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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]



Early History

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 Longbeards, being their primary source for iron above all the rest of their territories.[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]

Third Age

In T.A. 1981 the last of the Dwarves living in Khazad-dûm fled from the Balrog who had slain Durin VI and Náin I.[6] Some of those who escaped wandered as far as the Iron Hills and settled there.[4]

In 2570 Dragons began afflicting the Dwarves in north and in 2589 Dáin I was slain by a cold drake outside his halls in the Grey Mountains.[6] Due to these deprivations, in 2590 Grór left the Grey Mountains and established a realm in the Iron Hills.[6]

Over the next few centuries Grór and his people built a great realm, especially after the destruction of Erebor in 2770[6] when the Dragon Smaug scattered the Longbeards who dwelt there. Most of the survivors subsequently went to their kinsmen in the Iron Hills, swelling its numbers. Before the death of Smaug in T.A. 2941,[6] the Dwarven realm in the Iron Hills was the main dwelling place of Durin's folk in the East, and military the strongest realm in Wilderland.

In 2799[6] the final battle of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs occurred in the Dimrill Dale. The battle was turning into a massive stalemate until fresh reinforcements from the Iron Hills arrived led by Náin. They cut their way through the ranks of Orcs all the way to the East-gate of Moria, where tragically Náin was slain by Azog in single combat. His son, the young Dáin Ironfoot, however avenged his father by slaying the Orc chieftain, and winning for himself great renown. With the war over, Dáin led his people home where, after the death of Grór, became the new Lord of the Iron Hills.[7]

In 2941 not long after the death of Smaug, the Battle of Five Armies took place in the valley of Dale. Lord Dáin led over five hundred of his warriors, originally sent to aid his cousin King Thorin Oakenshield who was trapped in Erebor by the Elves of Mirkwood and Northmen of Esgaroth, into battle against the Orcs of the Misty Mountains. The battle won but Thorin slain, Dáin became the new King under the Mountain and King of the Longbeards as Dáin II.[6][7] He relocated to Erebor with many of his people, and reestablished it as Durin's folk's greatest and strongest dwelling in the north.

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"