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Battle of Azanulbizar

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{{battle|
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{{battle
image=[[Image:Mikel Janin - Battle of Azanulbizar.jpeg|300px]]|
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| image=[[File:Mikel Janin - Battle of Azanulbizar.jpeg|300px]]
name=Battle of Azanulbizar|
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| name=Battle of Azanulbizar
conflict=War of the Dwarves and Orcs|
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| conflict=War of the Dwarves and Orcs
date=2799 TA|
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| date={{TA|2799}}
place=The Dimrill Dale and the steps of the East-gate of Moria|
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| place=The Dimrill Dale and the steps of the East-gate of Moria
result=Decisive victory for the Dwarves|
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| result=Pyrrhic victory for the Dwarves
side1=Dwarves|
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| side1=[[File:Dwarven Device.jpg|45px|left]] Dwarves
side2=Goblins|
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| side2=[[File:ME-Orcs.png|45px|left]]Orcs
commanders1=*[[Thráin II]] *[[Thorin Oakenshield]] *[[Náin]] *[[Dáin II Ironfoot]] *Commanders of other Houses|
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| commanders1=*[[Thráin II]]  
commanders2=*[[Azog]]|
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*[[Thorin]]  
forces1=Durin's folk, Broadbeams, Firebeards, and Houses of the far East numbering at possibly 6-10,000, plus 500-1,000 (est.) Dwarves from the Iron Hills|
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*[[Náin son of Grór|Náin]]
forces2=Goblins of Moria, and the remnants of other Orc-dwellings throughout the Misty Mountains, (est.) at 11-15,000|
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*[[Dáin Ironfoot|Dáin II Ironfoot]]  
casual1=
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*Commanders of other Houses|
Half of the host; 4-5,000|
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commanders2=*[[Azog]]
casual2=
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| forces1=[[Longbeards]], [[Broadbeams]], [[Firebeards]], and Houses of the far East numbering at possibly 6-10,000, plus 500-1,000 (est.) Dwarves from the [[Iron Hills]]{{fact}}
10,000, except for maybe 5-10,000 that escaped to the White Mountains|
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| forces2=Orcs from Moria, and the remnants of other Orc-dwellings throughout the [[Misty Mountains]], (est.) at 15-20,000{{fact}}
 +
| casual1=Half of the host; 4-5,000{{fact}}
 +
| casual2=10,000 orcs,<ref name="PMA">{{PM|A}}, p. 278</ref> the rest of the force fled south across Rohan to the White Mountains {{fact}}
 
}}
 
}}
The '''Battle of Azanulbizar''' ([[Third Age]] 2799) was the penultimate battle in the [[War of the Dwarves and Orcs]]. It was fought beneath the [[East-gate of Moria]] in the valley of Azanulbizar, called ''[[Nanduhirion]]'' in [[Sindarin]] or ''[[Dimrill Dale]]'' in [[Westron]]. Therefore the event is also known as the '''Battle of Nanduhirion''' and the '''Battle of Dimrill Dale'''.
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The '''Battle of Azanulbizar''' ({{TA|2799}}) was the final battle in the [[War of the Dwarves and Orcs]]. It was fought beneath the [[East-gate of Moria]] in the valley of Azanulbizar, called ''[[Nanduhirion]]'' in [[Sindarin]] or ''[[Dimrill Dale]]'' in [[Westron]]. Therefore the event is also known as the '''Battle of Nanduhirion''' and the '''Battle of Dimrill Dale'''.
  
 +
==Background==
 +
The War of the Dwarves and Orcs began when [[Azog]] the [[Orcs|Orc]]-chieftain of [[Moria]] captured and mutilated [[Thrór]], King of [[Durin's folk]]. Azog carved his own name in runes onto Thrór's severed head, and then let his companion [[Nár (companion of Thrór)|Nár]] escape so that all [[Dwarves]] would know that an Orc now ruled Moria. Full of righteous fury, Thrór's son [[Thráin II]] gathered a great army of Dwarves, including those not of Durin's folk ([[Firebeards]] and [[Broadbeams]] from the [[Blue Mountains]] and those from the far East of Middle-earth). For six years they systematically destroyed the Orc-holds of the [[Misty Mountains]], until only Moria was left where those Orcs that survived the destruction fled.
  
