In Norse mythology, Durin was the first of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves. The character appears in J. R. R. Tolkien's universe, Middle-earth. Tolkien borrowed the name from a Dwarf in the Scandinavian legends of the sword Tyrfing.


Durin the Deathless

In Tolkien's mythology, King Durin I of Khazad-dum, better known as "Durin the Deathless", was the eldest of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves, first created by Aulë the Vala. Durin was set to sleep alone beneath the mountains of Middle-earth until the Elves were born. The name Durin, like other names of Tolkien's Dwarves, was taken from old Norse: this was later explained by the translation fiction: because Westron was translated with English, the language of Dale was translated with Old Norse. The Dwarvish names were in Dalish, which therefore was translated in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with old Norse.

Upon his awakening in the First Age, he traveled until he came upon the Mirrormere, the lake that the Dwarves call Kheled-zâram. He created there a great city within the Misty Mountains. This was Khazad-dûm, later called Moria.

According to the Dwarves Durin awoke at Mount Gundabad in the north of the Misty Mountains, which remained a sacred place to them ever after. Durin and his heirs were revered by all Dwarves, and not just those of his own line.

Durin founded the line of Dwarves called Durin's Folk. Durin was called the Deathless because he was believed not to die, but rather to fall asleep, and reïncarnate in his own line. Apparently the first heirs of Durin, as well as Durin VII, had memories of their 'earlier lives', which suggest that this belief had some basis in fact.

Durin II

Little is recorded about his reign, although there are indications that the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm were in a confederation with the Men of the vales of Anduin, where the Men provided food in return for Dwarven weapons. This coöperation continued until the reign of Durin IV.

Durin III

He was the first bearer of one of the Seven Rings, although this was not known to outsiders until the end of the Third Age. The Dwarves of Durin's folk believed he had been given this ring by Celebrimbor himself, and not by Sauron.

Durin IV and V

They lived in Khazad-dûm, and with the aid of the Ring prospered. The friendship with the Ñoldor of Eregion continued until they were destroyed, and the doors of Khazad-dûm were shut to outsiders.

Durin VI

Durin VI was King of the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm when the Balrog was aroused deep beneath the city. The creature killed the King in 1980 T.A., and became known as Durin's Bane. Durin VI was the last reincarnation of Durin the Deathless, and the first to be slain. He was succeeded by his son, Náin.

Preceded by:
Kings of Durin's folk
Succeeded by:
Náin I

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Durin VII the Last

The much later Durin VII was a descendant - some sources say the son - and heir of Thorin III Stonehelm of Durin's folk, who was lord of the Dwarves of Erebor and the Iron Hills in Wilderland.

Durin VII, also known as Durin the Last, was held to be a reincarnation of Durin the Deathless. His birth was prophesied at the Battle of Five Armies, and he led Durin's Folk back to recolonise Khazad-dûm "several centuries" after the beginning of The Fourth Age, where they remained 'until the world grew old and the Dwarves failed and the days of Durin's race were ended' (according to The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Making of Appendix A (iv): Durin's Folk").

Preceded by:
Thorin III Stonehelm
Kings of Durin's folk
Succeeded by:
many descendants

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Dwarves of Middle-earth

Azaghâl | Balin | Bifur | Bofur | Bombur | Borin | Dáin I | Dáin II Ironfoot | Dís | Dori | Durin(s) | Dwalin | Fíli | Flói | Frerin | Frár | Frór | Fundin | Gamil Zirak | Gimli | Glóin | Gróin | Grór | Ibûn | Khîm | Kíli | Lóni | Mîm | Náin I | Náin II | Náin son of Grór | Náli | Nár | Narvi | Nori | Óin | Ori | Telchar | Thorin I | Thorin II Oakenshield | Thorin III | Thráin I | Thráin II | Thrór

Kingdoms of the Dwarves
Belegost | Iron Hills | Khazad-dûm | Lonely Mountain | Nogrod

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