- "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 also known as the "Heart of the Mountain" of Thrain was a wondrous gem sought by Thorin Oakenshield in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. It was discovered beneath the Lonely Mountain (Erebor) 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. This appearance leaves the question if the Arkenstone actually is one of the three famous Silmarills. 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."
Significance in The HobbitEditThe Arkenstone was a gem, the most prized object by Thorin Oakenshield of all the treasure of Erebor. 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 Thror King under the Mountain, of the house of Durin. In these movies, when Smaug attacked Erebor, Thror'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 (Ered Mithrin) 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 Hobbit, chapter XIII, "Not at Home".
- ↑ The Hobbit, chapter XVI, "A Thief in the Night".
- ↑ The Hobbit, chapter XVIII, "The Return Journey".