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Smaug

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REVENGE! REVENGE! I will show you REVENGE! I am fire, I am...death!
~ Smaug
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 armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!
~ Smaug
You will take nothing from me, Dwarf! I laid low your warriors of old. I instil terror in the hearts of men. I am King under the Mountain!
~ Smaug to Thorin.

Smaug, also known as Smaug the Dragon, is the main antagonist of the 1937 classic novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and it's many adaptations. He appears as one of the main antagonists in Peter Jackson's live-action film trilogy of The Hobbit (2012-2014).

In the live-action trilogy he is voiced and portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who also played Khan from Star Trek: Into Darkness, the Necromancer, William Prince Ford from 12 Years a Slave and Alan Turing from The Imitation Game.

The Hobbit

One of the last great dragons of Middle-earth, Smaug rose to prominence by laying waste to the town of Dale and capturing the Lonely Mountain (Erebor) with all of its treasure. He was already centuries old at the time, this having happened over 200 years before the events of The Hobbit. The book recounts the tale of a party of dwarves (consisting of a few of the original residents of the Lonely Mountain and their descendants) and the titular hobbit to recapture the mountain and kill the dragon. In the book, he is sometimes called Smaug the GoldenSmaug the Terrible and Smaug the Magnificent.

Smaug was intimately familiar with every last item within his hoard, and instantly noticed the theft of a relatively inconsequential cup by Bilbo Baggins. According to Tolkien, his rage was the kind which "is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy lose something they have long had but never before used or wanted." This theft and the dragon's ensuing rampage all echo the story of Beowulf, on which Tolkien was a noted expert and which he described as one of his "most valued sources" for The Hobbit. Among the items in Smaug's possession were the Arkenstone, and a number of mithril mail shirts, one of which was given as a gift to Bilbo by Thorin Oakenshield, the company's leader. In The Lord of the Rings, set 60 years later, the shirt saved Bilbo's relative Frodo from injury multiple times.

Smaug's belly was crusted in gems and gold, which rendered him almost invulnerable. However, when Bilbo met him in his lair, he discovered a bare patch on his left breast. When Bilbo told his Dwarf companions about Smaug's weakness, he was overheard by the thrush that roosted by the mountain's secret door. The thrush in turn told Bard the Bowman of Esgaroth. When Smaug attacked the town, Bard shot his Black Arrow into Smaug's left breast, the dragon's weak spot, slaying Smaug and causing him to plunge into Esgaroth.

After death

After Smaug's death, Thorin and Company claimed the treasure as theirs by birthright. This created a conflict with Bard and the Elven king, Thranduil, of Mirkwood, who each wanted a portion of the gold as reimbursement for all the damage Smaug had caused their kingdoms over the years. Thorin refused to share the treasure as long as they stood in arms before his gate, and declared war on both of them.

Conflict was avoided by the arrival of the Goblin and Warg army who wanted the treasure out of greed, and the Dwarves decided to ally with the Elves and Men to fight this greater enemy in what was known as the Battle of Five Armies. The huge battle was eventually won by the Elves, Men and Dwarves, but Thorin was mortally wounded.

The Hobbit (1977 animated film adaption)

In the 1977 Rankin/Bass cartoon movie adaptation of The Hobbit, Smaug is voiced by Richard Boone. In this version, he resembles an Eastern dragon and looks more cat-like in appearance rather than a European dragon.

In Sir Peter Jackson's films

Smaug also naturally appears in Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy 2012-2014 as one of the primary antagonistic characters, portrayed by Academy Award nominated Benedict Cumberbatch through motion-capture.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Although he doesn't appear much in the first movie, at the beginning of the film, his story is told and at the end of the movie, he is seen awakening. Smaug is kept either in shadow or never in full body view to keep his appearance a secret until The Desolation Of Smaug.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Do you think flattery will keep you alive? No, indeed.
~ Smaug to Bilbo Baggins upon their meeting.

Smaug appears as the titular main antagonist. When Bilbo Baggins is sent into the mountain alone, while the Dwarves are waiting outside and Gandalf is at Dol Guldur, Bilbo starts looking for the arkenstone, but accidentally wakes up Smaug, but before Smaug can spot him, Bilbo puts on the One Ring and hides from Smaug for a while, but Smaug says that he can detect a piece of gold that he carries and Bilbo eventually reveals himself.

Politely pretending to be an admirer, Bilbo flatters Smaug, but the dragon is aware of his true intentions. Smaug spoke of a darkness coming to their lands that was preparing for war. Smaug revealed to Bilbo that he knew that he was sent to receive the arkenstone from Thorin and his company. Bilbo pretended that he knew nothing of what Smaug spoke of, which was pointless as Smaug knows that Bilbo intends to take the arkenstone.

