So let us start from the beginning, from a starting point which we all (should) know : The Sacking of Erebor by Smaug. A dragon attack, and a war to eliminate all orcs don't seem to be really related, but just wait a bit and it will all make sense. In T.A 2770, a northern wyrm by the name of Smaug attacks one of the (if not the) mightiest Dwarven Kingdoms in Middle-Earth, Erebor, stronghold of the long-beards. It had been almost 800 years since the awakening of Durin's bane, and the fall of Moria so the dwarves had to either join their cousins in the Iron Hills, or wander Rhovanion and Rhun. In the end, many of the Erebor dwarves, led by their king Thrór, travelled to Dunland and then to the Blue Mountains, Ered Luin where they founded their new kingdom, Thorin's hall's it would later be called. And so they remained in the blue mountains peacefully for more than 20 years until Thrór left along with his friend Nár to wander. He gave his position of King and his ring of power (amongst other things) to his son Thráin II. After some time wandering across northern middle-earth, Thrór and Nár arrived in Azanulbizar. There they found the gate open and, despite Nár's pleas, Thrór walked in to see the once prosperous realm of Dwarrowdelf, as if he were it's heir and ruler. But Thrór was never to be seen again. After many days waiting, Nár heard a great cry followed by the blast of a horn, a great voice echoed a warning to all 'beggars', and left Nár to leave with a message, a small gold pouch and the sight of Thrór's severed head, with a name written upon it that all dwarves hate, the name : Azog. And thus began the war of dwarves and orcs.
Nár fled the scene with hate and sorrow in his heart, and the sight of his dear friend and king's corpse being hacked to bits by orcs would haunt him untill it drove him mad. He found Thráin in Dunland and told him the fell tale. Thráin sat silent, filled with grief, for seven days. Then he stood up and declared "This cannot be borne" and that he would avenge his father, so the longbeards sent out messengers to all dwarves, asking for their aid. They mustered the two clans that lived close to the longbeards and the four clans of the far east, and after three years had an army capable of bringing about his revenge. This is the only reccorded time that the seven armies were assembled. In T.A 2793 when all was ready, the dwarves launched their assault. They attacked and sacked one by one every goblin hold and occupied mine across the Misty Mountains and beyond, from the near-total destruction of Mount Gundabad to the emptiying of the peak of Methedras. The dwarves asked for little help in the war, as it was mostly fought underground, in the mines and tunnels of the Mountains, where Dwarves excel in combat. They had some of the greatest weapons in middle-earth ; equaled only by the great skill of the elves ; and with a fire of anger and vengeance within each dwarf they won all of their battles as they carved their way into every crevasse during their hunt for Azog. Both sides were pitiless, death and cruel deeds by dark and by light. This stage of the war was so grim and bitter that few Dwarven veterans ever recounted what took place.
It was to end where it began, at Azanulbizar, the vale of the gate of Moria. There the dwarves launched their final assault upon the last stronghold of the goblins, for they had finally found Azog. All goblins and trolls that had survived the sacking of the misty mountains gathered at Moria, their last defence. The exact number of Dwarves was never specified but it can be estimated at 10 000 dwarves, most of them coming from the Ironfists, Stonefoots, Blacklocks, Stiffbeards, Firebeards and Broadbeams. The longbeards could barely have mustered more than a thousand dwarves as they had done most of the fighting in the mountains and were under a massive amount of economic pressure and lack of populace. The Orcs could have been up to 20 000 in number, mainly thanks to the survivors of Gundabad and the orcs of Moria. The battle was waged upon a dark winter day, where no sun shined through the clouds. The Dwarves had found themselves outnumbered and upon the lower end of a great hill which lead up to the gates of Moria. It was Thráin who led the vanguard up the hill, where many casuilties were had. It was at this moment that Thorin found himself using an oaken shield in defence. Elsewhere the dwarves were slowly losing ground until Náin arrived with fresh troops from the Iron Hills, screaming 'Azog ! Azog !' , at which point he shattered the orcs defences and drove his army to the doorstep of Moria where he challenged Azog to single combat. When Azog emerged, Náin, exhausted and driven mad by rage charged the great orc only to have his neck broken when Azog attempted to behead him. Azog gloated of his victory until he realised that all his forces were routing. Attempting to flee, Dáin, son of Náin beheaded the orc with the red axe and ended the war. The slaying of Azog was a monumental feat for Dáin as he was but 32 years old, a young age for a dwarf. But though the dwarves were victorious, it was a phyrric victory as many had fallen. Yet this war was far more important than it seemed, it weakened the orcs beyond recovery, and very possibly (combined with the battle of five armies) meant the victory of the war of the ring.
- The Mad Hobbit.
- The Mad Hobbit.