This is the seventh post in my series about Thorin II or Thorin Oakenshield who is probably best known to many in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit".
In 2799, after the battle of Azanulbizar, Thráin and Thorin returned with their people to Dunland. They then wandered west in Eriador (see map) until they made a home in exile in the east of the Ered Luin (Blue Mountains). Here they mined iron and made a living for themselves. Their numbers increased slowly for there were not many women. (Eriador is a large region in Middle-earth - The Shire, home of Bilbo Baggins, is located in part of Eriador as well as Bree. Thorin lived in the Blue Mountains to the west of the Shire. Click map to enlarge and zoom in).
My last post described the Rings of Power and how they were first forged under the influence of Sauron's dark arts. Seven Rings were given to the dwarves (four were believed to have been eaten by dragons; two were already in the possession of Sauron), and Durin III's ring was believed to have been lost in Moria when Thrór was killed by Azog. Before Thrór left for Moria however, he handed the Ring to Thráin II who, like all his ancestors before him, kept it hidden. Many of the future descendants of Durin believed that the Ring, under Sauron's malicious influence, was responsible for the misfortunes of the heirs of Durin. Sauron, it was said was angry that for the most part, the dwarves remained uninfluenced by their power - they were a race that resisted domination. The Rings were capable of prolonging life, enslaving the wearer and reducing the wearer to a shadow. (eg. the Wraiths who were once Kings). The dwarves however were resistant to the forces of the Ring, apart from arousing in them a greed for gold and treasure. As a consequence Sauron had a deep hatred for their race.
It was believed that the Ring now possessed by Thráin II was the cause of his increasing discontent in the Blue Mountains. His desire for gold became an obsession and he made the decision to return to Erebor. He refrained from letting Thorin know of his intentions and set out for Erebor with a few others. He never returned for, after being pursued by orcs and wargs, he was finally captured in Mirkwood by Sauron and was tortured in the pits of Dol Guldur. This was how the last of the dwarven Rings was regained by Sauron. Thráin's companions never knew what had happened to him , they searched fruitlessly and giving up hope, returned to Thorin.
"So Thorin Oakenshield became the Heir of Durin, but an heir without hope."
J.R.R. Tolkien. "Return of the King": Appendix A: III