Mithril

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Mithril was a rare metal that was invented by J.R.R Tolkien[1] for his fantasy world of Arda, or more specifically, Middle Earth. The name "Mithril" is Elvish in origin. It was discovered deep within the mines of the Misty Mountains by the dwarves during the Second Age of the Sun, and it was their source of wealth, the reason for their greed, and the cause of their destruction. For their insatiable desire for the silver inadvertently resulted in the release of a Balrog that had been sealed in the mountains, and they were driven away from their homes for ever. It was not until two hundred years that accursed Balrog was finally defeated when he was cast down from the pinnacle of Silvertine by Gandalf the Grey.

"Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim."
—J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter IV[1]

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tolkien, J.R.R. (1991). Lord of the Rings, The, London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-26110-230-3.
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