After failing to win Bilbo's influence, Smaug boasts and as he does this, Bilbo locates a bare patch on his left breast. When Bilbo locates the arkenstone, Smaug reveals that he was secretly tempted to let Bilbo take it and let Thorin suffer the same fate as Thror did, as he too cares more about the gold and the Arkenstone more than others. But Smaug reconsidered and tries to kill Bilbo, but Bilbo once again hides by using the One Ring and in the process, steals the arkenstone before escaping, causing Smaug to go off in a terrible fiery rage.

Smaug eventually finds Bilbo, Thorin and the rest of the dwarf company and attempts to burn them all, but they escape. Thorin eventually conjures up a plan to kill the dragon and the dwarves lead him to the forges and trick him into lighting up the furnaces with his fiery breath, and after a long battle with the dragon, Thorin eventually confronts Smaug and reveals the giant golden dwarf statue, which was set up as a trap as the statue melted into gold and they attempted to drown Smaug in it.

Unfortunately for the dwarves, their strategy failed, as Smaug bursts out of the rivers of melted gold, shakes all of the gold off and flies towards Esgaroth, Lake-town, intending to destroy it for helping the Dwarves.

As Bilbo remains horrified at what they have unleashed, Smaug quotes "I am fire! I am...death!".

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Who are you that would stand against me?!?!
~ Smaug to Bard the Bowman.

Smaug, now enraged, attacks Lake-town, destroying everything in his path and burning the entire city to the ground. Bard the Bowman, having just escaped capture from the corrupt Master of Lake-town, attempted to pelt Smaug with normal arrows, but all of Bard's attempts to kill Smaug were fruitless.

Smaug's death (1080p) The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies04:01

Smaug's death (1080p) The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies

Bard's son Bain suddenly arrived and gave his father the last Black Arrow to use against Smaug. The dragon spotted Bard and Bain and taunted them both before attempting to kill them, but Bard spotted Smaug's weak spot and fired the arrow into the bare patch, killing Smaug at last and ending his hold over Erebor. As Smaug fell to his death, he also crushed the fleeing Master of Lake-town.

Even after his death, Smaug's influence is felt throughout the movie. Aside from the damage he inflicted on Lake-Town driving the residents to try and stay in Dale, as Thorin falls under the influence of the dragon sickness, Bilbo begins to hear him speak in Smaug's voice, and Thorin experiences a hallucination of Smaug while walking on the golden floor that they created while trying to 'drown' the dragon.

LEGO: The Hobbit Video Game

In the 2014 Lego video game adaptation of the The Hobbit films, Smaug is naturally featured in it as well. He appears as a minifigure and offically appeared in his lego dragon form in a Lego Hobbit set October, 2014.

Personality

Smaug's only motivation was his greed, he loved gold more than anything and was incredibly possessive over it, even when he had claimed the treasure of Erebor he refused to part with not one single gold coin as he said to Bilbo and was left completely mesmerised when he saw a solid gold statue. Smaug can also be ruthless and cruel, he destroyed the entire kingdom of Erebor to seize its treasure, nearly allowed the Hobbit to take the Arkenstone so he could watch it corrupt Oakenshield's heart and destroyed the entire village of Laketown as to hurt Thorin's Company. Smaug is also motivated by a sense of vengeance, as when he saw that Dwarves were stealing from him, he destroyed the entire Laketown as an act of revenge.

Film Version

While his personality is more or less the same as the book, in the movie, Smaug is considerably more malicious and cruel. He takes much more pleasure in psychologically tormenting Bilbo, making suggestions that Thorin was just using him, choosing to spare Bilbo just so that he can watch Laketown burn, and sarcastically asking him how he would like to die. During his attack on Laketown, Smaug went out of his way to mock and sneer at Bard and Bain. He was also aware of the return of Sauron, and was apparently intent on joining forces with him. Like his book counterpart, Smaug is extremely arrogant, and the mere implication that he may possess a weakness made him visibly angry; being insulted by Thorin also was quick to earn his anger. Smaug was also purely confident in his own powers, shown in his famous speech about how certain components of his body were weapons of destruction. Smaug was utterly ruthless, completely capable of committing genocide in pursuit of his goals. Due to his hubris, egomania and overall extreme narcissism, Smaug clearly suffers from a superiority complex.

