Doors of Durin
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The Doors of Durin, also known as the West-gate or West-door of Moria, were built into the Walls of Moria in the dark cliffs of the Silvertine, and formed the western entrance to the great Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm.
The Doors were constructed in cooperation with the artificers of the Elven Kingdom of Hollin, sometime between Second Age 750 and 1500. These were the days before Sauron's dominion in Middle-earth, and the friendship between Elven and Dwarven kingdoms was a rare and special event. During this peaceful time the Doors stood open, allowing unfettered trade, but with the beginning of the War of the Elves and Sauron the Doors were sealed shut. When Khazad-dûm was abandoned in Third Age 1980 the way of opening the Doors was forgotten. The two greatest craftsmen of the Second Age, the Elf-lord Celebrimbor and the Dwarf Narvi, built the Doors.
Appearanceithildin, which can only be seen in starlight and moonlight. When visible, the fine silver-like inlay showed a hammer and anvil (the emblems of Durin), a crown and seven stars, two trees surmounted by crescent moons, and a single star (the emblem of the House of Feanor). The inscription on the archivolt read:
"Ennyn Durin Aran Moria. Pedo Mellon a Minno. Im Narvi hain echant. Celebrimbor o Eregion teithant. I thiw hin."
"The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter. I, Narvi, made them. Celebrimbor of Hollin drew these signs."
The inscription was a riddle. The answer was a password that would cause the Doors to swing open. Merry Brandybuck eventually solves the riddle with the word "Mellon", which means "friend" in Sindarin. Shortly thereafter, the Watcher in the Water attacked the Fellowship and shut the Doors behind them.
The name Moria means "Black Chasm" and was a derogatory description of the place which the Dwarves did not like much; it was given after the Durin's Bane took over the city. It is therefore a mystery why that name appears on an inscription made in the Second Age, and made in consent with the Dwarves.