== Prior to the Battle ==
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==Opposing Forces==
 +
The exact number for the Dwarves was not specified, but it can be estimated at being somewhere between six to ten thousand Longbeards, Firebeards, Broadbeams, Ironfists, Stonefoots, Blacklocks, and Stiffbeards. 
 +
This is based off of the assumption that, the other Dwarf houses sent no more then a few thousand each to take part in the war because they could not have sent too many for economic, financial and defense reasons.  And lastly the Longbeards, who could not have mustered a proper fighting force of no more than 1-3,000, because of a severely depleted populace, and financial/economic problems (especially Thraín's following).<ref name="AppDurin">{{App|Durin}}</ref>
  
The War of the Dwarves and Orcs was started when [[Azog]] the [[Orc]]-chieftain of [[Moria]] captured and mutilated [[Thrór]], King of [[Durin's folk]]. Azog carved his own name in runes onto Thrór's severed head, and then let his companion [[Nár]] escape so that all [[Dwarves]] would know that an Orc now ruled Moria. Full of righteous fury, Thrór's son [[Thráin II]] gathered a great army of Dwarves, including those not of Durin's folk ([[Firebeards]] and [[Broadbeams]] from the [[Blue Mountains]] and those from the far East of Middle-earth). For six years they systematically destroyed the Orc-holds of the [[Misty Mountains]], until only Moria was left where those Goblins that survived the destruction fled.  
+
The Orcs, as stated above, came from Moria, and from as far north as [[Mount Gundabad]]. So their numbers can be estimated at fifteen to twenty thousand Orcs.<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
 +
==The Battle==
 +
[[File:Jacek Kopalski - Náin at Azanulbizar.jpg|thumb|left|''Náin at Azanulbizar'' by Jacek Kopalski]]
 +
The battle began on a dark winter day, and no sun was said to have shined through the clouds. The Dwarves had marched into the Dimrill Dale where they found the East-Gate and sent up a great noise.  They discovered that on the western slopes above thousands of Orcs had gathered, while more still came pouring out of the gate. The Dwarves there stood outnumbered and on the lower end of a sloping hill. 
  
== Apposing Forces ==
+
The first Vanguard led by King Thráin, assaulted the slopes only to be driven back with casualties. In a woods near the Mirrormere, the dwarves noted that [[Frerin]] youngest son of Thráin was slain along with [[Fundin]], father of [[Balin]]; and many others.  Thraín himself was wounded, as was his eldest son [[Thorin|Thorin II Oakenshield]] whose shield was broken during the battle forcing him to resort to using an oak branch that he cut off a tree to defend himself. 
  
The exact number for the Dwarves was not specified, but it can be estimated at being somewhere between six to ten thousand Longbeards, Firebeards, Broadbeams, Ironfists, Stonefoots, Blacklocks, and Stiffbeards.  
+
Elsewhere, the battle swayed back and forth until [[Náin son of Grór|Náin]] from the [[Iron Hills]], arrived with a contingent of fresh troops.  Náin, and his Dwarves cut through the Orc lines with their mattocks shouting "AZOG! AZOG! AZOG!" until they had reached the steps of the gate, at-which Naín called Azog to come out and fight. When Azog emerged from the inner gate with his guards, Náin was very tired and half blind with rage and tried to swing as hard as he could at Azog but the Orc darted aside, and he missed, which splintered his mattocks on the groundThe orc kicked him in the leg when he dodged the Dwarf's blow, making him stumble, at which point Azog attempted to thrust and behead him, succeeding only to break Náin's neck because of the strong mail he was wearing. Náin died instantly. 
The Orcs, as stated above, came from Moria, and from as far north of the Misty Mountains as [[Mount Gundabad]]So their numbers can be estimated at fifteen to twenty thousand Orcs.  
+
  
