- "It was a globe with a thousand facets; it shone like silver in the firelight, like water in the sun, like snow under the stars, like rain upon the Moon!"
- ——Thorin Oakenshield, describing the Arkenstone of Thrain
The Arkenstone of Thrain, also known as the Heart of the Mountain, was a wondrous gem sought by Thorin Oakenshield in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. It was discovered beneath the Lonely Mountain by Thorin's ancestor Thrain and shaped by the Dwarves. The Arkenstone became the family heirloom of Durin's folk, but was lost when the Dragon Smaug captured the mountain from the Dwarves.
The Arkenstone shone of its own inner light, and appeared a little globe of pallid light in darkness, and yet, cut and fashioned by the Dwarves, it took all light that fell upon it and changed it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow. Of the three Silmarils, it seems most likely to have been the one taken by Maedhros, which is "taken into the bosom of the earth" when he casts himself into a "gaping chasm filled with flames."
The Arkenstone was a gem, the most prized object by Thorin Oakenshield of all the treasure of Lonely Mountain. Such did he consider its value that he was willing to trade 1/14th of all the gold and silver of Smaug's hoard for it. In the recent The Hobbit movie it is presented as the most valued possession of Thrór, King under the Mountain, of the house of Durin. In these movies, when Smaug attacked the Lonely Mountain, Thrór's first action was to collect the Arkenstone. Unfortunately, as he tried to flee, he was confronted by the dragon in the gold hoard, causing him to drop the Arkenstone and lose it amongst the gold that Smaug was hoarding. Thorin stopped him from searching for it, helping him to escape from the dragon instead.
When Bilbo Baggins found it on Smaug's golden bed deep inside the Lonely Mountain, he pocketed it, having learned how much Thorin valued it. While the Dwarves with Thorin sorted the treasure, Thorin sought only the Arkenstone, unaware that Bilbo was hiding it in his pillow. When the Dwarves refused to share any of the treasure with King Thranduil and Bard, who had killed Smaug the Magnificent, Bilbo crept out of the Dwarves' fort inside the Mountain, and gave them the Arkenstone; Bard, Thranduil, and Gandalf then tried to trade it for Bilbo's fourteenth share of Smaug's hoard. An evil army arriving from the Grey Mountains interrupted the dispute, the Battle of the Five Armies ensued, and Thorin was killed. The Arkenstone was placed upon Thorin's chest within his tomb deep under the Lonely Mountain, and so was returned to the earth at last.
The name Arkenstone may have been related to the Gothic word arkins ("holy").
Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit
Translations around the WorldEdit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Portuguese (Brazil)||Pedra Arken|
|Spanish (Spain and Latin America)||Piedra del Arca|
- In Gene Deitch's film adaptation in 1966, Arkenstone was a heart-shaped jewel of Earth. It was later used as an arrowhead to a large crossbow made of old mining machines by Bilbo and company to kill Slag the Dragon.
- In the movie, it is depicted as being from the earth. It is the reason the quest is set in the films as it would have given the Dwarves the power to unite against Smaug. It has been compared to the Silmaril cast into the earth by Maedhros, as it drove Thrór insane and Thorin's increasing need for it caused him to become increasingly ruthless, in comparison with the oath of Fëanor where the Fëanorians were very calm while the jewels were in Angband, but once they were removed from his power, were willing to commit mass murder in order to retrieve it.
- Some Tolkien scholars have linked the Arkenstone with an allegory of the Jewish ark of the covenant, making it the most longed for possession of a folk displaced from their spiritual homeland
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- ↑ The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 7: The Treason of Isengard, VII: "The Council of Elrond (2)"
- ↑ The Hobbit, chapter XIII, "Not at Home".
- ↑ The Hobbit, chapter XVI, "A Thief in the Night".
- ↑ The Hobbit, chapter XVIII, "The Return Journey".
- ↑ The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 4: The Shaping of Middle-earth, VI: "The Earliest Annals of Valinor"