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Battle of Azanulbizar

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{{battle
 
{{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
 
| name=Battle of Azanulbizar
 
| conflict=War of the Dwarves and Orcs
 
| conflict=War of the Dwarves and Orcs
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| place=The Dimrill Dale and the steps of the East-gate of Moria
 
| place=The Dimrill Dale and the steps of the East-gate of Moria
 
| result=Pyrrhic victory for the Dwarves
 
| result=Pyrrhic victory for the Dwarves
| side1=[[Image:Dwarven Device.jpg|45px|left]] Dwarves
+
| side1=Dwarves
| side2=[[Image:ME-Orcs.png|45px|left]]Orcs
+
| side2=Orcs
| commanders1=*[[Thráin II]]  
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| commanders1=*[[Thráin|Thráin II]]  
*[[Thorin Oakenshield]]  
+
*[[Thorin]]  
 
*[[Náin son of Grór|Náin]] †  
 
*[[Náin son of Grór|Náin]] †  
*[[Dáin II Ironfoot]]  
+
*[[Dáin Ironfoot|Dáin II Ironfoot]]  
 
*Commanders of other Houses|
 
*Commanders of other Houses|
 
commanders2=*[[Azog]] †
 
commanders2=*[[Azog]] †
| forces1=[[Longbeards]], [[Broadbeams]], [[Firebeards]], and Houses of the far East numbering at possibly 10-30,000 (taking in mind that most of the Longbeard, Broadbeam and Firebeards would've been assembled), plus 500-1,000 (est.) Dwarves from the [[Iron Hills]]{{fact}}
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| forces1=[[Durin's Folk|Longbeards]], [[Broadbeams]], [[Firebeards]], and Houses of the far East  
| forces2=Goblins of Moria, and the remnants of other Orc-dwellings throughout the [[Misty Mountains]], (est.) at 50-70,000{{fact}}
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| forces2=Orcs from Moria, and the remnants of other Orc-dwellings throughout the [[Misty Mountains]]
| casual1=Half of the host; 7-12,000{{fact}}
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| casual1="Beyond the count of grief." Half dead or dying.<ref name="AppDurin"/>
| casual2=At least 50,000 as the Orcs of the Misty Mountains never really recovered from the war, the rest of the force likely fled into the White or Grey Mountains, or remained hidden{{fact}}
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| casual2=10,000 orcs,<ref name="PMA">{{PM|A}}, p. 278</ref>
 
}}
 
}}
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'''.
+
The '''Battle of Azanulbizar''' ({{TA|2799}}) was the final battle in the [[War of the Dwarves and Orcs]]. It was fought beneath the [[Great Gates|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 branded his own name in runes onto Thrór's severed head, then let Thrór's companion [[Nár]] escape so that all [[Dwarves]] would know that an Orc now ruled Moria. Full of righteous fury, Thrór's son [[Thráin|Thráin II]] summoned a great army of Dwarves, including those not of Durin's Folk ([[Firebeards]] and [[Broadbeams]] from the [[Blue Mountains]], and others from the far East of Middle-earth). For six years they systematically sacked the Orc strongholds of the [[Misty Mountains]], until only Moria was left. There the Orcs that had survived the destruction had gathered to Azog.
  
== Prior to the Battle ==
+
==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 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. The Longbeards (Durin's Folk) 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 (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 Goblins that survived the destruction fled.
+
The Orcs, as stated above, came from Moria, and from as far north as [[Gundabad|Mount Gundabad]]. Their numbers can be estimated at fifteen to twenty thousand Orcs.<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
== Opposing Forces ==
+
==The Battle==
 +
[[File:Jacek Kopalski - Náin at Azanulbizar.jpg|thumb|left|Jacek Kopalski - ''Náin at Azanulbizar'']]
 +
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 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.  
+
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 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.
+
  
== The Battle ==
+
 +
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 exhausted and half blind with rage. He tried to swing as hard as he could, but Azog darted aside and Náin missed, splintering 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 in breaking Náin's neck because of the strong mail he was wearing. Náin died instantly.
  