 +
As Azog gloated over his duel, however, he came to the realization, looking out into the valley which the east gate overlooks, that his entire force was routed.  Those that could were fleeing southwards, and all his guards were killed as well.  With that he fled back to the gate. Náin's son, [[Dáin Ironfoot|Dáin]], leaped up the steps after him with his red axe and just before the gate he decapitated the Orc chieftain, thus ending the battle.
 +
At 32-years old, very young for a Dwarf, it was considered an amazing feat. Dáin would later become [[King under the Mountain]] as [[Dáin Ironfoot|Dáin II Ironfoot]].<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
== The Battle ==
+
==Aftermath==
 +
The Dwarves were victorious, but half of their forces were dead or mortally wounded.  The Orcs suffered even worse casualties, with ten thousand dead.   
 +
After the battle, King Thráin wanted to enter and reclaim Moria, the ancestral home of Durin's folk. However, due to their losses; the other Houses not willing to participate; and since Dáin had seen [[Durin's Bane]] beyond the East-gate, Thráin did not to enter.<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
The battle started on a dark day of cold winter with no sun. The Dwarves had marched into the Dimrill Dale where they found the great East-gate and sent up a great noiseThey soon discovered that on the western slopes above thousands of Orcs had gathered and more were coming out of the East-gate, outnumbering them and holding the higher ground.   
+
The Dwarves then stripped their dead so the Orcs could not plunder them, and also cut down all the trees in the valley; which they made many pyres to burn their dead withThis being because they could not bury them all in tombs of stone, as was their custom because it would take too long.  From then afterward those that killed in Dimrill Dale were known proudly as ''Burned Dwarves''.   
  
The first Vanguard led by King Thraín, assaulted the slopes but were driven back with loss, into a wood near the Mirrormere, where [[Frerin]] youngest son of Thraín was slain along with [[Fundin]], father of [[Balin]], along with many othersThraín himself was wounded, as well as his eldest son [[Thorin II Oakenshield]].  Who's shield was broken during the battle and had to use an oak branch that he hewed off a tree to defend himself.
+
The Houses then parted ways, returning to their homes to the North, East, and West.  Thráin, with what was left of the Longbeard contingent, went back to [[Dunland]], and shortly afterwards wandered in [[Eriador]] till they settled in the Northern Blue MountainsThere Durin's folk regrew slowly in population and waited till the days they could take back the halls of [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]], and Khazad-dum.<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
Elsewhere, the battle swayed to and fro until [[Náin son of Grór|Náin]] from the [[Iron Hills]], arrived with a host of fresh troops with him. Naín, and his Dwarves hewed through the Orc lines with their mattocks shouting AZOG! AZOG! AZOG! until they got to the very steps of the gate, in-which Naín called upon Azog to come out and fight. When Azog emerged from the inner gate with his guards, Naín was very tired and half blind with rage and tried to swing as hard as he could at Azog but the orc darted aside, and he missed, which splintered his mattocks on the ground.  The orc kicked him in the leg when he dodged the Dwarf's blow, making him stumble, at which Azog tried to decapitate him but Azog only broke Naín's neck because of the strong mail he was wearing, Naín died instantly. 
+
==Repercussions==
Azog laughed at this, but when he looked out into the valley he found that his entire army was routed.  Those that could were fleeing southwards, and all his guards were killed as well.  With that he fled back to the gate.  But Náin's son, [[Dáin II Ironfoot|Dáin]], leaped up the steps after him with his red axe and just before the gate he hewed off Azog's head, thus ending the war.
+
Although the Dwarves suffered heavy casualties, the battle would have lasting effects for the [[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]]. Their numbers were severely shrunken after the battle and never fully recovered.  
He was just 32-years old at the time, very young for a Dwarf, and it was remarked an amazing feat. Dáin would later become [[King under the Mountain]] as [[Dáin II Ironfoot]].  
+
If it hadn't been for the battle, [[Bilbo Baggins]] and his companions may have never made it to Erebor; the [[Battle of Five Armies]] wouldn't have been won by the Elves, Men, and Dwarves; and [[The Fellowship of the Ring | The Fellowship]] may have never got through Moria alive.
  
