War of the Dwarves and Dragons

From Tolkien Gateway
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Previous war: Wainrider/Balchoth War
Next war: War of the Dwarves and Orcs
War of the Dwarves and Dragons

"Cold-drake" by Kevin Ward
Beginning: T.A. 2570End: T.A. 2589
Place: Grey Mountains
Outcome: Victory for the Dragons

Durin's Folk



Náin II
Dáin I

The Dwarves hid themselves in deep places, guarding their hoards; but when evil began to stir again and dragons reappeared, one by one their ancient treasures were plundered, and they became a wandering people.

The war of the Dwarves and Dragons is a name given to the conflict that took place between Durin's Folk and the Dragons of the Grey Mountains that took place from T.A. 2570 to around 2589. It brought about the death of King Dáin I and resulted in Durin's Folk returning to the Lonely Mountain.[1]


Following the defeat of Morgoth in the War of Wrath, many Dragons were left in Middle-earth.[2] Between the Second and the Third Age, the Seven Rings helped the Dwarves increase their treasure troves and established their legendary Seven Hoards, which however drew the mightiest of dragons and opponents; and over the years they plundered the works of the Dwarves and devoured some of the Rings.[3]

Many centuries before the beginning of the war, the Long-worm Scatha had plundered treasure from the Dwarves and kept it in his hoard. Scatha was slain by Fram of the Éothéod, who kept the treasure for himself and refused to yield a penny of it to the Dwarves.[4]



Following the loss of Khazad-dûm to the Balrog, in T.A. 1999 Thráin I established the Kingdom under the Mountain at Erebor. However, in 2210 Thráin's son, Thorin I, abandoned Erebor and removed his people to the Grey Mountains to join the rest of Durin's Folk.[5]


But there were dragons in the wastes beyond; and after many years they became strong again and multiplied, and they made war on the Dwarves, and plundered their works.

The Dragons in the North eventually multiplied and became strong, and in T.A. 2570[5] they made war on Durin's Folk, sacking and plundering their halls. The Dwarves held out for around twenty years, but finally in 2589[5] the Dragons attacked the halls of King Dáin I. King Dáin, and his second son Frór, were killed by a great Cold-drake outside the doors to his halls.[1]

Following the death of their king, most of Durin's Folk abandoned the Grey Mountains. In 2590,[5] King Thrór and his uncle Borin returned to Erebor with the Arkenstone to re-establish the Kingdom under the Mountain. However, Thrór's younger brother Grór led others to the Iron Hills.[1]


The Dwarves of the Iron Hills and the Dwarves of Erebor managed to prosper for the following couple of centuries.[1] However the threat of Dragons would return: in T.A. 2770 the dragon Smaug, hearing of the wealth of Erebor, flew south from the North "like a hurricane" and sacked the wealthy Kingdom under the Mountain.[6] Smaug dwelt in the Lonely Mountain until the Quest for Erebor in 2941 which resulted in Smaug being killed by the Black Arrow shot by Bard.[7] Although Thorin was killed in the subsequent Battle of Five Armies, Dáin of the Iron Hills (grandson of Grór) became King of Durin's Folk and King under the Mountain.[8]


War of the Dwarves and Dragons
Preceded by:
Wainrider/Balchoth War
Major events of Middle-earth
T.A. 2570 - T.A. 2589
Followed by:
War of the Dwarves and Orcs