"...he lived for 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 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." — LotR III p. 439
No House of the Khazad stands above that of Durin's Folk. They are the oldest and noblest lineage, for they trace their line back to the first of the Seven Fathers. Their ancient spirit, coupled with the Kindred's role in history, makes Durin's House the most experienced tribe, the first among jealous equals.
Physically, Durin's Folk are no different than other Dwarves. Slanted tales citing their superior stature and strength are confined to the biased libraries of Erebor and Khazad-Dûm. They carry themselves with assurance and bearing, but this is not function of greater size. They are also known as Dwarves of the Mountain-race or Mountain-Dwarves.
As all dwarves, the Mountain-Dwarves are excellent stonemasons, miners, and smiths, but Dúrin's Folk also are known as the greatest Loremasters among dwarves and are famous as Musicians. Almost every Longbeard has a beautiful voice and mastered at least one instrument. Of all Dwarves the Longbeards were known to have close friendships with the Noldorin-Elves, especially the Gwaith-i-mirdain, though they only grudgingly accept the Wood-Elves and Sindar, feeling that these peoples have forsaken them in the past. The Longbeards also enjoy the friendship of the Northrons, especially the Men of Esgaroth and Dale.
As all Dwarves Dúrin's Folk are stout and stocky. They stand 4–5 ft and have an average weight of 133-200 pounds. They are somewhat more bright skinned than most of the Eastern Dwarves and have various haircolours ranging from fair blonde, reddish-brown to blueish-black. Since every time Dúrin awakens he marries a daughter of one of the other houses, the Longbeards are related by marriage to all other six tribes.
Hair and Dress
The Naugrim of the First House differ from their brethren in less obvious ways. Those of Durin's Tribe allow their beards to grow freely throughout their lives, and wear them forked and braided. Then they tuck the whiskers into their belts, allowing slack for sudden movement. Many plait their flowing hair as well and, in each case, they utilize elaborate knot patterns particular to their family although this may sometimes not be true for the younger Longbeards or those who feel they do not have earned the honor yet.
Durin's Folk wears solid Dwarven Boots, broad belts and also employs caps and cloaks or a hood,often in lieu of a cowled cloak. Of all Dwarves Longbeards wear the most exquisite attire and clothes and weapons are often rich in ornaments and decoration. Every Longbeard chooses a personal colour he wears til the end of his life. Flaps or a mask are often sewn into the hood, so that the face can be covered or protected. ("Dwarf-women make widespread use of these coverings.) Durin's Dwarves wear their hoods over traditional Dwarven garb: a leather jerkin or wool tunic, a wool or linen shirt, tight-fitting trousers, and one piece shoes or inner-boots. When active or about in the world, the female Naugrim wear heavy leather boots and a cloak or shawl fastened with a decorated brooch. Given their fondness for crafts, all of their clothing is well made and generously accented with refined borders and crenelated trimwork. Dwarf-lords wear even finer garments, and often add gold or silver tassels to the peaks of their hoods.
Reverence for Dúrin the Deathless
Dúrin's Folk are occasionally lost in thought and sit back to reflect the trials and wounds of their Kindred. Tales of Moria are often the focal point of these ponderings, but most dwell on the spirit of the Tribe. No Dwarf-lord is as respected or as feared as Durin I, "The Deathless." The First Father, maker of the Kindred, founder of Khazad-dum, Durin is a venerated symbol whose blood flows through both the veins and the thoughts of his ancient brood.
Durin I lived many years past the span allotted other Dwarves and, after a time, his folk claimed he was immortal; thus his name. The truth, however, rests in another account. This tale speaks of Durin's spirit. A version drawn from the "Dunland Tablet" follows:
- "To You it is told that Durin shall live seven times, and each
- Time He shall rule His Line in his own Name. And with each
- Coming of the King, a great Event will transpire, so that the
- History of the Folk will never again be the same. And each such
- Event shall cause a Trial to happen, and an always greater
- Doom will follow. But the Kindred will prevail, and make Its
- Way above all Darkness. Until the Last Coming, when the
- Lastking shall Rule the House in a Glory beyond the Height of
- all before It, in the shining Mansions of Khazad-Dûm."
So it was written that there would be seven Durins, and that Durin VII would be the "Lastking." It was a story as old as Durin's Folk, and had always colored their outlook. In many ways, it explained the strange sense of destiny that had allowed the Kindred to prevail against incredible adversity. No tribe of the Khazad had faced so many obstacles, nor overwhelmed as many barriers. Unlike many of their brethren, Durin's Line had steadfastly clung to the future of their line—despite the Ring-curse and the Dwarven weakness for wealth and possessions. Farsighted sacrifice had often marked their choice of paths, and seemed to linger in their bones. Of all the Naugrim, then, those of the First House were most special.
Line of Durin
- Danuk-khizdín (Silverpit)
- Gundabad (Gunduzbad)
- Khazad-Dûm (Moria)
- Silverplunge (Makalkukhizdín)
- Thorin´s Halls
- Zeleg-ubraz (Long Peak)
Longbeards of note and renown
- Balin King of Moria
- Dáin Ironfoot
- Dúrin the deathless
- Dwálin son of Fundin
- Glóin son of Gróin
- Grolin the Jester
- Nain II
- Nár Thrór´s friend
- Thórin I
- Thorin Oakenshield
- Thorin Stonehelm
- Thráin the Old
- Thráin II
- (Trans.) "Personal emblem of Durin the Immortal, according to the description of the stone engraving of the doors of the Mines of Moria that J. R. R. Tolkien gives in The Lord of the Rings." by various artists, WikiMedia Commons