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These are the characters from The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

This page is for the BOOK ONLY. For the characters as they were portrayed in the Peter Jackson film trilogy, see here.

See also character sheets for The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings (or the latter's film versions), which are set in the same universe (and, indeed, feature some of the same characters).


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The Company

    Bilbo Baggins 

A Hobbit chosen by the wizard Gandalf to accompany 13 Dwarves on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its treasure from the dragon Smaug.

See The Lord of the Rings character sheet for tropes that apply to him in that work.


  • Alliterative Name: Bilbo Baggins.
  • Audience Surrogate: He's totally unfamiliar with all the lore and geography outside of the Shire, requiring its explanation.
  • Awesome McCoolname: A bilbo is a type of cut-and-thrust sword, similar to a rapier, that's often used aboard ships. It's an early clue that there's a badass Took within the little Baggins.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: At the youthful age of 50.
  • Badass Normal: The bravest little hobbit of them all.
  • British Stuffiness: Bilbo is very much modeled on a country squire of Tolkien's era or slightly before: shackled by manners and a code of propriety from expressing himself (even when facing a home invasion by thirteen uninvited guests). Through the story, Bilbo slowly loses those inhibitions via his exposure to the forthright dwarves and learns to speak his mind but tempered with the tact and subtlety of his upbringing. In his conversation with Smaug, he's able to amuse the dragon with his riddling speak and yet land a number of solid blows against Smaug's overpowering ego.
  • Character Development: At first he's more or less useless. Starting when he picks up the Ring, he becomes a lot more brave and competent. By the time he gets the dwarves out of the Elven-king's dungeon, he's the de facto leader.
  • The Chosen Zero: Gandalf is the only one who has faith in him in the beginning; the dwarves and Bilbo himself think he's unfit for the journey.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Bilbo starts out as a rather bumbling homebody who's really not cut out for fighting, sneaking, or hiking in the wilderness, and tends to be more of a burden on the company than anything. He evolves into a more heroic figure over time.
  • Conservation of Competence: The only one with a plan to escape Mirkwood.
  • Cool Sword: Sting, an elven long knife that glows when orcs are near.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: When captured by the goblins, he lets out a yell which is surprisingly loud for his size. This is lampshaded by the narrator.
  • Eastward Endeavor: Bilbo gets dragged into the Dwarves' quest to get Smaug's treasure in the east. He's more or less useless at the beginning, but some incidents later (including getting the One Ring and saving the party from huge spiders) he becomes much more competent. In the end, his experiences turned him into a full Gentleman Adventurer.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: His relationship with the rest of the Company.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: By the end of the book he's quite embraced his adventurer persona. This also has the effect of ruining his good name in Hobbiton.
  • Gentleman Thief: Lampshaded. When he's offended, the dwarves assume that he's the kind who prefers to be called "expert treasure-hunter" or the like.
  • Guile Hero: Unlike his dwarven companions, Bilbo prefers to use his words and brain to get him out of tight situations. His tiny size and dislike of battle also makes this trope necessary to his survival throughout the quest.
  • Hard Head: Knocked unconscious twice without serious consequence.
  • The Hero: They're the central heroes of the quest for Erebor, and thus the book.
  • Hobbits: Considering he was the first one ever created, Bilbo Baggins is the hobbit of all hobbits.
  • Home Sweet Home: Conflicting with his desire for the quest
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Along with I Just Want to Be Badass. Bilbo is torn between the conflicting sides of his personality: his Baggins side just wants to have a normal, comfortable life, and his Tookish side wants to have adventures.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Along with Interspecies Friendship. He's considerably younger than the dwarves and especially Gandalf, but becomes fast friends with them.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The books establish early on that Bilbo is impossibly accurate when throwing stones, to the point that he could knock birds out of the air. (Note that there are plenty of claims that credit slings with this kind of accuracy in the hands of expert practitioners.)
  • I Should Write a Book About This: He's not only the trope picture, but he's also the original author of the book. Too bad he's also an Unreliable Narrator.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Subverted, since it's his mother Belladonna's Took lineage that's significant to his joining the quest when his father Bungo's Baggins lineage would have him stay at home.
  • The Load: Until he saves the dwarves from the spiders. After that point, he's pretty much carrying the team.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Bilbo locates and pockets the Arkenstone, he knows what it is, what it means to Thorin, and that it was almost certainly meant to be excluded from the "pick your own share" clause of his contract. He nicks it anyway, admitting that "Now I truly am a burglar". It's only later that he tries to make good of his action by handing it over to Bard and Thranduil to use as a bargaining chip with Thorin (which in itself is a pretty dodgy action but done for the purest motives).
    • With the fact that Bilbo is the in-universe writer of The Hobbit firmly in mind, the detail that he specifically included the Mirkwood incident and made no effort to hide his lack of involvement (there is a distinct lack of any mention of Bilbo between the appalling series of events between the butterflies and the first wood-elf sighting) can be interpreted as him sharing the story as an expression of penitence.
  • Stealth Expert: He mutters about "all this dwarvish racket" even though they were being completely silent. When Bilbo goes quiet, the narrator informs the reader they'd never notice him even if he crossed by in front of them.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: After a long and exciting adventure, Bilbo returns to the Shire safe and rich... only to discover that his fellow hobbits have not only missed him but have even tried to take over his home and belongings. He also finds out that no one believes the stories of his adventures, and that added to his mysterious disappearance makes him lose his reputation. He still lives comfortably and happily for a long time in the Shire.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bilbo goes from an ordinary hobbit, who, as a responsible adult, shows disdain for adventures, to facing down a dragon.
  • Unfazed Everyman: It takes a long time and even at the end there are many things he finds awkward and frightening, but he does get there.

    Thorin II Oakenshield 

The leader of the Company of Dwarves who have set out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. He is the uncle of Fíli and Kíli.


