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  • Updated 14 January 2011
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King of Khazad-dûm

Ruler of Durin‘s city in the Misty Mountains

Durin I
the Deathless

Many further Kings,
including:
Durin II
Durin III
Durin IV
Durin V
Durin VI
Náin I
Durin's Folk
in exile
Durin VII

The title taken by the rulers of Khazad-dûm, the greatest and most opulent Dwarf-city of all time. The Kings were descended in line from Durin I, called the Deathless, who founded the city in ancient days.

After the foundation of the line by Durin, little is said of the most ancient Kings. What records we have show that they ruled, on average, for about a century each, which would mean that there must have been very roughly sixty generations of Kings of Khazad-dûm before records resume, in the eighteenth century of the Third Age. The first King listed there, the penultimate King in Khazad-dûm, was Durin VI, so it follows that there must have been a Durin II, III, IV and V among the many unknown Kings (indeed we have some records of Durin III, who received a Ring of Power from Celebrimbor himself).

It was Durin VI who had the misfortune to rule Khazad-dûm at the time its miners discovered and released a sleeping menace deep among their mithril veins. This was the Balrog that came to be known as Durin's Bane, a creature much too powerful for the Dwarves to control. Durin was killed soon after its appearance, and succeeded by his son, Náin I. Náin's rule was a short one - he too was killed within a year of his father's death, and his subjects fled their ancient home.

According to legend, Náin I was not the last King of Khazad-dûm. Some sources suggest that his distant descendant, Durin VII, came back to the kingdom of his ancestor, and reclaimed it as its King, though this tale cannot be verified beyond doubt.

Durin I One of the seven Fathers of the Dwarves, and the founder of the Longbeards, Durin's Folk. He ruled his people for centuries - so long, in fact, that he became known as the 'Durin the Deathless' - but eventually he passed away. From time to time over the millennia, one among Durin's descendants would arise so similar in bearing to his ancient ancestor that he, too, would be given the name 'Durin'.
Durin II One of approximately sixteen1 otherwise unnamed Kings, the appearance of his descendant Durin III in the middle years of the Second Age shows that he must have ruled in Khazad-dûm at some time before that.
Durin III The ruler of Khazad-dûm at the time of the forging of the Rings of Power, Durin III was a great friend of Celebrimbor the Lord of Eregion to the west. He received one of the Rings (later known as the Ring of Thrór) as a gift from his friend.
Durin IV
Durin V
Like Durin II, we know nothing of the reigns of these two Kings, though we can safely deduce their existence because we know that Durin VI took the throne in the late second millennium of the Third Age. They belong to a sequence of about thirty-eight unrecorded Kings who ruled during the later Second Age and the earlier Third Age.
Durin VI (Ruled to III 1980)
The first King of Durin's Folk for whom we have specific dates was Durin VI, who ruled in Khazad-dûm at the time the Balrog was awoken. It slew Durin, for which reason it became known as Durin's Bane. Durin was succeeded briefly by his son.
Náin I (Ruled 1 year to III 1981)
Náin ruled for just a year before he too was slain by the Balrog. He was the last King to rule in Khazad-dûm for at least a thousand years.
(Exile) After the loss of Náin I, the Longbeards abandoned their ancient home and wandered the lands of Middle-earth. As a people, they recognised Náin's descendants as their Kings, but none of these ruled in Khazad-dûm itself while the Third Age lasted. The Longbeards did make one attempt to return to Khazad-dûm in this time. Balin (a descendant of Náin I, though not through the royal line) founded a colony there in III 2989, and styled himself 'Lord of Moria' rather than 'King of Khazad-dûm'. That colony ended five years later when Balin and his companions were overwhelmed by Orcs and other creatures of Sauron.
Durin VII He was said to be the last of the Durins to rule over Durin's Folk. Durin's Bane had been destroyed in the War of the Ring, so that Khazad-dûm lay open for recovery by its ancient owners, and there is some evidence that it was Durin VII who at last achieved this.

Notes

1

There's no direct evidence for the number of Kings to rule Khazad-dûm before the time of Durin VI, but in later times the Kings of Durin's Folk tended to rule for about a hundred years each. Extrapolating back from that, there would have been about sixteen Kings between Durin I and III, and about thirty-eight between Durin III and VI. These figures are based on a number of assumptions, and are necessarily very approximate.

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