The Heart Trilogy is a series of The Hobbit and later The Lord of the Rings fanfics by DONOVAN94. The trilogy features an Original Character, a Seer named Kathryn, and her gradually developing relationship with the dragon Smaug. The first two parts are completed, and the third part is ongoing.
The first part of the series, Heart of Fire, begins with Gandalf meeting Kathryn, a Seer who lives in hiding and has an amazing story to tell. Many years earlier, the ostracized seer wandered Middle-Earth in search of peace, but when she settled in the ruined city of Dale, her life was changed forever. Upon hearing her heavenly singing voice, Smaug decided to keep Kathryn as a part of his hoard. From there began Kathryn's game of survival that led her to be connected with the dragon forever... to the point that she decides to return to him when Thorin Oakenshield's Company sets out to reconquer the Lonely Mountain.
Official description of Heart of Fire: "I am SMAUG! I kill where I wish and none dare resist! And now, you belong to me!" Smaug stirs beneath Erebor when he hears a heavenly voice and knows he must have such a prize for his own. Trapped in the Dragon's lair, Kathryn, a seer, must survive this deadly creature to escape to freedom. But a vision plagues her, one that connects her to the mighty dragon forever.
In the second part of the series, Heart of Ashes, Smaug returns from the dead, transformed into a man. Determined and wrathful, he sets out to find a way to regain his true form, exact his revenge on the people of Dale and the dwarves of Erebor, and reunite with Kathryn who's been taken to the city Vathvael. Dark forces hunt the dragon and the Seer, and with no one to trust, Kathryn is having continuous visions of a darkness that calls to her... and an evil that now grows inside of Smaug. Click here to see the trailer.
Official description of Heart of Ashes: "I now have a duty that you abandoned me to face. It is time for you to face the ashes of your fires, dragon..." Smaug has been resurrected into the form of a human man, and now, he will stop at nothing to reclaim his lost form, exact his revenge on those that killed him and possess the one woman who stole his heart. The world will burn before him and darkness will feed his rage.
The third part of the series, Heart of the Inferno, takes place during the War of the Ring. Smaug and Kathryn who have lived a secluded life for sixty years, are called by Gandalf to aid the Free Peoples against Sauron and his minions. Click here to see the trailer.
Official description of Heart of the Inferno: "The third age is now at an end, and in its place I shall bring the wings and fires to herald a new era: the Age of Dragons!" Gandalf seeks the help of an unlikely ally to fight the evil of Sauron: Smaug. With Kathryn, a Seer, he shall go on a journey that will determine the fate of Middle-Earth forever. The fires have ignited, the ashes have scattered, but the inferno still rages.
This work contains examples of:
- Acceptable Breaks from Canon: Heart of Fire was first published before The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug came to theaters, and was still in progress when the film was released. Because of this, the Smaug of this universe is less of a wyvern and more of a classically shaped dragon with four legs and two wings on his back.* Heart of Fire was also completed before The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was released, and as such, the author had Tauriel to die during Smaug's attack on Lake-town.
- Adaptational Heroism: Downplayed with Smaug who, despite all the caring he gives Kathryn, is pretty much the same selfish, greedy, arrogant and bloodthirsty dragon as in the source materials. However, unlike in the movie trilogy, he's never interested about serving Sauron or anyone else, wanting to be left in peace with his treasure and Kathryn unless provoked. While he accepts Sauron's proposal in Heart of Ashes, he does that in a moment of blind rage rather than For the Evulz. The Dark Lord trying to control him is an experience he's unwilling to repeat. He even takes the side of the Free Peoples in the War of the Ring, if only for his own reasons of which the safety of Kathryn and their twins is the most altruistic one.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Despite her better knowledge, Kathryn falls for Smaug, "the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities". However, it's not so much because of his badness but because he's one of the few people who understands and accepts her completely. In addition to that, remaining in his dangerous company protects her from being victimized by people who'd hurt or take advantage of her.
- Alliterative Title:
- The 10th chapter of Heart of Fire is titled A Heavy Heart.
- Heart of Ashes has Public Performance (Chapter 5), Familiar Faces (Chapter 6) and Darkness Descends (Chapter 21).
- Beast and Beauty: Smaug and Kathryn, respectively.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Sauron is going through with his canon goals, and he also attempts to recruit Smaug as his beast of war. Fankil in turn attempts to use Kathryn in releasing his father Morgoth. In Heart of the Inferno, the two evil entities aren't exactly working together, but they do exchange some information.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Fankil has these.
- Byronic Hero: Smaug is arrogant, greedy, and bloodthirsty, and he will do anything he desires. While he comes to really love Kathryn, he has a lot of problems with complying to her wants or changing himself for her. He's also highly intelligent and knowledgeable. The human form he gains has cruel lines around the mouth as if from a lifetime of looking down on people unworthy of him. Otherwise he'd be considered handsome.
- Canon Foreigner: The character of Fankil (also known as Fangli or Fúkil) comes from The Book of Lost Tales that Christopher Tolkien composed from his father's source materials. He's mentioned as the lieutenant of Melko (Morgoth) as well as his child.
- Cowardly Lion:
- Freyja is an easily frightened young girl, but she opts to accompany Faervel to rescue Kathryn from Smaug.
- There's also the canonical Bilbo Baggins who secretly accompanies Gandalf and Elrond to help Dorwinion's people against Smaug, even though his nightmares are plagued by his first encounter with the dragon.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Smaug hates it when Kathryn's so little as innocently touched by any other male.
- Creepy Long Fingers: A lot of attention is given to the demon Fankil's long fingers that resemble a spider's legs.
- Deal with the Devil:
- In Heart of Fire, Sauron enters Smaug's mind, offering him gold and glory in exchange for serving as the Dark Lord's weapon of war. Smaug's not interested in serving anyone, so Sauron leaves and orders Bolg to capture Kathryn as a bargaining chip. After Kathryn escapes from Smaug near the end of Heart of Ashes, Sauron offers to help him in regaining Kathryn and Erebor in exchange for swearing allegiance to the Dark Lord. The seething dragon accepts this time and attacks Vathvael, with Sauron's taint in his scar directing his actions with a varying level of success. Once Gandalf realizes this, he contains the worst of Sauron's influence, but the threat of succumbing to Sauron's influence if Smaug isn't careful with his darker emotions remains.
- At the climax of Heart of Ashes, Andraya gives Kathryn to Fankil in order to gain Revenge by Proxy against Smaug as well as a resurrection spell as a means to gain Freyja back.
- Disabled in the Adaptation: Unlike in the book or the films, Bard gets his left leg partially crushed when Smaug nearly bites it off. He also nicks Bilbo's side with his teeth, leaving there a wound that's slow to heal.
- Divine Parentage: Fankil is the son of the first Dark Lord Morgoth.
- Epigraph: Every chapter of every part of the trilogy is initiated with quotations. The epigraphs of Heart of Fire are all riddles and their answer. Those of Heart of Ashes are all somehow dragon-related, covering various works. In Heart of the Inferno, all the epigraphs come from Tolkien's Legendarium.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
- Smaug's love toward Kathryn is practically his only redeeming quality. Even so, he commits bad actions that hurt the much more moral Kathryn, and the prideful dragon-dread doesn't easily comply to her wishes. By the end of Heart of Ashes, Kathryn forces Smaug to choose between his selfish desires and her. He ends up choosing her, giving up his plans for revenge. In the beginning of Heart of the Inferno, this trope is discussed, with Gandalf arguing to Galadriel that Smaug's feelings for Kathryn make him A Lighter Shade of Black against Sauron. Smaug's also happy about his and Kathryn's twins Kolstros and Vervenia after they're born.
