by Daeron-(V)
October 13, 2002
Objects > Mithril > Mithril

    Mithril was a metal that shaped the history of Khazad-dum.  It was called silver steel, Moria silver, and true silver, and these are all for a reason.  Mithril looked just like silver, yet it never tarnished and stayed forever shiny.  Mithril caused the Noldor, who were led by Celebrimbor (in some stories these Noldor were led by Galadriel and Celeborn) to settle in the land called Eregion in the second age.  The mithril vein found in Khazad-dum was buried so deeply under Barazinbar, that the dwarves released the Balrog who had been sleeping since the end of the First age when Melkor was thrown into the Darkness.
    The Balrog proceeded to kill Durin IV and his son Nain.  He drove out the dwarves and no more mithril was mined in the Third Age.  Towards the end of the Third Age mithril became priceless.  The corslet that Thorin had given to Bilbo was worth more than the Shire and everything in it.  This corslet had been made in Erebor for an elf-prince and was found in Smaug's hoard.
    Bilbo gave this corslet to Frodo in Rivendell to use in the Quest to Mt. Doom.  It saved his life in Khazad-dum, when an orc chieftain stabbed him with a giant spear.  This corslet was stolen from him in Mordor, where it probably saved his life again due to it causing such a distraction, giving him enough time to escape the orcs.  The Mouth of Sauron found and gave it to Gandalf, claiming Frodo had died in Mordor.  That was of course not so, and the corslet was given back to Frodo on his trip back to the Shire, where it saved his life yet again when Saruman tried to kill him at Bag End.
    It was said by Gandalf in Khazad-dum, that Moria was the only place mithril could be found.  Either Gandalf was hiding something, or mistaken, or perhaps he just meant Moria was the only place mithril would be found at that time; that statement was false.  In Unfinished Tales it is said that Tar-Telemmaite (who was the 15th ruler of Numenor) constantly sent his servents to seek mithril.  This means mithril could have been found in Numenor.  Telemmaite's own name meant 'silver-handed'.
    It is not said what became of the mithril corslet (it probably went with Frodo to Valinor), or if the dwarves went back and mined for more mithril.

References: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Return of the KingUnfinished Tales