With The Rings of Power season one ending with a lot more drama (or shock?) than we expected, we want to start delving into some of the most intriguing topics and events that occurred during season 1. First up is Mithril. Mithril plays a huge part of season one and although the writers of the show took their creativity license with regards to sticking to canon to the extreme, we loved it.
So continue reading if you want to know more about the precious metal found in Middle-Earth and what else was made from it that we know of.
Gandalf said it best when describing Mithril: “The wealth of Moria was not in gold or jewels, the toys of the Dwarves; nor in iron, their servant… Its worth was ten times that of gold, and now it is beyond price; for little is left above ground, and even the Orcs dare not delve here for it.”‘… ‘”Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of Mithril did not tarnish or grow dim.”
Mithril was extremely rare by the end of the Third Age, as it was found only in Khazad-dûm aka Moria. The Dwarves mined for mithril “too greedily and too deep”, ultimately releasing a Balrog, Durin’s Bane. Once it destroyed the kingdom of the Dwarves at Khazad-dûm, Middle-earth’s only source of new Mithril ore was cut off
New to the Rings of Power show was the link between Mithril and the immortality of the Elves. Hence we know about the 3 rings for the elves that were forged containing Mithril that was powerful enough to “extend” the Elves’ time on Middle-Earth indefinitely.
What else was made from Mithril in Middle-Earth? Well it turns out quite a lot. But here’s a few of the most famous objects we know of:
Gateways and Secret Portals
The Ñoldor of Eregion discovered how to make an alloy out of it called ithildin (“star moon”), which was often used to decorate gateways and portals, and was visible only by starlight or moonlight. The West-gate of Moria bore inlaid ithildin etchings and runes. This we know too well after seeing the door in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Gates of Minas Tirith
After the War of the Ring the Great Gate of Minas Tirith was rebuilt by the Dwarves of Aglarond out of mithril and steel. This would be the gate that got destroyed during the battle of Gondor by Grind, the mighty siege hammer used by the Orcs.
Bilbo’s Mithril Coat
Of all items made of mithril, the most famous is the “small shirt of mail” retrieved from the hoard of the dragon Smaug, and given to Bilbo Baggins by Thorin Oakenshield. “It was close-woven of many rings, as supple almost as linen, cold as ice, and harder than steel…” and studded with white gems of unknown variety.
The 3 Elven Rings
These 3 rings are way too important to describe here. Please head over to a dedicated post we have especially for these 3 rings: Here.
- Bilbo Baggins’ Song of Eärendil says the Powers of Aman built Eärendil’s ship “of mithril and of elven-glass”.
- Searching Orthanc, King Elessar and his aides found the long lost Elendilmir, a white star of Elvish crystal affixed to a fillet of mithril. Once owned by Elendil, the first King of Arnor, it was an emblem of royalty in the North Kingdom.
- The Guards of the Citadel of Minas Tirith wore helmets of mithril, “heirlooms from the glory of old days.”
- As Aragorn’s ships sailed up the Anduin to relieve the besieged Minas Tirith during the War of the Ring, the standard flying on his ship shows a crown made of mithril and gold.
- After Gimli became Lord of the Glittering Caves, he and his Dwarves forged great gates of mithril to replace the gates of Minas Tirith which were broken by the Witch-king of Angmar during the Siege of Gondor.