Thráin II

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Thráin II
Tolkien's legendarium character
Aliases King of Durin's Folk in exile
Race Dwarf
Book(s) Unfinished Tales

Thráin II is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is first mentioned in The Hobbit, and more of his history is given in Unfinished Tales.

Character overview[edit]

A king of the Dwarves, Thráin was the son of Thrór and father of Thorin Oakenshield. A Longbeard and direct descendant of Durin, he became heir of the lost King under the Mountain and King of Durin's Folk in exile as Thráin II after his father was killed in Moria by the Orc Azog.[1]

Tolkien derived the name Thráin from the Old Norse dwarf-name Þráinn, which aptly means yearner.[2]

Appearances[edit]

Thráin does not appear as a character in The Hobbit, but Gandalf supplies his backstory. Thráin and his kin fled their kingdom of Erebor when the dragon Smaug descended on it. Thráin took with him a map which showed a secret entrance to Erebor.

The rest of Thráin's story is told in Unfinished Tales. Shortly after leaving Erebor, Thrór left his only remaining treasure, his Ring of Power, to Thráin and went to Moria. Upon hearing of his father's death at the hands of the Orc chieftain Azog, Thráin sent messages to houses of the six other founding fathers. They obliged, as Azog had desecrated Thrór's body—a great insult to the eldest line. The Dwarves were victorious in the ensuing War of the Dwarves and Orcs, but their losses were heavy, especially in the Battle of Azanulbizar, where Azog was killed. After the victory, a lamed Thráin attempted to enter Moria, but Dáin II Ironfoot stopped him, prophesying that some other power must come before Durin's folk could return to Moria.

Afterwards, Thráin and Thorin established themselves in the Ered Luin, where they settled in the old Dwarven mines and prospered, although not as much as in Erebor. He still had one of the Seven Rings, passed down through the line of Durin, but it could not make them wealthy again.

As Thráin grew older, he was driven by the malice of his ring, and the desire for gold gnawed at his heart. He left Thorin for the Wilderlands, but was captured and imprisoned in Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood. There, the last of the Dwarven Rings of Power was taken from him and he was left in the dungeon to die.

Gandalf found Thráin while on a mission to Dol Guldur to discover the identity of "The Necromancer", a mysterious Dark Lord who was later revealed to be Sauron. Moments away from death, Thráin gave him the old map. Gandalf promised to deliver it to Thráin's son, but Thráin, who was delirious with pain, had forgotten his name, so Gandalf did not expect to be able to fulfill this promise. Thráin died soon afterwards.

Later, Gandalf met with Thorin near Bree, and realized that he was the son of the captured dwarf in Dol Guldur. He promised to help Thorin with the Quest of Erebor, and invited a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins along to take the role of burglar. It was only at this late date that Thorin learned what had befallen his father, and he contemplated taking revenge as Thráin had on Azog and the goblins. Gandalf, who alone of those present knew who "The Necromancer" really was, urged caution, and reminded Thorin of the far older debt of vengeance he owed Smaug.

In other media[edit]

In Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit, Thráin is played by Michael Mizrahi, with Thomas Robins playing a younger version of the character. In the Extended cut of The Desolation of Smaug, assumed to have died, it is revealed that Thráin was captured by the Orcs during the Battle of Azanulbizar with his forefinger cut off by Azog to claim the his family's ring. Thráin was held prisoner in Dol Guldur for years before being found by Gandalf who restored his sanity. Though Gandalf tries to escape with Thráin, who never intended to reclaim Erebor, he watches the Dwarf get killed by the Necromancer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ King of Durin’s Folk: The royal line of the Longbeards at The Encyclopedia of Arda
  2. ^ John D. Rateliff (2005), The History of the Hobbit, volume 2 Return to Bag-End, Appendix III 'The Dvergatal; ISBN 0-00-725066-5.
Preceded by
Thrór
Kings of Durin's folk Succeeded by
Thorin II Oakenshield