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 and Dís. 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. He subsequently acquired a map which showed a secret entrance to Erebor, and later he gave this map to Gandalf. More of Thráin's story is told in Appendix A:III of The Lord of the Rings, and in Unfinished Tales.

Biography[edit]

Thráin was born in T.A. 2644 the son and heir of Thrór, King under the Mountain. His sons Thorin Oakenshield and Frerin and his daughter Dís were also born in Erebor. In 2770 the whole family went into wandering following the sack of Erebor.

By 2790 the family were temporarily living in Dunland. In that year Thrór gave his heirlooms to Thráin, including the map and one of the Seven Rings, and went away. Thrór was murdered soon afterwards, making Thráin the King of Durin's folk, and setting off the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. Thráin and his sons fought in the War, which raged for years in the Misty Mountains; Frerin was killed in the final battle, in Azanulbizar in 2799.

After the war Thráin and his surviving family wandered on, but in 2802 they established themselves in the Ered Luin, where they settled in the old Dwarf mines and prospered, although not as much as in Erebor. Thráin still had one of the Seven Rings, but it could not make them wealthy again.

As Thráin grew towards old age, he was driven by the malice of his ring, and the desire for gold gnawed at his heart. In 2841 he left his family, much like his father had done, and in 2845 he was captured and imprisoned in Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood. There, the last of the Dwarf 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; the year was 2850.

Many years 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. Moreover, in the scenes in Dol Guldur, in the extended cut of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, he is portrayed by Antony Sher.In the extended cut of the second Hobbit film, it is revealed that Thráin was captured by the Orcs during the Battle of Azanulbizar, with his forefinger cut off by Azog to claim his family's ring. Thráin was held prisoner in Dol Guldur for years before being found by Gandalf, who restored his sanity. Thráin tells Gandalf that Smaug and The Necromancer are in league together. Though Gandalf tries to escape with Thráin, who never intended to reclaim Erebor, he watches as Thráin is killed by the Necromancer.

See also[edit]

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