Durin I

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The name Durin refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Durin (disambiguation).
"Durin" by Turner Mohan
Biographical Information
Other names"the Deathless"
TitlesKing of Durin's Folk
King of Khazad-dûm
AffiliationSeven Fathers of the Dwarves
BirthPossibly awoke between Y.T. 1132 & 1150[1][note 1]
Mount Gundabad
RuleFirst Age[2] (encompassing both the Years of the Trees and of the Sun)
DeathLate First Age[2] (aged 2,395+[note 2])
Notable forFounding Khazad-dûm
HouseFounded the House of Durin
ParentageNone (body created by Aulë; fëa created by Ilúvatar)
ChildrenAt least one son[3]
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Durin

They say also that the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves return to live again in their own kin and to bear once more their ancient names: of whom Durin was the most renowned...

Durin I, or Durin the Deathless, known as such due to his longevity, was the eldest of the Fathers of the Dwarves, the founder of the city of Khazad-dûm, and the first King of Durin's folk.



Main article: Fathers of the Dwarves
Ted Nasmith - Aulë and the Seven Fathers

Durin was the eldest of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves fashioned under a mountain by the Vala Aulë who yearned for the arrival of the Children of Ilúvatar. The Vala instructed his creations in the speech he had devised for them. When Ilúvatar pointed out that this was against His plans, and reprimanded him, and that Aulë, as a Vala, had no power to make animate creations. Aulë repented and was about to destroy his creation but Ilúvatar himself gave them independent life; and said that they shall sleep until after the coming of the Elves, who were to be his Firstborn.[4]

Aulë laid the sleeping fathers and their mates in deep places; Durin had none.[5] He was set to sleep under Mount Gundabad in the Misty Mountains in the Years of the Trees.[6]


Ted Nasmith - Durin I Discovers the Three Peaks

When Durin awoke in the First Age, he journeyed south alone through the wild where no person ever wandered before, and gave name to "nameless hills and dells".[7] He came upon Kheled-zâram and looking upon mysterious stars set like a crown reflected in its surface, he took this as a sign and erected Durin's Stone on the location of that event.[8] There, in the caves above the lake, he founded the city of Khazad-dûm and for many years, it was the greatest Dwarven city in Middle-earth.[2]

Durin founded the House of Durin and his people became known as Durin's folk, or the Longbeards. His people were Dwarves that joined him from other kindreds west and east[9].

He lived to a great age, even by the measure of the Dwarves, until he was known as "the Deathless"; however, he was not actually immortal, and died before the end of the First Age and his tomb was in Khazad-dûm.[2]


The Longbeards believed that Durin would return seven times, and each time he will again be named Durin and reign as King. According to the legend recorded in the Red Book, these returns would be through an heir born into his line, an individual held to be Durin reborn, with same appearance, character and name.[2]

Durin would not actually reincarnate in the sense of him being born and reborn in a new body. Rather, his original body was preserved, and his spirit would return to it and be granted life again. He would share this trait along with the other fathers of the Dwarves.[10]

Durin's Axe, a great heirloom of Durin's folk, may have been his personal weapon although the canonicity of this is not certain; it was apparently found when Balin and his colony came to Khazad-dûm in T.A. 2989.[11][12]


In-universe, the name Durin was a word for "king" in the language of the Men of the North in the early Second Age.[13]

In reality, Durinn is one of the Dwarfs in the Dvergatal. The name means "Sleepy".[14]


fl. First Age
Durin II
fl. late F.A./early S.A.
Durin III
fl. S.A. 1600
Durin IV
fl. late S.A./early T.A.
Durin V
fl. late S.A./early T.A.
Durin VI
T.A. 1731 - 1980
Durin VII
after Fo.A. 171

Portrayal in adaptations

2021: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Durin I in The Lord of the Rings Online
Durin I appears in several flashbacks telling the history of Gundabad. His early rule was marked by clashes with the servants of Morgoth, which led Durin to search for a new home for his people to the south. After finding true-silver near Kheled-zâram, Durin took the majority of his people there to found Khazad-dûm, leaving the rest to be ruled by his closest friend Mótsog in Gundabad. Hearing no word from Durin for many long years, Mótsog grew jealous of him and proclaimed himself King in open rebellion.
Fearing an ambush in Gundabad where secret entrances were known only to Durin himself, Mótsog build for himself a new stronghold to the south, Biriz-zahar. A bloody civil war followed, in which dwarves slew one another. Eventually, Durin himself was captured by Mótsog and put to mockery. His Queen Ragna the Fierce led a daring rescue attempt, which was interrupted when Morgoth saw a chance to destroy the Longbeards at their weakest. Sauron send nine dragons and at least one balrog to assault Biriz-zahar, as well as countless orcs.
Facing extinction, Durin convinced Mótsog to abandon the feud and to fight against the common foe. Through grievous losses, the dwarves won the day, killing five dragons and many thousands of orcs. Durin gave mercy to the few surviving rebels, though as penance they and their descendants were made to shear their beards for many generations after. The fate of Mótsog himself was not known, but it was believed in later ages that Durin slew the traitor.


  1. In one of the texts associated with the chapter Of Aulë and Yavanna of The Silmarillion in The War of the Jewels, it is said that the awakening of the Dwarves might have taken place at the time of the departure of the Eldar over the sea - in other words, either in c. Y.T. 1132 (when the Vanyar and the Noldor departed) or in c. Y.T. 1150 (when the Teleri departed).
  2. Years of the Sun. Each Year of the Trees is equal to 9.582 Years of the Sun, and the Years of the Trees ended in the year 1500. So, 9.582 x 250 = 2,395.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Concerning the Dwarves (Chapter 13)", pp. 211-2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "IX. The Making of Appendix A": (iv) "Durin's Folk", p. 275
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Aulë and Yavanna"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 212, (dated 14 October 1958)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Lothlórien"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", #24
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Two. Body, Mind and Spirit: XV. Elvish Reincarnation"p. 264-265
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men"
  14. Chester Nathan Gould, "Dwarf-Names: A Study in Old Icelandic Religion", published in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol 44 (1929), issue #4, pp. 939-967

Durin I
House of Durin
Position created
King of Durin's FolkUnknown
Next known:
Durin II
King of Khazad-dûm

Kings of Durin's Folk
Durin I* (Y.T.) · Durin II* · Durin III* (fl. S.A. 1600) · Durin IV* · Durin V* · Durin VI* (until T.A. 1980) · Náin I* (1980 - 1981) · Thráin I (1981 - 2190) · Thorin I (2190 - 2289) · Glóin (2289 - 2385) · Óin (2385 - 2488) · Náin II (2488 - 2585) · Dáin I (2585 - 2589) · Thrór (2585 - 2790) · Thráin II (2790 - captured 2845, d. 2850) · Thorin II Oakenshield (after 2845 - 2941) · Dáin II Ironfoot (2941 - 3019) · Thorin III Stonehelm (T.A. 3019 - Fourth Age) · Durin VII (Fourth Age)*
* Kings of Khazad-dûm · Kings under the Mountain