Tolkien Gateway

War of the Dwarves and Orcs

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*''[[The Peoples of Middle-earth]]''
*''[[The Peoples of Middle-earth]]''
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]

Revision as of 08:35, 1 August 2010

"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
This article or section needs more/new/more-detailed sources to conform to a higher standard and to provide proof for claims made.
Previous war: War of the Dwarves and Dragons
Next war: War of the Ring
War of the Dwarves and Orcs
Mikel Janin - Battle of Azanulbizar.jpeg
Beginning: T.A. 2763End: T.A. 2799
Place: The northern Misty Mountains and Mount Gundabad
Outcome: Crippling defeat for Orcs, pyrrhic victory for Dwarves
Major battles: Second Sacking of Gundabad, various battles in mines, strongholds, and colonies, Battle of Azanulbizar.
Dwarves of all Seven Houses, Longbeards, Firebeards, Broadbeams, Blacklocks, Stonefoots, Ironfists, and Stiffbeards.Orcs of the Misty Mountains
King Thráin II, Thorin Oakenshield, Náin son of Grór, various generals and/or kings or lords of the other housesAzog and possibly various other Orc-chieftains

The War of the Dwarves and Orcs was a great war fought between the two races.




The War began when the elderly exiled dwarven King Thrór, after living many years in poverty, wandered with his friend Nár into Moria and was murdered by Azog, the Goblin-chieftain of Moria, in Third Age 2790. But Nár was let go by Azog to tell his people never to come to Moria, and returned to the Blue Mountains.

When Nár returned to the king's son Thráin II, he told him of his father's murder. Thráin sat for seven days without eating or sleeping, until he stood and said "This cannot be borne!".[source?] Thus began the war.

From 2790 to 2793 the Longbeards responded to this tragedy by gathering their forces, and calling on all the other Houses of the Dwarves for war, but it took them three years to fully gather their strength.

Early Stages

In 2793 they attacked, assailing and sacking one by one all the Orc-holds they could find from Mount Gundabad in the north, to the Gladden Fields in the south.

Little is known about the war, but most of the war was fought underground, in the great mines and tunnels of the Misty Mountains, where Dwarves excelled in combat. The Dwarves were so fierce that for two Mannish generations, Orcs were fleeing towards the White Mountains.

The Final Battle

The war climaxed in 2799, when the final battle was fought in the valley outside the eastern gates of Moria, the Battle of Azanûlbizar. The Dwarves finally won this notoriously bloody encounter when reinforcements arrived late on the scene from the Iron Hills.

After the battle, King Thráin II wanted to enter Moria and reclaim it, but the Dwarves not of Durin's folk refused, saying that the city was not their Fathers' House; they had honoured Thrór's memory by fighting, and this was enough. Dáin Ironfoot also warned Thráin that Durin's Bane still dwelt within Khazad-dûm.

Aftermath and Repercussions

The war was very costly for the Dwarves. Half of those involved in the Battle of Azanulbizar were killed and possibly a couple thousand more were killed throughout the rest of the war. Náin, Frerin, and Fundin were among the more notable casualties. Thráin II himself lost an eye, and Thorin was wounded when his shield broke and he had to use an oak branch to defend himself. This led to his later name Thorin Oakenshield.

During the conflict many many thousands of Orcs fleeing south through Rohan, trying to claim a refuge in the White Mountains beyond, troubled the Rohirrim for two generations.

Other effects of the war were that the Orcs of the Misty Mountains virtually disappeared as a threat for Eriador and Wilderland. One and a half century later the Orcs of the North were beginning to recover, but their population was further reduced during the Battle of Five Armies in Third Age 2941, where Bolg son of Azog tried to avenge his father, and in the process destroying three fourths of them.

It is probable that without this War, the later War of the Ring would have been lost in the north, and the Ring-bearer might never have made it south to Mordor.

Noteable Veterans

See Also