Quotes

  • "DID YOU THINK I DID NOT KNOW THIS DAY WOULD COME?!! THAT A PACK OF CANTING DWARVES WOULD COME CRAWLING BACK TO THE MOUNTAIN?!!!"
  • "My teeth are swords, my claws are spears! My wings are a HURRICANE!"
  • "YOU think you could deceive me, Barrel-Rider?! You have come from Lake-town! This is some sort of scheme between these filthy Dwarves and those miserable tub-trading Lake-men! Those sniveling cowards, with their longbows and black arrows! Perhaps it is time I paid them a visit!"
  • "I will not part with a sssingle coin! Not one piece of it!"
  • "Is that your child? You cannot save him from the fire! He will BURN!"
  • "Well, this is a pity. What will you do now, bowman? You are forsaken! No help will come!"
  • "WHO ARE YOU THAT WOULD STAND AGAINST ME?!?!"
  • "Tell me, wretch, how now should you challenge me? You have nothing left, but your DEATH!"
  • "So tell me, thief, how do you choose to die?"
  • "Come, now, don't be shy. Step into the light!"
  • "REVENGE?! REVENGE?!! I WILL SHOW YOU REVENGE!"
  • "But it matters not. Oakenshield's quest will fail. The darkness is coming. It will spread to every corner of the land...
  • "I am King under the Mountain!"
  • "There you are, Thief in the Shadows!"
  • "The darkness is coming. It will spread to every corner of the land."
  • "YOU WILL ALL BURN!"
  • "You care about them, do you? Good. Then you can watch them die!"
  • "Don't bother denying it! I guessed his foul purpose some time ago."
  • "The king under the mountain is dead. I took his throne, I ate his people, like a wolf among sheep."
  • "I kill where I wish, when I wish."
  • "My armour is iron! No blade can pierce me!"
  • "You will take nothing from me, dwarf! I laid low your warriors of old. I instil terror in the hearts of men! I am King Under The Mountain!"
  • "Well, thief. I smell you. I hear your breath. I feel your air. Where are you? Where are you?!?"
  • "There is something about you. Something you carry; something made of gold. But far more..precious."
  • "You have nice manners, for a thief, and a LIAR!"

Gallery

Trivia

  • Despite being a dragon, Smaug would technically be called a wyvern; a dragon has eight limbs - the head, the tail, four legs, and a pair of wings. Smaug however has six limbs, his head and tail, his rear legs, and his forelimbs doubling as his wings (which is how a wyvern looks) but both dragons and wyverns can breathe fire.
  • In An Unexpected Journey, Smaug clearly has four legs while in its extended edition and The Desolation of Smaug, Smaug is more Wyvern-like in appearance.
  • Although Smaug breathes fire during the battle in the film, he never makes reference to "the shock of my tail a thunderbolt" or "my breath death" as he does in the book, nor does he use either on the mountainside before going to Laketown. He also doesn't use any tail whips during the battle.
  • A red dragon appears in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic who lives in a tall mountain laying on a treasure hoard, giving him resemblance to Smaug who was likely his inspiration. Also, the episode where he appears has a similar theme song to Lord of the Rings, and, although this may be a coincidence, six ponies go to convince him to leave Equestria, while in the book Smaug eats six ponies.
  • While responsible for committed infamous atrocities on Dwarves has built Smaug's own terrifying reputations aside his deadly capabilities, the said reasons became the motives why Gandalf wanted Smaug to be destroyed before the War of the Ring began: Had Smaug allied with Sauron, it would have meant almost certain ruin for the Free Peoples—the forces of Rohan and Gondor would not have been able to bring him down without suffering enormous losses. This idea is reinforced in the extended version of An Unexpected Journey when Gandalf meets with the White Council at Rivendell, as he expresses concern at the possibility of Smaug allying with the new darkness that Radagast has encountered (Although Saruman dismisses this as nothing more than some human playing with black magic rather than recognizing it as Sauron).
    • The extended edition of the The Desolation of Smaug confirms Gandalf's fear of Smaug and Sauron working together as Thrain reveals. This explains his vast knowledge of Sauron and the Ring as he alludes in the theatrical version. Precisely why he would join the Dark Lord is unclear, but it is possible that despite his strength, he does not have the power to fight Sauron. Fortunately, he eventually killed by Bard before he had a chance to do so.
  • As of 2013, Smaug is ranked by Forbes (as part of their annual Forbes Fictional 15 ) as the second-wealthiest character in all of fiction– adjusted for inflation– with a net worth of $54.1 Billion. He is surpassed only by Scrooge McDuck, with a net worth of $67.4 Billion.
    • In 2012, however, he was briefly ranked at number 1, with an estimated net worth of $62.0 Billion.
    • Given that McDuck is technically considered a hero despite his own notorious greed, this may make Smaug the single wealthiest villain in all of fiction.

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