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  • Updated 2 January 2020
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Twenty-first Hall

The hall of Moria that led to the Chamber of Mazarbul

One of the vast halls found throughout the old Dwarf mansions of Khazad-dûm, the Twenty-first Hall lay near the eastern extent of the great underground city, northward of its East-gate. It was on the Seventh Level of Khazad-dûm; that is, it lay six levels above the Great Gates.1 The hall is described as having shining, smooth walls, and a cavernous roof upheld by rows of many pillars. It had four entrances, leading into the hall from the north, west, east and south, and it was notable as being the hall that led to the Chamber of Records, or the Chamber of Mazarbul, which lay off a corridor reached through the Hall's northern doorway.

During Balin's attempt to recolonise Khazad-dûm, or Moria as it had become known by his day, he and his people chose the Twenty-first Hall to dwell in. They held it successfully for some years, and Balin was accounted Lord of Moria by his followers, but their success was not to last. A force of Orcs came up the valley beneath the East-gate, finding Balin outside the city and slaying him. They forced an entrance into Moria and trapped the Dwarves, destroying the short-lived colony.

It was through the western entrance of the Hall that the Fellowship of the Ring passed on 14 January of the year III 3019, having travelled through Moria from its West-gate on the other side of the Misty Mountains. Through the following night they camped in a corner of the great hall, and with the morning light they intended to leave through the eastern entrance and descend to the Gates. Distracted by a light from the north, they instead passed that way to investigate the Chamber of Records, and so discovered Balin's tomb and the record of his failed reoccupation of Moria. Set upon suddenly by Orcs, the Fellowship was able to fight off their attackers, but were forced to make a desperate escape down a winding stairway, and never returned to the Twenty-first Hall.


Notes

1

The arrangement of the halls in old Khazad-dûm is not elaborated in detail, so the precise position of the Twenty-first Hall is difficult to gauge. One of the few facts we have is that it lay on the Seventh Level, and it is perhaps notable that 21 is a multiple of 7. One possible approach to the numbering of the halls, then, would be to count upwards in threes from the Great Gates, with each level above the gates having three halls like this one. This idea is supported somewhat by the escape of the Fellowship of the Ring from the Chamber of Mazarbul: passing down a stairway from a point close to the Twenty-first Hall, they found themselves in the Second Hall of the First Deep, close to the East-gate. That would imply that the Twenty-first Hall must have been nearly directly above the Gates (though evidently somewhat to the north), supporting the idea that the counting system worked in a vertical direction.

See also...

Book of Mazarbul

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About this entry:

  • Updated 2 January 2020
  • Updates planned: 2

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