In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, the Lonely Mountain is a mountain in the north of Wilderland, it is the source of the Celduin River, the location of the Kingdom under the Mountain. The town of Dale lies in a vale on its southern slopes; the mountain is called Erebor in Sindarin. This name, a translation of "Lonely Mountain", does not appear in The Hobbit, where the mountain is called by the English name throughout, or the Mountain. In The Lord of the Rings, the name "Erebor" occurs only once in the main narrative text: in chapter 9, book V of The Return of the King; the Lonely Mountain is the goal of the protagonists in The Hobbit, the scene of the climax. The story of The Hobbit is sometimes referred to as the Quest of Erebor. Erebor stood hundreds of miles from the nearest mountain range. Tolkien's rendering of Thrór's map in The Hobbit shows the mountain with six ridges stretching out from a central peak, snowcapped well into spring; the whole mountain was ten miles in diameter.
The mountain was the habitat for a variety of plants and animals, including thrushes, crows and pines. The most well-known were the ravens of Ravenhill, a spur of the mountain; some wildlife survived the Desolation of Smaug, a dragon who invaded the Mountain and dominated its surrounds for nearly 200 years in the Third Age. Erebor became the home of the Folk of Durin, a clan of Dwarves known as the Longbeards, after they were driven from their ancestral home of Khazad-dûm. In the latter days of the Third Age, this Kingdom under the Mountain held one of the largest dwarvish treasure hoards in Middle-earth. Dale, a town of Men built between the two southern spurs of Erebor, formed an economically symbiotic relationship with the dwarves; the Kingdom under the Mountain was founded by Thráin I the Old. His son, Thorin I, left the mountain with much of the Folk of Durin to live in the Ered Mithrin on account of the great riches to be found in that range. After dragons plundered their hoards, the Longbeards, led now by Thrór, a descendant of Thorin, returned to Erebor to take up the title King under the Mountain.
Under Thrór's reign, Erebor became a great stronghold where the dwarves became a numerous and prosperous people. The Dwarves of Erebor were at that time well known for the making of matchless weapons and armour, there was great demand for their work by the surrounding peoples; the Longbeards amassed a large treasure hoard during this time. In 2770 T. A. while the young Thorin II Oakenshield was out hunting, the dragon Smaug flew south from the Grey Mountains, killed all the dwarves he could find, destroyed the town of Dale. Smaug took over the mountain, using the dwarves' hoard as a bed. King Thrór, his son Thráin II, several companions escaped death by a secret door. Although Thrór and Thráin perished, Thorin lived in exile in the Ered Luin, far to the west. In T. A. 2941 he was on a journey. Together they formed a plan to reclaim the mountain. Gandalf insisted that burglary was the best approach and recommended the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, whom he represented to be a professional thief, thus Bilbo and Thorin's company of twelve other Dwarves travelled to the Lonely Mountain to regain the treasure.
They planned to use the secret door, whose key and map Gandalf had managed to obtain from Thráin, whom he had found at the point of death in the pits of Dol Guldur. On Durin's Day, when the setting sun and the last moon of autumn were in the sky together, the day's last sunlight would fall on the door and expose its keyhole so that it could be unlocked. By a fortunate coincidence, this happened soon after Bilbo and the dwarves arrived, the hobbit was able to enter the mountain and steal a golden cup. Smaug, enraged by the theft, emerged from the mountain and flew south to destroy Lake-town, which he thought to be the source of the "thieves". During this attack Smaug was slain by Bard the Bowman. However, the Men of Esgaroth, supported by Thranduil and the Elves of Mirkwood, marched in force to the mountain to demand a part of the dragon's hoard as recompense for the destruction. Thorin, mad with greed, refused all claims and sent word to his second cousin Dáin II Ironfoot, chief of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, who brought reinforcements to the aid of Thorin and Company.
