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Ristin 25/Dec/2006 at 06:32 PM
Thief of Mordor Points: 289 Posts: 553 Joined: 28/Aug/2006
i was recently informed that the fact that Tolkien says that ’Moria’ is written on the gates of Moria  is not a mistake. I was always under the impression that it was just a mistake since the term Moria was not used when the gates were inscribed. anyone help me here?
Wdfara 25/Dec/2006 at 07:50 PM
High Counsellor of the Mark Points: 16076 Posts: 10516 Joined: 12/Aug/2005
I don’t believe it is a mistake. Tolkien as the translator and narrator of these tales explains it this way.

"But Moria is an Elvish name, and given without love; for the Eldar, though they might at need, in their bitter wars with the Dark Power and his servants, contrive fortresses underground, were not dwellers in such places of choice. They were lovers of the green earth and the lights of heaven; and Moria in their tongue means the Black Chasm. But the Dwarves themselves, and this name at least was never kept secret, called it Khazad-dm, the Mansion of the Khzad; for such is their own name for their own race, and has been so, since Aul gave it to them at their making in the deeps of time." RotK, Appendix F

It seems odd that it would be inscribed on the doors as it does not strike one as a flattering description. Never the less the Elves called it so even before it became a place of terror when the Balrog awoke.

Brandywine74 25/Dec/2006 at 10:04 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006
Perhaps this has to do with the fact that the inscription was written by an elf and they would use their own term for the place. The password is elvish too. Though the name isn’t flattering, once it was given it probably stuck and there was no changing it.
Qtpie 25/Dec/2006 at 10:31 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
The name ’Moria’ was inscirbed in the gate. Here’s a quote to support that.

’The words are in the elven-tongue of the West of Middle-earth in the Eldar Days,’ answered Gandalf. ’But they do not say anything of importance to us. They say only: The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend and enter.FoTR: A Journey in the Dark
halfir 25/Dec/2006 at 11:50 PM
Emeritus Points: 46547 Posts: 43664 Joined: 10/Mar/2002

Hammond & Scull (LOTR Companion p. 281) in commenting on the fact that several commentators have expressed the opinion that Moria was hardly what the ruler of Khazad-dum would have chosen to have inscribed on his doors. However, praying in aid the App F quote given in Azultur’s post they comment that Tolkien’s appendix entry on the subject:

’suggests that the name was given because Khazad-dum was underground, not because  of any particular horror or darkness.’