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Places in Middle-earth

Desolation of Smaug, The

Type: Kingdoms, Realms, Lands

Region: Rhovanion/Misty Mtns

Other Names The Desolation of the Dragon

Location: The region surrounding the Lonely Mountain and Dale, where Smaug the Dragon had destroyed the forests and town.

Description: There was a most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm called Smaug. One day he flew up into the air and came south. The first we heard of it was a noise like a hurricane coming from the North, and the pine-trees on the Mountain creaking and cracking in the wind. Some of the dwarves who happened to be outside ... saw the dragon settle on our mountain in a spout of flame. Then he came down the slopes and when he reached the woods they all went up in fire. By that time all the bells were ringing in Dale and the warriors were arming. The dwarves rushed out of their great gate; but there was the dragon waiting for them. ... The river rushed up in steam and a fog fell on Dale, and in the fog the dragon came on them and destroyed most of the warriors ... Later he used to crawl out of the great gate and come by night to Dale, and carry away people ... to eat, until Dale was ruined, and all the people dead or gone.

The Hobbit, Ch 1, An Unexpected Party

In two days going they rowed right up the Long Lake and passed out into the River Running, and now they could all see the Lonely Mountain towering grim and tall before them. ... At the end of the third day, some miles up the river, they drew in to the ... western bank and disembarked. ... They packed what they could on the ponies and the rest was made into a store under a tent, but none of the men of the town would stay with them even for the night so near the shadow of the Mountain. ... Indeed their stores had no need of any guard, for all the land was desolate and empty. ...

The next day they set out again. ... the others were some way ahead picking out a slow road, for there were no paths. ...

The land about them grew bleak and barren, though once, as Thorin told them, it had been green and fair. There was little grass, and before long there was neither bush nor tree, and only broken and blackened stumps to speak of ones long vanished. They were come to the Desolation of the Dragon, and they were come at the waning of the year.

They reached the skirts of the Mountain all the same without meeting any danger or any sign of the Dragon other than the wilderness he had made about his lair.

The Hobbit, Ch 11, On the Doorstep

One autumn evening some years afterwards Bilbo was sitting in his study writing his memoirs ... when there was a ring at the door. It was Gandalf and ... Balin. ...

Bilbo asked how things were going in the lands of the Mountain. It seemed they were going very well. Bard had rebuilt the town in Dale and men had gathered to him from the Lake and from South and West, and all the valley had become tilled again and rich, and the desolation was now filled with birds and blossoms in spring and fruit and feasting in autumn.

The Hobbit, Ch 19, The Last Stage

Glóin began then to talk of the works of his people, telling Frodo about their great labours in Dale and under the Mountain. ... 'You should see the waterways of Dale, Frodo, and the fountains, and the pools! You should see the stone-paved roads of many colours! And the halls and cavernous streets under the earth with arches carved like trees; and the terraces and towers upon the Mountain's sides!' ...

[Said Frodo,] 'How surprised Bilbo would have been to see all the changes in the Desolation of Smaug!'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 1, Many Meetings

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 10Jul04, 14Jul04, 10Aug04

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