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War of the Dwarves and Dragons

"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
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Next war: War of the Dwarves and Orcs
War of the Dwarves and Dragons
Kevin Ward - Cold-drake.jpg
"Cold-drake" by Kevin Ward
Beginning: T.A. 2570End: c. T.A. 2589
Place: Grey Mountains
Outcome: Durin's Folk leave the Grey Mountains and return to the Lonely Mountain. The surviving Dragons hoard their plunder.
Durin's FolkDragons (including Cold-drakes)
Náin II, Dáin I

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]


[edit] Background

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.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"

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 them increase their treasure troves 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 Dragon 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]

[edit] History

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.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"

The dragons of the Forodwaith eventually multiplied and became strong, and in T.A. 2570[5] the Dragons made war on the Dwarves of the Grey Mountains, 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 Cold-drake outside his door 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 the 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]

[edit] Aftermath

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 attacked the wealthy Dwarven 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 a 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]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Fire and Water"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"
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