However before any battle began, an army of Orcs and Wargs descended on Erebor. Dwarves and Men joined ranks against them, which led to the Battle of Five Armies. During this battle, Thorin's nephews Fíli and Kíli were slain, Thorin himself was mortally injured and died shortly afterwards; the title of King under the Mountain passed to Dáin. With the restoration of the Kingdom under the Mountain the area became prosperous again. Dale was rebuilt under Bard's leadership, Dwarves and Men reforged their friendship; some of the Dwarves, led by Balin, left Erebor to reclaim the ancient Dwarvish Kingdom of Khazad-dûm. They established a colony there but five years Balin was killed by an Orc, soon after Moria was overrun by Orcs and the rest of the Dwarves were killed. Gimli, a dwarf of Erebor and the son of Glóin, one of Thorin's twelve companions, was chosen to represent his people in the Fellowship of the Ring and helped Aragorn II regain the throne of Gondor. In the War of the Ring, an emissary from Sauron, the lord of Mordor, twice came to Erebor and spoke to Dáin Ironfoot, still King under the Mountain.
The messenger asked for as
Bilbo Baggins is the title character and protagonist of J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, as well as a supporting character in The Lord of the Rings. In Tolkien's narrative conceit, in which all the writings of Middle-earth are translations from the fictitious volume of The Red Book of Westmarch, Bilbo is the author of The Hobbit and translator of various "works from the elvish". In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit in comfortable middle age, was hired as a "burglar" –despite his initial objections– by the wizard Gandalf and 13 Dwarves led by their king, Thorin Oakenshield; the Dwarves were on a quest to reclaim its treasures from the dragon Smaug. The adventure took Bilbo and his companions through the wilderness, to the elf haven of Rivendell, across the Misty Mountains, through the black forest of Mirkwood, to Lake-town in the middle of Long Lake, to the Mountain itself. There, after the Mountain was reclaimed, the Battle of Five Armies took place. In that battle, a host of Elves and Dwarves--with the help of Eagles and Beorn the shapeshifter--defeated a host of Goblins and Warg.
At the end of the story, Bilbo returned to his home in the Shire to find that several of his relatives--believing him to be dead--were trying to claim his home and possessions. During his journey, Bilbo encountered other fantastic creatures, including Trolls, giant spiders, Goblins, Warg, a murderous creature named Gollum. Underground, near Gollum's lair under the Misty Mountains, Bilbo accidentally found a magic ring of invisibility that he used to escape from Gollum. By the end of the journey, Bilbo had become wiser and more confident, having saved the day in many precarious situations. Bilbo's journey has been compared to a pilgrimage of grace; the Hobbit can be characterized as a "Christian bildungsroman which equates progress to wisdom gained in the form of a rite of passage". He rescued the Dwarves from giant spiders with the magic ring and a short Elven-sword that he had acquired, he used the magic ring to sneak around in dangerous places, he used his wits to smuggle the 13 Dwarves out of the Wood-elves' prison.
When tensions arose over ownership of the treasures beneath the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo used the Arkenstone, a stolen heirloom jewel, as leverage in an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a compromise between the Dwarves, the Wood-elves, the Men of Lake-town. In so doing, Bilbo strained his relationship with Thorin. In addition to becoming wealthy from his share of the Dwarves' treasure, Bilbo found that he had traded respectability for experience and wisdom. At the end of the book, Gandalf proclaimed; the Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of The Lord of the Rings, begins with Bilbo's "eleventy-first" birthday, 60 years after the beginning of The Hobbit. The main character of the novel is Frodo Baggins, Bilbo's cousin, who celebrates his 33rd birthday and comes of age on the same day. In T. A. 2989, Bilbo, a lifelong bachelor, adopted Frodo, the orphaned son of his first cousin Primula Brandybuck and his second cousin Drogo Baggins, made him his heir. Though Frodo was "his first and second cousin once removed either way", the two regarded each other as uncle and nephew.