- While Andraya oppresses her daughter and uses the girl for her own ends, she does love Freyja. Freyja's death by Smaug's teeth causes Andraya to lure Kathryn into Fankil's clutches to gain both revenge and a spell to resurrect Freyja.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- When Kathryn finds the Arkenstone, Smaug puts a stop to its corruption of her by burying it deep in the gold and making her swear not to seek it out.
- When Andraya reveals that she wants Smaug to impregnate the fourteen-year-old Freyja with a powerful offspring, he's repulsed with the idea of laying with a not yet mature girl. He establishes that among the dragonkind, an adult dragon copulating with another dragon not of age (younger than fifty years) would be considered despicable.
- Evil Cripple: Fankil walks with a limp, though he can fight with speed and agility. At the end of Heart of Ashes, he gets his arm dislocated, and it is still so in Heart of the Inferno.
- Evil Smells Bad: Fankil has a signature scent of dust and ash combined with perfume sweetness so strong it's nauseous.
- Evil vs. Evil: At various points, Smaug ends up at loggerheads with Sauron/the Necromancer, Andraya, Fankil and Durin's Bane.
- Eye Colour Change: Kathryn had originally her father's golden brown eyes until she had her first vision at the age of six. The magic of clairvoyance turned her eyes to violet. When she dies while trying to save Smaug from death, her eyes gain the color of molten gold. They remain so when she's resurrected due to her link to Raw Magic being damaged. Once Smaug restores the link, she regains her violet eyes.
- Family Eye Resemblance: Ice blue eyes are the only physical trait Andraya shares with her daughter Freyja.
- Famous Ancestor: Smaug reveals in Heart of Ashes that he descends from Ancalagon the Black, the largest dragon to have ever existed. In Heart of the Inferno, he's asked to use his bloodline to unite whatever dragons are left against Sauron.
- Fireballs: The witch Andraya fights with these.
- Foil: Fankil to Sauron. They're both ancient evil entities and former lieutenants of the first Dark Lord Morgoth. Sauron, Morgoth's second-in-command, is a corrupted Maia who has lost his physical form, while Fankil, Morgoth's son, is a demon with a physical form. After Morgoth was cast into the void, Sauron took the title of the Dark Lord for himself and aspires to conquer Middle-Earth for himself. Fankil in turn regards Morgoth as the true Dark Lord for whom the world belongs to, and his goal is to free Morgoth and serve him as he rules the world. While the more far-reaching yet bodiless Sauron commands vast armies, Fankil works alone with his disfigured yet powerful body. Due to reasons related to their goals, Sauron targets Smaug while Fankil pursues Kathryn.
- For Want of a Nail: In Heart of Fire, Smaug injures Bilbo with his tooth. In Heart of Ashes, Bilbo's recovering from the wound and hasn't thus left Erebor following the Battle of Five Armies. As such, he's around to hear about Smaug reappearing in Dorwinion and decides to tag along with Gandalf and Elrond to make up for being unable to stop Smaug from attacking Lake-town.
- Functional Magic: In Heart of Fire, Smaug explains Kathryn the difference between the regular magic utilized by the wizards and the Raw Magic utilized by the Seers.Smaug: View Magic as energy. Like life in your body, like lightning in a tempest, it is a force of nature, the very fabric of the world around us. When a wizard or a conjurer uses magic, he is tapping into that force, merely reaching out in order to grasp it. But grasping and using are not the same... Somewhere between grasping that force and it becoming real through the wizard's staff, the magic becomes diluted, more focused, going only in the direction that the wielder aims it. Raw magic is not plucked and not channelled, it is fresh, wild, and completely erratic. It cannot be controlled or directed, merely released. Think of it as air: when a human blows air from his lungs he can control its direction, and that is regular magic; but with raw magic... have you ever seen a mortal man control the gale force winds?
- Gilded Cage:
- When Kathryn is brought to Vathvael's palace in Heart of Ashes, she's given luxurious quarters, but she's nonetheless forced to entertain the royal court with singing and given little room for insubordination. The revelation of her being a Seer further lessens her chances of being allowed to leave.
- In Heart of the Inferno, Kathryn and her twins are forced to remain in Erebor until Smaug returns to fetch them. Though their needs are tended to like those of honored guests, the dwarves don't hide their enmity toward the unwilling guests.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Several times Kathryn's purple eyes glow when she's about to use her powers in emotional turmoil.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The first Dark Lord Morgoth who was sealed long ago in the void through the Door of Night. It's stated by Gandalf that should Morgoth ever return, his second-in-command Sauron would bow to him. Morgoth's demon-spawn Fankil is trying to locate the Door and release Morgoth.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Fankil and his motives remain mysterious until the final chapters of Heart of Ashes.
- Hot Witch: Andraya is a witch as well as attractive.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The massive dragon Smaug with the human female Kathryn. Even Smaug's seven-feet-tall human form dwarfs Kathryn.
- Humanity Ensues: Smaug is turned into a human at the end of Heart of Fire thanks to Kathryn's magic, and he's outraged by it in Heart of Ashes. He eventually learns to change between his true form and the human form.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Smaug's Dragon-spell. He can utilize it in his human form as well.
- Interspecies Romance: Between a human and a dragon.
- It Was a Gift: When Smaug allows Kathryn to leave Erebor, he gives her the scale that was loosened by Girion. She continues to wear it as a necklace.
- Lean and Mean: Fankil is a nearly skeletal demon and a loyal lieutenant of his father Morgoth.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: As evil and conceited as Smaug is, it's agreed that Sauron and other entities directly linked to Morgoth are worse.
- Like a Daughter to Me: Elrond is rather fatherly toward Kathryn.
- Love Hurts: With Kathryn and Smaug both.
- MacGuffin Super Person: Kathryn becomes this to some factions due to being a Seer. Even Smaug initially takes interest in her because of this and her heavenly singing voice before he develops feelings for her. The most serious threat to Kathryn is Fankil because he wants to use her Raw Magic in locating the Door of Night and releasing his father Morgoth.
- Mama Bear:
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Smaug kidnaps Kathryn because he wants her beautiful singing voice all for himself. They gradually develop a complicated yet strong bond.
- Morphic Resonance: Smaug is large in his human form, and he retains his eye color and the scar inflicted by the Black Arrow. Kathryn is also able to spot in his face subtle resemblances to his draconic face.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Kathryn singing to Smaug. A special example occurs in Heart of Ashes when Smaug is transformed into a savage and grotesque beast.
- Nice Guy:
- Faervel, the traveling Elf historian who helps and emotionally supports Kathryn while asking little in return.
- Freyja is a timid girl who wishes no harm to others.
- Queen Lalemwen of Dorwinion is one of the few people in Vathvael's court who really cares about Kathryn and her feelings. She also puts her people's safety before their pride.
- Older Than They Look: Kathryn is nineteen years old when she first meets Smaug, but she stops aging due to her connection with him. This makes her about 140 years old by the time of the trilogy's third part.
- Psychic Link: Smaug forms one with Kathryn.
