Candle

The Final Battle

The Dwarves have entered the fray with all their might and skill. They move and fight in a way typical for their race, as a unit, a team. The dexterity they have shown in Bag End while cleaning up after themselves, can also be seen in their fighting style. 

First words of Bifur and Bombur

Bofur: “Push! By Durin, you’ve lost your ax.” 

Bombur: “No, he’s not. There you go, cousin.” 

Bifur: “You know where you can stick that.” 

The ax in Bifur’s head has been embedded by an Orc in a battle that is not specifically mentioned. However, we can hypothesize that it may have happened in the battle of Azanulbizar. This injury has left him with a life in which he can only communicate in Khuzdul, the language of Dwarves. 

The personal journey, apart from the official one he has been on with Thorin and the rest of the Dwarves, is one in which he is trying to find the Orc who gave him the injury in the first place and give the ax back to him, headbutting it into his head. It would seem that he has come to the end of his journey, having found the Orc, presumably, who has injured him.

Bifur headbutts the Orc, but the ax remains embedded in his head as well as the head of the Orc. Since they cannot separate, Bofur and Bombur come to help him. In a gag-filled with comedic value, the Dwarves manage to separate their comrade from the Orc.

Bofur upon seeing his cousin without his ax remains in shock and surprise. Bombur, though, in his attempt to help his cousin, to bring him back to the Dwarf he was, brings the ax back to him. Upon seeing it, Bifur rejects it with might and anger. It is the first scene in which both characters speak for the first time in the whole trilogy. A momentous event for both characters. 

Anticipation

Fili: “Hey. Stay here. Search the lower levels. I’ve got this.” 

Dwalin: “Where is that Orc filth?”

Fili and Kili follow Thorin’s command to search the watchtower and see what they can find, but not under any circumstances engage with the enemy. Fili and Kili split up, Fili takes the higher levels and Kili the lower ones. Meanwhile, Thorin and Dwalin search the plain with their own eyes, however, finding nothing but fog and emptiness. Dwalin is already rearing to confront Azog but is made to wait as he cannot be seen anywhere. 

Bilbo appears

Bilbo: “Thorin.” 

Thorin: “Bilbo. You have to leave here. Now. Azog has another army attacking from the North. This watchtower will be completely surrounded with no way out.” 

Dwalin: “We are so close. That Orc scum is in there. I say we push on.” 

Thorin: “No. That’s what he wants. He wants to draw us in. This is a trap. Find Fili and Kili. Call them back.”

Dwalin: “Thorin, are you sure about this?”

Thorin: “Do it. We’ll live to fight another day.”

Suddenly, without warning, Bilbo pops up out of nowhere, panting and informing Thorin and Dwalin about the army that Bolg is leading from Gundabad. Though Dwalin does not take the matter seriously but sees only the mission in front of him, Thorin urges to abandon their current mission and leave Ravenhill.

If they were to follow Dwalin’s idea they would have fallen into the trap that Azog has already planned for in advance. However, leaving Ravenhill leaves them with the urge to face Azog another day. 

The trap has already been placed and has successfully bore fruit, though Dwalin and Thorin do not know it yet. Thorin wants Fili and Kili recalled from their scouting mission in the watchtower. He cannot know that one of their lives has already been compromised. 

Death of Fili

Bilbo: “Oh.”

Azog: “This one dies first. Then the brother. Then you, Oakenshield. You will die last.” 

Fili: “Go. Run!”

Azog: “Here ends your filthy bloodline.”

Thorin: “Kili!” 

Dwalin: “Thorin. Thorin. No.” 

Before the eyes of Thorin, Dwalin, Bilbo and Kili, Azog pierces the body of Fili, killing him instantly. As he falls from the watchtower, the terror and grief in his brother’s eyes is undeniable. Kili then rushes toward Azog to avenge his brother’s death. He cannot stand idly by when this idle creature has just killed his own flesh and blood.

Thorin hurries toward him to aid him in his efforts to avenge his brother’s death. Dwalin follows suit. As his right-hand man, his lieutenant he needs to be at his leader’s side to provide him with any assistance possible. 

Bilbo remains in shock over the act he has just witnessed. To have a close member of the company be alive one minute and dead the next must be a devastating feeling. He stumbles back the way he came from, directionless, confused. 

Losing consciousness

Bolg: “Slay them all.” 

Tauriel: “No. Kili.” 

Azog: “Go in for the kill. Finish him.” 

Tauriel: “Kili! Kili!”

Kili: “Tauriel!”

Tauriel: “Kili.” 

Bolg’s army out of Gundabad arrives at Ravenhill. Dwalin fights the Orcs off as much as he can, as well as Bilbo, who still feels fear of the creatures. As Bolg himself runs forward over the walls, approaching Bilbo, Bilbo raises his hand to throw a rock at Bolg’s head, as he did with the other Orcs. However, Bolg, with a move of his arm incapacitates Bilbo by hitting him in the head with the hilt of his weapon. Bilbo falls, unconscious.

A Leggy moment

Meanwhile, Tauriel searches the Ravehill ruins for Kili. Legolas, fights his own battle in a more flamboyant way than the others. He uses a bat from the Gundabad army as his transportation to the rest of the Orcs heading for Ravenhill. With the bat holding his feet in place he hangs upside down, slashing the oncoming Orcs with his two white knives, the same ones we have seen him use in the Lord of the Rings. 

Death of Kili

Tauriel moves ever closer to Kili, following the sound of his voice. But before she can reunite with him, she encounters Bolg, who she engages alone, suffering the consequences of a superior fighter. He slams her head against a staircase and smashes her body against the opposite wall with all his might, leaving her bleeding and hurting.

