The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Probably 'naa'in'


About this entry:

  • Updated 11 August 2020
  • This entry is complete


The son of Grór of the royal line of Durin’s Folk

A Dwarf descended from the royal line of Durin's Folk, Náin was the grandson of King Dáin I. After King Dáin was slain by a Dragon, the Longbeards abandoned their homes in the Grey Mountains. Many followed Náin's uncle Thrór to Erebor, but Náin's father Grór led his people farther east, and became the lord of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills.

As Grór's son, Náin was the natural heir to the lordship of the Iron Hills, but he would never rule in his father's place. In III 2790, when Náin was 125 years old, the old King Thrór was murdered in Moria by the Orc Azog, and Thrór's son Thráin II called on the Dwarves to war to avenge his father. The War of the Dwarves and the Orcs that followed lasted for nine years, until the climactic Battle of Azanulbizar before the East-gate of Moria.

Though Grór still ruled the Iron Hills, he was an ancient Dwarf at that time, and so Náin led his people into the battle, accompanied by his own son Dáin Ironfoot. The Dwarves of the Iron Hills arrived late to the fighting but charged into the battle, cutting a swathe through the Orcs in the valley beneath the Mountains of Moria. Náin cut his way to the Great Gates and called on Azog to face him. Azog answered the challenge, emerging from Moria with his bodyguard, and the two fought. Exhausted from the day's combat, Náin fell to Azog, his neck broken by a powerful blow.

So ended Náin son of Grór, never to return to the Iron Hills, but he was soon avenged. Azog attempted to escape back into Moria, but Náin's young son Dáin leapt after him, and slew him before the gates. So Dáin gained vengeance for Náin and the Longbeards avenged the death of Thrór.

Though Náin was not a King himself, his son Dáin would eventually become ruler of Durin's Folk. In III 2941, more than a century after Náin's death, King Thorin Oakenshield and all his heirs were slain in the Battle of Five Armies (in which Dáin also fought). Through his descent from his namesake King Dáin, Dáin Ironfoot was the next in the royal line, and became King under the Mountain. So the Kings of Durin's Folk who ruled Erebor into the Fourth Age were direct descendants of Náin son of Grór.



In common with many of the names of Tolkien's Dwarves, Náin appears in the Dwarf-lists in the Old Norse Völuspa saga (in a line in that does not appear in all versions of the poem). The meaning of the name, if indeed it had an intended meaning, remains obscure. Náin is also the French word for 'Dwarf', though this is coincidental - the French word descended from Latin nanus, and has no etymological connection with the Old Norse name.


About this entry:

  • Updated 11 August 2020
  • This entry is complete

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2000, 2008, 2017, 2020. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Your Free Personality Test, the free personality test online
What's your ideal career? Are you in the right job? Explore your options with Your Free Personality Test.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry