Great Gates

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about the gate of Moria. For the gate of Minas Tirith, see Great Gate.
Great Gates
Joona Kujanen - Nar at the gate of Moria.jpg
"Nar at the gate of Moria" by Joona Kujanen
General Information
Other namesEast Gates[1], Dimrill Gate, Moria-gate[2]
LocationEast side of the Misty Mountains opening upon the Dimrill Dale
DescriptionLarge doors carved with warnings

The Great Gates was the original entrance to Khazad-dûm, entering from Dimrill Dale into the rock.

It was inscribed with runic spells of prohibition and exclusion in Khuzdul. Over time commands were added that all should depart who did not have the leave of the Lord of Moria, written in Quenya, Sindarin, the Common Speech, Rohanese, the Language of Dale, and Dunlendish.[1][note 1]

History[edit | edit source]

Steamey - Azog and Nár

When first built near Mirrormere, where Durin the Deathless saw his vision, the Gate was awe-inspiring. It remained the main (and perhaps) only entry to his Kingdom.

During the Second Age, the Elves and Dwarves built a second entrance to Khazad-dûm, the Doors of Durin, at the western side of the Misty Mountains so as to facilitate access to Eriador and contact with the Gwaith-i-Mírdain.

In T.A. 2790[3] Thrór and his companion Nár went to Moria to see the ancient halls of their ancestors. Despite the warnings of Nár, Thrór went through the Great Gates. He was captured by Orcs under the command of Azog, who beheaded him. Azog wrote his own name in Dwarvish runes on Thrór's head and threw it outside the gate for Nár to retrieve. He let Nár go to tell all the Dwarves that an Orc ruled Moria now, and so Nár did, which started the War of the Dwarves and Orcs.[4]

In 2799, the War came to its climax with the Battle of Azanulbizar,[3] which was the largest battle of the war. During this battle the doors of the Gate were destroyed.[1] After the battle Dáin II Ironfoot, the victor, would not allow his people to reclaim it, for he had looked through the open Gate, and knew that the Balrog lurked there still.[4]

When Balin's Colony was attacked in 2994, it was heavily damaged.[5]

On 15 January, 3019, the Fellowship of the Ring, after the loss of Gandalf, exited Moria through its eastern access, still broken.[6] It was not heavily guarded.[5] Prior to that, both Gandalf and Aragorn had passed through it.[7]


  1. It is not clear why Dunlendish is used, since the Dunlendings lived in the other side of the Misty Mountains.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", #8, p. 319
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Lothlórien", after escaping from Moria, Aragorn says to Boromir: "Believe what you will, there is no other way for us - unless you would go back to Moria-gate, or scale the pathless mountains..."
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark"