King under the Mountain

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The King under the Mountain by Alan Lee

King under the Mountain was the title taken by Thráin I, founder of the Dwarf-kingdom of Lonely Mountain, and maintained by those Kings of Durin's Folk who dwelt there. The line was broken twice, once by Thorin I (he and four generations of his descendants ruled from the Grey Mountains, not Lonely Mountain), and once by the Dragon Smaug (who claimed the title for himself). In both cases, the line was restored to a rightful heir.

The Line of Kings under the Mountain

  1. Thráin I
  2. Thorin I – abandoned the Kingdom for the Grey Mountains
  3. Thrór – restored the Kingdom but lost it to Smaug
  4. Smaug - claimed title and kingdom after the Sack of Erebor
  5. Thorin II Oakenshield – regained the Kingdom
  6. Dáin II Ironfoot - reigned after Thorin's death in the Battle of Five Armies
  7. Thorin III Stonehelm


The term "King under the Mountain" is a philological term for a certain motif in various mythologies and folklore around the world. It refers to a kingly figure who remains hidden in a mountain or cave until a messianic return at the appointed time.

According to the Wikipedia article, the motif is also present at several points in Tolkien's legendarium: Ar-Pharazôn with his Great Armament was buried in the Caves of the Forgotten beneath the Pelóri until the End of the World; the King of the Dead and the Men of the Mountains in Dunharrow, who returned to fulfill their oath; and of course the King under the Mountain himself, with Thorin's return to Erebor. Other figures can include Fëanor and Túrin (said to return from the dead at the Dagor Dagorath); and the King of Gondor (with Aragorn as the returned King).

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