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Battle of the Thousand Caves

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Battle of the Thousand Caves
Conflict: Sack of Doriath
Date: F.A. 503
Place: The Elven city of Menegroth
Outcome: Dwarven Victory






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 desided 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. In the conflict Thingol was killed, but the rest of the Dwarves were hunted down at their road to home, and Nauglamir, now with the Silmaril in it, was taken from them.

Opposing Forces

But two of the Dwarves that killed Thingol survived, and they fled to their home at the Blue Mountains. They didn't tell the Dwarves of Nogrod 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 desided to make revenge, and although the Dwarves of Belegost refused to aid them, the Dwarves of Nogrod entered Beleriand with a big army, and, crossing Sarn Athrad, moved 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 Sindars 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 were 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 began their way home, to the mountains of Ered Lindon.

Aftermath and Repercussions