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The chronicle of Balin's colony in Moria, III 2989 - III 2994; discovered by the Company of the Ring 15 January III 3019; the ultimate fate of the Book is unknown (see text)
Kept in the Chamber of Mazarbul, adjoining the Twenty-first Hall of Moria
Created in Moria by an expedition of the Dwarves of Erebor
Balin was a descendant of the House of Durin
Mazarbul is probably pronounced 'maza'rbool'
Mazarbul apparently means 'records'1


About this entry:

  • Updated 24 April 2021
  • This entry is complete

Book of Mazarbul

The history of Balin in Moria

The record of Balin's return to Moria with a group of Longbeard Dwarves in III 2989. It recounted a battle with the Orcs that inhabited the old halls of Khazad-dûm, in which Balin's Dwarves were victorious. They settled in the Twenty-first Hall, above the East-gate, and Balin himself ruled his new domain from the old Chamber of Records, also called the Chamber of Mazarbul. Over the next five years, the Dwarves seem to have settled quite successfully into their new home, exploring under the Mountains as far as the West-gate, and apparently recovering Durin's Axe and other priceless items made of mithril.

The Lordship of Balin was short-lived. Ori, who was with him in Moria, recorded in the last pages of the Book how an army of Orcs came unexpectedly out of the east, slaying Balin outside the East-gate. The Dwarves defended themselves, but they were beleaguered from the east by the Orcs, and they could not escape westward because of the mysterious Watcher in the Water. Their last stand was in Balin's Chamber of Mazarbul, where the Orcs eventually overcame and destroyed them.

The victorious Orcs seem not to have understood the significance of the Book, so that rather than carrying it off or destroying it, they left it to rot in the Chamber. There it was found twenty-four years later by the Company of the Ring, burned, slashed and blood-stained, but still readable in some parts. Gandalf passed it to Gimli to return to King Dáin, after which we hear no more about it. If Gimli was able to keep it through the battles that followed, and didn't discard it with his gear at Parth Galen, it is possible that he carried it throughout his travels in Middle-earth, returning it at last to Dáin's heir Thorin III in Erebor.



The Dwarvish word mazarbul is not directly explained, but the fact that the terms 'Chamber of Mazarbul' and 'Chamber of Records' are used interchangeably would seem to make its intended meaning clear. The same meaning presumably applies to the Book held within it, and so the 'Book of Mazarbul' would simply be the 'book of records', or the chronicle of Balin's colony.

See also...

Durin’s Axe, Flói


About this entry:

  • Updated 24 April 2021
  • This entry is complete

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