How did Balin's company get into Moria?

TThurston

Member
After the fellowship (minus Gandalf) escape Moria they continue five leagues on down to the edge of Lothlorien. Boromir is reluctant to enter Lothlorien and Aragorn tells him that "there is no other way for us - unless you would go back to Moria-gate, or scale the pathless mountains, or swim the Great River all alone." Yet when Gandalf read the record of Balin's folk, he says, "I guess that it began with their coming to Dimrill Dale nigh on thirty years ago." From the record it seems like the Dwarves must have entered Moria through the Dimrill Dale gate. I can't imagine that they passed through Lothlorien to get there, or that they went all the way around the mountains so they could come via the Redhorn pass. But Aragorn says the fellowship must pass through Lorhlorien to get out. So, how did Balin's company get into Moria?

For that matter, was the ancient Dwarf presence in the DImrill Dale cotemporaneous with the Elves in Lothlorien? I mean when the Dwarves built the structures whose ruins the fellowship passes as they travel down to the edge of Lothlorien. If so, were they friendly? LOTRO has level-130 content that happens when those ancient Dwarves are still in Dimrill Dale. I can't remember, exactly, but it's some sort of historical review or something. I don't recall any in-game mention of Lothlorien related to the ancient Dwarves in Dimrill Dale. Please help me understand.
 

Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
I think the key to understanding is in the last option Aragorn presents: ‘or swim the Great River all alone.’
It is possible to bypass Lothlorien - Gollum does - but in order to receive boats and other assistance they need to go into Lothlorien.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
According to the map, there is a gap of about 13 miles between the mountains and the woods of Lothlorien when coming into the valley of the Silverlode, and the gates of Moria from the north or east. To the south, crossing the Nimrodel, the gap between the mountains and the woods is about 30 miles. So there are two routes the Dwarves could have taken to reach the Gates of Moria.

From the Gates to the junction of the Silverlode and Nimrodel is probably about 16-20 miles. Aragorn says, "We are still little more than five leagues (15 miles) from the gates", at one of their rest stops. They then go on, "little more than a mile", before reaching where the Nimrodel joins the Silverlode. The junction of the Silverlode and Nimrodel seems to mark one of the boundaries of Lorien. It is soon after crossing the Nimrodel that they meet Haldir, Rumil and Orophin, where they have been 'keeping watch on the rivers'.

Aragorn is incorrect in implying that there is no good route to Gondor that would avoid Lothlorien. Just keep going south after crossing the Nimrodel, cut east of Fanghorn, and thence south across Rohan.
 
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Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
But Aragorn isn’t just talking about the terrain, he’s also talking about the aid available in Lothlorien.

He doesn’t imply that you can’t get to the Anduin without going through Lothlorien, just that your only option after bypassing it is to swim.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
But Aragorn isn’t just talking about the terrain, he’s also talking about the aid available in Lothlorien.

He doesn’t imply that you can’t get to the Anduin without going through Lothlorien, just that your only option after bypassing it is to swim.
I agree with you Anthony. However, Aragorn's comment is rather cryptic. You have to interpret it as; "there is no other way for US", to avoid Aragorn being mendacious, or at least not revealing the whole truth. As there are indeed ways to proceed without entering Lorien other than returning to the Moria gate, scaling pathless mountains, or swimming the Great River.

You can get to Gondor, avoiding Lorien, without having to swim. (At least without having to swim the Great River. You would need to cross the Nimrodel, Limelight, and Entwash Rivers by one means or another.)

It is not clear in the text that Aragorn's comment should be interpreted with an emphasis on the US. So, it is certainly open to question.
 
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