The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Born c. III 2590; lived until at least III 27901
Race
Division
Culture
Settlements
Dwelt in Erebor until the coming of Smaug
Pronunciation
na'rr
Meaning
Perhaps from the Old Norse for 'corpse'2

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About this entry:

  • Updated 28 March 2014
  • This entry is complete

Nár

The unwilling messenger of Azog

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Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

An old Dwarf, who was the sole companion of Thrór when he set out to wander in the wilds of Middle-earth. The journey of Thrór and Nár eventually brought them to the old Dwarf-halls of Moria, now infested with Orcs and Trolls. Disregarding the pleas of Nár, Thrór insisted on entering the old Dwarf-mansions of Khazad-dûm.

That was the last any Dwarf ever saw Thrór alive. He was beheaded by the Orcs, and their leader Azog branded his own name on Thrór's brow. The Orcs allowed Nár to return to Thrór's son Thráin, with a message that Azog now ruled in Moria, but this proved to be a terrible mistake. Nár's message raised such anger that it sparked the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, and in the climactic Battle of Nanduhirion, Azog himself was slain along with countless others on both sides.


Notes

1

We don't know exactly when Nár was born, but he is described as being old when he set out with Thrór. For a Dwarf, this implies that he was about two hundred years old or more, suggesting a birth date of around III 2590. We know that he survived until at least III 2790, when he brought the news of Thrór's fate to Thráin, but his final fate is not known.

2

The ultimate source of the name Nár is the Norse poem Völuspá, where it appears as a Dwarf-name. The interpretation 'corpse' is open to question, but it does tie in with the fact that his main narrative purpose in the tales was to report the desecration of Thrór's corpse to King Thráin, and thus spark the War of the Dwarves and the Orcs.

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