All this time Bilbo had kept his magic ring, with no idea of its significance, using it to hide from his obnoxious cousins, the Sackville-Bagginses, when they came to visit. Gandalf's investigations revealed it to be the One Ring forged by the Dark Lord Sauron; the Ring had prolonged Bilbo's life beyond the normal hobbit span, at 111 he still looked 50. While the Ring did not corrupt him as it had its previous owners, it was beginning to affect him. On the night of his and Frodo's birthday, Bilbo invited all of the Shire, he signed his home, Bag End, estate over to Frodo. He gave a farewell address to his neighbours, at the end of which he put on the Ring and vanished from sight; as Bilbo prepared to leave the house, he reacted with panic and suspicion when Gandalf tried to persuade him to leave the Ring with Frodo. Bilbo refused to give up the Ring. Gandalf talked some sense into him. Bilbo admitted he would have liked to be rid of the Ring, he left it behind, becoming the first person to do so voluntarily.
He left the Shire that night, was never seen in Hobbiton again. His earlier adventure, his eccentric habits as a hobbit, his sudden disappearance led to the enduring figure of "Mad Baggins" in hobbit folklore, who disappeared with a flash and a bang and returned with gold and jewels. Freed of the Ring's power over his senses, Bilbo travelled first to Rivendell, on to visit the dwarves of the Lonely Mountain. After he returned to Rivendell he spent much of the next 17 years living a pleasant life of retirement: eating, writing poetry, working on his memoirs and Back Again, known as The Hobbit, he became a scholar of Elven lore, leaving behind the Translations from the Elvish, which forms the basis of what is known to us as The Silmarillion. When Frodo and his friends Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took stopped in Rivendell on their quest to destroy the Ring, Bilbo was still alive but now visibly aged, the years having caught up with him after h
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a 2013 epic high fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Jackson and produced by WingNut Films in collaboration with New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and is the second installment in the three-part film series based on the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien; the film was followed by The Battle of the Five Armies. The film follows the titular character Bilbo Baggins as he accompanies Thorin Oakenshield and his fellow dwarves on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug; the film features the vengeful pursuit of Azog the Defiler and Bolg, while Gandalf the Grey investigates a growing evil in the ruins of Dol Guldur. The ensemble cast includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom. Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro wrote the screenplay; the films were shot in 3D at a projection rate of 48 frames per second, with principal photography taking place around New Zealand and at Pinewood Studios.
Additional filming took place throughout May 2013. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premiered on 2 December 2013 in Los Angeles and was released internationally on 11 December 2013 in both conventional and IMAX theatres; the film received positive reviews and grossed over $958 million at the worldwide box office, surpassing both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2013 and the 45th highest-grossing film of all time. At the 86th Academy Awards, the film received nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing. Thorin and his company are being pursued by Azog and his Orc party following the events of the previous film, they are ushered along by Gandalf to the nearby home of Beorn, a skin-changer who can take the form of the bear. That night, Azog is summoned to Dol Guldur by the Necromancer, who commands him to marshal his forces for war, so Azog delegates the hunt for Thorin to his son Bolg; the following day, Beorn escorts the company to the borders of Mirkwood, where Gandalf discovers Black Speech imprinted on an old ruin.
Heeding a promise he made to Galadriel, he warns the company to remain on the path and leaves to investigate the tombs of the Nazgûl. Upon entering the forest, the dwarves are ensnared by giant spiders. Bilbo sets about freeing them with the help of his acquired invisibility ring, he subsequently drops the ring and first begins to understand its dark influence after he brutally kills a creature to retrieve it. The remaining spiders are fended off by the Wood-elves led by Legolas, they capture the Dwarves and bring Thorin before their king Thranduil. Thorin confronts Thranduil about his neglect of the Dwarves of Erebor following Smaug's attack 60 years earlier, is imprisoned with the other Dwarves. Bilbo, having avoided capture, arranges an escape using empty wine barrels. While being pursued by the Wood-elves, they are ambushed by Bolg and his Orc party, Kíli is wounded with a Morgul shaft, they engage in a running three-way battle down the river, but the Dwarves are able to escape both groups of pursuers.
