Dimrill Dale

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Ted Nasmith - Dimrill Dale

Dimrill Dale was a valley on the east side of the Misty Mountains, beneath the Redhorn, Silvertine, and Cloudyhead peaks. It was at the eastern end of the Redhorn Pass and was bordered by the Dimrill Stair. Dimrill Dale was the source of the Silverlode river and at its southeast corner was Mirrormere, a sacred lake to the Dwarves of Durin's Folk.[1]

During the Years of the Trees, Durin the Deathless wandered south to Dimrill Dale and founded the Kingdom of Khazad-dûm beneath the surrounding mountains. Thousands of years later, after Orcs had turned the Dwarven city into the "Black Pit" of Moria, the climactic battle of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs was fought here. The Battle of Azanulbizar, which occurred in T.A. 2799[2], it ended as a defeat of the Orcs and their leader Azog. However, the Dwarves were unable to take back Moria because of the Balrog that still dwelt there.[3]

The Fellowship of the Ring briefly rested in Dimrill Dale after escaping from Moria, following the loss of Gandalf.[4]


The name Dimrill means "overshadowed rills" referring to the rills that ran down the mountain-side.[5]

Other names

The Dwarves named the valley Azanulbizar in Khuzdul.[6] This name was lent to the battle fought there.[3]

Tolkien explored various possibilities regarding the exact interpretation of the elements occurring in the name: it is either Azanul + bizar or Azan+ûl+bizar, though the whole was to somehow express "Dimrill Dale". Tolkien stated that "the Common Speech form is an accurate translation: the valley of the dim (overshadowed) rills that ran down the mountainside".[7] In another point it is given as "Vale of Dim Streams" with three elements.[8]

The first interpretation says that azan "shadows, dimnesses", -ul genitive marker and bizar "streams, rills"; in this interpretation it means "rills of shadows", and the word "dale" is understood (the full name being duban Azanulbizar).[9] According to the second interpretation, bizar means "dale" and ul "rill(s), streams".[8]

Nanduhirion was the Sindarin name for the valley;[6][10] it contains the elements nan(d) ("vale"), ("dimness"), sîr ("stream") and the ending -(i)on ("region" or "land").[10]