 +
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 +
'''2012: ''[[The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey]]'':'''
  
== Aftermath ==
+
:The battle is presented in a flashback sequence, as [[Balin]] recounts [[Thorin]]'s past to [[Bilbo Baggins]]. The narrative of the battle has been heavily condensed. In the film version, instead of Thror's death at the hands of [[Azog]] sparking a war lasting many years, Balin simply says that after Smaug drove the Dwarves from Erebor, Thror attempted to lead all of his people back to their ancestral realm in Moria, only to find that the Orcs had gotten there first, leading to a massive battle. Azog does decapitate Thror, but in single combat during the battle itself. Condensing Thrain's story, Balin simply says that Thrain went mad from grief at his father's death and wandered away, and they never knew if he died or was captured. Dain Ironfoot is completely absent from Balin's recounting, and in the film version, it is entirely Thorin who rallies the dwarves by fighting Azog in single combat. In a further alteration, Azog is presented as surviving the battle, in order to give him a sub-plot in which he is hunting [[Thorin and Company]] for revenge. In the film version, Thorin faces Azog in single combat, and defeats him by hacking off his left arm. The wounded Azog is dragged back into Moria by his subordinates, and everyone assumed he was mortally wounded and later died from his injuries. No specific mention is made of needing to burn the dead dwarves, but Balin and Dwalin are later seen in the aftermath of the battle walking amidst heaps of slain dwarves, and Balin states that it was a a pyrrhic victory and their number of dead was beyond the count of grief. 
  
The Dwarves were victorious, but with heavy casualties.  Half of their forces dead or mortally wounded.  But the Orcs casualties were ten thousand. 
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{{references}}
After the battle, King Thráin wanted to enter and reclaim Moria, the ancestral home of Durin's folk. However, since the Dwarves had taken heavy losses and the Dwarves of the other Houses did not see any benefit in it for them unless they got some treasure from Moria. More significantly, Dáin had peered beyond the East-gate after slaying Azog, and saw that [[Durin's Bane]] still lingered within and advised Thráin not to enter. 
+
They then stripped the dead, so the orcs couldn't plunder them, and felled  all the trees in the valley which they made many pyres with, and put there dead on them to burn.  For they could not bury them all in fashioned tombs of stone, as was their custom for it would take many years.  So those that fell in that battle were known proudly as ''Burned  Dwarves''. 
+
The Houses then parted ways, returning to their homes to the North, East, and West.
+
 
+
Thráin, with what was left of Durin's folks' forces, went back to [[Dunland]], and shortly afterwards wandered in [[Eriador]] till they settled in the Northern Blue Mountains.  There Durin's folk regrew slowly in population and waited till the days they could take back the halls of [[Erebor]], and Khazad-dum.
+
 
+
 
+
== Repercussions ==
+
 
+
Although the Dwarves suffered heavy casualties, the battle would have lasting repercussions for the [[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]].  Their numbers had been severally shrunk after the battle and never fully recovered.  If it hadn't been for the battle, [[Bilbo Baggins]] and his thirteen Dwarf companions may have never made it to Erebor.  The [[Battle of Five Armies]] wouldn't have been won buy the army of Elves, Men, and Dwarves.  And [[The Fellowship of the Ring | The Fellowship]] may have never got through Moria alive.
+
 