Thranduil seals off his kingdom when an Orc captive reveals an evil entity has returned and is amassing an army in the south, but Tauriel decides to leave and assist the Dwarves, Legolas goes after her. Meanwhile and Radagast go to investigate the tombs of the Nazgûl, which they find to be empty; the company are smuggled into Esgaroth by a bargeman called Bard, but are discovered raiding the town armory for new weapons. Thorin promises the Master, his councilor Alfrid, the people of Laketown a share of the mountain's treasure, it is revealed that Bard is a descendant of the last ruler of Dale, possesses the last black arrow capable of killing Smaug. Kíli is forced to remain behind, tended to by Fíli, Óin, Bofur, as the remaining company receive a grand farewell. Meanwhile, Gandalf travels south to the ruins of Dol Guldur, while Radagast leaves to warn Galadriel of their discovery at the tombs of the Nazgûl. Gandalf is ambushed by Azog; the Necromancer reveals himself as Sauron. Thorin and his remaining company reach the Lonely Mountain, where Bilbo discovers the hidden entrance.
He is sent in to retrieve the Arkenstone, while doing so, he accidentally awakens Smaug. While trying to find Bilbo, Smaug reveals his knowledge of Sauron's return. Back in Laketown, Bard attempts to bring the black arrow to the town's launcher, as he fears what may happen when the Dwarves enter the mountain. However, he is arrested by the Master and Alfrid in the process and leaves his son to hide the arrow. Bolg and his Orc party infiltrate the town and attack the four Dwarves, but are dispatched by Tauriel and Legolas. Tauriel tends to Kíli, while Legolas leaves in pursuit of Bolg. Meanwhile, Gandalf watches helplessly as Azog and an Orc army march from Dol Guldur towards the Lonely Mountain. Back inside the mountain, during a long chase and the Dwarves rekindle the mountain's forge using Smaug's flames to create and melt a large golden statue of Thrór, hoping to bury Smaug alive in the molten gold, they do so, but Smaug emerges from the gold, storms out of the mountain and flies off to destroy Laketown as Bilbo watches in horror.
Some characters in the film are not in the novel. Legolas appears in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, but not in the nove
The Hobbit (film series)
The Hobbit is a film series consisting of three high fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, with large portions of the trilogy inspired by the appendices to The Return of the King, which expand on the story told in The Hobbit, as well as new material and characters written for the films. Together they act as a prequel to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy; the films are subtitled An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, The Battle of the Five Armies. The screenplay was written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro, chosen to direct before his departure from the project; the films take place in the fictional world of Middle-earth sixty years before the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins, convinced by the wizard Gandalf the Grey to accompany thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. The films expand upon certain elements from the novel and other source material, such as Gandalf's investigation at Dol Guldur, the pursuit of Azog and Bolg, who seek vengeance against Thorin and his kindred.
The films feature an ensemble cast that includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace and Luke Evans, with several actors reprising their roles from The Lord of the Rings, including Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis. The films feature Manu Bennett, Sylvester McCoy, Stephen Fry, Mikael Persbrandt, Barry Humphries, Lawrence Makoare. Returning for production, among others, were illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee, art director Dan Hennah, cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, composer Howard Shore, while props were again crafted by Weta Workshop, with visual effects managed by Weta Digital; the first film in the series premiered at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand on 28 November 2012. One hundred thousand people lined the red carpet on Courtenay Place, the entire event was broadcast live on television in New Zealand and streamed over the Internet; the second film of the series premiered at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California on 2 December 2013.
