Why did the dwarves have to flee for the first time from Moria?

Moria was made by dwarven kings, but for some reason the dwarves had to flee, they were forced out from Moria. After the dwarves moved out, Azog and the orcs moved in. However, after the attack on Smaug the dwarves reclaimed Moria, but they didn't live there for a long time. A century later, when the party comes to Moria in Lord of the Rings, they are greeted by orcs and an angry Balrog.

My question is, why did the dwarves flee from Moria the first time? How did Azog make a kingdom in Moria?

  • 5
    Please rephrase your question as it sounds like you're saying Moria and Erebor are the same place. Map of middle earth: www.lotrproject.com/map/ – Ocean Knight Nov 27 '16 at 8:56
  • this doesn't sound like i am saying both are same places. both are different but since the moria was made by durin but they had to flee because they awoke the balrog. hence my question was if there was balrog so how the azog made kindome there in the presence of balrog?????? ------------as you explained in timeline but there is nowhere written that how orcs and the azog made kingdome there??? – shaikh furqan Nov 28 '16 at 7:14
  • and my 2nd question is who was the balin???????------is he the part of the company of thorin oakanshield ????-----if he was then there is a person name gloin in the company of thorin oakenshield who's sons name was gimli and he was the part of fellowship of the ring but when the enters in moria he says "it is my cousin Balin's house, and it is called mine"-------------so i mean how he would be his cousin if his father gloin was seem like balin's age when they were in the company of thorin oakenshield??? – shaikh furqan Nov 28 '16 at 7:25
  • @shaikhfurqan If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. I edited my answer to cover why Azog and the orcs could live there even together with the Balrog - does this answer your original question well enough? – Rand al'Thor Nov 28 '16 at 9:53
  • yes but answer the previous on – shaikh furqan Nov 29 '16 at 7:24

They fled Moria because of the Balrog. Smaug sacked Erebor, not Moria.

Erebor, or the Lonely Mountain, was the dwarven kingdom which was attacked by Smaug and later reclaimed by the dwarves. The Hobbit covers these events.

Moria, beneath the Misty Mountains, was a much larger dwarven kingdom. It was established by Durin I and thrived for many years until, during the Third Age, the dwarves delved too deep and awoke the Balrog, which killed Durin VI and caused the dwarves to flee Moria. This is essentially the answer to your question: the dwarves fled Moria the first time because of the Balrog.

As for how Azog and the orcs could live there in the presence of the Balrog, the obvious answer is because orcs and Balrogs are on the same side. The Balrog isn't a force of utter destruction; it's a creation of Morgoth, and capable of living together with other creations of Morgoth or Sauron such as orcs. Which isn't to say that the orcs and the Balrog were like a happy family together for those hundreds of years after the dwarves fled: only that destroying all the orcs wasn't on the Balrog's to-do list, so it went back to sleep, and the orcs had enough sense not to go bothering it.

See the following map (click for full resolution):


Here's an approximate timeline of the history of both Moria and Erebor:

  • First Age: Kingdom of Moria founded by Durin the Deathless.
  • T.A. 1980: Balrog awakes in Moria, slays Durin VI.
  • T.A. 1981: after further Balrog destruction, the dwarves flee Moria.
  • T.A. 1999: Kingdom of Erebor founded by Thrain I, one of the Moria evacuees.
  • T.A. 2770: Smaug sacks Erebor and claims it for himself.
  • T.A. 2941: Thorin Oakenshield reclaims Erebor. Battle of the Five Armies. The events of The Hobbit.
  • T.A. 2989: Balin leads his ill-fated expedition to Moria, hoping to re-establish a dwarven foothold there.
  • T.A. 2994: Balin's party slain by orcs.
  • T.A. 3019: the Fellowship of the Ring enters Moria. Gandalf slays the Balrog.
  • Nice answer! You've mixed up Erebor and Moria in the T.A. 2941 point, though. It's also probably worth mentioning that Thorin's grandfather went back to Moria in T.A. 2790 and was killed, which started a war that ended in 2799 (the battle flashback in the first Hobbit movie). – Nolimon Oct 29 '18 at 19:06

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