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== References ==
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[[The Return of the King]] [[Appendix A]]
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[[The Peoples of Middle-earth]]
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[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
 
[[de:Schlacht von Azanulbizar]]
 
[[de:Schlacht von Azanulbizar]]
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[[fr:encyclo:evenements:3a:guerres:bataille_d_azanulbizar]]
 
[[fi:Azanulbizarin taistelu]]
 
[[fi:Azanulbizarin taistelu]]

Revision as of 17:20, 13 February 2013

Battle of Azanulbizar
Mikel Janin - Battle of Azanulbizar.jpeg
Conflict: War of the Dwarves and Orcs
Date: T.A. 2799
Place: The Dimrill Dale and the steps of the East-gate of Moria
Outcome: Pyrrhic victory for the Dwarves
Combatants
Dwarves Orcs
Commanders
Strength

Longbeards, Broadbeams, Firebeards, and Houses of the far East numbering at possibly 6-10,000, plus 500-1,000 (est.) Dwarves from the Iron Hills[source?]

Orcs from Moria, and the remnants of other Orc-dwellings throughout the Misty Mountains, (est.) at 15-20,000[source?]

Casualties

Half of the host; 4-5,000[source?]

10,000 orcs,[1] the rest of the force fled south across Rohan to the White Mountains[source?]

The Battle of Azanulbizar (T.A. 2799) was the final battle in the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. It was fought beneath the East-gate of Moria in the valley of Azanulbizar, called Nanduhirion in Sindarin or Dimrill Dale in Westron. Therefore the event is also known as the Battle of Nanduhirion and the Battle of Dimrill Dale.

Contents

Background

The War of the Dwarves and Orcs began when Azog the Orc-chieftain of Moria captured and mutilated Thrór, King of Durin's folk. Azog carved his own name in runes onto Thrór's severed head, and then let his companion Nár escape so that all Dwarves would know that an Orc now ruled Moria. Full of righteous fury, Thrór's son Thráin II gathered a great army of Dwarves, including those not of Durin's folk (Firebeards and Broadbeams from the Blue Mountains and those from the far East of Middle-earth). For six years they systematically destroyed the Orc-holds of the Misty Mountains, until only Moria was left where those Orcs that survived the destruction fled.

Opposing Forces

The exact number for the Dwarves was not specified, but it can be estimated at being somewhere between six to ten thousand Longbeards, Firebeards, Broadbeams, Ironfists, Stonefoots, Blacklocks, and Stiffbeards. This is based off of the assumption that, the other Dwarf houses sent no more then a few thousand each to take part in the war because they could not have sent too many for economic, financial and defense reasons. And lastly the Longbeards, who could not have mustered a proper fighting force of no more than 1-3,000, because of a severely depleted populace, and financial/economic problems (especially Thraín's following).[2]

The Orcs, as stated above, came from Moria, and from as far north as Mount Gundabad. So their numbers can be estimated at fifteen to twenty thousand Orcs.[2]

The Battle

Náin at Azanulbizar by Jacek Kopalski

The battle began on a dark winter day, and no sun was said to have shined through the clouds. The Dwarves had marched into the Dimrill Dale where they found the East-Gate and sent up a great noise. They discovered that on the western slopes above thousands of Orcs had gathered, while more still came pouring out of the gate. The Dwarves there stood outnumbered and on the lower end of a sloping hill.

The first Vanguard led by King Thráin, assaulted the slopes only to be driven back with casualties. In a woods near the Mirrormere, the dwarves noted that Frerin youngest son of Thráin was slain along with Fundin, father of Balin; and many others. Thraín himself was wounded, as was his eldest son Thorin II Oakenshield whose shield was broken during the battle forcing him to resort to using an oak branch that he cut off a tree to defend himself.

