Zirak-zigil, also called Silvertine, Celebdil (Sindarin: "Celeb" [Silver], "-dil" [point]) by the Elves, is a mountain in the Misty Mountains of Middle-earth where Gandalf's fight with Durin's Bane ended.
Zirak-zigil was one of the great peaks in the Misty Mountains. It was one of the three Mountains of Moria under which lay the ancient Dwarf realm of Khazad-dûm. The other two great peaks were the mountains Caradhras and the Fanuidhol. Beneath them stood the great Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm, and on its peak stood Durin's Tower.
The Dwarves called the mountain-summit Zirak-zigil. In ancient times, they built the Endless Stair - a spiral staircase of many thousand steps - from the roots of the mountain up to its peak. On an eyrie atop the mountain, they built Durin's Tower. By the end of the Third Age, the stair and the tower were remembered only in legend.
Then, on January 23, 3019, Gandalf and the Balrog climbed the Endless Stair to the summit of the Silvertine. There they fought the Battle of the Peak, which lasted three days. During the battle, Durin's Tower was destroyed and the stairs were blocked. Gandalf the Grey died and was soon returned to life as Gandalf the White; the Balrog of Moria was finally destroyed. Gandalf was rescued from the Silvertine by Gwaihir the Windlord on [[February 17, 3019.
A tine is a point or prong. Celebdil is derived from celeb meaning "silver" and til (modified to -dil) meaning "horn," or "point." The translation of Zirakzigil is most likely "silver spike," but it is not clear which element means "silver" and which means "spike." A note written by J.R.R. Tolkien proposed that zirak meant "silver" and zigil meant "spike," but a later note said the reverse - that zigil meant "silver" and zirak meant "spike."
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Ring Goes South" & "Lothlorien"
- The Two Towers: "The White Rider"
- The Return of the King: "The Field of Cormallen," p. 228; "Many Partings," p. 263
- The Silmarillion: "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," CELEB entry
- The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Etymologies," TIL entry
- The History of Middle-earth, vol. VII, The Treason of Isengard: "The Ring Goes South," p. 174-75 note 22 (translation of Zirakzigil)
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pg. 81