  • Anti-Hero: While he's a leader on a fairly epic quest, he's also choleric and greedy.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Thorin's most definitely this for the dwarves, who all look up to him both because of his leadership and his prowess in combat.
  • Badass Beard: Compulsory for all dwarves and particularly the king of the Longbeard clan.
  • Badass Baritone: Thorin is said to speak in a low baritone, particularly suited for singing, and quite intimidating.
  • Breaking Speech: Gives Bombur an exceedingly nasty one because he’s annoyed about Bombur crying about being sick and in pain. It’s cut from nearly all adaptions, except for a graphic novel adaptation, which notably leaves out the bit about Thorin telling Bombur that they would have abandoned him if he hadn’t woken up when he did.
  • Byronic Hero: A charismatic leader with a Dark and Troubled Past and a talent for music, who obsessively tries to reclaim his birthright and refuses to give up even a shred of it for any reason, including his own survival, and whose defining traits are Greed and Pride? Yep, he qualifies.
  • Best Served Cold: He spends decades plotting against Smaug the dragon for destroying his people's kingdom.
  • Character Development: It takes longer for it to kick in, but he manages it before the end.
  • Celibate Hero: He never married or had kids.
  • Cool Sword: Orcrist, an elven sword. Although it's confiscated by the Wood-elves and never returned while he is alive; he later uses a dwarven axe from the Lonely Mountain's armories.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Poor Thorin had a pretty rough life. His kingdom, Erebor, was taken over by a dragon who either killed most of its inhabitants in the initial attack or forced them to flee to distant lands. Much of Thorin's life afterwards was spent working in menial, dead-end jobs that brought little respect from the humans around him. His grandfather Thrór was brutally murdered by Azog for daring to set foot inside the gate of Moria, the Longbeards' original stronghold. Then, Thorin had to fight in a war of vengeance against the orcs, climaxing in the Battle of Azanulbizar, which cost his people a huge percentage of their fighting strength (essentially every dwarven male of fighting age fought in the battle), including his brother. Not long after that, his father Thráin embarked on an attempt to take back the Mountain. After several years of getting nowhere, Thráin disappeared and was presumed dead, and Thorin spent the next hundred years burdened with the fact he'd have to do likewise or be a failure of a king, 'an heir, but an heir without hope'. Very little seems to ever go right or come easy to the poor guy.
  • Conservation of Competence: Along with Bilbo, he is the only one who is not immediately jumped by trolls, the only one who keeps his bow out in a forest.
  • Determinator: Despite his many flaws, Thorin's determined to reclaim his clan's rightful ancestral homeland and treasure.
  • Deuteragonist: Thorin is the second character after Bilbo because the quest is to restore Thorin as King under the Mountain.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father Thráin disappeared attempting to reclaim the Mountain when Thorin was ninety-five, leaving Thorin to care for and guide the exiled Dwarves of Erebor alone.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Lonely Mountain.
  • Enemy Mine: Thorin is forced to team up with the Elves and the people of Lake-Town after learning that the Goblins and Wargs are marching to their location. Ironically, this is what prevents Thorin from becoming a Fallen Hero.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He's the only dwarf not to greet Bilbo with "at your service." He is also the only one not to help clean the dishes.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Has this reaction after Bilbo betrays him by giving the Arkenstone to Bard and the Elves to use as a bargaining chip.
  • The Exile: Of the Noble Fugitive variety.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride, Greed and Revenge, which are big influences on his desire to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and his subsequent Tragic Mistake. Wrath where poor Bombur was concerned.
  • Greed: His quest has an undercurrent of this, since it's not just to take Revenge on the dragon and reclaim his ancestral realm but also to reclaim its hoard of treasure, despite not exactly living in poverty anymore — though he does have a valid claim to it, more than the invading dragon who drove his people out. Comes to the fore when the lingering "dragon-sickness" effect of the treasure affects his judgment, increasing his gold-lust.
  • Grumpy Old Man: For most of the book — until he becomes King and he dresses up in armor, revealing his inner soldier.
  • Heel Realization: On his death bed, Thorin comes to regret his fall from grace, and honors the request to give money to the people of Lake-Town.
  • Hypocrite He takes great offense to Bombur rambling...despite it being firmly established that Thorin is the one whose flaw is that he rambles on for ages if given a chance. Especially since his very...intense rebuke is just as long as Bombur's rambling.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Reduced to blacksmithing for a living and living in what he describes as his 'poor lodgings in exile'
  • Improvised Armour: How he got his name.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although he grumps and complains about Bilbo being The Load, he will go rescue him when it's needed. And after Bilbo's Character Development, he comes to have quite a bit of respect for the hobbit.
  • Kick the Dog: Bombur was sitting on the ground, hurt and in tears because he hadn't had any nourishment for six days, and THAT'S when Thorin snaps and begins to emotionally and verbally abuse him. The worst Bombur is capable of is rambling about his dreams and Thorin still responds to that by going out of his way to BREAK him. What? Words can't hurt? What are you talking about?
  • The Leader: Of the dwarves.
  • Not So Above It All: Thorin comes to rely on Bilbo just as much as the rest of them.
  • Odd Name Out: The only dwarf with a last name, and the only one whose name doesn't rhyme with or otherwise sound similar to that of at least one other dwarf in the company. Though it does rhyme with his great-great-uncle Borin (great-grandfather of Balin, Dwalin, Óin, and Glóin). And technically "Oakenshield" isn't a surname, it's an epithet.
  • Old Soldier: At One hundred and ninety-five one of the oldest out there, and a veteran of the Goblin Wars.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Along with Gimli in The Lord of the Rings, he is the Trope Codifier.
  • The Patriarch: The dwarves are fiercely patriarchal, considering themselves all descended from the original seven 'Fathers' of the dwarves. Thorin, as king of the eldest clan (the Longbeards or Durin's Folk) is the symbolic father of the entire race. In The Hobbit, he displays all the qualities of a more literal patriarch among his company, including the tragically late expression of his respect for the black sheep, Bilbo.
  • Pride: Causes issues quite a few times and is an influence on his Tragic Mistake.
  • Rags to Riches: Reclaims his kingdom and his wealth.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Thorin is notorious for speaking at length and never doing away with the formalities to the point that the narrator lampshades it on a number of occasions.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His badassery isn't undermined by him playing a golden harp extremely well.
  • Redemption Equals Death: When he finally gets his throne and gold, he almost goes off the deep end, refuses to help the survivors of Laketown (who took the brunt of Smaug's anger after the Company went into Lonely Mountain and stirred him up, and who actually killed him), and nearly murders Bilbo after the latter attempts to resolve the conflict. Later, Thorin leads his dwarves into the Battle of the Five Armies and dies from his wounds shortly after. On his deathbed, he apologizes to Bilbo.
  • Revenge: This is another main motivator in his quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug.
  • Riches to Rags: The (once removed) heir to an immensely wealthy kingdom, but was driven out by Orcs.
  • Rightful King Returns: The goal of his quest, apart from killing Smaug, is to restore himself to Erebor's throne.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Taking back Erebor is no easy task, but Thorin firmly believes that it is his responsibility as the king of the Longbeard Dwarves to reclaim their ancestral home and riches. And (as revealed in later books) despite his sometimes arrogant behavior, Thorin is also willing to do the same work and menial jobs as his fellow dwarves in exile.
  • Prince Charmless: It's almost certain that the pompous and arrogant Prince-In-Exile Thorin would know how to behave himself in the home of a guest. He does, for Elrond and Beorn, but for Bilbo, his royal highness must have decided the hobbit was unworthy of common manners. After an undignified entrance he fumes silently which Bilbo, out of a mixture of fear and politeness, apologizes for so much that finally, he lets it go. He hums so loudly that Bilbo can hear him through the wall and is kept up, smokes with his feet on the fender while Bilbo and the dwarves are doing the dishes, and when Bilbo suggests that they all have breakfast before leaving on the quest. Thorin agrees, except he takes it for granted that Bilbo will make the breakfast (and then all the dwarves follow his royal lead and order them, leaving Bilbo royally peeved).
    Thorin: I like six eggs with my ham, when starting on a journey: fried not poached, and mind you don't break 'em.
  • Sanity Slippage: Starts to lose it when he finally gets his throne and gold but manages to pull himself back from the brink at the last minute. Thereafter, he seems to realize what a jerk he's been and is more cordial to both his allies and enemies.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: More like "screw politeness, I'm important" according to the narrator. Thorin specifically does not introduce himself to Bilbo by declaring to be "at your service", nor does he assist the other dwarves in doing the washing-up after they eat, and throughout the rest of the book, his manners are rather brusque and business-like.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He's very long-winded and rather pompous.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: His Company is composed mainly of dwarves... well... generally less than totally competent.
  • Tragic Hero: It's generally believed his fate to be this is sealed after his Tragic Mistake. He gets what he wants, but he only has it for less than a month before his demise.
  • Tragic Mistake: After reclaiming the Lonely Mountain, Thorin starts repeatedly doing this due to his Fatal Flaws (likely further exacerbated by Gold Fever): he seals himself inside the Mountain, refuses to honor his agreement with the survivors of Lake-town despite the destruction and dispossession they've suffered from Smaug's attack (not least due to a grudge against Thranduil), and he denounces his friend Bilbo as a traitor upon learning the latter has aided the Lakemen and Thranduil. How beyond the will of Eru this causes Thorin's downfall is uncertain given what happens next, but this is interpreted as what seals Thorin's fate in the Battle of Five Armies.
  • The Un Chosen One: The prophecy of Laketown, when the rightful mountain king comes, the streams shall run in gladness (the journey upriver) the like will shine and burn (Smaug's attack) sorrow shall fail and sadness (this means that when the true king returns, sorrow shall fail, as in there will be no more sorrow for a while). Thorin's brief reign was fairly miserable and the resulting battle was gloomy indeed. But after Dáin is crowned and sorts everything out responsibly that things truly become happier for the next sixty years.
    Bilbo: Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!
    Gandalf: Of course! And why should not they prove true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!
    Bilbo: (Laughing) Thank Goodness!
  • Warrior Prince: He's unquestionably the most skilled warrior in the Company and charges into battle alongside his fellows without a second thought. (Though he will generally not be the first be where trolls and elves are concerned)
    Bombur 
A dwarf with just enough Hidden Depths to break through being often described as “fat”. For the first act, he can usually be counted on putting in the heavy work and being described as heavy. But after that...
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Bombur gets this from the others in Mirkwood after Thorin starts it off by ripping the poor guy a new one for rambling about his coma dreams. When Bombur wails that his legs (which the narrator has already told us are weak and wobbly from being comatose for six days) won’t carry him and he needs to stop and sleep, the others reply with: "No you don’t! Let your legs take their share, we have carried you far enough!" (It’s implied that this exchange and variations of it took place over the course of an entire day) Later, when Bilbo describes having similar dreams as Bombur, they say that Bilbo’s “gone like Bombur.”
  • Amnesiac Hero: He forgets the last (eventful) four months but remains a protagonist through it.
  • Badass Beard: All Thorin's company sport them.
  • Big Eater: By the time of the Council of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings, seventy-seven years later, he's gotten so fat that he can no longer move around on his own and requires six young dwarves to move him "from couch to table".
  • The Big Guy: Bombur is the company’s sole percussion in the company’s music group, puts up, along with his cousin Bifur, the best fight against the trolls, and is the literal big guy, though not all of it is fat (see Stout Strength below).
  • Butt-Monkey: Bombur suffers almost constant misfortune in the Mirkwood chapter, starting with just being peeved about going last and snowballing into far, far worse from there.
  • Character Development: He goes from a fairly plucky, outspoken dwarf, but the events in Mirkwood did a number on his self-esteem, making this a rather tragic example of a character developing in the opposite direction of the norm.
  • Chew Toy: Very prominently so in the books after his misfortunes graduate into stuff more serious than a mere Butt-Monkey.
  • Driven to Suicide: After taking a heap of abuse from the other Dwarves for his magical coma creating problems and dealing with the aftermath from not eating for the six days, and repeatedly begging for (and being very harshly denied) a rest, Bombur decides that there’s no hope of getting out of the forest and refuses to be arm-twisted into struggling any further-and lies down and declares that he never wants to wake up again. He gets up when Balin spots a light in the distance, though he’s still clearly damaged.
  • The Eeyore: After his Trauma Conga Line, he’s usually either standing quietly off to the side or fretting about something going horribly wrong. (His explanation for why he won’t go up to the higher camp is a good example of this)
  • Meaningful Name: Bombur's name means "The Swollen One" in Old Norse.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Bombur’s fall into the river is the result of a deer knocking him in because he was the last out of the boat, though the dwarves still, for some reason, curse poor Bombur’s clumsiness and take all their frustrations on the resulting complications out on him.
  • No Sympathy: Thorin’s reaction to Bombur sitting on the ground crying because he hasn’t eaten for a whopping six days is to give Bombur, essentially an extended “shut up” adding that Bombur should have been abandoned because he’s heavy. The others follow suit, prioritizing having Bombur struggle with walking (from not having to eat in six days!) because they didn’t like having to carry him. Granted we know carrying Bombur was “wearisome” but there was a line and it was definitely crossed.
  • Personal Horror: He loses his memories, thus waking up in the horrible place that is Mirkwood without remembering how he got there. He loses all his strength, previously going from being able to keep up with the others at a dead run to struggling withstanding. And then the heir of Durin makes it his personal mission to destroy his self-worth, which soon results in the company following said heir's lead in the bullying (or at least turning a blind eye to it, in Balin and possibly Bilbo's case-though with Bilbo's case it's important to note that he felt guilty enough about it to include the incident-as well as his own lack of involvement-in his memoir, which is how the reader learns about the whole sorry affair to begin with). As a result, Bombur is badly damaged and traumatized; his arc is about him making a very slow recovery (which, realistically, is far from complete by the end)
  • Only Sane Dwarf: In chapter two after the whole troll trouble has been resolved, Bilbo is terrified, Gandalf adapts to it, Thorin’s reaction is to do his level best to gouge the troll’s eyes out (all by himself against three trolls who have already taken the rest of the company out)
    Bombur: Pity to go pinching and pocket-picking, when what we wanted was fire and food!
  • Stout Strength: Bombur pulls his own weight through the company’s considerable trials (when he hasn’t been starved for six days) despite being referred to as “fat”.
  • Unconscious Objector: He manages to resist the enchanted stream's enchantment long enough to grab a rope and clutch it to be pulled ashore. Even in his sleep, he's clenching it so hard "in spite of all they could do" they can't get it away from them.
    The Rest of the Dwarves 