- Purple Eyes: Kathryn has these as a Seer.
- Related in the Adaptation: Ancalagon the Black, the largest dragon to have ever existed, is Smaug's ancestor in the trilogy, whereas they weren't said to be related in the source materials.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Morgoth was sent to the void in chains, with the entrance — the Door of Night — hidden and protected by an immortal guardian. Fankil's goal is to locate the door and release his father.
- Seers: Kathryn is one of the last Seers, women capable of seeing into all realities of past, present and future through Raw Magic. The Elvish term for them is Tharŷliel ("Daughter of Future Dreams"). Their patron is Irmo (also known as Lórien), the Valar of visions and dreams.
- Shrinking Violet: Freyja is timid and apologetic.
- Spared by the Adaptation:
- Thanks to resurrection, Smaug is alive and kicking when the War of the Ring takes place.
- A minor character Braga, Lake-town's captain of the guard, dies at the beginning of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with the town's Master. He appears alive in Heart of Ashes, delivering Bard, Gandalf and Elrond the news of Smaug attacking Vathvael and taking Kathryn with him.
- Strong Family Resemblance:
- When Kathryn sees Ancalagon the Black in a vision, she finds his face to look uncomfortably familiar with his great-great-grandson Smaug. Smaug himself thinks than his dark son Kolstros looks in a certain light like Ancalagon.
- King Brandon and his son Bard look uncannily like Brandon's grandfather Bard the Bowman. Kathryn — who has seen the latter only once sixty years earlier — can tell this by just looking at the two descendants.
- Quithyra, the Haradrim woman from Heart of Ashes, has two older brothers who look much like her, especially the one named Zanros. In fact, Quithyra and Zanros were often mistaken for twins when they were younger.
- Talking in Your Dreams:
- Smaug is able to enter Kathryn's dreams and speak with her. He first starts doing this to make sure she won't die through another lethal vision in her dreams.
- In Heart of the Inferno, this happens between Kathryn and Aragorn for reasons unknown to them.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Smaug's human form is seven feet tall, dark-haired, and physiqued like a warrior. He would be considered handsome if not for the cruel lines around his mouth and his condescendingness. He can be at times Tall, Dark, and Snarky as well.
- Villain Protagonist: Smaug is along with Kathryn the main character, but he qualifies as a Nominal Hero even at the best of times.
- After spending half of Heart of Ashes as a human, Smaug learns to shift between that and his true form. Shifting from human to dragon is magically more taxing, though.
- In Heart of Fire, Kathryn is briefly turned into a dragon by Smaug's interference through their bond so that she can repel against Bolg's Orcs. In Heart of Ashes, she shifts two times of her own accord, first when she's furious with Smaug over Freyja's murder, and secondly to battle against Fankil.
- In Heart of the Inferno, the twins of Smaug and Kathryn, Kolstros and Vervenia, are born as human babes, but they first shift themselves into dragons only one week after their birth. Gandalf says they're the first dragons to born with this ability, and Galadriel theorizes they can shift with less effort than their father because they're connected to Raw Magic like their mother.
- You Sexy Beast: Kathryn falls in love with the dragon Smaug. However, neither of them really think each other in more sexual terms until Smaug learns to shapeshift between human and dragon forms in Heart of Ashes. In Heart of Fire, they have sexually charged dreams about each other, but Kathryn always imagines Smaug as a human, while he sees her as a dragon like himself.
- Abusive Parents: After Kathryn began to have her visions, her parents tried to instill control over them so that she wouldn't be killed by superstitious villagers. Unfortunately, their methods included restricting her to home, forbidding her to play with other children, locking her in her room at night, drugging her to keep her from having visions in her dreams, and tying her up to her bed as well as gagging her in case convulsions took over. After ten years of this, Kathryn run away and never returned. When she sees her parents dying in a vision, they're shown to be remorseful of driving their daughter away.
- Accidental Murder: When a Knight of Gondor attempts to shoot Smaug in the eye, Kathryn magically sends the Knight flying, causing him to die upon hitting a stone surface.
- Afraid of Their Own Strength: Kathryn, especially after the Accidental Murder of a Knight of Gondor.
- All the Other Reindeer: Kathryn has been feared and despised due to her clairvoyant abilities wherever she goes.
- Asshole Victim: The mercenary group that captures Kathryn before being vanquished by Smaug, especially their leader Karst who comes close to raping Kathryn.
- Attempted Rape: Karst, the head of the mercenary group that captures Kathryn, tries to rape her, forcing her to scream and alert Smaug to her location.
- Birdcaged: When Smaug first captures Kathryn, he locks her up in a giant bird cage until he realizes her to be a Seer and is convinced that keeping her in the cage won't do good to her singing voice. When she makes her first failed escape attempt, he returns her to the cage until they make a truce.
- Blinded by the Light: The Knight of Gondor attempts to take advantage of the sun blinding Smaug and shoot the dragon in the eye with the Eluvienel Bow, only for Kathryn to stop him.
- Chekhov's Gun: Before getting captured by Smaug, Kathryn buys sedatives and forgets them in her pocket. She later uses them in her first escape attempt by hiding them in Smaug's food, putting him in a sleep deeper than usual.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Andraya and Freyja first appear when Kathryn helps them against Orcs on her way back to the Lonely Mountain. They return in the epilogue to nurse back to health the nearly dead Smaug who's been turned into a human.
- A Dangerous Game (Chapter 4) Kathryn tries to escape after successfully drugging Smaug to sleep.
- A Sickness of the Mind (Chapter 12) Kathryn has a vision in which Smaug cannot enter, with her saying "The King Beneath the Mountains" poem.
- The Nature of Evil (Chapter 16) King Thranduil orders Kathryn to be brought to him alive from Mirkwood's path.
- The Familiar Road (Chapter 17) After escaping from Bolg's hunters by temporarily turning into a dragon, the wounded and fatigued Kathryn falls unconscious as she stumbles and Smaug calls for her.
- A Mighty People Brought Low (Chapter 18) Thorin leaves Kathryn imprisoned to the inn as her pleading and cursing fall on deaf ears.
- Thief In The Shadows (Chapter 19) Bilbo vanishes in front of Smaug, much to his fury.
- Thieves! Fire! Murder! (Chapter 20) After the Company fails to kill him, Smaug flies toward Lake-town, intending to burn it and retrieve Kathryn.
- A Lake on Fire (Chapter 21) Just as Smaug is about to kill Tauriel in front of Fíli, Kíli and Bofur, he hears Kathryn calling for him and spots her.
- What I Live For (Chapter 22) As Kathryn dies and Smaug prepares to join her, they're approached by a hooded stranger.
- Epilogue (Chapter 23) Andraya and Freyja fetch from the water Smaug who's nearly dead and turned into a human.
- Crowd Surfing: A variation is done in the 18th chapter when Kathryn falls and is caught by Thorin's Company.
- Death by Adaptation: Tauriel is killed by Smaug during his attack on Lake-town.
- Defiant to the End: The mortally wounded Tauriel continues to defy Smaug while being held in his grasp, up until he pierces her body with his talon.
- Famous Last Words: Spoken in Elvish by Tauriel to Smaug."Lle naa haran e' nausalle."note
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Bard has to slap the hysteric captain of the guard Braga during Smaug's attack.
- Groin Attack: Kathryn does this to Karst when he's about to rape her. It's not enough to make him let go of her, however.
