by Varda-(Valar)
Aug. 2, 2004

Objects > Mithril > Mithril

    In Fellowship, "Journey in the Dark", Gandalf tells the Fellowship about mithril as they go through Moria.
    "The wealth of Moria was not in gold and jewels, the toys of the Dwarves; nor in iron, their servant."
    The dwarves could pick up gold, jewels, and iron in traffic, but they had to dig for mithril.
    "For here alone in the world was found Moria-silver or true-silver as some have called it: mithril is the Elvish name. The Dwarves have a name which they do not tell."
    When the mines were working, mithril was worth ten times the price of gold. After the mine was taken over by Orcs, it became beyond price. "For little is left above ground, and even the Orcs dare not delve here for it. The lodes lead away north towards Caradhras, and down to darkness." Mithril was the foundation of the wealth of the Dwarves, but their greed caused their destruction as they delved too deeply and woke what they had fled before, Durin's Bane, the Balrog, and it brought about their demise once again. Of what the Dwarves had dug, the Orcs gathered nearly all and gave it "in tribute to Sauron, who covets it".
    Mithril could be beaten like copper, polished like glass. It had the beauty of silver, but did not tarnish or dim.
    The Dwarves could work it into a metal light in weight "yet harder than tempered steel".
    The Elves dearly loved it and had many uses for it. One was the making of ithildin, translated starmoon, as used on the doors of Moria.
    Bilbo had a corslet of mithril rings given to him by Thorin, which he passed on to Frodo to protect him on the journey to save Middle-earth.

Reference: Fellowship of the Ring: "Journey in the Dark".