Tropes Applying to Balin

  • Color-Coded Characters: Balin is shown wearing a scarlet hood.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Bilbo.
  • Bus Crash: He, Óin, and Ori die years after the events of the book, during an effort to reclaim another lost dwarf-realm: Moria.
  • Conservation of Competence: Balin is depicted as having good judgment.
  • Cool Old Guy: Balin, while not especially old for a dwarf, looks the part and is one of the closest to Bilbo.
  • Old Soldier: Balin is a veteran of Azanulbizar.
  • The Reliable One: He's the first dwarf to take Bilbo seriously and later is the only one to stand up for him when he falls out with the other dwarves.

Tropes Applying to Dori

  • The Big Guy: Dori is the strongest of the dwarves. He often ends up carrying Bilbo.
  • The Eeyore: Dori. It's justifiable since Dori's often put-upon carrying Bilbo.
  • Human Pack Mule: Dori.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dori gets irritated when upon being saddled with saving Bilbo from the wargs but doesn't hesitate to buckle down and do it. "Dori really was a decent fellow despite his grumbling", said the narrator.
  • The Reliable One: Dori is often the last person to escape a tough situation, and also often the one to risk himself to help out Bilbo.

Tropes Applying to Glóin

Tropes Applying to Fili and Kili

  • Color-Coded Characters: Blue, showing their connection to Thorin, but at the same time distinct from him-Fili and Kili are repeatedly shown as helpful and friendly and have cloaks simply referred to as blue with no decorations. Thorin, on the other hand, is established arrogant and haughty and is singled out as specifically having a sky blue cloak (with a silver tassel).
  • The Pollyanna: Fíli and Kíli are shown as happy and energetic even when all the rest are exhausted, this is implied to them being much younger than the others.
  • Sibling Team: Fíli and Kíli are almost never seen apart, and this often includes them taking on tasks that they would be better suited for than the older dwarves.