The third and final film premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on 1 December 2014. The series was one of the highest-grossing film series of all time, earned more money than The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Although critically considered to be inferior to The Lord of the Rings, it was nominated for various awards and won several, though not as many as its predecessor series. Jackson and Walsh expressed interest in filming The Hobbit in 1995 envisaging it as part one of a trilogy. Frustration arose when Jackson's producer, Harvey Weinstein, discovered that Saul Zaentz had production rights to The Hobbit, but that distribution rights still belonged to United Artists; the United Artists studio and its parent corporation Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was for sale in 2005, but Weinstein's attempts to buy the movie rights from the studio were unsuccessful. Weinstein asked Jackson to press on with adapting The Lord of the Rings; the Lord of the Rings was produced by New Line Cinema, not the Weinsteins, their rights to film The Hobbit were set to expire in 2010.
In September 2006, the new ownership and management of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer expressed interest in teaming up with New Line and Jackson to make The Hobbit. In March 2005, Jackson launched a lawsuit against New Line, claiming he had lost revenue from merchandising and computer games releases associated with The Fellowship of the Ring, he did not seek a specific settlement, but requested an audit to see whether New Line had withheld money owed him. Although Jackson wanted it settled before he would make the film, he felt the lawsuit was minor and that New Line would still let him make The Hobbit. New Line co-founder Robert Shaye was annoyed with the lawsuit and said in January 2007 that Jackson would never again direct a film for New Line, accusing him of being greedy. MGM boss Harry Sloan halted development. By August, after a string of flops, Shaye tried to repair his relationship with the director, he said, "I respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in The Hobbit."
The following month, New Line was fined $125,000 for failing to provide requested accounting documents. On 16 December 2007, New Line and MGM announced that Jackson would be executive producer of The Hobbit and its sequel; the two studios would co-finance the film and the latter studio would distribute the film outside North America—New Line's first such deal with another major studio. Each film's budget was estimated at US$150 million, which compares to the US$94 million budget for each of the films in Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. After completion of the merger of New Line Cinema with Warner Bros. in February 2008, the two parts were announced as scheduled for release in December 2011 and 2012. Producer Mark Ordesky, the executive producer of The Lord of the Rings, planned to return to supervise the prequels. Jackson explained he chose not to direct because it would have been unsatisfying to compete with his previous films. In February 2008, the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins Publishers filed a suit against New Line for breach of contract and fraud and demanded $220 million
J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium features dragons based on those of European legend. Besides dragon, Tolkien variously used worm. Dragons are present in The Book of Lost Tales, the earliest Middle-earth-related narratives written by Tolkien, starting in 1917; the Book of Lost Tales was posthumously published in two volumes as part of The History of Middle-earth series, edited and includes commentary by his son Christopher. In the earliest drafts of "The Fall of Gondolin", the Lost Tale, the basis for The Silmarillion, Morgoth sends mechanical war-machines in the form of dragons against the city; these machines do not appear in the published Silmarillion edited by Christopher Tolkien, in which real dragons attack the city. As in the conception of the dragons in the Legendarium, the winged dragons had not yet been devised by Morgoth at the time of the Fall of Gondolin; the first winged dragons were coeval with Ancalagon the Black. In the late Third Age, the dragons bred in the Northern Waste and Withered Heath north of the Grey Mountains.
The Dragons were inspired by Fafnir from Germanic mythology, The Dragon from Beowulf, the Dragon from the legend of Saint George and the Dragon. In Tolkien's works, dragons are quadrupedal, like Komodo dragons or other lizards, are either flightless or winged and capable of flight. Winged dragons are stated to have first appeared during the War of Wrath, the battle that ended the First Age; some dragons are capable of breathing fire, known as "Fire-drakes", or "Urulóki" in Quenya. It is not clear whether the term "Urulóki" referred only to the first dragons such as Glaurung that could breathe fire but were wingless, or to any dragon that could breathe fire, thus include Smaug. In Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien mentions that Dáin I of Durin's folk and his son Frór were killed by a "Cold-drake", prompting their people to leave the Grey Mountains, it is assumed, though not directly stated, that this term indicates a dragon which cannot breathe fire, rather than one who breathes ice or snow.
