The Dwarves are a race apart. Of their strange beginning, and why they are both like and unlike Elves and Men, strange tales are told both by the Eldar and by the Dwarves themselves; but of these tales the lesser Elves of Middle-earth had no knowledge, while the tales of later Men are confused with memories of other races. Since these things lie far back beyond our days, little is said of them here. They are a tough, thrawn race for the most part, secretive, laborious, retentive of the memory of injustices (and of benefits), lovers of stone, of gems, of things that take shape under the hands of the craftsmen rather than of things that live by their own life. But they are not evil by nature, and few ever served the Enemy of free will, whatever the tales of Men may have alleged. For Men of old lusted after their wealth and the work of their hands, and there has been enmity between the races.
But in the Third Age close friendship still was found in many places between Men and Dwarves; and it was according to the nature of the Dwarves that, traveling and laboring and trading about the lands, as the did after the destruction of their ancestral mansions, they should use the languages of men among whom they dwelt. Yet in secret (a secret which unlike the Elves, they did not willingly unlock, even to their friends) they used their own strange tongue, changed little by the years; for it had become a tongue of lore rather than a cradle-speech, and they tended it and guarded it as a treasure of the past. Few of other race have succeeded in learning it. In this history it appears only in such place-names as Gimli Glóin’s son revealed to his companions; and in the battle-cry which he uttered in the siege of the Hornburg. That at least was not secret, and had been heard on many a field since the world was young. Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd aimênu! “Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!”
Gimli’s own name, however, and the names of all his kin, are of Northern (Mannish) origin. Their own secret and “inner” names, their true names, the Dwarves have never revealed to any one of alien race. Not even on their tombs do they inscribe them.
Durin is the name that the Dwarves used for the eldest of the Seven Fathers of their race, and the ancestor of all the kings of the Longbeards. He slept alone, until in the deeps of time and the awakening of that people he came to Azanulbizar, and in the caves above Kheledzâram in the east of the Misty Mountains he made his dwelling, where afterwards were the Mines of Moria renowned in song.
There he lived so long that he was known far and wide as Durin the Deathless. Yet in the end he died before the Elder Days had passed, and his tomb was in Khazad-dûm; but his line never failed, and five times an heir was born in his House so like to his Forefather that he received the name of Durin. He was indeed held by the Dwarves to be the Deathless that returned; for they have many strange tales and beliefs concerning themselves and their fate in the world. Continue reading