Tropes applying to the Company in General & Remaining Dwarvesnote 


  • Band of Relatives: About half of the dwarves are fairly close kinsmen. All of them play instruments.
  • Bus Crash: Óin and Ori die following Balin to reclaim Moria.
  • Catchphrase: "[X], at your service."
  • Color-Coded Characters: Tolkien lists the colors of the Dwarves' hooded cloaks as if that would help you keep them straight. If you pair up colors and names in the orders they are both listed, you should get:
    • Dwalin — Dark green
    • Nori — Purplenote 
    • Ori — Grey
    • Óin — Brown
    • Bifur and Bofur — Yellow
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: They're mostly Played for Laughs until they reclaim the Lonely Mountain and they show they're of a warrior race.
  • Disappeared Dad: Balin and Dwalin's father Fundin fell at Azanulbizar and so became one of the Burned Dwarves- the casualties of the battle were too numerous to be buried according to dwarven custom.
  • Doomed Home Town: The Lonely Mountain.
  • Flat Character: Most of the dwarves do nothing to distinguish themselves.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Most of the dwarves.
  • It's All About Me: Not unusually since the Dwarves of Middle-Earth are a reserved and suspicious people towards outsiders. They rack up extra points for bribing the people of Laketown to aid them instead of imprison them, and after their involvement with the people of Laketown leads to Smaug decimating them, the Dwarves turn the survivors away instead of aiding them.
    • They’re not above inflicting this treatment on their own, despite Bombur losing his memories and suffering the aftermath of an actual freaking coma and the “weak and wobbly legs” and disorientation that comes with it they aggressively reject Bombur’s expressions of distress and fixate on them having to CARRY him and the fact that he had good dreams while unconscious (never mind the fact that he’s clearly described as sitting on the ground weeping shortly after his awakening)
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the Dwarves could be considered to be this.
    ...Dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don't expect too much.
  • Old Soldier: Dwalin and Óin were also probably at Azanulbizar since they're both older than Glóin, [who's directly stated to have fought there], but they're not confirmed as being there by Tolkien.
  • Rhyme Theme Naming: All of the fraternal pairs have rhyming (or at least similar) names.
  • Sibling Team:
    • Balin and Dwalin are described as talking "like old friends" when they meet up at Bilbo's house.
    • Óin and Glóin, they are seen working together to light a fire but their teamwork has a vitriolic flavor as they bicker and fight when they have a hard time lighting the fire. They also go against the trolls as a duo.
    • Bofur and Bombur stay down at the lower camp together at the doorstep. Bifur can count as an honorary "sibling", as he and Bofur are seen helping Bombur after Thorin gets separated from the rest of the group and the spider incident occurs, they battle the trolls as a trio, and Bofur chooses to stay down with Bombur, who is sleeping when the secret door is opened
  • Teeth Clenched Team Work: Though it's justified, concerning how miserable the conditions often are for them.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dwalin has a rather inexplicable blue beard.
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    Gandalf the Grey 

See his character sheet in The Lord of the Rings.

    Elrond Half-Elven 

See his character sheet in The Lord of the Rings.

    The Lord of the Eagles 

"I hear wolves' voices! Are the goblins at mischief in the woods?"

The leader of the Eagles of Manwë at the time of the story.


  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Apparently he's named King of All Birds and given a sizable portion of the Dwarves' treasure (presumably for his pivotal role in the Battle of Five Armies).
  • Back for the Finale: He brings an entire host of eagles to the Battle of Five Armies.
  • The Cavalry: Along with the other Eagles.
  • Giant Flyer: A giant eagle.
  • No Name Given: This Lord of the Eagles is not Gwaihir (who features prominently in the sequel), but an earlier holder of the "crown".
  • Talking Animal: Unlike most animals in The Hobbit, he can speak Westron (the language used by Bilbo and company).

    Beorn 

"A very good tale! The best I have heard for a long while. If all beggars could tell such a good one, they might find me kinder."

  • Anti-Hero: He's a very dangerous individual and Gandalf warns that meeting him at night, while he's in bear form, would be a bad idea. He's also not fond of dwarves—but he also hates goblins more, and will help if talked around in the right way.
  • Badass Beard: Because bears are big and hairy.
  • Back for the Finale: Shows up late in the Battle of Five Armies to kill Bolg, the Goblin King: only then is the tide turned (even with the Eagles already there).
  • Bears Are Bad News: Transforms into a big black bear. However, he only harms the villains.
  • The Berserker: It's strongly implied that in bear form he's indiscriminately violent. Subverted at the climax, when it turns out he's sane enough to retrieve the fallen Thorin in battle.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Doesn't get much bigger than a giant bear tossing goblins left and right.
  • Big Eater: He eats enough honey to need very large beehives.
  • The Big Guy: He is of immense size and strength for a man. If necessary he can use an even bigger, stronger form.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Because bears are big and hairy.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He's a big laugher and pokes fun at his guests.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He might not like strangers and is a terror for goblins and wargs, but he loves his animal friends dearly and treats them like his children.
  • The Cavalry: At the Battle of Five Armies, he crushes Bolg and more-or-less singlehandedly saves the day.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Sinister and perilous — not somebody you want to make into an enemy. But not a villain.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: This is how he makes his entrance in the Final Battle.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Hunts and skins a wolf and a goblin and then leaves them on display as a warning.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Forces information out of a Goblin and a Warg, then kills them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is disdainful of the dwarves at first, but then helps them on their journey by supplying them with provisions and shows up to fight the goblins at the end.
  • Meaningful Name: "Beorn" ("warrior") is an Anglo-Saxon cognate of bjørn, Danish/Norwegian for "bear".
  • One-Man Army: The eagles weren't enough to turn the tide of the battle against the goblin army. Beorn was.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Tolkein drew on Slavic myth, not necessarily the more recent forms of shape-shifter myth. Beorn's ability is under his conscious control, and he retains at least enough human mentality to rescue Thorin after he falls in battle. The power seems to run in his bloodline, since some of the Beornings after his time share the ability.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: Gandalf gets the Company into his house in a two-part gambit. Beorn would have turned them away if they'd all shown up at once, but when they come two at a time while Gandalf tells the story of their adventures, it's easier for him to say "hello, sit down, shut up" than to interrupt the story by chasing them off.
  • Shapeshifter: Known as a "skin-changer" in-universe, Beorn can assume the form of a giant black bear.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Keeps animals as his friends, rather than eating them.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Switches from being a man and a giant black bear.
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    The Elvenking 
"Take him away and keep him safe, until he feels inclined to tell the truth, even if he waits a hundred years."

The ruler of the elves of Mirkwood. He is later named Thranduil in The Lord of the Rings, where he sends his son Legolas to Rivendell and thence to join the Fellowship of the Ring.