Dragon-fire is described as not being hot enough to melt the One Ring. Tolkien does not explicitly explain the term. All of Tolkien's dragons share a love of treasure, subtle intelligence, immense cunning, great physical strength, a hypnotic power called "dragon-spell", they are powerful and dangerous but mature slowly. Because of this, Melkor's first attempts to use them against his enemies fail, as they are not yet powerful enough to be useful in battle. Tolkien named only four dragons in his Middle-earth writings. Another, Chrysophylax Dives, appears in Farmer Giles of Ham, a story separate from the Middle-earth corpus. Chrysophylax is a fire-breathing dragon, described as a "hot" one. Glaurung, first introduced in The Silmarillion, is described as the Father of Dragons in Tolkien's legendarium, the first of the Urulóki, the Fire-drakes of Angband, he is a main antagonist in The Children of Húrin, in which he sets in motion events that bring about the protagonist Túrin's eventual suicide before being slain by him.
Glaurung is shown to use his ability to control and enslave Men using his mind to wipe the memory of Túrin's sister Nienor, though it was restored after Glaurung had perished. He is described as having the ability to breathe fire, but no wings. Ancalagon the Black was a dragon bred by Morgoth during the First Age of Middle-earth, as told in The Silmarillion, he was one of Morgoth's most powerful servants, bred to be the greatest and mightiest of all dragons, the first of the winged "fire-drakes". He arose like a storm of wind and fire from the infernal pits of Angband beneath the Iron Mountains, as a last defense of the realm of Dor Daedeloth. Near the end of the War of Wrath that pitted Morgoth's hosts against the Host of the Valar, Morgoth sent Ancalagon to lead a fleet of winged dragons from the fortress of Angband to destroy the Dark Lord's enemies. So powerful was the assault of the dragon flight that the Host of the Valar was driven back from the gates of Angband onto the ashy plain of Anfauglith.
Eärendil'The Blessed' in his powerfully hallowed Elven airborne ship Vingilot, aided by Thorondor and the great Eagles, battled Ancalagon and his dragons for an entire day. At length Eärendil prevailed, casting Ancalagon upon the triple-peaked towers of Thangorodrim, destroying both Ancalagon and the towers. With his last and mightiest defender slain, Morgoth was soon utterly defeated and made captive, thus ending the War of Wrath. Ancalagon the Black was the greatest dragon of Middle-earth, undoubtedly the largest, is referred to as the "father of the winged-drakes". Like all other Urulóki, Ancalagon breathed fire, said to be hotter than any other known flame. Two extinct genera have been named inspired by Tolkien's dragon. In 1977, an extinct genus of worms from the Cambrian Burgess Shale was named Ancalagon and in 1980, an extinct genus of mammal was named Ankalagon. Scatha was a mighty "long-worm" of the Grey Mountains. Little is known of Scatha except. After slaying Scatha, Fram's ownership of his recovered hoard was disputed by the Dwarves of that region.
Fram rebuked this claim
The History of The Lord of the Rings
The History of The Lord of the Rings is a four-volume work by Christopher Tolkien published between 1988 and 1992 that documents the process of J. R. R. Tolkien's writing of The Lord of the Rings; the History is numbered as volumes six to nine of The History of Middle-earth. Some information concerning the appendices and a soon-abandoned sequel to the novel can be found in volume twelve, The Peoples of Middle-earth; the volumes include: The Return of the Shadow The Treason of Isengard The War of the Ring Sauron Defeated The first volume of The History encompasses three initial stages of composition or, as Christopher Tolkien calls them, "phases", finishes with the Fellowship of the Ring entering the Mines of Moria. The second volume continues to the meeting with Théoden king of Rohan, includes discussions of the original map of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, of the evolution of Cirth; the third volume, The War of the Ring continues to the opening of the Black Gate. The last volume finishes the story and features the rejected Epilogue, in which Sam answers his children's questions.
