The Battle of Five Armies: A Legendary Clash of Forces

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Image: "The Battle Under the Mountain", by Matthew Stewart Introduction The Battle of Five Armies is a legendary clash that took place in J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece, "The Hobbit." It was a battle between the Orcs...

The Battle Under the Mountain Image: "The Battle Under the Mountain", by Matthew Stewart

Introduction

The Battle of Five Armies is a legendary clash that took place in J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece, "The Hobbit." It was a battle between the Orcs and the Wargs of the Misty Mountains and the Grey Mountains against the Lake-men, Elves, and Dwarves. This epic showdown near the Lonely Mountain is a central event in the story, highlighting the power of unity against a common foe.

History

Background

After the dragon Smaug was slain by Bard, the Men of the Lake and the Wood-elves besieged the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain. The Dwarves, led by Thorin II Oakenshield, refused to share any of the treasure they had reclaimed. As tensions rose, Thorin's messages about their plight reached his relative, Dáin Ironfoot of the Iron Hills. Dáin gathered a force of 500 heavily armed Dwarves and marched to the Lonely Mountain to aid Thorin and Company.

The Battle

Before the Dwarves could clash with the Men and Elves, Gandalf intervened and revealed that the Goblins of the Misty Mountains and Grey Mountains, under Bolg, were marching against them. The three armies put their differences aside and united against the common enemy. They strategically positioned themselves on the two spurs of the Mountain, with a rear-guard to lure the Orcs into a trap. The battle began with a wave of Orcs, Wargs, and Bats attacking the allied forces. The plan initially worked, but the Orcs' superior numbers eventually turned the tide.

Men and goblins in the battle Image: Men and goblins in the battle

At a critical moment, the Great Eagles and the skin-changer Beorn arrived to support the allies. Their intervention changed the course of the battle, as they pushed back the Orcs. Beorn, in his bear form, wreaked havoc among the enemy ranks, ultimately killing Bolg, the leader of the Orcs.

Aftermath

Death of Thorin

Despite the victory, the Battle of Five Armies came at a great cost. Thorin, Fíli, and Kíli, defending their fallen king, perished in the battle. Thorin died from his wounds, but not before bidding a last farewell to Bilbo, the Hobbit who played a crucial role in the events leading up to the battle.

Distributing the Treasure Hoard

After the defeat of the Orcs and Wargs, the victors divided the treasure. Bard, who slew Smaug, received Bilbo's fourteenth share in exchange for the coveted Arkenstone. Bard then shared his reward with the Master of Lake-town and gave Thranduil, the Elven-king, the emeralds of Girion. Bilbo, despite forfeiting his share, humbly refused a greater reward and returned to the Shire with two small chests of gold and silver.

Effects

The Battle of Five Armies had far-reaching consequences. It diminished the power of the Northern Orcs, preventing them from launching significant attacks during the War of the Ring. With the reestablishment of the Kingdom under the Mountain and the Kingdom of Dale, the alliance formed a strong defense in the North, halting the expansion of Sauron's forces into the Western Lands.

In Adaptations

The Battle of Five Armies has been adapted in various forms, including the animated film version in 1977 and Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." These adaptations brought the epic clash to life on the big screen, showcasing the bravery and sacrifice of the diverse forces involved.

Conclusion

The Battle of Five Armies stands as a testament to the power of unity and the courage to confront common enemies. This legendary clash, immortalized in Tolkien's "The Hobbit," is a reminder that even in the face of overwhelming odds, diverse forces can come together to achieve victory.

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