One entering Khazad-dûm by its East-gate would pass into the First Hall, and carrying on through that hall would travel through a passageway and down a great flight of stairs to the First Deep, the first level of Khazad-dûm beneath the gates. Those stairs led down into the Second Hall, a vast space whose roof was supported by a double row of black pillars, carved to resemble great trees.
The Second Hall held an important part of the defences of Khazad-dûm. At its eastern end (that is, the end first encountered by one entering from the gate) was a dreadful chasm fifty feet across, spanned by a single perilous and narrow bridge - Durin's Bridge - making the hall highly defensible against invading forces.
The defences of the Second Hall brought disaster on at least two occasions. In III 2994, after Balin had led an attempt to recolonise Moria, an invading force of Orcs and Trolls captured the hall and the bridge, trapping the Dwarves and dooming their expedition. Twenty-five years later, the Company of the Ring passed through the hall as they escaped from Moria, and it was here that they encountered the Balrog that had driven out the Dwarves long before. In Gandalf's battle with the Balrog, Durin's Bridge was broken and both the combatants fell into the great chasm.
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