It includes The Notion Club Papers, a draft of the Drowning of Anadûnê, the only extant account of Tolkien's fictional language Adûnaic. Some paperback editions of the fourth volume, retitled The End of the Third Age, include only the materials for The Lord of the Rings; the original idea was to release The History of The Lord of the Rings in not four. When The Treason of Isengard was first published in paperback Volume 8 was to be called Sauron Defeated and was to be the last volume; the titles of the volumes derive from discarded titles for the separate books of The Lord of the Rings. J. R. R. Tolkien conceived the latter as a single volume comprising six "books" plus extensive appendices, but the original publisher split the work into three, publishing two books per volume with the appendices included in the third; the titles proposed by Tolkien for the six books were: Book I, The First Journey or The Ring Sets Out. The title The Return of the Shadow was a discarded title for Volume I. Three of the titles of the volumes of The History of The Lord of the Rings were used as book titles for the seven-volume edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Treason of Isengard for Book III, The War of the Ring for Book V, The End of the Third Age for Book VI.
There is an inscription in Fëanorian characters on the title pages of every History of Middle-earth volume, written by Christopher Tolkien and describing the contents of the book. The inscription in Volume VI reads: In the Return of the Shadow are traced the first forms of the story of the Lord of the Rings; the inscription in Volume VII reads: In the Treason of Isengard the story of the Fellowship of the Ring is traced from Rivendell through Moria and the Land of Lothlorien to the time of its ending at Salembel beside Anduin the Great river is told of the return of Gandalf Mithrandir, of the meeting of the hobbits with Fangorn and of the war upon the Riders of Rohan by the traitor Saruman. The inscription in Volume VIII reads: In the War of the Ring is traced the story of the history at Helm's Deep and the drowning of Isengard by the Ents is told of the journey of Frodo with Samwise and Gollum to the Morannon, of the meeting with Faramir and the stairs of Cirith Ungol, of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and of the coming of Aragorn in the fleet of Umbar.
The inscription in Volume IX reads: In this book is traced first the story of the destruction of the One Ring and the Downfall of Sauron at the End of the Third Age. Follows an account of the intrusion of the Cataclysm of the West into the deliberations of certain scholars of Oxford and the Fall of Sauron named Zigûr in the Drowning of Anadûne; the History of The Lord of the Rings reveals much of the slow, aggregative nature of Tolkien’s creativity. As Christopher Tolkien noted of the first two volumes, Tolkien had brought the story up to Rivendell, but still “without any clear conception of what lay before him”, he noted how, on the way, his father could get caught up in a “spider’s web of argumentation” - what Tom Shippey described as getting “bogged down in sometimes strikingly unnecessary webs of minor causation”. Thus the character known as Peregrin Took was, in a series of rewriting and of deleted adventures, variously known as Odo, Folco, Peregrin, Hamilcar and Olo – the figures being Boffins and Bolgers, as well as Tooks.
Only with the Breaking of the Fellowship did fluency arrive for Tolkien, his son recording how chapters were “achieved with far greater facility than any previous part of the story”. Thereafter Tolkien’s problem was rather one of selecting between alternative accounts, so as to produce the best effect – two episodes in Sauron Defeated that were deleted being the pardoning of Saruman, an awards ceremony at the book’s close. More in-depth information on the individual books in The History of The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Smaug is a dragon in J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, he is a powerful and fearsome dragon that invaded the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor 150 years prior to the events described in the novel. A group of thirteen dwarves mounted a quest to take the kingdom back, aided by the wizard Gandalf and the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Smaug is described as "a most specially greedy and wicked worm". In Appendix A, section III, of The Return of the King, dragons are stated to reside in the Withered Heath beyond the Grey Mountains. Smaug is described as "the greatest of the dragons of his day", was centuries old at the time he was first recorded. Having heard rumors of the great wealth of the Dwarf-kingdom of Erebor, he "arose and without warning came against King Thrór and descended on the mountain in flames". After driving the Dwarves out of their stronghold, Smaug occupied the interior of the mountain for the next 150 years, guarding a vast hoard of treasure. "The Quest of Erebor", a chapter of Unfinished Tales, recounts how Gandalf realized that Smaug could pose a serious threat if used by Sauron.
