Places in Middle-earth
Type: Valleys, Caves, Tunnels
Region: Rhovanion/Misty Mtns
Location: A valley nestled on the eastern side of the Mountains of Moria, at the Great Gates of Khazad-dûm; contains the Mirrormere and Kibil-nâla, the source of the River Celebrant (Silverlode).
Gimli... was gazing out before him with a strange light in his deep eyes. 'There is the land where our fathers worked of old, and we have wrought the image of those mountains into many works...: Baraz, Zirak, Shathûr.
'[Under] them lies Khazad-dûm, the Dwarrowdelf, that is now called the Black Pit, Moria in the Elvish tongue. Yonder stands Barazinbar, the Redhorn, cruel Caradhras; and beyond him are Silvertine and Cloudyhead: Celebdil the White, and Fanuidhol the Grey, that we call Zirakzigil and Bundushathûr.
'There the Misty Mountains divide, and between their arms lies the deep-shadowed valley which we cannot forget: Azanulbizar, the Dimrill Dale, which the Elves call Nanduhirion.'
'It is for the Dimrill Dale that we are making,' said Gandalf. 'If we climb the pass that is called the Redhorn Gate, under the far side of Caradhras, we shall come down by the Dimrill Stair into the deep vale of the Dwarves. There lies the Mirrormere, and there the River Silverlode rises in its icy springs.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 3, The Ring Goes South
They rose and looked about them. Northward the dale ran up into a glen of shadows between two great arms of the mountains, above which three white peaks were shining: Celebdil, Fanuidhol, Caradhras, the Mountains of Moria. At the head of the glen a torrent flowed like a white lace over an endless ladder of short falls, and a mist of foam hung in the air about the mountains' feet.
'Yonder is the Dimrill Stair,' said Aragorn, pointing to the falls. 'Down the deep-cloven way that climbs beside the torrent we should have come, if fortune had been kinder.'....
To the east the outflung arm of the mountains marched to a sudden end, and far lands could be descried beyond them, wide and vague. To the south the Misty Mountains receded endlessly as far as sight could reach. Less than a mile away, and a little below them, for they still stood high up on the west side of the dale, there lay a mere. It was long and oval, shaped like a great spear-head thrust deep into the northern glen; but its southern end was beyond the shadows under the sunlit sky. Yet its waters were dark: a deep blue like clear evening sky seen from a lamp-lit room. Its face was still and unruffled. About it lay a smooth sward, shelving down on all sides to its bare unbroken rim.
'There lies the Mirrormere, deep Kheled-zâram!' said Gimli sadly....
The Company now went down the road from the Gates. It was rough and broken.... But still it could be seen that once long ago a great paved way had wound upwards from the lowlands of the Dwarf-kingdom. In places there were ruined works of stone beside the path, and mounds of green topped with slender birches, or fir-trees sighing in the wind. An eastward bend led them hard by the sward of Mirrormere, and there not far from the roadside stood a single column broken at the top.
'That is Durin's Stone!' cried Gimli....
Beside the standing stone Gimli halted and looked up. It was cracked and weather-worn, and the faint runes upon its side could not be read. 'This pillar marks the spot where Durin first looked in the Mirrormere,' said the dwarf. 'Let us look ourselves once, ere we go!'
They stooped over the dark water. At first they could see nothing. Then slowly they saw the forms of the encircling mountains mirrored in a profound blue, and the peaks were like plumes of white flame above them; beyond there was a space of sky. There like jewels sunk in the deep shone glinting stars, though sunlight was in the sky above. Of their own stooping forms no shadow could be seen.
'O Kheled-zâram fair and wonderful!' said Gimli. 'There lies the Crown of Durin till he wakes. Farewell!' He bowed, and turned away, and hastened back up the green-sward to the road again....
The road now turned south and went quickly downwards, running out from between the arms of the dale. Some way below the mere they came on a deep well of water, clear as crystal, from which a freshet fell over a stone lip and ran glistening and gurgling down a steep rocky channel.
'Here is the spring from which the Silverlode rises.' said Gimli. 'Do not drink of it! It is icy cold.'
'Soon it becomes a swift river, and it gathers water from many other mountain-streams,' said Aragorn.... They looked as he pointed, and before them they could see the stream leaping down to the trough of the valley, and then running on and away into the lower lands, until it was lost in a golden haze.
'There lie the woods of Lothlórien!' said Legolas.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien
'I fear [the Book of Mazarbul] had ill tidings to record in a fair hand,' said Gandalf. 'The first clear word is sorrow, but the rest of the line is lost, unless it ends in estre. Yes, it must be yestre followed by day being the tenth of novembre Balin lord of Moria fell in Dimrill Dale. He went alone to look in Mirror mere. an orc shot him from behind a stone. we slew the orc, but many more... up from east up the Silverlode.... Poor Balin! He seems to have kept the title that he took for less than five years.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 5, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
Elena Tiriel 15Jul04, 11Jan11