- The Hermit: After leaving Erebor, Kathryn eventually settles to live in solitude for six decades in a cottage north of Bree, with minimum contact to people and Smaug keeping her company in her dreams.
- Honor Before Reason: A Knight of Gondor appears to slay Smaug in the 9th chapter, knowing it to be a suicide mission even with the Eluvienel Bow he's armed with. Though Kathryn manages to convince Smaug to give the Knight a chance to leave alive, he refuses to turn away from his quest unless Kathryn leaves with him to safety.
- I Have Your Wife: An anti-heroic example; Thorin threatens to have Kathryn harmed unless Smaug leaves Erebor to never return. It only makes Smaug certain that she's in Lake-town and even more determined to distribute his retribution.
- Ironic Echo: "May your greed be your doom!" First used by Kathryn when Thorin imprisons her, and later used by Thorin to lure Smaug into a trap.
- I Want Them Alive:
- Sauron orders Bolg to capture Kathryn as a bargaining chip in convincing Smaug to join his cause.
- When Thranduil's informed of a purple-eyed woman traveling through Mirkwood with a dragon scale, he orders Kathryn to be brought to him alive, remembering the captured Orc speaking about someone sought out by Smaug.
- I Will Wait for You: An unusual example occurs when Smaug allows Kathryn to leave Erebor. It's actually a Batman Gambit to truly have her, for he's counting on Kathryn to eventually return to him after getting her fill of freedom. It lacks the usual "not having heard from her" trait, because Smaug spends the following sixty years sleeping, keeping Kathryn company in her dreams. He also specifically forbids her to reveal him her location so that he wouldn't come to take her.
- Lima Syndrome: Smaug on Kathryn.
- Love at First Note: Not love (that comes much later), but hearing Kathryn singing makes Smaug to take her as a part of his hoard, and it's initially only because of being able to enjoy her singing that he treats her leniently.
- Love Epiphany: Kathryn when Smaug allows her to leave Erebor.
- Meaningful Echo: "Meeting you half way."
- My God, What Have I Done?: Kathryn after she kills a Knight of Gondor to protect Smaug. It's intensified when she soon after sees her dying parents in a vision and hears their remorseful words in regards to her. It takes a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech (and forcing her to kill a goat to survive) from Smaug to reassure her.
- Numerological Motif: When Bilbo calls himself the Lucky Number, Smaug deduces it to mean that the hobbit is a member of a group of fourteen individuals.
- Out of the Frying Pan: Kathryn manages to escape from Smaug by sedating him, but she's soon caught by a band of mercenaries whose leader nearly rapes her. Smaug finds her and kills the mercenaries, taking Kathryn back to the mountain.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Though Bolg follows Sauron's orders and tries to capture Kathryn, he's personally unsure if it's wise to try extorting Smaug and risk facing the dragon's fury.
- Ray of Hope Ending: Smaug is fatally wounded by Bard's Black Arrow before Kathryn can convince him to stop his attack on Lake-town. As she desperately tries to heal his wound with her Raw Magic, she overexerts herself and dies. Fankil then appears to take her body away, leaving the heartbroken Smaug to sink alone in the Long Lake. However, Andraya and Freyja fish from the water a man who has the same appearance as Smaug when he has taken a human form in dreams. Andraya then makes clear her intention to awaken the comatose man.
- Real After All: When Kathryn has the vision about the War of the Last Alliance and Sauron seems to take interest in her, Smaug is able to convince her that it's not real. It's revealed sixty years later that Sauron himself was summoned to this vision, even if bound by its rules. Ever since that incident, he has been aware of Kathryn's existence and her status as a Seer.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Subverted. Kathryn tries to save Smaug from dying through the Black Arrow by using Raw Magic. She only manages to kill herself and leave Smaug with a still mortal wound. However, the sequel reveals that she did save him while unintentionally turning him into a human.
- Sequel Hook: Kathryn's dead body is taken away by the still unidentified Fankil as the dying Smaug sinks in the Long Lake. However, Andraya and Freyja afterwards fish from the lake a comatose man who has the same appearance as Smaug when he has taken a human form in dreams.
- Synchronization: Kathryn feels Smaug's pain through their Psychic Link when he's hit by the Black Arrow.
- Thematic Theme Tune: "Memories" by Within Temptation. The author has used it to make a music video about the fic.
- Title Drop: Smaug uses the expression "heart of fire" during his dying mental speech to Kathryn.
- Together in Death: After Kathryn has left Erebor, she's taken in by a Happily Married elderly couple north of Bree. They pass away, embracing each other in their final sleep. When Kathryn dies, the also dying Smaug prepares to follow her to death until Fankil takes her body away.
- With Us or Against Us: Thorin refuses to trust Kathryn when it becomes clear that she wants Smaug to live, so he has her imprisoned in the inn at the Long Lake's shore, intending to judge her for "treason against his people" after Erebor's taken back.
- Written by the Winners: Faervel refers to this trope by saying that both sides of an interracial argument alter historical facts to suit their own biased views.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: To ease her guilt over the Accidental Murder she committed, Smaug forces Kathryn to kill a goat to survive. He uses that to explain her that there's nothing wrong with killing for food or survival. He also uses the fact that unlike him, she takes no pleasure in killing.Smaug: Do you know why I did this? You killed today to survive, if you hadn't you may have died. That is what you must think: kill to survive, not because you can.
Kathryn: But you do: you kill because it pleases you, for malice and for sport.
Smaug: And that is the difference between you and I. I kill where I wish and take every pleasure in it. But you: You did nothing wrong here when you killed for food. As when you killed the knight, you did nothing wrong.
Kathryn: That wasn't for food.
Smaug: No, it was for survival. There is no shame in that.
- Abusive Parents: Andraya slaps Freyja when the girl expresses her fear of mating with Smaug.
- Asshole Victim:
- After handing Kathryn over to Fankil out of revenge, Andraya is burned alive inside Smaug's stomach.
- King Wilhelm is murdered in his bed by Andraya, but he was presented as a Jerkass who treated Kathryn like his possession.
- The Baby Trap: With Andraya's argument about him denying Kathryn the life she wants, Smaug gets the idea of impregnating the Seer as a way to definitely tie her to him. When she has her menstrual period following several times of copulation, Smaug angrily reveals what he's been trying to do. Kathryn is hurt and furious with him for trying to impregnate her without first speaking with her about having a baby.
- Bittersweet Ending: Though the overall ending has better spirits than with Heart of Fire. Fankil's defeated before he can locate the Door of Night through Kathryn, but he's still at large and will return to fight another day. Freyja's dead, and so are a number of Vathvael's people, but the city will carry on under Queen Lalemwen, and Andraya is no longer around to bother Smaug or Kathryn. In order to remain with Kathryn and avoid being corrupted by Sauron's taint, Smaug is forced to give up his plans to reconquer Erebor and have his vengeance. With a lot of reconciliation to work on, Kathryn and Smaug decide it's in their best interests to go into hiding from everyone.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: When Smaug deduces Andraya to have used witchcraft to awaken him, she says that she prefers the term "magically capable".