  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He shows up personally on Erebor's doorstep.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's always referred to as "the Elvenking". He only gets a name in The Lord of the Rings.
  • The Fair Folk: The king of Mirkwood's fair folk. More fey and mischievous here; the dwarves find them partying in the woods in a way similar to fairy rings and the king himself wearing a crown of flowers.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards dwarves, rooted deeply within the common history of their peoples and further fuelled by the actions the dwarves take during their time under his 'care'.
  • Good Is Not Nice: His pride and caution make him a Hero Antagonist, although later in the book he turns out to be an elf of compassion and principle.
  • Greed: He sets out to claim the treasure of Smaug, with no intention to share it with others — like Thorin and the dwarves or the men of Laketown.
  • Hero Antagonist: He's unequivocally on the side of good, what with fighting in the Last Alliance against Sauron and siding with Thorin and Bard against the goblins, but he's also arrogant, greedy, and bigoted toward dwarves, and stands firmly in the way of their quest. He learns his lesson by the end, though.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He holds the dwarves prisoner, but also provides aid to the people of Laketown after it's destroyed by Smaug.
  • Pet the Dog: Offers to let Bilbo stay with the Elves and Men after he's handed over the Arkenstone, correctly guessing that Bilbo won't be too popular with Thorin once this gets out.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ultimately.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Initially set out to capture the treasures of Erebor for himself, but turned aside to help the people of Laketown when he learned about the disaster that struck them.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Became this after witnessing his father and most of his folk die during the Battle of the Last Alliance.

    Bard the Bowman 

"The dragon is coming or I am a fool!"

The captain of Lake-town's archers, he is actually of the lost noble house of Dale.


  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He is acclaimed king by many in Lake-town because he kills Smaug and he leads the contingent of Men in the Battle of Five Armies because of this also. But since Smaug had just destroyed Lake-town he still submitted to Lake-town's Master until it was finally rebuilt.
  • Badass Bystander: Effectively how he is introduced. Smaug is setting Laketown ablaze and everyone is running for their lives. A random man decides to stay and fight, and that man turns out to be Bard the Bowman.
  • Badass Normal: Even the Dwarves are said to use spells (albeit to ward treasure rather than any battle magic). Bard is an ordinary foot soldier with no special powers.
  • The Cassandra: Warns that the Dwarves will bring trouble and that Smaug is coming for them. No one listens.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: First appears unnamed, musing about the dwarves' arrival. He is later named and described in more detail.
  • Cold Sniper: Bard is quite cool-headed and quite the marksman, though he's not evil.
  • The Cynic: Known throughout Lake-town for his pessimism.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Kills Smaug, the last of the great dragons.
  • Doomed Home Town: Lake-town itself.
  • The Dragonslayer: He tries to become this when Smaug attacks Laketown. And eventually succeeds.
  • The Exile: A Noble Fugitive whose home city is destroyed.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Everyone knows him as a cranky bastard; after Smaug, he joins the people camping outside Erebor hoping for some Dwarf treasure. But he's also a fair and just man.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Towards the Master of Lake-Town. When the latter flees during Smaug's assault on the town, Bard fights to the last and ultimately kills Smaug. It reaches the point where the town wants to dispose of the Master and make Bard their new leader.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Kills Smaug with one shot, through a tiny hole in the armour of gems that had embedded into the dragon's soft underbelly over decades.
  • Impoverished Patrician: His grandfather was Girion, Lord of Dale. After Smaug's attack, his family was left with nothing and he's a simple bowman by the time we meet him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When Smaug devastated Dale, devoured its king Girion and plundered its treasures, the king's wife fled with her child to the neighboring town of Esgaroth. Decades later, the son of that child would face off against his grandfather's murderer.
  • Mirror Character: To Thorin. A king in exile who wouldn't mind some gold.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Is described as a grim-faced man, with a grim voice.
  • Rightful King Returns: He reestablishes the kingdom of Dale after the events of The Hobbit, though not before Lake-town is rebuilt and restored to stability.
  • Royal Blood: Of the line of Girion.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: The royal line of Girion has one incredibly lame supernatural ability: they understand the speech of birds.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Once he appears he appears, Biblo is pushed to the sidelines, up until Bard actually departs from the story.
  • The Stoic: His grim and gruff nature doesn't allow for a vast repertoire of emotions.

    Roäc the Raven 

"We would see peace once more among Dwarves and Men and Elves after the long desolation."

  • Bald of Awesome: Because he's 152.
  • Cool Old Guy: A bird version.
  • Clever Crows: Ravens are historically pals with Dwarves. Roäc's grandfather was pals with Thorin's granddad, and Roäc's family keep themselves busy acting as messengers between Thorin and Dáin.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Ravens are, of course, black-feathered carrion birds and thus usually symbols of death. Roäc is considered a respectable and eminent figure.
  • The Mentor: He actually refrains from advising the Dwarves since their decisions are their own, but the Dwarves greatly respect him.
  • Talking Animal: He's a talking bird.

    Dáin II Ironfoot 

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Lord of the Iron Hills (and later King under the Mountain) and a supreme badass who's a force to be reckoned with.
  • Last Stand: Died on the same day the siege of Minas Tirith entered its final phase, defending the corpse of King Brand of Dale — grandson of the man who freed the Lonely Mountain.
  • Hero of Another Story: There has to be an interesting backstory behind the ruler of the Iron Hills, right? His backstory includes numerous battles there against Easterlings, he fought at Azanbulzibar alongside Thorin Oakenshield, and he eventually died in battle during the War of the Ring.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Dáin — far more than Thorin and his companions — is like the prototype for every Dwarven warrior since.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He admits that all Smaug's victims deserve to be compensated. He and Thorin are clearly very different.
    Dáin (to Bilbo): Yet even though you were willing to lay aside all your claim, I should wish that the words of Thorin, of which he repented, should not prove true: that we should give you little. I would reward you most richly of all.
  • Rightful King Returns: As Thorin's closest surviving relative, he inherits the kingship of the Lonely Mountain after Thorin (and Fíli, and Kíli) perished.
  • Royal Blood: Grandson of Grór, the youngest brother of Thrór II.
  • Warrior Prince: Killed Azog while he was (by Dwarven standards) a young regal teenager.
  • You Killed My Father: Decapitated Azog as a boy after the orc slew his father Náin. He may have been as young as Glóin or even younger, but is only said to have been "a stripling" by the dwarves reckoning.

    Thráin II 

    Thrór 

...And Foes

    Smaug the Magnificent 

"Lake-men, some nasty scheme of those miserable tub-trading Lake-men or I'm a lizard. I haven't been down that way for an age and an age; but I will soon alter that!"

A dragon in the Third Age, Smaug is the last great dragon left in Middle-Earth, and the main antagonist in the Hobbit. Prior to the events in the story, he lay waste to Dale and captured Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, from the Dwarves. For two hundred years he hoarded Erebor's treasures.


