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Battle of the Thousand Caves

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Revision as of 10:18, 25 March 2013

Battle of the Thousand Caves
Henning Janssen - Nauglamir and the Doom of Thingol.jpg
Conflict: Sack of Doriath
Date: F.A. 503
Place: The Elven city of Menegroth
Outcome: Dwarven Victory

Elves of Doriath

Dwarves from Nogrod




The entire strength of Doriath, which hadn't participated in any battles since the beginning of the First Age. Probably 30,000 Elves, although not all would've been armed or trained[source?]

Unknown, Est. 20-40,000[source?]


Fairly heavy. Although the Dwarves wouldn't have slain all of them, they did break in and sack Menegroth, leading us to believe that the majority of the Elven Army was destroyed. Probably upwards of 20,000[source?]

Heavy, Est. 10,000 or more[source?]

The Battle of the Thousand Caves was a battle between the Dwarves of Nogrod and the Elves of Menegroth.



The Quest for the Silmaril resulted the one of the Silmarils taken from the Iron Crown of Morgoth by Beren and Lúthien, and it was later, after the Hunting of the Wolf and the slaing of Carcharoth, given to Elu Thingol of Doriath. It remained in the treasury of Thingol, and he desired to have it always at hand.

After some years, Hurin was releast by Morgoth and was let to go wherever he he may desire. Hurin then desired revenge for him and his family, and came first to Nargothrond, and there he found Mim and killed him. From all the treasures he took only Nauglamir, the Necklace of the Dwarves, and brought it to Thingol.

Having the Nauglamir and the Silmaril, the two great treasures, he decided to unite them and put the Silmaril into the Dwarven Necklace. The Dwarves that made that work desired the Silmaril from the beginning, and when the work ended refused to give it to him. In the conflict Thingol was killed, but the rest of the Dwarves were hunted down and slain as they fled home, and Nauglamir, now containing the Silmaril, was taken from them.

Opposing Forces

Two of the Dwarf craftsman escaped the slaughter, and made it to their home in the Blue Mountains. They didn't tell their kinsmen the truth, but instead told them that Thingol killed the Dwarves that made the Nauglamir, refusing to pay them for their work. The Dwarves were enraged, and decided to avenge their fallen artisans and although the Dwarves of Belegost refused to aid them, the Dwarves of Nogrod entered Beleriand with a great host, and, crossing Sarn Athrad, marched west towards Doriath.

After the death of Thingol the power of Melian waned, and she lost her magical control upon the woods of Doriath, and soon the Girdle of Melian was no longer protecting Doriath. Melian left Middle-earth and returned to Valinor, and the Sindar remained leaderless, except their chieftains, which were scattered and without hope. But the Sindar lived mostly in Menegroth, and there most of them resisted the attack of the Dwarves.

The Battle

The Dwarves entered Menegroth and began fighting in the Thousand Caves. We don't know much about the battle, but we know that the losses were heavy on the both sides. Mablung was defending the treasury where the Nauglamir lay, and there he was killed before it's doors, and the Silmaril was taken. After the Nauglamir was in the hands of the Dwarves, they retreated from Menegroth and made their way home to Nogrod.

Aftermath and Repercussions