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War of the Dwarves and Orcs

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War of the Dwarves and Orcs
Beginning: 2763 TAEnd: 2799 TA
Place: The northern Misty Mountains and Mount Gundabad
Outcome: Dwarves virtually wipe out the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, but suffer heavy casualites themselves in the final battle.
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 from all over the Misty Mountains, possibly some Trolls.


King Thráin II, Thorin Oakenshield, Náin son of Grór, various generals and/or kings or lords of the other houses.

Azog 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 Dwarf King Thrór, heir of Durin, after living many years in poverty wandered alone into Moria and was murdered by Azog the Orc chieftain in 2790 of the Third Age. But his friend Nár let go by Azog to tell his people never to come to Moria. 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!". Thus began the war.

From 2790 to 2793 the Longbeards that were Durin's folk 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.


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

Little is known about the war, but we do know most of the war was fought underground, in the great mines and tunnels of the Misty Mountains, where Dwarves excel in combat.

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 Azanulbizar. The Dwarves finally won this notoriously bloody encounter when reinforcements arrived late on the scene from the Iron Hills.

After the battle, King Thráin 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, and they had honoured Thrór's memory by fighting, and this was enough. Dáin II Ironfoot also warned Thráin that Durin's Bane still dwelt within Khazad-dûm, and that forces beyond the Dwarves would have to defeat it before they could reenter the city.

Aftermath and Repercussions

The war was very costly for the Dwarves. Half of those involved in Nanduhirion were killed and possibly a couple thousand more were killed throughout the rest of the war. Náin son of Grór, Frerin second son of Thráin II, and Fundin the father of Balin were among the more noted 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. 150 years later the Orcs of the North were beginning to recover, but their population was further reduced during the Battle of Five Armies in 2941, where Bolg son of Azog tried to avenge his father, and in the process destroying three fourths of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains.

It is probable that without the 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

  • Thráin II
  • Thorin Oakenshield, and Frerin
  • Fundin, Balin, and possibly Dwalin
  • Glóin, and possibly Óin, and Gróin
  • Náin, and Dáin II Ironfoot

See Also