The battle started on a dark day of cold winter with no sunlight. The Dwarves had marched into the Dimrill Dale where they found the great East-gate and sent up a great noise. They 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.
+
Even as Azog gloated over his duel, he looked out over the valley which the east gate overlooks, and came to the realization that his entire force was routed. Those that could were fleeing southwards, and all his guard was dead. 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 there before the gate he decapitated the Orc chieftain, thus ending the battle.
 +
The slaying of Azog was considered an amazing feat, as Dáin was only 32 years of age (very young for a Dwarf). Dáin would later become [[King under the Mountain]] as [[Dáin Ironfoot|Dáin II Ironfoot]].<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
The first Vanguard led by King Thraín, assaulted the slopes but were driven back with casualties, into a wood near the Mirrormere, where [[Frerin]] youngest son of Thraín was slain along with [[Fundin]], father of [[Balin]]; and many others. Thraín 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.
+
==Aftermath==
 +
[[File:Steamey - Vengeance.jpg|thumb|Steamey - ''Vengeance'']]
 +
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, 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 refrained from entering.<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
Elsewhere, the battle swayed back and forth until [[Náin son of Grór|Náin]] from the [[Iron Hills]], arrived with a host of fresh troops.  Naín, and his Dwarves hewed through the Orc lines with their mattocks shouting AZOG! AZOG! AZOG! until they got to the 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.
+
The Dwarves stripped their dead so the Orcs could not plunder them, and cut down all the trees in the valley, which was to remain bare ever after. They made many pyres on which to burn their dead. They could not bury them all in tombs of stone, as was their custom, because it would take too long. From then on those that died in Dimrill Dale were known proudly as ''Burned Dwarves''.  
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.
+
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]].
+
  
== Aftermath ==
+
The Houses 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 wandered in [[Eriador]], eventually settling in the Southern Blue Mountains. There Durin's folk repopulated slowly, waiting for the day when they could take back the halls of [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] and Khazad-dum.<ref name="AppDurin"/>
  
The Dwarves were victorious, but with heavy casualties.  Half of their forces dead or mortally wounded.  But the Orcs casualties were ten thousand. 
+
==Repercussions==
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.
+
Although the Dwarves suffered heavy casualties, the battle would have lasting effects for the [[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]]. Their numbers were severely reduced after the battle and never fully recovered.  
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.
+
The depletion of the Orc population contributed to the survival of [[Thorin and Company]] on their journey to Erebor, as well as the victory of the Elves, Men, and Dwarves at the [[Battle of Five Armies]]. It also allowed [[Balin]], in {{TA|2989}}, to attempt the [[Balin's Colony|recolonization of Moria]].
  
 +
==Portrayal in adaptations==
 +
'''2012: ''[[The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey]]'':'''
  
== Repercussions ==
+
:Referred to as the '''Battle of [[Moria]]''' in this [[The Hobbit (film series)|film trilogy]] (and portrayed more as an isolated battle rather than the final conflict for an entire war), 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, rather than recounting Thrór's death at the hands of [[Azog]] and the resulting war of many years, Balin simply says that after [[Smaug]] drove the [[Dwarves of Erebor|Dwarves]] from [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]], Thrór attempted to lead all of his people back to their ancestral realm in Moria, only to find that the [[Orcs]] had gotten there first. [[Azog]] does decapitate [[Thrór]], but the deed takes place during the battle itself, and the head is thrown at Thorin's feet rather than [[Nár]]'s. Balin similarly condenses [[Thráin]]'s story, stating that he went mad with grief and wandered away, and his people never knew if he was dead or captured. [[Dáin Ironfoot]] is completely absent from the story, and it is Thorin who rallies the dwarves by facing Azog in single combat and hacking off his left arm at the elbow. The wounded Azog is dragged back into Moria by his subordinates, and the Dwarves assume he has died of his injuries, but he survives to appear in a present-time sub-plot in which he is hunting Thorin and Company for revenge. No mention is made of the burning of the Dwarves' dead, but Balin, [[Dwalin]], [[Bifur]], and Thorin are seen in the aftermath of the battle walking amidst heaps of their slain kin, and Balin recalls the battle as a pyrrhic victory, and the number of dead as beyond the count of grief, echoing closely the wording of the account from [[Appendix A]] of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]''.
  
