Dragon

Conversations with Smaug

Lake-town would already have been in a state of preparedness had it not been for the Master and Alfrid who hindered Bard in his plan. Now, there is no telling whether they will have anyone defending them from the dragon. The Dwarves still wait outside the door of Erebor. Thorin’s madness is beginning to take shape and with it his ability to govern with reasonable decisions. 

Return of Thorin

Smaug: “It’s Oakenshield. That filthy Dwarvish usurper. He sent you in here for the Arkenstone, didn’t he?”

Bilbo: “No. No. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

The conversation between Smaug and Bilbo has taken a more serious and manipulative turn. Though Bilbo still tries to deny any involvement with Dwarves, Smaug is intelligent enough to know better. After all, it was Thorin Oakenshield’s throne he took from him, so it is predictable that he would come back one day to try and reclaim it.

However, Thorin Oakenshield’s efforts seem to be for naught since Smaug is in possession of knowledge that exceeds the fate of a mere company of Dwarves. 

The alliance

Smaug: “Don’t bother denying it. I guessed his foul purpose some time ago. But it matters not. Oakenshield’s quest will fail. The darkness is coming. It will spread to every corner of the land.” 

In Smaug’s last two sentences, it is clear that a bond lies between him and Sauron in Dol Guldur. He knows the malicious plan Sauron has for overtaking Middle-Earth in which he would be a most welcome ally. Even as he utters the sentences there is a wicked smile on his lips that exudes gladness over what is to pass.

Smaug will no longer be a prisoner in his own lair but the whole of Middle-Earth will become his lair soon enough. He will be the one creature army capable of inflicting damage from the air as well as on the ground. He will be unstoppable. 

As he speaks of this darkness, the scene of Dol Guldur passes with the sight of Gandalf swinging in a cage and the army of Orcs leaving its cesspits. Bolg and his pack of Orcs are also on their way to deal with the Dwarves, at that particular moment they are crawling over rooftops in Lake-town nearing Bard’s house where they think the Dwarves are hidden. 

The pain of truth

Smaug: “You have been used, Thief in the Shadows. You were only ever a means to an end. The coward Oakenshield has weighed the value of your life and found it worth nothing.” 

Bilbo: “No. No. You’re lying.” 

Smaug is determined to convey the reality of Bilbo’s situation to Bilbo himself. Though he is a psychopath that looks to inflict pain on others either in verbal or physical form, he speaks the truth, a truth that Bilbo does not want to acknowledge. Bilbo sees Thorin as his friend and comrade, whereas Smaug shines a perspective on their relationship that better reflects the current reality. 

Being inflicted with the dragon sickness himself, Smaug understands it better than anyone, better than Thorin himself. He knows that the behavior and thinking patterns in Thorin will change as soon as he approaches the treasure. Since Thorin’s behavior towards Bilbo has already begun to change, it is pure honesty what Smaug utters to Bilbo. Thorin sees Bilbo as just a burglar, someone contracted to do a job for them. Nothing more.

This to hear pains Bilbo but although he cannot accept it as the fact it is the truth nonetheless. It is only Bilbo who cannot know that his relationship with Thorin has changed, as the change began when Bilbo had already entered Erebor. 

The missing scale

Smaug: “What did he promise you? A share of the treasure? As if it was his to give. I will not part with a single coin, not one piece of it. My teeth as swords. My claws are spears. My wings are a hurricane.”

Bilbo: “So it is true. The Black Arrow found its mark.” 

Smaug: “What did you say?”

Bilbo: “I was just saying your reputation precedes you, O Smaug the Tyrannical. Truly. You have no equal on this earth.” 

While Smaug revels in his psychopathic, narcissistic rant, Bilbo notices the missing scale under the left-wing just as Bain had told in his story of the day the dragon came. Smaug is snatched out of his rant by Bilbo’s remark. It would seem on deeper examination and Smaug’s not continuing that particular subject that he, as well as Bilbo, is in denial of what the reality of his situation is.

