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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 great iron rich[1] hills (Hence the name) in the northeast of the known parts of Middle-earth, border-lining Rhûn; as well as the source of the Carnen River.[2] There was a Dwarf-realm of the Longbeards located in the hills, led famously by Dáin Ironfoot.[3]

The Iron Hills were probably rich in iron but not gold, and the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, although prosperous, were not as wealthy as their other cousins.[4]



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.[5]

The Hills were mined for thousands of years by the Longbeards, being their primary source for iron above all the rest of their territories.[1] The Dwarf-road of Mirkwood ran northeast to the Hills for the Dwarf-traders and merchants that went to and from Khazad-dûm and the Hills.[6]

Third Age

In T.A. 1981 the last of the Dwarves living in Khazad-dûm fled from the Balrog who had slain kings Durin VI and Náin I.[7] Some of those who escaped wandered as far as the Iron Hills and resettled there.[1]

In 2570 Dragons began afflicting the Dwarves in the north and in 2589 King Dáin I was slain by a cold drake outside his halls in the Grey Mountains.[7] Due to these deprivations, in 2590 Grór son of Dáin left the Grey Mountains and established a lordship in the Iron Hills.[7]

Over the next few centuries Grór and his people built the hills from a just an ancient mining colony to a great realm, especially after the destruction of Erebor in 2770[7] 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,[7] the Dwarven realm in the Iron Hills was the main dwelling place of Durin's folk in the East, and militarily the strongest realm in Wilderland.

In 2799[7] 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. With the war over, Dáin led his people home where, after the death of Grór, became the new Lord of the Iron Hills.[8]

In 2941 Lord Dáin Ironfoot led his warriors in the Battle of Five Armies near Erebor. The battle won but Thorin slain, Dáin became the new King under the Mountain and King of the Longbeards as Dáin II.[7][8] He relocated to Erebor with many of his people, and reestablished it as Durin's folk's greatest and strongest dwelling in the north.

The Iron Hills pass out of history after this relocation, but probably were not wholly deserted.[4] Likely continuing to main provider of iron for the Longbeards, as it had for millennia before.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VIII. The Tale of Years of the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, p. 212
  5. Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth p. 78
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"