tolkiens legendarium What real-world substance most closely corresponds to mithril? Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange

While there are a couple of other places where mithril is mentioned, the only location in Tolkien’s world with a solid, tangible source of mithril with a clear backstory is in the Misty Mountains. Specifically, mithril is discovered in the Mines of Khazad-dûm in a single vein that heads north from the subterranean kingdom. This is the definitive source of mithril for nearly every true-silver project, and it’s found (and exploited) by the Dwarves to build an incredible fortune during the Second Age of Middle-earth history. It’s also important to note that mithril, in the books, doesn’t do anything considered magical by today’s standards on its own; it is merely stronger and lighter than steel.

  • Without a way to stop it, the Elves must either leave Middle-earth or fade away.
  • It seems unlikely that Durin will let it rest forever, given the lore explained in The Lord of the Rings, and, perhaps more importantly, mithril’s growing part in Rings of Power.
  • The song recounts a battle between a brave elven warrior and a terrible balrog over the tree.
  • This is curious, given how it’s easily recognized by the Elvish name in the events of LOTR.
  • Due to its rarity, the single mithril vein in Moria made the Dwarves exceedingly wealthy.

Mithril also shows up in many other fantasy stories and role-playing games. The name, or close alternate spellings, has become ubiquitous with a beautiful and rare metal often used in armor. While it is never explicitly stated where the mithril shirt originally came from, in the extended edition, Gandalf tells the Fellowship that Bilbo had a set of mithril rings given to him by Thorin. Gimli states that it was a kingly gift and Gandalf agrees but admits he never told Bilbo exactly how valuable the rings were. Mithril can be mined from Mithril Veins; the inside is harder to break and gives more Mithril, while the outside breaks quicker and gives 1 Mithril. Cyan Hardened Clay and  Gray Wool are the easiest to mine, followed by  Dark Prismarine,  Prismarine Bricks,  Prismarine and finally  Light Blue Wool, which is the hardest.

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They believe it was created when a battle of good versus evil caused lightning to strike a tree containing the light of a Silmaril. Impenetrable armour occurs in Norse mythology in Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks, a story that Tolkien certainly knew and could have used for his mithril mail-coat. Mithril is the only invented mineral in his Middle-earth writings. Chemists note mithril’s remarkable properties, strong and light like titanium, perhaps when made into alloys with elements such as titanium or nickel, and in its pure form malleable like gold.

Each of these require 4 Breaking Power to be broken, and give 45 Mining XP when that happens. Each version has a specific amount of Block Strength, with higher numbers correlating to more Mithril. Mithril is a resource in the  Mining Collection that can be obtained in the ⏣ Dwarven Mines and ⏣ Crystal Hollows by mining Mithril veins, using a pickaxe with at least 4 Ⓟ Breaking Power. You can email the site owner to let them know you were blocked. Please include what you were doing when this page came up and the Cloudflare Ray ID found at the bottom of this page.

  • Throughout Tolkien’s books, Mithril appears a few more times of note.
  • The specific reason this is an issue here, though, is because the Elvish kingdom of Eregion is built specifically because of mithril.
  • Always extremely valuable, by the end of the Third Age it was beyond price, and only a few artefacts made of it remained in use.
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Mithril eventually become priceless once it is no longer mined. But for now, all the dwarves know is that it is lighter than silk yet harder than iron. Since his introduction in The Rings of Power, Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) has been hiding something, and Episode 4, “The Great Wave,” finally revealed the truth. Prince Durin has been secretly mining mithril from the depths of Khazad-dûm.

All that glitters is not gold. For better or for worse.

The scholar Paul Kocher interprets the Dwarves’ intense secrecy around mithril as an expression of sexual frustration, given that they have very few dwarf-women. This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. Mithril wants to make it possible for other platforms to integrate with the Mithril Vault since this will improve the adoption of the ecosystem.

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The idea of mining a mineral isn’t groundbreaking, but mithril has a significant history in Middle-earth. A history that is just beginning in The Rings of Power series and will have a heavy impact on Middle-earth in the present and future. He eventually passes the mithril shirt along to his nephew Frodo for his journey to destroy the One Ring. It saves Frodo’s life as the fellowship passes through the very mines of Moria from whence the mithril came many generations before. Like everyone wearing hidden armor, Frodo pulls open his shirt to reveal the mithril only after everyone thinks he’s dead, amazing them all. The mail comes in handy once again when Frodo is captured by orcs in Return of the King.

This, Gil-galad explains, means the Elves’ own light is fading. The only way to save themselves is with Mithril, according to Celebrimbor, but since Elrond made a promise to Durin, he refuses to tell the Elves if the Dwarves have discovered the metal. Eventually, though, a highly suspicious story from Celebrimbor convinces Elrond to talk to Durin about the Mithril, and the duo set off to try and convince Durin’s father to offer the metal to the Elves.

The Rings of Power: What Is Mithril, and Why Is It Important?

The Dwarves had a secret word for their name of the ore, claimed by Durin to be “Grey Glitter” but the term “Mithril” comes from the equivalent words in Sindarin Elvish. This is curious, given how it’s easily recognized by the Elvish name in the events of LOTR. For fans of The Lord of the Rings, you might recognize it as the ore used for the shirt which saved Frodo’s life from a rampaging cave troll in Moria and was eventually seized by the orcs of Mordor as an offering to Sauron.

Elrond struggles with the choice and eventually shares the truth with Durin, who agrees to talk to his father. Throughout Tolkien’s books, Mithril appears a few more times of note. It’s used in various forms of jewelry, armor, and even gates. There’s also a legend it was used to make the ship of Eärendil that sailed into the sky. In episode 5, High King Gil-galad shows Elrond that the tree in Lindon is slowly being poisoned.


It’s also used in Ithildin, the glowing letters used to write on the secret doors of Moria. The guards of Minas Tirith have mithril incorporated into their helmets, which are referred to as “heirlooms from the glory of old days” in “The Return of the King” book. In the printed version of the story, it also says that one of Aragorn’s ancient family heirlooms called the Star of Elendil is set in a mithril fillet.

It was only found in Khazad-dûm (Moria), where it was mined by the Dwarves, and (perhaps) in Númenor. Bilbo describes it as “light as a feather and as hard as dragon scales.” In The Hobbit, Thorin gifts him a shirt of mithril rings that no blade can pierce. A new addition to the lore of Middle-earth created by The Rings of Power, resonating is the practice of singing to the stone. Disa first detects mithril and describes how to differentiate earth, ore, air, and water within the mountain. “Sing to it properly, each of those parts will reflect your song back to you,” she says.

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