Dáin II Ironfoot

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Dáin II
Tolkien's legendarium character
Aliases Ironfoot,
King under the Mountain,
King of Durin's Folk
Race Dwarves
Book(s) The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
Unfinished Tales

Dáin II Ironfoot is a Dwarf and king of Erebor in J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy legendarium concerning Middle-earth. He appears briefly in The Hobbit and his story is elaborated in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings.

Fictional biography[edit]

Dáin, one of the greatest dwarven warriors, was the son of Náin and grandson of Grór, the youngest son of Dáin I of Durin's folk. Following his grandfather's death, Dáin became lord of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills in Wilderland. Dáin's father Náin was killed by the great Orc Azog during the Battle of Nanduhirion before the gates of Moria, the culmination of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. Dáin avenged Náin, slaying Azog in single combat. He was a very young Dwarf at the time (only 32, roughly when Dwarves reach maturity, or "battle-readiness"),[1] and this was heralded as a magnificent feat. Dáin alone looked past the gate into Moria, and knew that it was impossible for the Dwarves to return at that time, because Durin's Bane still resided in those halls. He dissuaded Thráin II from attempting to occupy Moria.[2]

Dáin was second cousin to Thorin Oakenshield, and responded to Thorin's call for help during the quest to reclaim Erebor. Dáin set out with several hundred Dwarves, and arrived just in time for the Battle of Five Armies. Thorin was mortally wounded in this battle, and after his death and the extinction of the main branch of Durin's line, Dáin succeeded Thorin as King under the Mountain and King of Durin's folk, the first not in the direct line of Durin.

Dáin was killed during the War of the Ring in T.A. 3019, defending the body of his ally King Brand of Dale before the gates of Erebor. He was by then an old Dwarf – aged 252 according to Appendix A in The Lord of the Rings – but his prowess in battle was still great. After the war he was succeeded by his son, Thorin III Stonehelm.[2]

Adaptations[edit]

Dáin appears as a hero for the dwarven faction in the real-time strategy game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II (2006). In the story campain King Brand is absent and Dáin survives the siege of Erebor. He leads his dwarves against the orcs invading the Lake-Town and later joins forces with the Elves during the siege of Dol Guldur. In The Lord of the Rings Online (2007) the circumstances of Dáin's death are different: instead of the end of the siege of Erebor, he dies at its beginning, buying the time for King Brand and his men to escape inside the mountain.

In the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Table Top game Dáin's axe is given the name Barazantathul, and is described as "one of the finest weapons ever made by Dwarfdom". This name does not appear in Tolkien's works.

Dáin is briefly mentioned by Dwalin in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) he is portrayed by Billy Connolly.[3] In the film, Dáin rides a large boar into battle and has boar tusks embedded in his beard. Dáin's coronation as the King Under the Mountain is not shown in the theatrical version.

Preceded by
Thorin II Oakenshield
Kings of Durin's folk Succeeded by
Thorin III Stonehelm

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tolkien, The Peoples of Middle Earth, p. 284.
  2. ^ a b Tolkien, J. R. R. (1955), The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), Appendix A III Durin's Folk, ISBN 0-395-08256-0 
  3. ^ "Billy Connolly joins Hobbit cast". ONE News. 9 February 2012.