Is Thorin Related to Durin? The Dwarven Lineage Explained

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, you may have wondered about the connection between Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the Company of Dwarves who aim to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon, and Durin, the first and most revered of the dwarven kings. In this article, we will explore the history and relationship of these two important characters in Tolkien’s legendarium.

Who is Durin?

Durin was the first dwarf ever created by the Vala Aulë, who fashioned him and six other fathers of the dwarves from stone. However, Durin had to wait until the awakening of the elves, the firstborn children of Ilúvatar, before he could come to life. Durin was called “the Deathless” because he lived for many ages and was reincarnated several times in his descendants.

Durin founded the great city of Khazad-dûm, also known as Moria, under the Misty Mountains. He was the first king of Durin’s Folk, or the Longbeards, the most noble and ancient of the seven clans of dwarves. Durin’s Folk were friendly with elves and men, and they prospered under Durin’s rule. Durin’s line was also blessed with one of the seven Rings of Power given to the dwarves by Celebrimbor, the elven smith who forged them.

Who is Thorin?

Thorin Oakenshield is one of the many descendants of Durin’s line. He is the son of Thráin II, grandson of Thrór, and great-grandson of Durin IV. He was born in Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, where his grandfather Thrór had established a new kingdom after fleeing from Khazad-dûm when it was overrun by a Balrog.

Thorin witnessed the attack of Smaug the dragon on Erebor when he was young, and he escaped with his father and grandfather. He later fought in the Battle of Azanulbizar, where he earned his name Oakenshield by using a branch as a shield after his original one broke. He also became the heir of Durin’s Folk after his grandfather was killed by Azog the orc chieftain.

Thorin led a company of twelve other dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf, on a quest to reclaim Erebor from Smaug. He eventually succeeded in killing the dragon with the help of Bard the Bowman, but he also fell into a greed for gold and treasure that corrupted his heart. He refused to share any of his wealth with the men of Lake-town and the elves of Mirkwood, who had helped him in his quest. This led to a conflict known as the Battle of Five Armies, where Thorin fought against men, elves, orcs, and wargs. He was mortally wounded by Bolg, son of Azog, but he reconciled with Bilbo before he died. He was buried with honor in Erebor, along with his nephews Fíli and Kíli who died defending him.

How are Thorin and Durin related?

Thorin and Durin are related by blood and by title. Thorin is a direct descendant of Durin through many generations, and he is also a reincarnation of Durin himself. According to Tolkien’s writings, some members of Durin’s line were believed to be reborn in later times with similar appearance and character traits as their ancestor. Thorin was one such case, as he resembled Durin in his stature, face, hair color, and beard style.

Thorin is also related to Durin by being a king of Durin’s Folk. After Thrór’s death, Thorin became the rightful heir to Erebor and Khazad-dûm, as well as all other lands that belonged to Durin’s Folk. He was recognized as such by other dwarves, even those from other clans. He also inherited the Ring of Power that belonged to Durin’s line, although he never wore it or used it.


Thorin Oakenshield and Durin are two prominent figures in Tolkien’s mythology who share a common ancestry and destiny. They are both kings of Durin’s Folk who ruled over great realms and faced great challenges. They are both heroes who fought bravely for their people and their rights. They are both part of a long and illustrious lineage that spans from the creation of Middle-earth to its end.

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