Thráin I

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about Thráin I, the first King under the Mountain. For the father of Thorin II Oakenshield, see Thráin II.
Thráin I
Christina Wald - King under the Mountain.jpg
"King under the Mountain" by Christina Wald
Biographical Information
TitlesThráin the Old
King of Durin's Folk
King under the Mountain
Lonely Mountain
BirthT.A. 1934
RuleT.A. 1981 - 2190
DeathT.A. 2190 (aged 256)
Lonely Mountain
HouseHouse of Durin
ParentageNáin I
ChildrenThorin I
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Thráin I

Thráin I (Third Age 19342190, died aged 256) was the King of Durin's Folk for 209 years, succeeding his father, Náin I, when he was killed by the Balrog in T.A. 1981. Thráin founded the Kingdom under the Mountain at Erebor, and was a descendant of Durin the Deathless via his grandfather Durin VI.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Ted Nasmith - Thrain Discovers the Lonely Mountain

Thráin's grandfather, Durin VI, was King of Khazad-dûm when the Balrog of Morgoth appeared in Moria; this Balrog has forever been known as Durin's Bane as Durin was killed by it in T.A. 1980. Durin's son - and Thráin's father - Náin I was then King until he was himself killed in 1981 and the Dwarves left Moria.[1][2]

Thráin - at the tender age of 47 - became King of Durin's Folk. He led his wandering people until T.A. 1999 when he founded the Kingdom under the Mountain in Erebor,[2] whilst some settled instead in the Grey Mountains. In Erebor the Dwarves began building a mighty kingdom, discovering the prized possession of King Thráin: the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain.[1]

Thráin died in T.A. 2190 at the age of 256 and was succeeded by his son Thorin I. With a rule of 209 years, Thráin I was the longest-ruling of all the known Kings of Durin's Folk with, perhaps, the only exception being Durin the Deathless.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Þráinn is a dwarf from the Dvergatal. It means "Stubborn".[3]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Durin VI
1731 - 1980
Náin I
1832 - 1981
1934 - 2190
Thorin I
2035 - 2289
2136 - 2385

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

It is not clear whether Thráin I existed in Tolkien's mind while he was writing The Hobbit or whether he was invented later, when writing the back-story of The Lord of the Rings. The phrase on Thrór's Map "Here of old was Thrain - King under the Mountain"[4] causes some fans to claim that Tolkien wrote it for Thráin I, since Thráin II was never a King under the Mountain.

Christopher Tolkien, John Rateliff and Douglas Anderson say that Tolkien accidentally reversed the family tree Thrór --> Thráin --> Thorin to Thráin --> Thrór --> Thorin and then reverted it before final publication of the book. Rateliff argues in his book that the original tree was favoured but that it is impossible to say which was intended to be the correct genealogy. According to Rateliff, the first edition uses the name "Thráin" in two distinct contexts that support either point of view and that Tolkien only added a third element to the story (the forenote) in 1947 when he sent suggested changes to the publisher.

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

2020: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Thráin I appears in several flashbacks. In the year T.A. 1981 he is shown leading the survivors evacuating from Khazad-dûm as his father makes a doomed final stand to cover their retreat. In the story narrating the history of Fram and Scatha, Thráin I is the King who received the necklace of Scatha's teeth after laying claim to the dragon's treasure, becoming greatly enraged at Fram's affront.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  3. 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
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Thrór's Map"
Thráin I
House of Durin
Born: T.A. 1934 Died: T.A. 2190
Preceded by:
Náin I
King of Durin's Folk
T.A. 1981 - 2190
Followed by:
Thorin I
Position created
1st King under the Mountain
T.A. 1999 - 2190

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