Smaug fancies himself impenetrable, untouchable so for a small inconsequential person to notice a flaw in his armor is a direct assault on his vulnerability and ego. As he turns to face Bilbo with this unbelievable prick in his vanity, Bilbo changes the subject into flattery. Although very calculating and cunning, Smaug does take a moment to enjoy the compliment allowing for the former subject to dissipate. 

Temptation to torture

Smaug: “I am almost tempted to let you take it. If only to see Oakenshield suffer. Watch it destroy him. Watch it corrupt his heart and drive him mad. But I think not. I think our little game ends here. So tell me thief, how do you choose to die?” 

Bilbo spots the Arkenstone on the ground. Smaug catches his stare elaborating on what exactly Thorin would be going through if he were to let Bilbo take it to him. Bilbo, having already heard the very real possibility of Thorin contracting the same sickness, doubts his success in stealing that particular jewel. If his friend is going to be influenced by this jewel in a very negative way, then it is only logical to Bilbo not to present it to him thereby changing his fate. 

As Smaug nears Bilbo to breathe fire upon him, Bilbo puts on the Ring and escapes the treasure hoard. 

Meanwhile, in Lake-town, Bard awakens in jail disoriented and panicky as to what may come. Bofur finds Kingsfoil in the mouth of Peter Jackson’s pet pig Picklet. She is no ordinary pig, but a breed of pig indigenous to New Zealand called a cuni cuni. The casting directors noticed her when she came to audition for this particular role. Peter Jackson introduced Picklet to his wife Fran Welsh and together they decided to adopt her after the last film had been shot. 

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Attack of the Orcs

Sigrid: “Da? Is that you, da?”

As Sigrid calls for her father when she hears footsteps approaching the house, an Orc falls before her. She screams aloud slamming the door as she enters her house, hoping to leave the Orc outside of her house. Unfortunately, the Orc enters the house as do the half of dozen other Orcs through the roof and windows.

Bain, Sigrid and Tilda defend themselves as best they can, but they do not succeed in fighting them off. If anything they run the risk of an even more vicious attack. 

United in fight

Sigrid: “Stay down!”

Fili: “Get down!”

As fate would have it, Tauriel and Legolas reach the house just in time to shield the children from the attacking Orcs. They beat them all together in a matter of seconds. Where there was screaming and rumbling now is silence. Kili and Fili help the Elves in finishing the Orcs. Kili’s efforts are noticed by Tauriel who hears him scream in pain and agony over the poison that is running through his body. 

Regrouping

Fimbul: “Oakenshield has gone!”

Bolg: “Fall back! Regroup at the bridge!”

The rest of the Orc pack are summoned by Bolg to regroup and chase after the Dwarf who is their primary target, Thorin Oakenshield. Not having found him in Bard’s house, Bolg deduces that he had probably reached the mountain already. So they need to hurry before the dragon takes over destruction and death.

It would not have been the same for Bolg or Azog for that matter if the dragon got to him first. Though they are on the same side, still there is pride and ego in accomplishing the mission of killing the heir to the throne of Durin, that Bolg is not likely to give up. 

Following the action

Bain: “You killed them all.”

Legolas: “There are others. Tauriel. Come.”

Óin: “We’re losing him.” 

Legolas: “Tauriel.”

Bain is astonished by the efficiency of Elf combat. Legolas is committed to following the Orcs as that was the reasoning Tauriel gave him when leaving their realm. She had made an impassioned speech about their place in the world and their responsibility to fight the evil that has begun to take hold. Now, it seems, the responsibility will be Legolas’ alone, as she looks concerned with Kili’s suffering. She is torn between the two the duty she feels as a warrior and her blooming attachment to the Dwarf. 

Remaining with the wounded

Tauriel: “Athelas. Athelas.”

Bofur: “What are you doing?”

Tauriel: “I’m going to save him.” 

Though Legolas calls to Tauriel to follow him and she begins to follow in his footsteps, Bofur suddenly appears before her with Kingsfoil in his hands. As Tauriel sees it, her indecisiveness is no more. Seeing this plant, her determination turns immediately to healing Kili. This lights new hope inside her to be able to help the person she has begun to care deeply about. 

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Featured image by Sean Thomas on Unsplash

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