- Body Horror: Smaug's human body starts gradually turning draconic when he has thoughts related to greed and bloodlust. He eventually turns into a grotesque half-man/half-dragon trapped in a state of animalistic wildness, with his body futilely trying to complete the transformation into a dragon. Kathryn fixes this by lending Smaug her magic through their bond, helping his body to fully restore itself.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Smaug has always been violent, but when he allows Sauron's taint to take root in his heart, he becomes even more unhinged. Bilbo notes this from his first encounter with Smaug when the dragon's rage wasn't so uncontrolled.
- Brought Down to Badass: In his human form, Smaug is a Lightning Bruiser by human standards, his senses are superior (through not as superb as they are in his true form) to those of average humans, and he can still use his Dragon-spell along with other magic.
- Came Back Wrong: Kathryn's resurrection leaves her in a state of illness and trapped in nightmares, with her connection to Raw Magic cut. It's fixed when Smaug restores the link.
- The City (Chapter 3) Smaug enters Kathryn's mind in order to heal her of her sickness.
- Familiar Faces (Chapter 6) Smaug reveals himself to Kathryn in his human form.
- You're Mine (Chapter 8) Kathryn is protected by Smaug in a new vision involving Morgoth and Irmo.
- We Are Changed (Chapter 9) Smaug is hit with a painful metamorphosis, and he jumps from Kathryn's balcony.
- The Beast Within (Chapter 10) The savage half-man/half-dragon Smaug turns his attention from Faervel to Kathryn when she calls for him.
- Just Like Before (Chapter 11) Kathryn reluctantly leaves the exhausted and now dragon Smaug to sleep, having to explain everything to Faervel.
- All Things Must End (Chapter 12) Just as Smaug is breaking off his expired deal with Andraya, he senses Kathryn to have a distressing vision and leaves to help her.
- I'm Yours (Chapter 13) Andraya murders King Wilhelm in his bed and tricks the guards into thinking "Cail Agonn" is guilty.
- Ancient Blood (Chapter 15) After robbing a caravan of Dale's merchants, Smaug sends the sole survivor to give his regards to the rulers of Dale and Erebor.
- Visitors (Chapter 18) Kathryn and Faervel come across Smaug who has just killed Freyja, and Andraya swears revenge as she senses it.
- Betrayal (Chapter 19) Smaug nears Vathvael to take Kathryn back while his mind is being infected by Sauron's darkness.
- Realisation (Chapter 20) With Fankil revealed, Gandalf tells Kathryn to run.
- Darkness Descends (Chapter 21) Gandalf uses a spell to knock unconscious Smaug who's plagued by Sauron's infection.
- Combat Pragmatist: General Victis of Dorwinion is said to have a cold-blooded yet levelheaded strategic mindset, and that he disregards honour and chivalry to win a battle. He demonstrates this mindset when he points out the flaws in Lord Gregorse's proposal to "discreetly" extend their influence over Erebor and Dale, seeing the gold to be not worth the trouble. In his own words, he gambles only when all the cards are in his favor.
- Conspicuous Gloves: When Smaug's right hand turns draconic, he conceals it with a leather glove.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Andraya is mauled and swallowed by Smaug, and then boiled alive by the fire in his stomach.
- Crystal Ball: Andraya gives one to Smaug who uses it to see Kathryn being taken to Vathvael. She had originally planned to offer it to him in exchange for impregnating Freyja. It's later used by Freyja and Faervel to track Smaug and Kathryn down to Emyn Muil.
- Darwinist Desire: Andraya wants Smaug to give Freyja a child because she believes that the old magic of the Third Age's greatest fire drake combined with the magic stored in her normal daughter would make the offspring powerful enough to rival the wizards. The reason she's not planning to mate with Smaug herself is because she sacrifices her fertility to awaken Smaug.
- Does Not Like Men: Andraya harbors an irrational viewpoint about all men exploiting women sexually and otherwise.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Since his retreat in the first chapter, Fankil is revealed to have been the physician assigned by Lord Beronor to treat Kathryn.
- Dramatic Drop: Freyja drops a fire poker two times in the same chapter; first when Smaug uncharacteristically offers to help Andraya with a heavy sack, and secondly when Andraya speaks for the first time in her presence about her plan to have Smaug impregnate the girl.
- Eldritch Abomination: Smaug transforms into a grotesque and savage half-man/half-dragon creature when his body tries to turn itself back into a dragon.
- Fighting from the Inside: When Smaug spots the One Ring with Bilbo, Sauron's taint tries to force him under its full control and he tries to fight it, giving Gandalf the chance to knock the frenzy dragon unconscious and remove the worst of the corruption.
- Finishing Stomp: Smaug kills a soldier captain in the 14th chapter by crushing his skull with his heel.
- Forced Sleep: When Kathryn is resurrected, she screams wildly in her madness. Not wanting anyone to be alerted by the screaming, Fankil places a sleeping spell on her. It's all he has time to do before the nearby merchant caravan attacks him.
- Full-Frontal Assault: When soldiers seeking their king's murderer attack Smaug in Kathryn's bedroom, he kills all four of them in a Curb-Stomp Battle, stark naked.
- Hates Being Touched: Freyja is uncomfortable when people hug her comfortingly, likely due to her abusive mother's misandristic teachings.
- Honest Advisor: Following Smaug's first appearance as a dragon in Vathvael, General Victis is brutally honest to Queen Lalemwen about their slim changes against the dragon, shutting up the underestimating Lord Beronor by describing his own face to face confrontation with Smaug.
- Honor Before Reason: When Queen Lalemwen decides to ask Erebor's dwarves to create any Black Arrows they can for whatever price they ask, Lord Beronor tries to exploit this trope by saying that Dorwinion cannot ask for others' help with its motto being "Strong and sure". The Queen refuses to risk her people for petty pride with the threat of Smaug in the air.
- Hypocritical Humor: When Smaug says that humans, elves and dwarves like hearing their own voices, Kathryn playfully points out the hypocrisy of "Smaug the O-so-pompous-one".
- I Know You Know I Know: When Smaug meets Kathryn on her balcony when there are spies watching her chambers, she questions if the balcony isn't the most obvious place to spy on. He explains that they've let themselves stray because of this trope.Smaug: There are spies now watching your chambers, I can smell them between thin walls. It was not safe to speak there.
Kathryn: But then, I must question the balcony, for it would be the most obvious place that they are spying on.
Smaug: That is where you're wrong: it is such an obvious place, they would know you would know that, so you would avoid this area on purpose, meaning there was no need to watch this space.
- I'm Having Soul Pains: Andraya feels Freyja's death as if something unreplaceable has been torn from her chest.
- Is That a Threat?: The line's used by both Kathryn and Lord Beronor in the 12th chapter, along with the You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With quote.Lord Beronor: Do you know how I got to where I am now? Yes, I was born into my family title, but it was I who dragged my family name up to become one of the most influential houses in Dorwinion. And I did not get here by allowing anyone to stand in my way. Do not stand in my way, witch... life will become very unpleasant for you if you do.
Kathryn: Is that a threat?
Lord Beronor: No, that was truth. A threat would be if I proposed something I had a chance of completing; when I say truth, I mean it with utter certainty.
Kathryn: You will leave my presence please, Sir.
Lord Beronor: You need to understand the natural order of things Kathryn. You are a parlour trick, nothing more. Yes, your powers may be extremely advantageous to us and a great thing to possess now. But soon your novelty will fear off, and when you cease to be useful it will only be a matter of time before your brash and insubordinate behaviour gets you killed. However, if, from now on, you do as you are told and do as I say, that can be avoided.