  • Achilles' Heel: The single weak point in his armour.
  • The Ageless: Tolkien originally wrote that Smaug and dragons generally will live "practically forever" unless killed, and this is what it says in the published book. However, in Tolkien's revisions of The Hobbit that were never completed, he changed it so that Thorin states dragons are Long-Lived with a lifespan of 5000 or 1000 years.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: He attacked and conquered the Lonely Mountain from the dwarves, driving an entire kingdom's survivors into poverty and exile in the wilds for years while he held the mountain and its treasure as the de facto king. Taking the Lonely Mountain (and the goodies inside) back from him is the Dwarves' motivation in their quest.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: His otherwise-tough scales are soft on his underside, and to make up for this he's allowed Erebor's treasure to stick to it and form a makeshift waistcoat — but Bilbo spots a bare patch on the upper-left side where his chest's exposed. Bilbo reports it to the Dwarves and is overheard by a bird who takes the vital information to the one bowman in Esgaroth who could talk to birds.
  • Awaken The Sleeping Giant: By the time Bilbo gets to him, Smaug is just snoozing at the top of his giant pile of treasures and has been doing nothing but that for the past several decades. All his evil deeds are in the past, and it did not seem like he was planning to go out and commit more anytime soon. But Bilbo entering his lair to steal his prized possessions really REALLY pissed him off and the dragon rose to wreak havoc once more
  • Badass Boast: Bilbo tries to make a comment that he and the company came for revenge on Smaug for everyone he's killed, he responds with a VERY lengthy one that practically descends into a speech on how awesome he is.
    Revenge! Revenge! The King under the Mountain is dead and where are his kin that dare seek revenge? Girion Lord of Dale is dead, and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep, and where are his sons' sons that dare approach me? I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Thief in the Shadows! My armor is like tenfold shields. My teeth are like swords. My claws, spears. The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt. My wings, a hurricane. And my breath, death!
  • Battle Trophy: His treasure hoard in Erebor including the Arkenstone can be seen as this, especially since the Manual indicates dragons relish not just in possessing treasure but in the act of stripping it from others.
    • More literally, his hoard includes the weapons and armor of the dwarves as these are themselves valuable. At least some of these were presumably stripped from the corpses of their previous owners.
  • Big Bad: He's undeniably big and definitely bad, but he does not fulfil the trope. While he is the motivation behind the hero's journey, he is not responsible for any of the problems encountered on the way, nor is he aware of the dwarves' intentions until Bilbo rather foolishly states it to his face. He has (and needs) no minions, and his strategy when he realizes he's dealing with thieves is a straightforward, but hardly brilliant "kill them, then kill anybody who helped them."
  • Big Entrance: His arrival at Dale and the Lonely Mountain was heralded by "a noise like a hurricane" and a hot gale which made pines creak and crack, before he started burning Dale.
  • Blow You Away: The hot wind which preceded his physical arrival during his Big Entrance (see above). Implied to be Wind from Beneath My Wings specifically.
  • Breaking Speech: In a sense, his entire conversation with Bilbo is this, but in particular when he spreads doubt in Bilbo's mind about the dwarves and how (or whether) they actually intend to pay him his fourteenth share- there being nothing in the agreement about providing transport or guards for his journey home, and it would take longer than he has to live to even steal it all.
  • Breath Weapon: He can breathe fire, per being a dragon.
  • Cat-like Dragons: In the Rankin/Bass adaptation, he's depicted as very mammalian, with a distinctly catlike face sporting a short muzzle, prominent triangular ears, bushy cheek fur, and slit-pupiled feline eyes.
  • Compelling Voice: Comes with the Badass Baritone territory.
  • Composite Character: Tolkien designed him as based on the two iconic dragons of the Norse lore (which he considered "the only true dragons"), Fafnir and the dragon that Beowulf killed. The former is the basis of his witty, sassy personality, while the latter is the reason he flies, breathes fire, and is nigh-invulnerable.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His reaction to Bilbo's theft of a single cup. Also a Take That! from Tolkien against people who are both rich and greedy.
    His rage passed description — the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but never before used or wanted. His fire belched forth, the hall smoked, he shook the mountain...
    To hunt the whole mountain till he had caught the thief and had torn and trampled him was his one thought.
    He would not forget or forgive the theft, not if a thousand years turned him to smouldering stone, but he could afford to wait.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: When conversing with Smaug (or another dragon), it's strictly considered seriously unwise to speak in a way that'll make him angry and thus provoke him to violence. Bilbo for the most part adheres to this rule during their conversation, but then breaks it at their conversation's end and nearly gets turned to charbroil for it.
  • Don't Wake the Sleeper: Because if Bilbo does wake him while he's inside the Lonely Mountain stealing a goblet from the hoard, Smaug will almost certainly kill him and then likely also the dwarves for the theft. Unfortunately, Smaug wakes up between the end of Bilbo's first trip and his return trip, and notices a thief has stolen a piece of his treasure. Avoiding waking Smaug is actually a mission in the 2003 Hobbit video-game.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: An intelligent, charismatic and psychopathic dragon, who can psychically lull and bend an unprepared hero to tell him everything, and whose species are related to the Satan of Middle-earth.
  • The Dreaded: No one even went near him for decades after he claimed Erebor. The Dwarfs, even Thorin, are too afraid to enter the Mountain when they know he's there. It's stated that many of the people defending Lake-Town would've just fled from Smaug without a fight when he attacked, if not for Bard's orders and constant encouragement.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Thorin. Interestingly, they're both Kings under the Mountain according to themselves — Smaug is The Usurper to Thorin's Rightful King Returns. Thorin and Smaug have the same Fatal Flaws of Pride, and Greed (for the same freaking treasure no less), and both their goals and motivations are pretty self-centred. They also both blockade themselves and their treasure inside the same mountain and wish for others to leave them alone with it or otherwise face Disproportionate Retribution. Furthermore, both take a more active role in the plot in the present time frame for Revenge. Both of them expect others to treat them like nobility... but Thorin is definitely more tolerant of not getting this than Smaug is, whilst Smaug has a lot more charm when he's talking to others than Thorin does. Smaug is a formidable One-Man Army and is seemingly alone in the world, whereas Thorin operates with (and often relies on) other dwarves and Bilbo Baggins. Smaug is huge whereas Thorin is a dwarf. Smaug is a Genius Bruiser whereas Thorin makes some bad decisions on his own. Smaug is red and gold, while Thorin wears blue and silver colors. Thorin commands the loyalty of the other Company dwarves to the point his nephews die defending him and he makes a Heel–Face Turn out of his Sanity Slippage; Smaug has no such redeeming qualities.
    (Actually, this trope can be applied to dwarves and dragons broadly in Middle-Earth.)
  • Evil Is Hammy: When drawn into conversation, he's boastful, gloating, and melodramatic. There are plenty of ways he could have called Bilbo's bluff about the dwarfs coming after him for revenge, but he choice to the route of lengthy Badass Boast about how nobody dared to challenge him in decades despite all the enemies he's made and brags about all the ways he can kill.
  • Evil Is Petty: A mild taunt or taking ANYTHING from him, no matter how insignificant, is enough to provoke him to violence.
  • Evil Laugh: In the book, his laughter is enough to floor Bilbo and shake the mountain.
  • Evil Takes a Nap: After he conquers the Lonely Mountain, whilst he's left alone with his treasure, he presents no active threat to anyone and spends most of his time hibernating atop his plunder. But once he stirs long enough to recognize a thief has stolen a piece of his treasure, neither the thieves nor Lake-town are safe from Smaug's wrath.
  • Evil Virtues: Ambition (specifically Greed, for the greatest wealth in Middle-earth), Determination (once awoken, he won't go back to rest while he thinks there's still a chance that people don't fear him enough to not dare coming near his treasure), Passion (see below), Resourcefulness (he's highly cunning), Vigilance (how he guards his treasure), and Wisdom (his attacks are quite tactical with what he prioritizes destroying).
  • Faux Affably Evil: Despite being a megalomaniac, a murderer and a thief, he enjoys a good conversation, even with his enemies, and compliments Bilbo on his courtesy.
    Smaug: You have nice manners for a thief and a liar.
  • Fiction 500: Forbes has done extensive research on the question of just how rich he really is. The final official tally has him richer than Bill Gates, but not quite as rich as Carlos Slim Helu. Smaug was once considered to be the wealthiest character in fiction until dethroned by Scrooge McDuck. note 
  • Genius Bruiser: He easily deduces the situation from Bilbo's riddling, has memorised every single piece of treasure in his hoard, and the book goes into detail about how crafty he is.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: From the description, it comes close to Eye Beams. Literally Eye Beams in the animated 1970s movie.
  • Greed: Smaug, like all dragons is obsessed with treasure, and will hoard as much as he can during his lifetime (which is forever unless killed). Yet he never enjoys a single brass ring of it.
  • Hot-Blooded: He'll maintain civility so long as his mood remains placated or at least even during a conversation, but any blemish to his ego will cause him to explode with rage. He also has a bit of a theatrical flare.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Alongside a Compelling Voice. Looking into Smaug's eyes causes Bilbo to fall under the "dragon spell" and feel an immediate urge to spill everything to the dragon.
  • Hypocrite: Flies into a murderous rage when he sees something to have been taken from his hoard, and he scornfully refers to the apparent perpetrator as a "thief". Yet, Smaug himself took the hoard from the Dwarves of Erebor, who mined and fashioned every item themselves long ago, and he is currently squatting in the ruins of their kingdom with no intent to return it.
  • Knight of Cerebus: His appearance causes a big case a massive enemy turning the story around. The company is helpless against him, and even after his death, they still have to face the consequences of his rampage.
  • Large Ham: Quite possibly the single hammiest character in Tolkien's works.
  • Last of His Kind: Smaug is stated to be the last of the Great Dragons of Middle Earth, as opposed to "lesser dragons" such as those of the Withered Heath, which were implied to be much lesser in power than Smaug's kind. Although dragonkind as a whole persisted, the race of the Great Dragons died with Smaug.
  • Lazy Dragon: Smaug appears to have simply been sitting on his gold for an exceedingly long time, until he is enraged by Bilbo stealing from him and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Light Is Not Good: Due to the fire inside him, he radiates light.
  • Living Lie Detector: A mild example. He's so intimidating that conversing at all with him is likely to end up with the person folding and letting the truth come out. Bilbo does a good job at stalling and hiding his exact identity but still spills the beans about Thorin's quest.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: The Arken Stone was among Erebor's many fortunes when Smaug invaded and it's central to The Hobbit's plot.
  • Meaningful Name: His means "to squeeze through a hole" in Old Germanic.
    • The homonym with "smog" was probably deliberate as well.
    • "Smug" is also a very appropriate homonym.
    • Not that those two are homonyms of Smaug's name. The pronunciation guidelines in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings make it clear that the vowel sound rhymes with "ow", as in the noise you make when hurt.
    • Said Germanic verb evolved into smjúga in Old Norse. The past tense of that is smaug, which was pronounced something like "smowg".
    • Just as some of his treasure has been incorporated into his body, Au is embedded in his name.
  • Mysterious Past: Virtually nothing is known about Smaug's past before he attacked the Lonely Mountain except that he came from the north. It's however likely he was no more than a few centuries old at the time, primarily since he's identified as being young and not yet fully grown when he destroyed Erebor.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Smaug will always be a threat since he's a huge, flying, fire-breathing monster. However, his life's ambition was to win a treasure hoard to sit on and a quiet place to sleep on it, which he accomplished years before. He hasn't been actively terrorizing anybody in decades and as far as we can tell had no plans to do so — unless someone were to provoke him. (Although in later books is it is noted that he would probably have fought for Sauron in the War of the Ring if not for Bard's well-placed arrow.)
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They talk, for one — Smaug was one of the first Western dragons to be depicted as talkative and intelligent, rather than a ravening beast. Tolkien, who was a fan of Norse Mythology, drew his inspiration for Smaug from Fafnir and the unnamed dragon who fought Beowulf. Among Smaug's original characteristics are a fondness for riddles and Hypnotic Eyes. While animated and live-action movies go for a saurian appearance — with a wolf head in the former case — Tolkien made a painting of Smaug himself and depicted him as more narrow and serpentine (Smaug is called a "worm"; the Old English form wyrm connoted both "snake" and "dragon"), with proportionally small limbs, a tail ending in a fleur-de-lis shape and a hornless, eared, mammalian head.
    • They also don't seem to need to eat or drink, since he doesn't seem to have left the mountain even once in all the decades he's been living there.
  • Passion Is Evil: Has a Hair-Trigger Temper which makes him extremely volatile.
  • Pooled Funds: Smaug just loves to wallow in gold. He has a lot of it, considering he can burrow in and be completely covered, despite his vast size. Invoked Trope of Money Fetish; it's his, even though he doesn't spend it.
  • Pride: And appealing to it is the only thing that saves Bilbo.
  • Red Baron: Aside from "the Golden" above, Bilbo reels off a whole list of titles for Smaug at one point. The most common is "the Magnificent".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He's described as having red eyes.
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: He does this quite a bit regarding his past evil accomplishments when boasting to Bilbo.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: He represents Greed; and it was Greed that summoned him. He's also infected the whole hoard with Greed, which makes things more complicated for our heroes once they accomplish their ostensible goal.
  • Smug Snake: Despite his cunning and crafty mind, Smaug is absolutely sure of his invincibility, showing off his gem-encrusted armor to Bilbo and never once considers the possibility of the hobbit actually finding a weak spot to exploit.
    Bilbo: Old fool! Why there is a large patch in the hollow of his left breast as bare as a snail out of its shell!
  • Smug Super: He's very arrogant, but he's has the physical might, has a nigh-penetrable skin that no weapons pierce outside of his one narrow Achilles' Heel and enough literal fire power to lay waste to entire kingdoms to back up his ego.
  • Stronger with Age: Provides the page quote.
    I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Thief in the Shadows!
  • Unknown Rival: Although he clearly knows in general that the dwarfs would like revenge on him and to recover their city and treasure, he isn't aware of any of the events of this particular quest until it shows up right on his doorstep. Even then, he doesn't care about any specific details about the dwarfs; he just figures he'll kill whoever they are and anyone who helped them, then go back to sleep.
  • The Usurper: Declares himself King Under the Mountain after forcibly evicting the dwarves including the rightful king and his heir from their home, which is what prompts Thrain and later Thorin's intents to take the Lonely Mountain and its treasure back from Smaug.
  • Villain Cred: He takes a devious amount of pride in his past acts of destruction and conquest and the infamy they've earned him, and he's considered the greatest dragon of the Third Age.
  • Villain Has a Point: Deconstructs Thorin's entire quest; pointing out how it would be impossible to steal the gold piece by piece and get down the mountain even without his interference. He also deduces that Bilbo was promised a share of the treasure, but no transportation or guards for it, making it impossible to get it back home.

