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The War of the Dwarves and Orcs was a great war fought between the two races from TA 27932799, mostly taking place in and around the Misty Mountains.[1]

Dwarves fighting the Orcs



In TA 2790[1], the elderly Dwarven King Thrór, the heir of Durin in exile, journeyed to Moria with a single companion, Nár. When they arrived at the East-gate, Nár begged him to take caution and refrain from entering. His words went unheeded by Thrór, who went and entered Moria proudly as a returning heir. Nár hid nearby for three days waiting for Thrór, but he did not return.

Three days after, the Orc Azog had Thrór's body flung out onto the steps of the gate for Nár to see, Azog's name carved into Thrór's face. Azog then called out to him from the gate, demanding that he deliver a message back to Thrór's people, warning that beggars who dared to enter Moria would meet a similar fate. Azog then proclaimed that he had killed Thrór and now therefore ruled Moria as king. Nár was barred from retrieving the head of Thrór, and was struck with a small pouch of coins of little worth as a final gesture of scorn. Nár took the pouch and turned and fled. When he looked back, goblins had emerged from the Gate and were hacking apart the body and flinging the pieces to the ravens.[2]

When Nár returned to Dunland many weeks later, and told of this to Thráin II who wept in great dismay and then fell silent in his grief. After a week he stood up and declared, "This cannot be borne!", and sent out messengers in all directions to deliver the tale. From TA 2790 to TA 2793 the Longbeards, Durin's Folk, responded by mustering their forces, summoning the other houses of the Dwarves, for 'the dishonor to the heir of the eldest of their race filled them with wrath'.[2]


In TA 2793 the Dwarves were gathered, and advanced together, conquering each of the goblin-holds in the Misty Mountains from Mount Gundabad in the north to the peak of Methedras. Most of the war was fought underground, the Dwarves bent on finding Azog. This stage of the war was said to be so grim and pitiless that few Dwarven veterans afterwards ever recounted what took place.[2]

Depiction of the Battle of Azanulbizar

The war reached its climax in TA 2799, when a final battle was fought in the valley outside the eastern gates of Moria, the Battle of Azanulbizar. The Dwarves won when reinforcements arrived late on the scene from the Iron Hills. After the battle, Thráin II son of Thrór wanted to enter Moria and reclaim it, but the Dwarves not of Durin's folk refused, saying they had honored Durin's memory by fighting, and this was enough. The Dwarves feared Durin's Bane was still present and were reluctant to enter Moria while it still dwelt there.[2]

Near the end of the battle, Azog was pursued to the East-gate of Moria and killed by Dáin Ironfoot, who had just watched his father Náin die at Azog's hands. Afterward Azog's head, its mouth stuffed with the same coin-filled purse that he had flung at Nár after he had killed Thrór nine years before, was left impaled on a spike.[2]


The war was very costly for the Dwarven race, as nearly half of their warriors had been killed. Náin son of Grór, Frerin second son of Thráin II, and Fundin son of Farin, the father of Balin, were among the more noted casualties. Thráin II himself lost an eye and was wounded in the leg, and Thorin was wounded when his shield broke and he had to use an oak branch to defend himself. For this he was given the name Oakenshield.

During and after the conflict many goblins fled south through Rohan, trying to claim a refuge in the White Mountains and they troubled the Rohirrim for two generations. Another effect of the war was the virtual disappearance of the goblins of the Misty Mountains as a threat to Eriador and Wilderland for a long while; the goblins of the High Pass near Rivendell were some of the few survivors. A century and a half later the Goblins of the North still had not fully recovered, and their population was further reduced during the Battle of Five Armies in TA 2941, in which Bolg, son of Azog, tried to avenge his father. Bolg was killed by Beorn during the battle.[3]

Portrayal in adaptations

The Battle of Azanulbizar as portrayed in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Peter Jackson changed the story line of the war considerably for his film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). Jackson had Azog kill Thrór during the Battle of Azanulbizar, excluded Dáin Ironfoot from the event completely, and portrayed Thorin Oakenshield as having cut off Azog's arm in the battle, such that (in the films) Azog survived the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, and was able to later pursue Thorin and his Company out of revenge.


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Oorlog van die Dwerge en Orke
Albanian Lufta e Shkurtabiqe dhe Orcs ?
Amharic ስለ ጦርነት ዽዋርቨስ ና ዖርችስ ?
Arabic حرب من الأقزام والعفاريت
Armenian Պատերազմ Դւարվես եւ Ործս
Belarusian Cyrillic Вайна гномы і Oркі
Bosnian Rat Patuljaka i Orka
Bulgarian Cyrillic Войната на джуджетата и орките
Catalan Guerra Dels Orcs i Nans
Chinese (Hong Kong) 矮人與半獸人之戰爭
Croatian Rat Patuljaka i Orka
Czech Válka Trpaslíků a Skřetů
Danish Krigen mellem Dværgene og Orkerne
Dutch Oorlog van de Dwergen en Orks
Esperanto Milito de la Enanos kaj Orkoj
Estonian Vabadussõja Päkapikud ja Orkid
Finnish Örkkien-Kääpiöiden sota
French Guerre des Nains et des Orques
Galician Guerra dos Ananos e Orcos
Georgian ომი ჯუჯებსა და ორკებს შორის
German Der Krieg der Zwerge und Orks
Greek Πόλεμος των Vάνων και Ορκς
Hebrew מלחמת הגמדים אורקים
Hindi बौने और ॐर्च्स की युद्ध
Hungarian A Törpék és az Orkok Háborúja
Icelandic Stríð Dverga og Orkar
Irish Gaelic Cogadh na áit fosta agus Orcs
Italian Guerra tra i Nani e gli Orchi
Japanese ドワーフとオークの戦争
Kannada ಡ್ವಾರ್ವೆಸ್ ಮತ್ತು ಓರ್ಕ್ಸ್ ಯುದ್ಧ
Kazakh Cyrillic Гномов және орков соғыс
Korean 드워프와 오크의 전쟁
Kurdish Şer yên Hacûckan û Orcs (Kurmanji Kurdish)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Брунен жана үндөгү согушу ?
Lao ສົງຄາມຂອງ ດວະrvເຊ ແລະ ອrຈຊ ?
Latvian Rūķu un Orku karš
Lithuanian Karas Nykštukai ir Orkai
Macedonian Cyrillic Војна на Џуџиња и Орцс
Maltese Gwerra ta ' l-nanu u Orcs ?
Norwegian Krig av Dvergene og Orkene
Persian جنگ دورفها و اورک ها
Polish Wojny krasnoludów i Orków
Portuguese Guerra dos Anões e Orcs
Romamian Războiul gnomilor si al orcilor
Russian Война орков и гномов
Serbian Рат Патуљака и Орка (Cyrillic) Rat Patuljaka i Orka (Latin)
Slovak Vojna Trpaslíkov a Ohyzdov
Slovenian Vojna Škrati in Orke
Spanish La Guerra de los Enanos y los Orcos
Swedish Kriget mellan dvärgar och orcher
Tamil குள்ளர்கள் மற்றும் ஒட்டடை போர்
Thai สงครามของคนแคระและผี
Turkish Cüceler ve Orkların Savaş
Ukrainian Cyrillic Війна гномів і орків
Urdu اورکس اور بونوں کی جنگ
Vietnamese Chiến tranh của người lùn và Orc
Yiddish מלחמה פון די דוואָרווז און אָרקס


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "The Third Age"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  3. The Hobbit, Chapter XVII: "The Clouds Burst"