When Prince Durin was introduced during the earlier part of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, we learned that King Durin thought that the Elves sent Elrond to them because of a secret that the prince was keeping. In that regard, it was already clear that Prince During was hiding something from his friend, and that became clear in episode 4 when Elrond learned that the Dwarves had been mining deeper and deeper. That was when Durin showed him a new ore that they discovered deep in Khazad-dûm. So, what is the ore that the Dwarves found in their mines?
The new ore that Durin and his Dwarves discovered is called mithril in the tongue of the Elves but gray glitter in the tongue of the Dwarves. As Durin described it, it is lighter than silk, harder than iron, and more precious than gold. It is possible that the Rings of Power will be forged using mithril.
We never really knew how the Dwarves discovered mithril when it was introduced during the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. However, the fact that The Rings of Power showcased its discovery allows us to have a deeper understanding of what this ore could do and what its role in the future could be. That said, let’s look at what we know about mithril.
What Is The Ore In The Dwarven Mines?
Episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power introduced a lot of different new revelations to the series, especially considering that the events of this show take place thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings. In that regard, we did see something quite interesting in the scenes involving Elrond and Durin.
In the earlier episodes, it was already clear that Durin was hiding something from Elrond, as his father, King Durin, suggested the possibility that the Elf went to Khazad-dûm because of the secret that the Dwarven prince was keeping. Then, in episode 4, this was once again a topic that was under the spotlight because Elrond suspected that Durin was indeed hiding something from him.
Elrond, of course, investigated what was going on with Durin by going to Khazad-dûm. Of course, Disa was quick to dismiss Elrond’s suspicions by trying to convince him that there was nothing going on with Durin. But the Elf was wise enough to try to find a way to discover what his friend had been up to, as he was able to discover that the Dwarves were mining deeper and deeper in Khazad-dûm.
When Elrond finds a secret entrance to the hidden mines of the Dwarven kingdom, Prince Durin finds him and thinks that his Elven friend had been sent there due to the discovery that the Dwarves had made. This confused Elrond, who knew nothing about the secret, as he merely told Durin that he was more interested in finding out what was getting in the way of their friendship. That was when Durin made him swear to tell no person about what he had discovered.
Elrond, of course, swore that he would never tell a soul about what Durin was about to tell him. That was when Durin took an ore out from a box to reveal to Elrond a new ore that the Dwarves were able to mine. So, what was this ore found in the Dwarven mines?
As a fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings is one of the foundational works of literature when it comes to some of the other fantasy stories we have seen throughout history. Of course, it was also JRR Tolkien who created some of the most fascinating types of creatures and objects that were soon used as inspirations for other fantasy storylines as well.
One such object is mithril, which has become a foundational metal in many different fantasy storylines in literature. Of course, this was the very same ore that Durin showed to Elrond, as he told his friend that this could be what could change the lives of the Dwarves.
Durin described mithril as lighter than silk, harder than iron, and more precious than gold. He also said that they call it gray glitter while mistakenly calling it mith-raud in the language of the Elves. But that was when Elrond quickly corrected him by saying that it translated to mithril in the Elven tongue.
Of course, this isn’t the first time fans of The Lord of the Rings are introduced to this ore. In the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins gives Frodo Baggins a shirt made out of mithril. Gandalf went on to say that the Dwarves were mining mithril in Moria and even said that Bilbo had a shirt given to him by Thorin. This shirt, as the Wizard described, was more valuable than the entire Shire itself.
The strength of this mithril shirt was shown when the Fellowship was attacked by Goblins in the mines of Moria. Frodo was seemingly pierced by a Troll using a spear, as everyone had thought that he got killed right then and there. Nevertheless, Frodo was unharmed as it was revealed that he was wearing the mithril shirt that Gandalf said was quite valuable. As Aragorn said, that attack from the Troll would have skewered a boar, but Frodo was able to survive it due to the strength of the mithril shirt.
Meanwhile, in The Hobbit, it was shown that Bilbo got this mithril shirt as a present from King Thorin after they were able to liberate Erebor from Smaug. And as Gimli said in The Lord of the Rings, this was a kingly gift due to how valuable mithril is.
Are The Rings Built From Mithril?
While the origin story of mithril was told well enough in The Rings of Power, we still don’t know how this ore is related to the greater narrative of the series. But, then again, we do know that The Rings of Power is literally about the Rings of Power that Sauron corrupted and gave to some of the leaders of Middle-Earth. So, with that in mind, are the rings built from mithril?
It is more than possible that the series will show that the Rings of Power are indeed built from mithril. After all, Celebrimbor, the Elf that forged the rings in Tolkien’s writings, said in the series that he was looking to forge something quite grand. And it is possible that the only metal that would be able to match what he is looking to build is mithril.
There is also the fact that Tolkien Gateway describes Nenya, the Ring of Water that Galadriel carries, as being made of mithril. This suggests that the other Rings of Power could also be made of mithril. As such, the introduction of mithril in The Rings of Power could suggest that Celebrimbor and Elrond will eventually work with the Dwarves to use mithril as the ore for the Rings of Power, especially considering that the Dwarves themselves will also be given their own Rings.