    Bert, Tom and William 
Bert: Mutton yesterday, mutton today, and blimey, if it don't look like mutton again tomorrer.
William: Poor little blighter! Let him go!
A trio of vagabond trolls that the Dwarves run afoul of.
  • Aerith and Bob: They're the only characters in the novel with modern English names.
  • Affably Evil: They're quite friendly for monstrous trolls. And, to be fair, Bilbo was trying to steal from them when they caught him, so it's not entirely their fault for being upset with him and the company, even if it doesn't excuse them from trying to eat them. William even seems to sympathize with Bilbo and asks Bert to let the "poor little blighter" go.
  • All Trolls Are Different: These are rather traditional, excepting their surprising degree of intelligence and affability.
  • The Cameo: Their petrified forms are stumbled upon by Frodo and company in The Lord of the Rings.
  • The Ditz: None of them are particularly bright, being easily fooled by Bilbo and Gandalf.
  • First Installment Weirdness: All other Tolkien trolls, while just as big and stupid, are decidedly uncomedic and not terribly interested in talking.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: They'd eat aynything, really, so they're not above eating Men, Elves, Dwarves or Hobbits.
  • Pet the Dog: William was willing to let Bilbo go considering that he (William) had already eaten enough for the night and Bilbo wouldn't make much of a meal by himself. He even refers to Bilbo as a "poor little blighter". It is especially notable since it was William's wallet that Bilbo tried to steal and thus he had the most reason to be angry with and want to kill him. It's only after the trolls learn that there are a bunch of dwarves as well that could make a good meal that he agrees to kill anyone.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Rather childlike in their cruelty.
  • Taken for Granite: When exposed to sunlight.
  • Villainous Glutton: Eating is what they live for and what puts them against the heroes.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Before they're even aware of the company, Bilbo spies them through the brush simply cooking their dinner and bickering with each other over said dinner. This actually becomes relevant later, when Gandalf uses mimicry to trick them into arguing until sunrise.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: They only appear as a brief obstacle. Their primary role in the narrative is to give the company a lead to find their hoard after the encounter itself, from which Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin retrieve their swords. Had the company never encountered the trolls, Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting would likely still be gathering dust to this day.

