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Timeline Event

Smaug slain by Bard in the Destruction of Lake-town

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Date: November 2, 2941

Description:

An event in the Destruction of Lake-town by Smaug the Dragon; see that entry for an overview:
Death of Smaug.
Death of Smaug, drawn by JRR Tolkien.
At the twanging of the bows and the shrilling of the trumpets the dragon's wrath blazed.... No one had dared to give battle to him for many an age; nor would they have dared now, if it had not been for the grim-voiced man... who ran to and fro cheering on the archers and urging the Master to order them to fight to the last arrow.

Fire leaped from the Dragon's jaws. He circled for a while high in the air above them.... Then down he swooped straight through the arrow-storm, reckless in his rage, taking no heed to turn his scaly sides towards his foes, seeking only to set their town ablaze....

But there was still a company of archers that held their ground among the burning houses. Their captain was Bard, grim-voiced and grim-faced, whose friends had accused him of prophesying floods and poisoned fish, though they knew his worth and courage. He was a descendant in long line of Girion, Lord of Dale.... Now he shot with a great yew bow, till all his arrows but one were spent. The flames were near him. His companions were leaving him. He bent his bow for the last time.

Suddenly out of the dark something fluttered to his shoulder. He started — but it was only an old thrush. Unafraid it perched by his ear and it brought him news. Marvelling he found he could understand its tongue, for he was of the race of Dale.

'Wait! Wait!' it said to him. 'The moon is rising. Look for the hollow of the left breast as he flies and turns above you!' And while Bard paused in wonder it told him of tidings up in the Mountain and of all that it had heard.

Then Bard drew his bow-string to his ear. The Dragon was circling back, flying low...

'Arrow!' said the bowman. 'Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!'

The Dragon swooped once more lower than ever, and as he turned and dived down his belly glittered white with sparkling fires of gems in the moon — but not in one place. The great bow twanged. The black arrow sped straight from the string, straight for the hollow by the left breast where the foreleg was flung wide. In it smote and vanished, barb, shaft and feather, so fierce was its flight. With a shriek that deafened men, felled trees and split stone, Smaug shot spouting into the air, turned over and crashed down from on high in ruin.

Full on the town he fell. His last throes splintered it to sparks and gledes.... And that was the end of Smaug and Esgaroth....

The Hobbit, Ch 14, Fire and Water


Notes
The year is canon, but the day is an estimate by Fonstadt from her book: The Atlas of Middle-earth, Revised Edition, by Karen Wynn Fonstad, Section 5, The Hobbit: Introduction.

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 31Jul04, 1Oct11

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