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Iron Hills

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Iron Hills
Hill range
General Information
LocationEast of Erebor, northwest of Rhûn
TypeHill range
DescriptionHill-remnants of the Ered Engrin and a realm of many of Durin's folk
RegionsThe Kingdom of Durin's folk
InhabitantsDurin's Folk

The Iron Hills were a range of hills in the northeast of the known parts of Middle-earth, border-lining Rhûn. They were the source of the Carnen River.[1] There was a Dwarf-realm located in the hills, led famously by Dáin Ironfoot.[2]


The Iron Hills were perhaps a part or a remnant of the mountain chain that formed the Iron Mountains of the First Age.[3]

The Hills were mined for thousands of years by the Dwarves, being their main supply of iron.[4] The Dwarf-road of Mirkwood ran northeast to the Hills for the Dwarf-traders that went to and from Khazad-dûm and the Hills.[5]

In T.A. 1981 the last of the dwarves living in Moria fled from the Balrog who had slain Durin VI and Náin I.[6] Some of the escaping dwarves wandered as far as the Iron Hills and settled there.[4]

In T.A. 2570 Dragons began afflicting the dwarves in the north and in T.A. 2589 Dáin I was slain by a dragon in the Grey Mountains.[6] Due to these deprivations, in T.A. 2590 Grór left the Grey Mountains and established a realm in the Iron Hills.[6] Over hundreds of years it became a great realm, especially after the destruction of Erebor in T.A. 2770.[6]

During the Battle of Azanulbizar (T.A. 2799)[6] the dwarves of the Iron Hills, led by Náin and coming late and fresh to the fray, turned the day. Náin was slain by Azog in one-on-one combat. Náin's son, Dáin Ironfoot, then avenged his father by slaying Azog. After this battle Dáin Ironfoot led the Iron Hills dwarves home where he became their leader.[7]

Before the death of Smaug in T.A. 2941,[6] the dwarves' realm in the Iron Hills was the main dwelling of Durin's folk in the East, and also the strongest realm militarily in Wilderland. After Smaug's death Dáin Ironfoot became King under the Mountain and King of Durin’s Folk as Dáin II;[6][7] how many dwarves may have returned to or stayed in the Iron Hills after the Battle of Five Armies is unknown.

See Also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  3. Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth p. 78
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Tale of Years of the Third Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"