Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

At the gates of Moria there is a riddle on the door. "Speak Friend and Enter".

Frodo then asks Gandalf "What is the elven word for 'Friend'?" who replies and the door opens.

Given Moria is a dwarven mine, why would the door require an elven password?

share|improve this question
up vote 36 down vote accepted

That gate to Moria was created in the "Second Age" of Middle Earth, and was used to trade mithril with the Noldorian Elves of Eregion. Relations between the Elves and the Dwarves were more cordial in the Second Age. The inscription and password on the gate created by Celebrimbor, the leader of the Noldor, hence is in elvish. Celebrimbor also forged the 3 Elvish rings of power.

[This is all in the Silmarillion]

In The Fellowship of the Ring, the inscription on the door reads:

Im Narvi hain echant. Celebrimbor o Eregion teithant i thiw hin

"I, Narvi, made them. Celebrimbor of Eregion drew these signs"

(taken from Wikipedia, I hope it is accurate). So Narvi the dwarf built the gate, and Celebrimbor drew the lettering and the cast the spell which only opens when the password is given.

share|improve this answer
Makes sense - thanks! – Liath Feb 28 '12 at 9:23
You make "Noldor" sound like a place. It isn't. It's a tribe of Elves. (The place is Hithlum. The trade was with the Noldor of Hithlum, or the Noldorian Elves of Hithlum.) – TRiG Dec 3 '12 at 12:41
@TRiG - thanks - updated. – iandotkelly Dec 3 '12 at 17:32
The place was Eregion as in citation. I corrected this. – Mithoron Feb 22 '15 at 1:52
@Mithoron - I've approved your edit, but that is in direct contradiction to the suggestion of TRiG in the comment above. – iandotkelly Feb 22 '15 at 15:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.