Kathryn: Do you believe me to be a little puppet for you to pull the strings?! Do you think that because I am a woman, I am feeble! I too can command the winds sir! I have a hurricane in me so great it will strip the leaves of your Noble House bare if you dare to try me!
Lord Beronor: You dare to threaten me?!
Kathryn: I do! You are little more than a dog scrounging for food at the King's chair! I am more then what you or that weakling of a king could ever dream of! You have no idea who you're dealing with — ARGH! [is backhanded by Beronor who proceeds to calmly walk away]
Lord Beronor: And apparently... neither do you.
- It's All My Fault:
- Gandalf feels like this about starting Thorin Oakenshield's quest that not only caused Lake-town's destruction and the Battle of the Five Armies, but also Kathryn's death and his failure to keep his promise to her about keeping Smaug alive.
- Bilbo holds himself responsible over the people of Lake-town suffering Smaug's wrath.
- I Want Grandkids: Andraya wants Freyja to gain through Smaug a magically powerful child to be used in having freedom from men Andraya hates. When Freyja expresses unwillingness, Andraya scares the girl into submission.
- Jerkass: King Wilhelm of Dorwinion keeps Kathryn around to entertain his court with her singing and later to use her foreseeing abilities, treating her like a pet to be punished when she goes against his desires, and caring nothing for her feelings.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Andraya brings up to Smaug's mind the question if he can provide Kathryn the peaceful life she's been searching.
- Just Desserts: Andraya is swallowed whole by Smaug and incinerated by his internal fire.
- Kick the Dog: Smaug kills Freyja when he finds her in Emyn Muil, just to keep his threat to Andraya of killing them both were he to meet them again. And he had earlier said that his quarrel with Andraya didn't involve Freyja.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Andraya murders King Wilhelm just to frame Smaug for it, but the jerkass of a king had it coming.
- Kill the Cutie: Smaug kills Freyja upon finding her in Emyn Muil's fortress.
- The Kingslayer: Andraya murders Dorwinion's king in his bed and frames Smaug for it in order to get back at him for breaking off their deal.
- Kissing Cousins: Downplayed with Dorwinion's royal couple; King Wilhelm and Queen Lalemwen are distant cousins and expecting a baby.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Fankil's discovered with the freshly resurrected and screaming Kathryn by a caravan, he knows himself to be too weakened to take on the men and escapes.
- Lightning Bruiser:
- Smaug's already this as a dragon, but his human form is also stronger as well as faster and tougher than those of ordinary humans.
- In Kathryn's vision, Ancalagon the Black is shown to have been gigantic, but also a fast and agile flier as much as the smaller dragons, not a Mighty Glacier as one would easily assume from such a behemoth. When he was eventually killed, he crushed three mountains underneath him when he fell from the sky.
- Fankil proves himself to be this in the climax.
- Little Stowaway: Bilbo when Gandalf and Elrond set out to Vathvael.
- Loophole Abuse:
- After restoring Kathryn's mind, Smaug declines Andraya's request of impregnating Freyja. He uses the fact that he originally agreed to "help Andraya with a small task" in exchange for her help... and he just helped Andraya by moving a heavy sack.
- Radagast has a minor one while rescuing Gandalf from Dol Guldur.Gandalf: You gave me your word that you wouldn't come after me!
Radagast: I didn't come in here for you!
Galadriel: He came in here for me.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Kathryn feels like this about herself when Freyja reveals her that Smaug has been killing people close to their hiding place of Emyn Muil, and he has all along been planning to take Erebor back.
- Manchild: King Wilhelm has shades of this with the way he insensitively keeps Kathryn around for entertainment, treating her like a pet/possession he can treat however he sees fit. He also makes his displeasure known when things aren't going to his liking.
- Manipulative Bitch: With the facade of a hysteric maid, Andraya successfully fools the royal guard into believing that Smaug murdered King Wilhelm.
- More Than Mind Control: The reason Sauron is able to influence Smaug through dark magic in the first place is because Smaug accepts Sauron's proposal in his blind fury. Even then the control isn't thorough, for the taint tries to direct Smaug to go on a full rampage and get the One Ring, while Smaug wants to settle personal grievances — like getting back at Bilbo — and find Kathryn. While Gandalf contains the taint, Smaug remains in the danger of succumbing to Sauron's influence if he ever gives in to his darker desires.
- Mugged for Disguise:
- In the 10th chapter, a maid is called to Kathryn's chambers where she's being confined. Faervel knocks the maid unconscious, allowing Kathryn to exit her chambers in the disguise of the maid.
- In the 12th chapter, the currently wanted Smaug kills two patrolling guards at the castle walls, dressing himself in another guard's uniform.
- Muggle Born of Mages: Freyja does not have her mother's magical abilities, even though Andraya invested magic into her during her babyhood. As such, Andraya wishes to have a grandchild with power inherited from the magic in Freyja's blood and Smaug's magic.
- Must Make Amends: Bilbo secretly tags along with Gandalf and Elrond to help Vathvael's people against Smaug because he feels that it's his fault the people of Lake-town suffered because of Smaug's attack.
- Neck Lift: Smaug does this to Andraya when he wakes in his new human body.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Smaug helps Andraya with a heavy sack, both she and Freyja are baffled. The reaction's proven warranted moments later because Smaug was that way fulfilling his end of the bargain that included "helping Andraya with a small task" so that he could weasel himself out of having to impregnate Freyja and strike a new deal of his choosing.
- Painful Transformation: Smaug undergoes a really baneful transformation into an animalistic hybrid of a dragon and a man.
- Palm Bloodletting:
- In the first chapter, Fankil slices his palm open to use his blood in Kathryn's resurrection. Andraya does the same to awaken the weakened Smaug in his human body.
- This done again by Fankil in the climax when he attempts to make Kathryn locate the Door of Night through a vision.
- Pitiful Worms:
- King Wilhelm tries to assert his authority to Smaug while comparing him to a worm. The dragon-in-human-skin responds with a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech, turning the worm-comparison around.King Wilhelm: I am a king, and you are nothing more than a worm beneath my boot!
Smaug: A worm... What lovely titles you give both to yourself and to me. But I have seen kings and empires fall in just one day, all gone in a cloud of smoke... And just now, as your narrow-minded advisors tell you, self-proclaimed kings are falling day by day, to die in the dirt, and be nothing but food for the crows and the worms.
- Smaug later calls Vathvael's people worthless worms during his attack.
- King Wilhelm tries to assert his authority to Smaug while comparing him to a worm. The dragon-in-human-skin responds with a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech, turning the worm-comparison around.
- Play-Along Prisoner: Smaug allows guards to handcuff him when Queen Lalemwen orders him to be taken to the dungeons, but once Kathryn returns to her chambers, he has already escaped and waiting for her.Kathryn: What are you doing here?! You were taken —
Smaug: Do not finish that sentence for it will only insult me that you believe I would even allow the notion of a pack of humans to keep me prisoner.
- Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Lord Beronor is apparently ruthless in his desire to create a lasting dynasty for his house, but aside from introducing Kathryn to Vathvael's court, he doesn't really contribute to the plot.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Smaug gives Andraya one before swallowing her.Smaug: You should have left me in that lake!
- Reactive Continuous Scream: Happens between Freyja and Kathryn when the former finds the latter in Emyn Muil's abandoned fortress.