    The Great Goblin 

"Slash them! Beat them! Bite them! Gnash them! Take them away to dark holes full of snakes, and never let them see the light again!"

  • Berserk Button: When he sees the dwarves' elven swords. He launches himself at Thorin.
  • Large and in Charge: He's much larger than the other goblins.
  • Evil Overlord: Chief of the goblins of the Misty Mountains. A lesser one compared to Sauron, but still.
  • Orcus on His Throne: His goblins are mainly threats to travellers.
  • Revenge: The Battle of Five Armies is caused in part by the Misty Mountain goblins wanting to avenge him, along with all the spoils for the taking. They stir up other clans of goblins and they all converge on the Lonely Mountain.

    Bolg 

    Azog 

"If beggars will not wait at the door, but sneak in to try thieving, that is what we do to them. If any of your people poke their foul beards in here again, they will fare the same. Go and tell them so! But if his family wish to know who is now king here, the name is written on his face. I wrote it! I killed him! I am the master!"

  • Arch-Enemy: He is this to Thorin after Azog killed Thorin’s father.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: He's only briefly mentioned in the text of The Hobbit. His role is expanded in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Off with His Head!: He was decapitated by Dáin.
  • Evil Overlord: King of the goblins of Moria.
  • Karmic Death: He started a war with the dwarves after beheading Thrór, where he was himself beheaded. Also, he taunted Thrór's companion by throwing a bag of coins at him. Years later, the dwarves put Azog's own head on a pike and stuffed that same bag into his mouth.
  • Large and in Charge: He's bigger than his kin and is in charge.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Said to be large and yet quite agile. May have murdered a defenseless Thrór but also slew the lord Náin in single combat.
  • Posthumous Character: We only hear about him after his death.
  • Orcus on His Throne: He moved into Moria after the dwarves abandoned it years before.
  • Smug Snake: Arrogantly killed King Thror. Which didn't end well for him when the Dwarves went into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Tin Tyrant: He is described as being clad in full-body armor, even having an iron-clad head.

    Gollum 

See his character sheet in The Lord of the Rings.

    Wargs 

Wolf-like monsters living around the foothills of the Misty Mountains, the Wargs are allies of the Goblins, often joining them on raids on human towns and in their enmity against the Dwarves.


  • Horse of a Different Color: The Goblins often use them as mounts, in the same manner that Men or Elves would use horses.
  • Sapient Steed: The Goblins ride them when they work together, but they also have their own society and speak their own language.
  • Savage Wolves: Like their Goblin allies, Wargs are inherently creatures of evil and enemies to the free peoples of Middle Earth. That said, a line is explicitly drawn between the evil Wargs and normal wolves, which are stated to be regular animals, and thus neither good nor evil.
  • Talking Animal: They have their own distinct language, although only Gandalf and the Goblins are known to understand them.

    The Spiders of Mirkwood 

"You were quite right, the meat's alive and kicking!"

  • Casting a Shadow: The webs they produce are extremely dark, thanks to being descended from Ungoliant.
  • Giant Spider: They're big ass spiders.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The company sees "glowing eyes, in the dark" watching them, before the spiders reveal themselves.
  • Lovecraft Lite: A fraction of their ancestry is demonic in nature, due to being the children of Shelob, and thus the grandchildren of Ungoliant. However, the demonic traits they inherited from their mother and grandmother are not as prominent (apart from the abilities to speak and produce webs of darkness), making them less like demigods and more like semi-sentient beasts.
  • Spiders Are Scary: They are attempting to kill and eat the dwarves, after all.
  • Talking Animal: Justified by the fact that they're the offspring of the half-spider demigoddess Shelob, who was in turn the child of the primal creature Ungoliant.

    The Master of Lake-town 

People of Lake-town: He may have a good head for business, especially his own business, but he is no good when anything serious happens!

The ruler of Lake-town, elected by the people. Akin to a merchant prince, though he's not royalty.


  • Adipose Rex: Notably not the "Rex" part officially, but as ruler of Lake-town, he's still the head honcho.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Even when he is helping the heroes he is ultimately after his own selfish interests.
  • Dirty Coward: He tries fleeing the city in his guided boat when Smaug attacks Lake-town, despite the cries of his own people in danger.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": No name given. But he is called "Moneybags" by the people.
  • Greed: His Fatal Flaw.
  • Harmless Villain: He hardly even qualifies as a villain.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His attempt to run away with the gold of his people leads to his Karmic Death. But he was succeeded by a better Master.
  • Jerk Ass Has A Point: See Sleazy Politician below.
  • Sleazy Politician: When the people of Lake-town berate him for fleeing the scene too soon when Smaug attacks, he successfully shifts the blame on the dwarves for rousing the dragon in the first place (and he's not half wrong either).

    The Necromancer 

A dark presence residing in southern Mirkwood that Gandalf goes to confront. See here for his true identity.


    Were-worms 
A unknown race of creatures which dwell in the Last Desert in the East, as mentioned by Bilbo.
  • Ambiguous Situation: They are only mentioned once, by Bilbo and during a Badass Boast. Given the rich folklore of Hobbits, they might be real enemies or just legendary creatures. Similarly, the word worm doesn't allow to know whether we are talking about dragons (as in the Tolkienian usage of the word, which comes from the Old Engish wyrm, meaning dragon or serpent) or literal worms (as in earthworms).
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Bilbo speaks of them when he says "Tell me what you want done, and I will try it, if I have to walk from here to the East of East and fight the wild Were-worms in the Last Desert." That's all we will ever know about them.
  • The Ghost: Don't appear in the book, presumably because the characters don't travel east.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Possibly, or possibly not. The suffix were implies shapeshifting such as of werewolves, but then again, Tolkien used the word werewolf to mean bodies of wolves possessed by evil spirits instead of men who changed into wolves.
  • Sand Worm: Them being worm-related beings that live in a desert certainly evokes this image, to the point it has been entertained this sole Cryptic Background Reference inspired Frank Herbert to create his Shai-hulud in Dune. Of course, it is impossible to know.
  • Weredragon: What their name suggests.

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