Elsewhere, the battle swayed back and forth until Náin from the Iron Hills, arrived with a contingent of fresh troops. Náin, and his Dwarves cut through the Orc lines with their mattocks shouting "AZOG! AZOG! AZOG!" until they had reached the steps of the gate, at-which Naín called Azog to come out and fight. When Azog emerged from the inner gate with his guards, Náin was very tired and half blind with rage and tried to swing as hard as he could at Azog but the Orc darted aside, and he missed, which splintered his mattocks on the ground. The orc kicked him in the leg when he dodged the Dwarf's blow, making him stumble, at which point Azog attempted to thrust and behead him, succeeding only to break Náin's neck because of the strong mail he was wearing. Náin died instantly.

As Azog gloated over his duel, however, he came to the realization, looking out into the valley which the east gate overlooks, that his entire force was routed. Those that could were fleeing southwards, and all his guards were killed as well. With that he fled back to the gate. Náin's son, Dáin, leaped up the steps after him with his red axe and just before the gate he decapitated the Orc chieftain, thus ending the battle. At 32-years old, very young for a Dwarf, it was considered an amazing feat. Dáin would later become King under the Mountain as Dáin II Ironfoot.[2]

Aftermath

The Dwarves were victorious, but half of their forces were dead or mortally wounded. The Orcs suffered even worse casualties, with ten thousand dead. After the battle, King Thráin wanted to enter and reclaim Moria, the ancestral home of Durin's folk. However, due to their losses; the other Houses not willing to participate; and since Dáin had seen Durin's Bane beyond the East-gate, Thráin did not to enter.[2]

The Dwarves then stripped their dead so the Orcs could not plunder them, and also cut down all the trees in the valley; which they made many pyres to burn their dead with. This being because they could not bury them all in tombs of stone, as was their custom because it would take too long. From then afterward those that killed in Dimrill Dale were known proudly as Burned Dwarves.

The Houses then parted ways, returning to their homes to the North, East, and West. Thráin, with what was left of the Longbeard contingent, went back to Dunland, and shortly afterwards wandered in Eriador till they settled in the Northern Blue Mountains. There Durin's folk regrew slowly in population and waited till the days they could take back the halls of Erebor, and Khazad-dum.[2]

Repercussions

Although the Dwarves suffered heavy casualties, the battle would have lasting effects for the Orcs of the Misty Mountains. Their numbers were severely shrunken after the battle and never fully recovered. If it hadn't been for the battle, Bilbo Baggins and his companions may have never made it to Erebor; the Battle of Five Armies wouldn't have been won by the Elves, Men, and Dwarves; and The Fellowship may have never got through Moria alive.

Portrayal in adaptations

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

The battle is presented in a flashback sequence, as Balin recounts Thorin's past to Bilbo Baggins. The narrative of the battle has been heavily condensed. In the film version, instead of Thror's death at the hands of Azog sparking a war lasting many years, Balin simply says that after Smaug drove the Dwarves from Erebor, Thror attempted to lead all of his people back to their ancestral realm in Moria, only to find that the Orcs had gotten there first, leading to a massive battle. Azog does decapitate Thror, but in single combat during the battle itself. Condensing Thrain's story, Balin simply says that Thrain went mad from grief at his father's death and wandered away, and they never knew if he died or was captured. Dain Ironfoot is completely absent from Balin's recounting, and in the film version, it is entirely Thorin who rallies the dwarves by fighting Azog in single combat. In a further alteration, Azog is presented as surviving the battle, in order to give him a sub-plot in which he is hunting Thorin and Company for revenge. In the film version, Thorin faces Azog in single combat, and defeats him by hacking off his left arm. The wounded Azog is dragged back into Moria by his subordinates, and everyone assumed he was mortally wounded and later died from his injuries. No specific mention is made of needing to burn the dead dwarves, but Balin and Dwalin are later seen in the aftermath of the battle walking amidst heaps of slain dwarves, and Balin states that it was a a pyrrhic victory and their number of dead was beyond the count of grief.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Making of Appendix A", p. 278
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"