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 thirteen Dwarf companions may have never made it to Erebor; the [[Battle of Five Armies]] wouldn't have been won by the army of Elves, Men, and Dwarves; and [[The Fellowship of the Ring | The Fellowship]] may have never got through Moria alive.
+
{{references}}
 
+
== References ==
+
 
+
*[[The Return of the King]], [[Appendix A]]
+
*[[The Peoples of Middle-earth]]
+
  
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]

Latest revision as of 19:04, 25 June 2016

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

Orcs from Moria, and the remnants of other Orc-dwellings throughout the Misty Mountains

Casualties

"Beyond the count of grief." Half dead or dying.[1]

10,000 orcs,[2]

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

[edit] 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 branded his own name in runes onto Thrór's severed head, then let Thrór's companion Nár escape so that all Dwarves would know that an Orc now ruled Moria. Full of righteous fury, Thrór's son Thráin II summoned a great army of Dwarves, including those not of Durin's Folk (Firebeards and Broadbeams from the Blue Mountains, and others from the far East of Middle-earth). For six years they systematically sacked the Orc strongholds of the Misty Mountains, until only Moria was left. There the Orcs that had survived the destruction had gathered to Azog.

[edit] 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 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. The Longbeards (Durin's Folk) 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).[1]

The Orcs, as stated above, came from Moria, and from as far north as Mount Gundabad. Their numbers can be estimated at fifteen to twenty thousand Orcs.[1]

[edit] The Battle

Jacek Kopalski - Náin at Azanulbizar

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 exhausted and half blind with rage. He tried to swing as hard as he could, but Azog darted aside and Náin missed, splintering 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 in breaking Náin's neck because of the strong mail he was wearing. Náin died instantly.

Even as Azog gloated over his duel, he looked out over the valley which the east gate overlooks, and came to the realization that his entire force was routed. Those that could were fleeing southwards, and all his guard was dead. With that he fled back to the gate. Náin's son, Dáin, leaped up the steps after him with his red axe, and there before the gate he decapitated the Orc chieftain, thus ending the battle. The slaying of Azog was considered an amazing feat, as Dáin was only 32 years of age (very young for a Dwarf). Dáin would later become King under the Mountain as Dáin II Ironfoot.[1]

[edit] Aftermath

Steamey - Vengeance

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, 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 refrained from entering.[1]

The Dwarves stripped their dead so the Orcs could not plunder them, and cut down all the trees in the valley, which was to remain bare ever after. They made many pyres on which to burn their dead. They could not bury them all in tombs of stone, as was their custom, because it would take too long. From then on those that died in Dimrill Dale were known proudly as Burned Dwarves.

The Houses 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 wandered in Eriador, eventually settling in the Southern Blue Mountains. There Durin's folk repopulated slowly, waiting for the day when they could take back the halls of Erebor and Khazad-dum.[1]

[edit] Repercussions

Although the Dwarves suffered heavy casualties, the battle would have lasting effects for the Orcs of the Misty Mountains. Their numbers were severely reduced after the battle and never fully recovered.

The depletion of the Orc population contributed to the survival of Thorin and Company on their journey to Erebor, as well as the victory of the Elves, Men, and Dwarves at the Battle of Five Armies. It also allowed Balin, in T.A. 2989, to attempt the recolonization of Moria.

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Referred to as the Battle of Moria in this film trilogy (and portrayed more as an isolated battle rather than the final conflict for an entire war), 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, rather than recounting Thrór's death at the hands of Azog and the resulting war of many years, Balin simply says that after Smaug drove the Dwarves from Erebor, Thrór attempted to lead all of his people back to their ancestral realm in Moria, only to find that the Orcs had gotten there first. Azog does decapitate Thrór, but the deed takes place during the battle itself, and the head is thrown at Thorin's feet rather than Nár's. Balin similarly condenses Thráin's story, stating that he went mad with grief and wandered away, and his people never knew if he was dead or captured. Dáin Ironfoot is completely absent from the story, and it is Thorin who rallies the dwarves by facing Azog in single combat and hacking off his left arm at the elbow. The wounded Azog is dragged back into Moria by his subordinates, and the Dwarves assume he has died of his injuries, but he survives to appear in a present-time sub-plot in which he is hunting Thorin and Company for revenge. No mention is made of the burning of the Dwarves' dead, but Balin, Dwalin, Bifur, and Thorin are seen in the aftermath of the battle walking amidst heaps of their slain kin, and Balin recalls the battle as a pyrrhic victory, and the number of dead as beyond the count of grief, echoing closely the wording of the account from Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Making of Appendix A", p. 278