- Reality Ensues: In the 9th chapter, "Cail Agonn" gives King Wilhelm an increasingly threatening "The Reason You Suck" Speech in front of his court. The king is initially intimidated along with everyone else, but then he refuses to take anymore of it and orders a guard to cut out Smaug's tongue. Fortunately Queen Lalemwen refuses to allow blood to be shed in her father's throne room and orders Smaug to be thrown in a dungeon insteadnote , but bad-mouthing royalty, especially one as self-absorbed as Wilhelm, is likely to end badly.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Smaug gives one to King Wilhelm in the 9th chapter about his delusions of royal supremacy before Wilhelm interrupts it by ordering Smaug's tongue to be cut.King Wilhelm: You seem to be under the impression that you have any form of authority. This is my court, and as such I am the one who holds the power here.
Smaug: Isn't that the arrogance of men. [chuckles coldly] To claim what they are not worthy of.
King Wilhelm: I am worthy by right of blood and marriage! I am a king, and you are nothing more than a worm beneath my boot!
Smaug: A worm... What lovely titles you give both to yourself and to me. But I have seen kings and empires fall in just one day, all gone in a cloud of smoke... And just now, as your narrow-minded advisors tell you, self-proclaimed kings are falling day by day, to die in the dirt, and be nothing but food for the crows and the worms. How wonderful it must be. To be lord of a flock of sheep that follow what little orders are thought of them. To be king of a realm that has always been second best, for it is not the wealthiest, nor the most famous, nor the most popular. A realm that will burn beneath the fire of wyrms and die with —
King Wilhelm: ENOUGH!
- The Reveal: The 20th chapter (appropriately titled Realisation) finally reveals the name and identity of Fankil and how Kathryn could be used in freeing Morgoth. However, it's not until the 23rd chapter that Fankil's revealed to be Morgoth's son.
- Revenge by Proxy: Andraya lures Kathryn into Fankil's clutches both to get back at Smaug for killing her daughter and to gain the spells necessary to resurrect Freyja.
- See the Invisible: When re-encountering Bilbo who's wearing the One Ring, Smaug finds the invisible hobbit by throwing dirt all over him.
- Shining City: Vathvael, the capital of Dorwinion.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!:
- Gandalf rebukes Sauron concisely when the White Council confronts the Dark Lord.Sauron: There is none... that can stand before the darkness... You cannot fight against the oncoming night...
Gandalf: But neither can the dark stop the dawn!
- In his last appearance, Lord Beronor is verbally put in his place by General Victis and Queen Lalemwen.
- Gandalf rebukes Sauron concisely when the White Council confronts the Dark Lord.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Queen Lalemwen may seem like a gentle flower, but that or her pregnancy won't prevent her from asserting herself. It's first shown when she forbids her husband from mutilating Smaug in her father's throne room and sends him to the dungeons. Later, when she orders Lord Beronor and Lord Gregorse to abandon their plans of Erebor's conquest and they try to protest, she puts them in their places.
- Slain in Their Sleep: Dressed as a maid, Andraya sneaks into King Wilhelm's bedchamber, murders him, and tricks the guards she alarms into thinking "Cail Agonn" is guilty. Subverted in that she wakes Wilhelm up by letting in cold night air and allows him to see her right before she slices his throat before he can fully awaken and call out an alarm.
- Slashed Throat: Andraya kills King Wilhelm this way.
- Smug Snake: Andraya is cunning, but her ego and temper tend to cause her detriment.
- Spare a Messenger: When Smaug attacks a caravan of Dale's merchants in his new territory of Emyn Muil, a youth survives. The dragon enchants him with the Dragon-spell and sends him to give a message to the kings of Erebor and Dale: "I'm coming for them." The boy's encountered and freed of the enchantment by Gandalf, prompting him to tell Smaug's message to the wizard and Elrond.Smaug: I want you to go back to Dale. Go back to them as fast you can, and send a message to the Kings of Erebor and Dale from their old friend, Smaug. You tell them quite simply: I'm coming for them.
- Statuesque Stunner: Quithyra, a Haradrim and the physician Fankil's assistant, is nearly six feet tall, curvy, dark-haired and dark-skinned.
- Sue Donym: Smaug makes up an alias this way, but not with his own name. Instead, he takes the name of his ancestor Ancalagon and turns it into Cail Agonn.
- Supernormal Bindings: A gigantic chain forged by Celebrimbor himself is strong enough to contain and constrict a struggling dragon, and it cannot be melted by their fire. Gandalf recovers it from the Iron Hills to be used against Smaug in Dorwinion. The chain's put on Smaug while he's unconscious, and it helps to make him cooperative in ceasing the hostilities and rescuing Kathryn from Fankil.
- Swallowed Whole: Andraya ends up this way into Smaug's stomach where she's boiled alive by his fire.
- Thematic Theme Tune: "World On Fire" by Les Friction. The author has used it to make a music video about the fic.
- This Cannot Be!: Elrond says this when he's told that a dragon attacked Vathvael and stole a Seer.
- Three... Two... One...: In the 17th chapter, Kathryn counts with her fingers the precise moment Smaug discovers her missing from the "den" and roars her name so loud it can be heard in the entire fortress.Kathryn: And in... 4... 3... 2... 1...
Smaug: KATHRYN?! [Kathryn rolls her eyes]
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Smaug decapitates a soldier with a thrown sword in the 14th chapter.
- Thunderbolt Iron: Black Arrows and other black weapons capable of harming dragons — such as the black sword Gurthang used to slay Glaurung — are forged out of very rare meteoric ore.
- Underestimating Badassery: Lord Beronor thinks that they can shoot Smaug down from the sky with the city's garrison and ballista. General Victis, who was present to witness Smaug's strength and toughness, calls Beronor out of his ignorance, and Queen Lalemwen decides to acquire Black Arrows in case Smaug returns.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Fankil loses his fight against Smaug and Kathryn in the climax and vanishes, but Kathryn and Gandalf know that he will return to fight another day.
- Wham Line: When Kathryn asks Fankil why does he want to release Morgoth, he goes on to explain that Sauron cannot compare to the first Dark Lord who will bring about the end of days once released. The kicker is what he says next.Fankil: And as my father... [grins sickly] I owe to him my allegiance.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Andraya slaps Freyja when the girl expresses her fear of being impregnated by Smaug, turning quickly from furious into self-righteously affectionate.Andraya: Oh no look what you've done dear. My poor baby... I do not mean to hurt you dear, but you must understand: fear is a weakness that we cannot have.
- Would Hit a Girl: In the 12th chapter, Lord Beronor backhands Kathryn in the face at the end of their confrontation.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Dressed as a maid, Andraya murders King Wilhelm in his bed, slices her forehead, sinks the dagger in the king's chest, and screams for help. The "hysteric maid" tearfully tells the guards that "Cail Agonn" murdered the king and escaped through the servant passage she left open.
- You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Kathryn and Lord Beronor exchange this quote in the 12th chapter. See the Is That a Threat? section above.
- Ambadassador: Faervel has become Rivendell's ambassador for Esgaroth's all peoples, and he convinces Smaug to accept King Brand's condition that he'll get Kathryn back once he returns from his mission in the north and leaves without harming anyone in Esgaroth's area.
- Armor-Piercing Response: Faervel gives Smaug one in the 15th chapter.Faervel: There is one thing, Smaug, that you have not accounted for...
