Tolkien Gateway

Dwarves of the Iron Hills

Revision as of 20:44, 2 June 2017 by Protospace (Talk | contribs)
Dwarves of the Iron Hills
Angelo Montanini - Iron Hill Dwarves.jpg
General Information
MembersDáin II Ironfoot, Gror, Náin son of Grór
Physical Description
Lifespanaround 250 years
DistinctionsShort in stature, beards, well-armoured in combat
Average heightFive feet or less

The Dwarves of the Iron Hills belonged to the house of the Longbeards, otherwise known as Durin's Folk, and lived in the Iron Hills.



Early history

The Longbeard Dwarves of Khazad-dûm colonized the Iron Hills in the First Age. The Hills were their primary source of iron-ore.[1] The Dwarf-road of Mirkwood ran north-east from Khazad-dûm to the Hills for use by dwarf-traders and merchants.[2]

After Sauron destroyed Eregion in the Second Age, the Longbeards sealed Khazad-dûm and Orcs took control of the northern Misty Mountains and the Grey Mountains. This ended communication between the Iron Hills and Khazad-dûm for some time.[3]

Third Age

Founding of Grór's Realm

In the Third Age, many Longboard Dwarves lived in the Grey Mountains, but they were greatly troubled by Dragons in that region. After King Dáin I was slain by one of these dragons, his surviving sons led an exodus into the east. Dáin's elder son Thrór recreated the Kingdom under the Mountain at Erebor, while his younger brother Grór led a part of the people further into the east to join their kindred living in the Iron Hills.

Grór settled in the Iron Hills in the year T.A. 2590 and became Lord of the Iron Hills. During his reign, the realm became the strongest in the North, being the only realm standing between Sauron and his plans to destroy Rivendell and taking back the lands of Angmar.[source?] Also, following the Sack of Erebor many of Durin's folk fleeing from Smaug and those wandering in exile, except for Thrór and his small company of family and followers, came to the Iron Hills, bolstering their numbers.

War of the Dwarves and Orcs

During the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, many Dwarves from the Iron Hills fought several battles, but they are mostly remembered from the Battle of Azanulbizar in the year T.A. 2799. Naín and his army came to the battle in the most crucial moment, when the main Dwarven army was being decimated by the great host of Orcs. With these fresh reinforcments, the Dwarves were able to route and destroy their opponents, fighting their way all up to the steps of the East-gate of Moria. There, Nain dueled with Azog, the Orc commander, resulting to his death. Later in the battle,Dáin II Ironfoot killed Azog out of vengeance for his father, achieving recognition because he was very young for dwarven standards. After this battle Dain led his Dwarves back to Grór's Halls.

Dáin's Reign

Grór ruled the Dwarves of the Iron Hills for 215 years, and he died in T.A. 2805 at 241 years of age. Dáin Ironfoot became the next Lord of the Iron Hills. During his reign, the Iron Hills evolved to the mightiest Dwarf-realm of its time.[source?]

Years later, Dáin's cousin Thorin attempted to restore the kingdom at Erebor, but he was trapped by the Elves of Mirkwood and Northmen of Esgaroth and sent to the Iron Hills for aid. Dáin arrived with 500 armoured Dwarves and as events developed, the Dwarves of the Iron Hills proved crucial in winning the ensuing Battle of Five Armies against the Orcs of the Misty Mountains. Thorin died in that battle, and with him the royal line of Thrór. Through his ancestor Grór, the Kingship of Durin's Folk then fell on Dáin. Dáin II Ironfoot removed from the Iron Hills, and re-established a kingdom under the Lonely Mountain. It is possible that both Iron Hills and Erebor were ruled by him and later by his son Thorin III Stonehelm.

It is unknown whether the Dwarves of the Iron Hills fought alongside the Dwarves of Erebor in the Battle of Dale against the Easterlings during the War of the Ring.

Other information

They became well-known for making a metal mesh that could be used for making flexible items like leg-coverings.

These Dwarves of Durin's folk were known for being some of the most fierce and elite of all Dwarf armies. Their main weapon of choice seemed to have been the mattocks, though they also carried a short broad sword with a round shield.

Not much is said on whom were enemies of these dwarves, but it seems likely that the Easterlings were one of them, since their empire was near and around the Iron Hills, and possibly the Dragons that lived nearby in the northern wastes.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men", p. 302
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", p. 323 (note 30)
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men", p. 306