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The name Moria was first used in around III 1980;1 the Balrog and Orcs that infested it were largely destroyed in the War of the Ring (III 3018 to III 3019), after which the name would likely have fallen out of use
The central regions of the Misty Mountains, to the northwest of Lórien
The mansions of Khazad-dûm were created by the Dwarves of Durin's Folk
Originally inhabited by Dwarves, but later occupied by Orcs, Trolls and one Balrog (Durin's Bane)
The Sirannon rose near the West-gate of Moria, while Celebrant rose in the valley below the East-gate
Important peaks
The Redhorn Pass ran through the Misty Mountains in this region
Other names
The name Moria is often used as a synonym for Khazad-dûm. but this is not strictly correct; Moria was not used of the ancient Dwarf-city until after it was deserted by the Dwarves themselves, but by the late Third Age the two names had come to be used interchangeably (see footnote 1)


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 October 2009
  • Updates planned: 1
Map of Moria
Map showing Moria and its surroundings. Certain elements of this map are conjectural.2
Map showing Moria and its surroundings. Certain elements of this map are conjectural.2

The Black Chasm; the name given to Khazad-dûm after its desertion by the Dwarves, after which it became a dark and evil place.



The point at which the old city of Khazad-dûm started to be known as Moria the Black Chasm is not definitively established. According to The Silmarillion, it acquired the name Moria '...afterwards in the days of its darkness...' (Quenta Silmarillion 10, Of the Sindar). It would be natural to read this as a reference to the coming of Durin's Bane and the exile of the Dwarves, and that may very well be the intended meaning.

As a possible counterpoint, however, it is worth noting a comment in Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings, which tells us that, even before the coming of the Balrog, the city's '...numbers had dwindled until many of its vast mansions became dark and empty.' On this basis, we might see the 'days of its darkness' to have actually begun earlier, sometime before the awakening of Durin's Bane. On this alternative reading, Khazad-dûm might already have been known as Moria earlier in the Third Age, while there were still dwindling numbers of Dwarves occupying the darkening city.


The exact configuration of the Mountains of Moria is not shown on any map, so the relative positions shown here are derived from descriptions in The Lord of the Rings (though given the detail of those descriptions, there is little margin for error). In addition, though it seems inevitable that the Sirannon must have been a tributary of the Glanduin, it is not known precisely how the two rivers joined.

See also...

Alphabet of Daeron, Angerthas Moria, Aragorn Elessar, Azog, Bain, Balin, Balrogs, Barazinbar, Battle of Nanduhirion, Battle of the Mines of Moria, Battle of the Peak, Bill, Bird-tamer, Black Chasm, Black Pit, [See the full list...]


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 October 2009
  • Updates planned: 1

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