The Forges of Erebor

Bolg: “Send word to Dol Guldur Oakenshield has reached the Mountain! Go! You! Come with me.”

Meanwhile, in Lake-town, Legolas kills Orcs on his path toward facing Bolg. When he does face him, the ensuing fight leaves Legolas bleeding. For the first time in his long life, he sees his own blood coming out of his nose. After the initial shock of it, his anger toward Bolg rises to a level higher than it was before. He mounts a horse and goes in pursuit of the great Orc. 

Concern and care

Thorin: “This way. It’s this way. Come on!”

Bilbo: “Thorin!”

Thorin: “Follow Balin!”

Bilbo: “Thorin.” 

Balin: “Come on!”

Smaug catches up with Bilbo, Balin, and Thorin while they find a path to reach the forges. Balin directs Bilbo into a pathway, whereas Thorin moves forward too quickly leaving Balin and Bilbo behind. The dragon follows Thorin.

Bilbo by just saying Thorin’s name expresses concern and urgency at wanting him to follow Balin and himself. He is anxious for Thorin going off by himself, not being able to save himself. After Thorin’s behavior toward him in the treasure hoard, Bilbo still does not fail at caring about him. 

Taunting the dragon

Dwalin: “Thorin! Hold on!”

Nori: “Thorin!”

Thorin: “Go. Go!”

Dwalin: “The plan’s not gonna work. These furnaces are stone cold.” 

Balin: “He’s right. We’ve no fire hot enough to set them ablaze.” 

Thorin: “Have we not? I did not look to see you so easily outwitted. You have grown slow and fat in your dotage slug! Take cover. Go!”

After a rather dangerous stunt and standing on top of Smaug’s mouth, Thorin manages to escape with the help of Dwalin and Nori. They finally arrive in the forges only to find them ice cold. There has not been anyone working in them since the dragon took over so their use appears for naught. However, Thorin comes up with another idea.

Thorin taunts the dragon to breathe fire so as to ignite the forges. With Smaug’s vanity and Thorin’s remarks piercing his ego, Smaug becomes angered and reacts just the way Thorin wanted him to.

The plan

Thorin: “Bombur! Get those bellows working. Go! Bilbo! Up there. On my mark pull that lever. Balin! Can you still mix a flash-flame?”

Balin: “Aye. It’ll only take a jiffy. Come on!”

Dwalin: “We don’t have a jiffy.” 

Balin: “Where’s the sulfur?” 

Dori: “You sure you know what you’re doing?”

Balin: “Come on!”

Thorin: “Now!” 

The forges are lit. Thorin manages the Dwarves in giving them specific duties they can attend to, thereby helping him kill the dragon, or distract him enough until the grand finale is revealed. As Smaug enters the forges he clumsily runs around with a want to face and finally kill Thorin.

The Dwarves come at him from left and right to prevent that from happening and induce as much damage as possible. As Smaug is about to breathe fire, Bilbo pulls a lever opening a hatch that lets the water flow extinguishing the fire that is building in Smaug’s throat. 

Ori and Dori throw flash flames. Glóin and Bifur cut the carriage they have been hiding inside thereby letting the line and the carriages wrap around Smaug’s neck disabling him to pursue them further. 

Bilbo as bait

Thorin: “Lead him to the Gallery of the Kings! Keep going Bilbo! Run!”

Smaug slams one of the carriages around his neck against the podium upon which Bilbo was standing to open the lever. With this motion, Bilbo falls to the ground with Thorin urging him to keep going. Whatever damage Bilbo might have sustained from the fall cannot be counted right now, there is a bigger purpose to his existence at this particular moment. He has to be the bait into the Gallery of the Kings so Smaug can follow him and be met by the company. It is there that the company plans to kill the dragon. 

Thorin himself is lying in a wheelbarrow floating on top of liquid gold that leads to the Gallery of the Kings. 


Smaug: “You think you can deceive me, Barrel-rider? You have come from Lake-town. This is some sordid scheme hatched between these filthy Dwarves and those miserable tub-trading Lakemen. Those sniveling cowards with their long bows and Black Arrows. Perhaps it is time I paid them a visit.” 

