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Rings of Power: Durin explained

Rings of Power: we've written a complete history of one of Middle-earth's most important Dwarves, Durin, detailing everything we know about the future king

Rings of Power: Durin explained

Who is Durin in the Rings of Power? The fantasy series The Rings of Power has taken us thousands of years into Middle-earth’s past long before the events of the Lord of the Rings movies.  It’s a very different time for the fantasy world, Morgoth is defeated, and all seems well.

Yet in the shadows, evil stirs, and the races of Elves, Men, and Dwarves must stand ready to defend themselves from the growing threat of Sauron. Thankfully the Dwarves seem more than ready to stand against evil, especially Durin’s Folk, who live in Khazad-dûm.

For now, they’re led by The Rings of Power characters King Durin III, but his son Prince Durin IV is the heir in waiting and very close to the Elf Elrond. But who is Prince Durin? Well, here’s everything you need to know about the future king under the mountain.

Durin’s early life

Durin, actually Prince Durin, later to be King Durin IV, was born in the Second Age to King Durin III. Durin’s resemblance to his ancestor led to some claiming he was the reincarnation of Durin I, the oldest of the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves and the founder of Khazad-dûm.

He presumably spent his early years living and learning Dwarven traditions in Moria underneath the Misty Mountains. At some point, he met and befriended the Elf Elrond after reducing him from two trolls – although Elrond claims it was Durin who needed rescuing.

Rings of Power: Durin explained

Prince of Khazad-dûm

As time went on, Elrond and Durin drifted apart, not speaking to each other for 20 years. To the immortal Elf, this was like not calling a friend for a week, but Durin, who has a much shorter lifespan of just 300 years, took it as a huge insult. During these two decades, Durin met Dísa while touring his mountain.

Instantly smitten, the Prince began to spend more and more inspecting Dísa’s dig teams until he eventually built up the courage to ask her on a date (or whatever the Dwarven equivalent is). The pair fell in love and would go on to have two children, Gerda and Gamli.

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As the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm continued to dig deeper, they found something more valuable than gold or precious stones under the mountain. They discovered a miraculous ore that glimmered with incredible internal light. The metal was light and strong, perfect for crafting weapons and armour and Durin became convinced this new ore was important to the future of Khazad-dûm.

As the Dwarves began the difficult process of extracting the metal, they kept its existence a secret, fearing what the other races of Middle-earth would do if they learned of its existence.

Rings of Power: Durin explained

Return of Elrond

20 years after Durin had last seen him, Elrond returned to Khazad-dûm. The Elf was working with the smith Celebrimbor on a grand project to create the greatest forge that Arda had ever seen.

Durin was initially frosty to his old friend, angry that he had missed 20 years of his life, and instead, the Elf take part in a rock-breaking contest before he hears his proposal. The Dwarf prince beat the elf and personally escorted him to the door of Khazad-dûm, but Elrond was a better politician than Durin expected

Rings of Power: Durin explained

Elrond manages to convince Durin he needs to apologise to Dísa and quickly ingratiates himself with the family. Forgiving, his old friend Durin agrees to tell his father, Durin III, about Celebrimbor’s plans, and the Dwarves agree to help the Elves.

As work begins on the forge, though, Celebrimbor becomes suspicious of the Dwarves’ secrecy, and Elrond is sent to Khazad-dûm to find out what they’re hiding. After some digging (not literally), he discovers the secret ore, and Durin makes him swear not to reveal its existence. Elrond agrees and gives the metal its name, Mithril.

Rings of Power: Durin explained

The Fate of the Elves

To celebrate the cooperation of the Dwarves and Elves, Durin is sent to Lindon, the capital of the elves, where he meets with King Gil-Galad. Gil-Galad presses the Dwarf on what they’ve found under the Misty Mountains annoying Durin, but he does not reveal his people’s secret.

Elrond later tells Durin Gil Galad’s secret. The Elves know about the Mithril (or believe it exists) and sent an unknowing Elrond to Khazad-dûm to see if he could uncover what they had found.

The Elves believe the light of the Eldar is fading, which spells the doom of their people, and only Mithril and its light can save them. Elrond does not tell the elves about the metal, but he implores Durin to give it to the elves. Durin teases his old friend for a bit but relents, saying they need to convince his father.

Rings of Power: Durin explained

Durin’s future

Tolkien did not write too much about Durin IV or his reign, but we can make a few educated guesses. He presumably became the king of Khazad-dûm after his father’s death and would most likely of inherited his father’s Ring of Power.

It’s unknown if he ever wore the ring because Sauron’s plot would have been public knowledge at this point. We know Durin took part in the war against Sauron, and it’s possible, considering we’ve seen Isildur as a teenager, he may have led the Dwarves in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.

For a look into the future of Middle-earth, check out our guide to the Rings of Power season 2, and we’ve also done a Rings of Power cast breakdown.