Gandalf's fight against Durin's Bane atop Zirakzigil, as depicted by John Howe

Zirakzigil, also known as Silvertine and Celebdil (Sindarin: "Celeb" [Silver], "-dil" [point]) by the Elves, was a peak in the Misty Mountains of Middle-earth, known as the location where Gandalf's fight with Durin's Bane ended.

Description Edit

Zirakzigil was one of the great peaks in the Misty Mountains. On its peak stood Durin's Tower. It was one of the three Mountains of Moria, along with Caradhras and the Fanuidhol, under which lay the ancient Dwarf realm of Khazad-dûm.[1]

History Edit

Zirakzigil by deagol

Depiction by artist Deagol

The Dwarves called the mountain-summit Zirakzigil. In ancient times, they built the Endless Stair - a spiral staircase of many thousand steps - from the roots of the mountain up to its peak. On an eyrie atop the mountain they built Durin's Tower. By the end of the Third Age, the stair and the tower were remembered only in legend.

Then, on January 23, 3019, Gandalf and the Balrog climbed the Endless Stair to the summit of the Silvertine. There they fought the Battle of the Peak, which lasted three days. During the battle, Durin's Tower was destroyed and the stairs were blocked. The Balrog of Moria was finally destroyed. Gandalf the Grey died and was soon returned to life as Gandalf the White. Gandalf was rescued from the Silvertine by Gwaihir the Windlord on February 17, 3019.[2]

Etymology Edit

A tine is a point or prong. Celebdil is derived from celeb meaning "silver"[3] and til[4] (modified to -dil) meaning "horn," or "point." The translation of Zirakzigil is most likely "silver spike," but it is not clear which element means "silver" and which means "spike." A note written by J.R.R. Tolkien proposed that zirak meant "silver" and zigil meant "spike" but a later note said the reverse - that zigil meant "silver" and zirak meant "spike."[5]

Portrayal in adaptations Edit

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Edit

Durin's Tower, at the peak of Zirakzigil, is shown as the location of Gandalf's final struggle against Durin's Bane in the second film of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Silvertine as seen from the slopes above the Dimrill Dale in The Lord of the Rings Online. The jagged remains of Durin's Tower are visible on the peak.

The Lord of the Rings Online Edit

Zirakzigil appears as a playable location in the Moria region of The Lord of the Rings Online.

Behind the scenes Edit

  • In a 1968 letter, Tolkien identifies the Swiss Silberhorn as it appeared to him when camping near Mürren in 1911 as "the Silvertine (Celebdil) of my dreams".
  • In the movie adaptation, the battle between the Balrog and Gandalf took place in ferocious blizzard, while it was under clear sky and the Sun was up high in the book.

Gallery Edit

Translations around the world Edit

Foreign Language Translated name
Bulgarian Cyrillic Зиракзигил
Chinese (Hong Kong) 西拉克西吉爾
Russian Зиракзигиль

References Edit

  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Regional Maps, "The Misty Mountains"
  2. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter V: "The White Rider"
  3. The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
  4. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  5. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 7: The Treason of Isengard, VIII: "The Ring Goes South"
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