He therefore agreed to assist a party of Dwarves, led by Thrór's grandson Thorin Oakenshield, who set out to recapture the mountain and kill the dragon. Assuming that Smaug would not recognize the scent of a hobbit, Gandalf recruits Bilbo Baggins to join the quest, the subject of The Hobbit. Upon reaching Erebor, the Dwarves sent Bilbo into Smaug's lair, he was successful in stealing a beautiful golden cup as Smaug slept fitfully. Knowing the contents of the treasure hoard which he had slept upon for centuries to the ounce, Smaug realized the cup's absence upon his awakening and sought for the thief on the Mountain. Unsuccessful, he returned to his hoard to lie in wait. Having been nearly killed in the dragon's search, the Dwarves send Bilbo down the secret tunnel a second time. Smaug sensed Bilbo's presence even though Bilbo had rendered himself invisible with the One Ring, accused the Hobbit of trying to steal from him. During his discourse with the dragon, Bilbo detected a small bare patch in the jewel-encrusted underbelly of the dragon.
When Bilbo narrowly escapes an attack from the dragon and collapses amidst the Dwarves at the entrance to the secret tunnel, a thrush overhears Bilbo's frantic retelling of his interaction with the dragon and learns of the bare patch on Smaug's underside. This becomes important when Bard the Bowman kills Smaug during the dragon's attack on Laketown by shooting an arrow into this bare patch, mortally wounding him. Tolkien created two pieces of more detailed artwork portraying Smaug; the latter were a detailed ink and watercolour labelled Conversation with Smaug and a rough coloured pencil and ink sketch entitled Death of Smaug. While neither of these appeared in the original printing of The Hobbit due to cost constraints, both have been included in subsequent editions Conversation with Smaug. Death of Smaug was used for the cover of an early UK paperback edition of The Hobbit. From 1925 to 1945, Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, a prominent critic of and expert on Beowulf — on which he gave a lecture at the British Academy in 1936 and which he described as one of his "most valued sources" for The Hobbit.
Many of Smaug's attributes and behaviour in The Hobbit derive directly from the unnamed "old night-scather" in Beowulf: great age. Smaug was intimately familiar with every last item within his hoard, noticed the theft of a inconsequential cup by Bilbo Baggins. Tolkien writes that Smaug's rage was the kind which "is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy lose something they have long had but never before used or wanted." This theft of a cup, Smaug's knowledge of every item in the hoard, the dragon's ensuing rampage, all echo the story of Beowulf. Tolkien may have been inspired by the talking dragon Fafnir of the Völsunga saga. Like many dragons in Nordic and Celtic mythology, Smaug embodies the calamities it causes. Tolkien noted that "the dragon bears as name—a pseudonym—the past tense of the primitive Germanic verb smúgan, to squeeze through a hole: a low philological jest." The name bears a remarkable similarity to the Slavic word for dragon, smok. Smaug was depicted by Tolkien as an intelligent being capable of speech pleased by flattery and fascinated by Bilbo's description of himself in riddles.
This is portrayed in film adaptations such as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He is described as having "quite an overwhelming personality". In the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit, Smaug was voiced by Richard Boone. In general, Smaug's design in the animated version is consistent with Tolkien's description, save for his face: for rather than the traditional reptilian look associated with dragons, Smaug's face in the animated version has distinctly cat-like features including fur, enlarged ears, canine teeth, his hypnotic speech is absent, but his acute eyesight is portrayed by highbeam-like lights projected from his eyes. On June 16, 2011, it was announced that Smaug would be voiced and interpreted with performance capture by Benedict Cumberbatch in Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of The Hobbit, wherein Smaug is presented with a long head, red-golden scales, piercing yellow-red eyes; the dragon speaks with Received Pronunciation with an underlying growl.