Smaug: And what is that?
Faervel: You owe me a debt.
- Behemoth Battle:
- Between Smaug and Durin's Bane in the 7th chapter.
- The 13th chapter has a brief one between Smaug and Urgost. Smaug gains the upper hand.
- Berserk Button: Gandalf does not take kindly to Smaug calling him a magician.
- Bystander Syndrome: Smaug refuses to let himself or Kathryn to be involved in the War of the Ring, thinking it's not their problem. This ends when Sauron mentally assaults Kathryn just as her labour begins, after which Smaug swears to destroy the Dark Lord.
- 60 years In The Making (Chapter 2) Smaug and Kathryn find Gandalf at the entrance of their cave.
- A Fellowship Formed (Chapter 5) Smaug refuses to allow himself or Kathryn to join the Fellowship of the Ring and takes her away from Elrond's Council.
- So It Begins (Chapter 6) Smaug and Kathryn set out to help the Fellowship against Durin's Bane.
- The Highest Peak (Chapter 7) Smaug and Kathryn bring Gandalf to Caras Galadhon and are greeted by Galadriel.
- The Downfall of Mortals (Chapter 8) Kathryn has a vision through the Mirror of Galadriel as Orc troops get closer to Lothlórien.
- Calm Before the Storm (Chapter 10) Smaug agrees to unite against Sauron whatever dragons remain, secretly planning to reclaim Erebor as his reward for helping the Free Peoples win the war.
- Go North, Go North (Chapter 11) Sauron sends one of his mindless servants to sabotage Smaug's quest to rally the dragons of the Withered Heath against the Dark Lord.
- Through the Grey Mountains (Chapter 12) Kathryn and her twins are ambushed by a grey dragon on a mountain path.
- Entertaining Thoughts (Chapter 14) As Smaug flies over Dale, Kings Brand and Dáin insist on accompanying Kathryn to negotiate with Smaug.
- Diplomatic Insensitivity (Chapter 15) Kathryn witnesses in a vision when Aragorn fights Saruman's Warg riders and falls off a cliff.
- Returned to the Mountain (Chapter 16) Kathryn goes to seek her children after she and Faervel survive an assassination attempt of dwarf conspirators while Smaug finally finds fire drakes in the Withered Heath.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Smaug fights Moria's Balrog in the 7th chapter.
- Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Kathryn covers the eyes of her twins when Smaug rips off one of Urgost's fingers.
- Cruel Mercy: When Smaug meets the aged Bilbo Baggins in Rivendell, he initially attempts to kill the hobbit. However, upon seeing Bilbo searching for his "precious" in a fit, Smaug opts to let him live the rest of his life with this "insanity".Smaug: Be left with the prison of your own design, with the poison of your own making, thief-in-the-shadows. Once again, you've denied me the satisfaction of killing an enemy. But I know death will come for you. It comes for all of us. Especially the insane. Enjoy your tormented world, Bilbo Baggins. I shall certainly enjoy watching you slowly die.
- Death by Childbirth: Subverted. Kathryn dies while giving birth to her twins, finding herself welcomed by Irmo. Fortunately, the recently resuscitated Gandalf the White brings her back.
- "Double, Double" Title: The 11th chapter is titled Go North, Go North.
- The Dreaded: Even the normally arrogant Smaug isn't looking forward to facing a Balrog.
- Evil Is Sterile: Galadriel states that Morgoth is unable to create life that's original and intelligent. He can only create mockeries of living creatures or corrupt those that already live. He created Orcs that way, and ever since he first extended his tainted influence onto the dragons, all of them have been born with a shackle tying them to him.
- Fingore: Smaug bites off one of Urgost's fingers.
- Grim Up North: The Withered Heath, the last sanctuary of dragons.The Withered Heath was an unforgiving and mostly inhospitable place so far beyond the north, most mortals never dared to venture here. It was a valley between neat rows of mountains to the north, south and west. The east carried on seemingly forever until is supposedly reached the sea. The valley itself was a land where winter held sway forever. No matter the time of year for the rest of middle earth, the snows of the Heath never melted. Hardly any plant life grew in such a harsh environment, and as a result, the prey was selective at best. Yet this was the world that the dragons had been forced to, the last refuge where no mortals would bother them. A place where few survived.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: After Smaug pins down Urgost who realizes that Smaug isn't dead after all, the grey dragon looks at the bitten stump of his finger and surrenders, saying that he doesn't want to make the descendant of Ancalagon the Black his enemy.
- Neutral No Longer: At first Smaug wants himself and Kathryn to be uninvolved with the War of the Ring, but after Sauron makes the mistake of mentally attacking Kathryn whose labour is beginning, Smaug swears to destroy Sauron.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Sauron's mental assault of Kathryn just as her labour begins helps to convince Smaug to take the Free Peoples' side against the Dark Lord.
- Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: When Smaug's not willing to help the Elves of Lothlórien against the Orcs of Dol Guldur and leave Kathryn in her labour pain, Galadriel changes his mind by suggesting him to be a coward.Galadriel: Perhaps I was mistaken, then. Perhaps you are not the famed dragon-dread who could slay an army as he did the great warriors of old. Perhaps you are just a snake too craven to stand against the Dark Lord.
[Smaug nearly attacks her, but then ponders on what Sauron has done to him and Kathryn, and makes up his mind]
Smaug: For what Sauron has done, I vow to kill him and all that he rules for this insult!
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Though Smaug eventually agrees to ally with the Free Peoples against Sauron, he does that only to destroy Sauron and Fankil for what they've done to him and Kathryn, get rid of Sauron's taint inside him, and retake Erebor as his reward for helping the Free Peoples win the war.
- Not So Different:
- Smaug notes this about himself and Frodo Baggins when the hobbit's Morgul-blade wound is being treated.... at the thought of the dark powers that inhabited a wound such as that, it made [Smaug] shiver. His hand drifted to his chest and rubbed circles over his head, right where a thick, knotted black scar lay. For just a moment, he noted similarities between himself and the sick hobbit. They had both been touched by the darkness, and it had left its mark on them, and would forever more.
- Urgost says to Smaug that neither of them care about what happens with the world as long as they can fulfill their own selfish desires, and they both have left the Withered Heath because don't want to help in continuing their dwindling race.
- Smaug notes this about himself and Frodo Baggins when the hobbit's Morgul-blade wound is being treated.
- Not Worth Killing: Upon finding Bilbo Baggins in Rivendell, Smaug sneaks into the aged hobbit's room to kill him. However, Bilbo has a fit induced by the One Ring and searches for his "precious". Deeming that killing a deranged enemy isn't satisfying, Smaug decides to let the hobbit be plagued by this "insanity" for the rest of his life.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The more daring Vervenia is the Red Oni, while the more cautious Kolstros is the Blue Oni.
- Something Only They Would Say: When Bilbo meets Smaug in his human form for the first time, Smaug makes blatant references to their first meeting, yet Bilbo recognizes him only after Smaug calls him "thief in the shadows".
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Though Fankil and Sauron have some liaison between them, they both refuse to truckle to each other. Even during the First Age they were at each other's throats over the right-hand position of Morgoth.
- Thematic Theme Tune: "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Lorde.
- Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Kathryn gives birth to a son and a daughter in the 9th chapter, naming them Kolstros and Vervenia, respectively.