Bilbo: “Oh, no. This isn’t their fault! Wait! You cannot go to Lake-town!” 

Smaug: “You care about them do you? Good. Then you can watch them die.” 

The little intricacies of Dwarvish vengeance that Smaug had known would come someday do not compare to the hatred he has for the people of Lake-town. They, and they alone, are responsible for the missing scale under his left wing. They forged these big Black Arrows for the exclusive purpose of killing him. Of course, he would feel anger. However, now that the Dwarves appear to have bonded and found a common purpose with the Men, or at least that is how he perceives it, there boils a higher want of revenge in Smaug.

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Preemptive strike on Lake-town

Smaug might have an idea that the two races have conspired against him in order to smoke him out of the mountain and take the treasure for themselves. Knowing that the Dwarves will never be able to harm him in any real way, the cat and mouse chase they lead through Erebor was more exercise and fun for him than a killing spree. Yes, he would have been glad to have taken all the Dwarves down, but as it has not come to that, they remain a task to be accomplished.

However, the Men of Lake-town are those who Smaug needs to eliminate so as to discourage any attempt on his life. For all he knows, they have an armory full of Black Arrows just waiting for him to crawl out of his hoard. If he strikes before that time, though, there will be no weapon that can threaten him. 

Bilbo runs toward Smaug to stop him in his tracks and plead for him not to attack the people who had nothing to do with the Dwarves’ reclaiming attempt. Smaug appears as if he were only waiting for such a remark to drive his sadistic need even further. 

Face off

Thorin: “Here! You witless worm.” 

Smaug: “You.”

Thorin: “I’m taking back what you stole.” 

Smaug: “You will take nothing from me Dwarf. I laid low your warriors of old. I instilled terror into the hearts of Men. I am King Under the Mountain.” 

Thorin: “This is not your kingdom. These are Dwarf lands. This is Dwarf gold. And we will have our revenge.” 

Thorin distracts Smaug from his mission by drawing attention to himself. He is clear and concise in what he wants to do and what his mission is. Smaug is almost tickled by this display of ego and pride from one so small and inconsequential. He takes to arguing himself as the most dangerous creature of the Realm, one who had killed Thorin’s kin and instilled terror in the race of Men, who weren’t able to stop him from ruining the City of Dale. Since his overtake of the kingdom of Erebor he has been the King Under the Mountain. 

A laughable notion

Smaug: “Revenge?! Revenge?! I will show you revenge!” 

The gold that the forges have melted has been poured into a standing mould and created a golden statue of Thrór. This is something from which Smaug cannot turn his eyes away, and all his anger toward Thorin changes into admiration of the gold before him.

The gold loses its shape quickly and pours over Smaug, engulfing him in this precious metal. Though Thorin hoped this would be the end of the dragon and their ultimate victory over him, Smaug emerges from the liquid, leaving Thorin in disbelief. 

Smaug finds Thorin’s idea of revenge laughable. He leaves the Gallery of the Kings breaking through the front entrance to Erebor. This was just a cherry on top of Smaug’s sadistic cake. Another great motivator for his subsequent mission.

Break out

Bard: “Listen to me! Do you not know what is coming?”

Smaug: “I am fire. I am death.” 

The sound of breaking boulders of Erebor alerts Bard to the reality of the situation and the threat that is heading their way. It appears that only Bard hears this threat. His jailors are much more concerned about their own fun, their drinks and laughter. No one seems to suspect anything dangerous coming toward them. 

Smaug pirouettes in the air shedding the gold from his body leaving it behind as he heads towards Lake-town. He announces himself in the most terrifying manner possible, but this announcement sounds more like a mantra for himself than for anyone else, since no one is there to hear him. It is the perfect way of foretelling what happens in the third film. 


Bilbo: “What have we done?”

Bilbo runs outside, leaning against a boulder, his face expresses fear and sadness at what they have set in motion. He is a part of this terror that will unleash itself unto the people of Lake-town. This horrifies him, but there is nothing he can now do to change it. He would probably never have thought that he would one day aid and abet a group of Dwarves whose quest will bring suffering and pain to the race of Men. 

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Featured image by Briam Cute on Pixabay

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