devoured all their bodies, or just completely turned them into ash with a blast of it's breath?
    Just something I was kind of curious about.

  6. Was that Divinity Original Sin 2 music i heard?

    I would subscribe for that, but…
    … I already subscribed when i discovered you 2 videos ago, so a like will have to do. 😉

  7. I always wondered how Gandalf and the Balrog fell to the foundations of the earth only to apear again on a tower high up in the mountains. I started wondering if the world was dualistic or something. As though the inner was a world of it's own

  8. Extremely well done. The drawings were crude but informative and gave me a better understanding of the topography of the mines and the route of the fellowship.

  9. Wow so happy to hear all this backstory! Really makes the movie even better knowing all that history & why the mines were a tomb for the Dwarves.

  10. One note, you say Frodo solved the riddle of the door outside Moria- that's in the movie, but in the book isn't it Gandalf that solves it?

  11. I think Gandalf said it takes three days to walk through Moria… think of the immense size of that mountain kingdom. Insane.

  12. I might be wrong but I remember that in the books Gandalf remembers the password after some thinking. Frodo figuring it out happens only in the movie. Other than this great video ?

  13. Maybe I missed it, but you say that Frodo solved the password puzzle of the western gate of Moria. I'm pretty sure that Gandalf did that. Exactly what are you basing your lectures on? If you base much of your information on the movies, then you are making a big mistake.

  14. Played Lord of the Rings Online and did every single quest in Moria, went to every dark corner… never realized the lake outside had the crown reflection of the stars!!!

  15. I love how there are pictures of places and characters when he talks about them; it makes you think for a split-second it is actual history.

  16. the map.. that and the 3d room lay-outs. this puts us IN middle earth. allow our own imagination to populate this world in our minds better

  17. It's videos like these that have always made me wonder where Tolkien came up with this stuff from. You don't just pull this shit out of thin air. It was either some super great marijuana or there is truth to some of it. Seriously, how do we know what was going on here a million years ago? Maybe the dwarves still do dwell in the mountains or underground. Also there is a verse in the Conan movie intro that states after the seas drank Atlantis (maybe that was supposed to be Numenor or Valinor, whichever continent or great city sunk) there was a dark time of great sorcery and fell things. Something like that. Anyway, these are the best stories of all time to me. Cant wait for that new series to come out. I bet it kicks the shit out of GOT.

  18. Carl you make the best videos my guy. Keep it up. Everyone that is blessed by eru would give you a second breakfast

  19. An excellent video, very well done! Thank you very much for making it, I learned a lot and really enjoyed it. I'll be watching more of your videos in the future.

  20. 1980… discover of the Balrog, and election of Ronald Reagan. Scary enough for you? Just kidding…. Moria has always been my favorite part of LOR, love it love it love it. So cool!!!

  21. I once saw and played through an ICE (Iron Crown Enterprises) module of Moria…. it was amazingly detailed with maps, etc. Did any one else ever encounter that as on add-on to AD&D?

  22. Your narrative pacing and the number of clips enhance the videos in my opinion. How about a video with this scenario: What if Glaurung had not been killed by Turin? Suppose the boulder that crushed Hunthor had killed Turin instead?

  23. What I don't get is why in 30 years, all of the other dwarves never heard of the death of Balin and loss of Khazad-dûm to the orcs. Gimli had every impression that Balin would be there to welcome them. Would NO dwarves from Erebor ever make the trip to at least visit during that time??

  24. i have a question tho. we know that in hobbit the last movie thorin, killi and his brother died. Thus ending the durins race. what about thorins sister? Killi and his brother are his nephews. if he has nephews that must mean that he has siblings, right? What if she had more children? Durins race maybe isnt over? She does in fact carry durins blood

  25. I always wondered why the Necromancer never reached out to the Balrog in Moria. I mean the orcs he sent there would surely find it, and even if they didn't know what it was, they would tell of it to Sauron, who might just know who or what it was. Just curious why, as he surely knew the balrogs, being Melkor'r right hand man

  26. Great video, nice narration, thanks Karl.OK, here come the quibbles. The video shows Ursa Major variously called  the Great Bear, Haywain, Plough or Big Dipper. But  there is ANOTHER constellation of seven stars …. Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. In  Welsh it is Caer Arianrhod, Ariadne's castle.

  27. should probably clarify as you brushed over it the watcher of the lake was not evil or put there to guard it in the book the orcs tapped into an aquifer for what ever reason and dislodged some boulders which made the usually deep earth dwelling watcher species to freely move to the surface where it would wait for creatures to drink from the waters and then ambush them

  28. I've read the books and currently reading the history of middle earth, so thank you for the videos they really help picturing it all 🙂

  29. climb up the endless stairs and then fight on the top of the mountain ? couldnt be more tyring xd and it should be "throw the jew down the well' instead of rock ;p

  30. These videos that you make are so informative and easy to access. Thank you for putting so much time in them! Malti wkoll. ?

  31. I must point out an error with this video. In it, you say Frodo solves the riddle of the West Gate of Moria. That only occurs in the film version. In the books, Gandalf comes upon the answer himself.

  32. I wonder what the Dwarfs of Middle Earth would have thought of the deep roads a massive Highway spending thousands of miles beneath the Earth connecting each individual Dwarven Kingdom which have come together to form a mighty Dwarven Empire just like in Dragon Age Origins

  33. Although the darkspawn would be the Goblins to the dwarves Middle Earth Kingdom after Kingdom lost but with the Deep roads cities could be evacuated tunnels closed off preventing further Pursuit from the enemy I wonder how it would have changed the story of Lord of the Rings If gimli's cousin did survive found a way out where before there was none through the Deep roads if anything it makes for a nice fanfiction

  34. Just discovered you. Great video with many information I didn't knew 🙂 Subbed and now I'm gonna watch the other videos of yours 🙂

  35. Just a note. At 9:49 you say that Frodo solved the riddle of the gate. That was an invention of the movie. Gandolf solved the riddle himself.

  36. How many dwarves did Balin take with him to Moria ? (It is never really clear) My opinion, Balin needed a force of 800-1200 dwarves to have any chance of success. They knew what was waiting there for them

  37. I wish J.R. Tolkien were still alive to explain all of this. He is prolly rolling over in his grave right now. Lol

  38. Pippin did not throw a rock down the well. He turned an arrowhead in a skeleton which caused the skeleton's head to fall off backwards. The skull had a chain and bucket attached to it which was the alarm for this room. At least that is the movie version. It has been 45 years since I read the books.

  39. Did dwarves ate rocks? Cause if not, what were they eating? They surely were not into agriculture and farming since they were living under the mountain…

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