From above, Kili leaps onto Bolg just as he heads over the Tauriel lying on the floor, heaving his weapon above his head ready to strike her down. Kili halts Bolg’s attempt at killing Tauriel, but brings himself into danger. 

Tauriel once again tries to incapacitate Bolg and help Kili in his efforts but fails, again falling onto the floor. Bolg overcomes Kili easily, grabbing his neck and plunging the hilt of his weapon through his heart. 

With a tear running down Kili’s cheek, the last moments of his life he spends looking into her eyes. Before he closes his eyes forever, there seems to be a moment where Kili accepts his fate, and in a way is at peace with himself and with the world having spent his last moments with the Elf Maiden he loves.

Tauriel’s eyes show grief, sadness, and a profound sense of loss. As Bolg moves toward her to kill her, she manages the last ounces of her power and throws herself together with him over the edge. 

Legolas’ heroism

Legolas upon seeing her fall and unmoving on the floor, devises a way for him to come to her though a ravine stands between him and her. He uses a Troll as a battering ram. Legolas plunges his knife into its head to steer it toward the tower which falls and builds the bridge between him and Tauriel. He hurries to her only to be welcomed by Bolg whom he engages in a fight. After a few gravity defying stunts, he manages to kill Bolg. 

Legolas can see above him that Thorin is alone fighting the Gundabad Orcs on his own. He is pinned to the iced lake by an Orc. To help him, Legolas throws the Orcrist, which he has confiscated in Mirkwood when the Dwarves were first captured, into the Orc’s chest, killing him instantly while simultaneously providing Thorin with a weapon.

As Thorin stumbles to his feet, the figure of Azog awaits to engage him in a fight that the whole war has been leading up to. 

Eagles, Beorn and Radagast

While Azog and Thorin fight, from behind the back of Thorin, Eagles appear. They have come to land assistance to the Men, the Elves and the Dwarves that are still fighting in Dale and before the entrance to Erebor. On the backs of two Eagles there are two figures that we have already been introduced to, Radagast the Brown and Beorn.

Beorn takes off on his own, falling and simultaneously transforming into the bear, crashing onto the Orcs, ravaging them ceaselessly. Nothing seems to hurt him, no spear, no sword, nothing. His skin seems impenetrable. He is a one-man army. The Eagles take on the bats as well as the Orcs on the ground. 

Azog vs. Thorin

The fight between Thorin and Azog is one they both lose in the end. However, as Azog pins Thorin onto the frozen lake, there is a moment expressed in Thorin’s face where he is conscious of the fate that awaits him. As he struggles against the blade embedded in Azog’s arm, he realizes that the only way he could rid the world of this foul creature is to give in to the blade, thereby creating an opportunity for himself to fatally wound Azog.

Thorin knows and accepts that this is the only way he can annihilate the Orc. He rolls on top of Azog, plunging his sword until it cracks through the surface of the frozen lake. 

Witnessing victory

Bilbo: “The Eagles are coming.” 

Bilbo awakens from his unconscious state, and the first thing he sees are the Eagles flying above him, throwing shadows on his face as they pass. Thorin stands on the edge of the lake looking at the battlefield. The Orcs are fleeing into the tunnel that the Were-worms have dug out for them in order to surprise the three armies of Men, Dwarves, and Elves. Thorin sees the battle being won and falls onto the lake surface. 

Rectifying a wrong

Thorin: “Bilbo.”

Bilbo: “Don’t move. Don’t move. Lie still. Oh. Mh. Mh.” 

Thorin: “I’m glad you’re here.” 

Bilbo: “Shh, shh.”

Thorin: “I wish to part from you in friendship.” 

Bilbo: “No. You’re not going anywhere, Thorin. You’re going to live.” 

Bilbo rushes over having seen Thorin fall. As he places himself next to Thorin, he looks at the wound that Azog has inflicted upon him. His reaction shows the seriousness of the wound and the possibility of healing it. Thorin knows that his wound is fatal and wishes to say farewell to Bilbo.

However, Bilbo, holding onto hope, tries to reassure Thorin that he will be saved and that everything will be okay. Thorin has a wish to say what he wants to Bilbo before his time runs out. The last time they spoke was in aggression and conflict, betrayal and treason, on the part of Thorin. He now wishes to rectify this. 

Farewell

Thorin: “I would take back my words and my deeds at the Gate. You did what only a true friend would do. Forgive me. I was too blind to see. I am so sorry that I have led you into such peril.” 

Bilbo: “No. I’m glad to have shared in your perils, Thorin. Each and every one of them. It is far more than any Baggins deserves.” 

Thorin: “Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books. And your armchair. Plant your trees. Watch them grow. If more people valued home above gold his world would be a merrier place.” 

Bilbo: “No. No, no, no. No. Thorin. Thorin, don’t you dare. Thorin. Thorin exhales, dies. Thorin. Thorin. Hold on, please. The Eagles. The Eagles are here. Thorin? The Ea….”

Now that the Eagles have come Bilbo may be invoking the memory of the last time that Thorin faced death and the role the Eagles played in the entire event. Though devoid of any healing powers themselves, they were the symbol of rescue, which is the same symbolism Bilbo would have them be at this precise moment. 

The farewell between Thorin and Bilbo is one where though limited time, everything is said and expressed in honesty and true friendship. There are no regrets left for Thorin to die with or unexpressed feelings. He is at peace with himself and his relationship with Bilbo.

Death of Thorin

Thorin has seen past his madness and realized what Bilbo had done on the rampart was for his own benefit rather than an act of treason. It would never have been too late for Thorin to plead for forgiveness, however, his predicament has brought him to this point very quickly. 

Thorin dies in Bilbo’s arms, leaving Bilbo broken beside him. A very moving and sad scene, perfectly executed. 

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Featured image by Andreas Lischka on Pixabay

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