- "Your grandfather Thrór was killed, you remember, in the Mines of Moria by Azog the Goblin."
- —Gandalf to Thorin
- "Curse his name, yes!"
Azog was a powerful Orc who claimed rulership over the abandoned dwarvish mines of Moria, during the late Third Age. He became the leader of the Goblins of Moria and initiated the War of the Dwarves and Orcs in TA 2790, by beheading King Thrór, who had come to revisit the ruins of the ancient dwarven Kingdom of Moria. At some point he birthed a son named Bolg. In the following years, Azog was the common enemy of all dwarves, and the war he started had its climax in the Battle of Azanulbizar, where he killed Náin, only to be himself slain by Náin's son Dáin, who would later become King of Durin's Folk. His son, Bolg, inherited the reign in Moria and continued it for decades until his death at the Battle of the Five Armies. He stood about 7ft/213cm tall.
Azog entered history in the year TA 2790 due to King Thrór's desire to revisit and perhaps restore the lost realm of Khazad-dûm, in whose mighty ruins When Thror was found in the armories of Khazad-Dum he was brought before Azog being accused of thieving. He tortured Thrór for two days until he was informed of a second dwarf outside of Moria. He decided to kill Thrór after he defied him with the words "These are the Halls of Durin!". He beheaded Thrór and carved his name in Thror´s head, then threw Thrór's body over the stairs. Azog then called out to Nar, the other dwarf, from the gate, demanding that he deliver a message back to Thrór's people, warning that beggars who dared to enter Moria and attempted thievery would meet a similar fate.
Azog then called out that he had killed Thrór, and that he now ruled Moria as king. His name in runes was carved onto the brow of Thrór, forever branding his very name into the hearts of the Dwarves. Nár was barred from retrieving the head of Thrór, and the orcs threw him a small pouch of coins of little worth as a final gesture of scorn. Nár took the pouch and turned and fled. When he looked back, Orcs had emerged from the Gate and were hacking apart Thrór's body and flinging the pieces as carrion to the ravens.
When news of this reached Thrór's heir Thráin, he was greatly angered and mus
tered a force of Dwarves to seek revenge on Azog. So began the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. The dwarves hunted Azog, and many battles were fought beneath the earth. After nine years of war, the climactic Battle of Azanulbizar was fought before the gates of Moria itself.
King Thráin and his son Thorin were in that battle, and it was here that Thorin gained the surname Thorin Oakenshield. Near the end of the battle, Azog himself emerged and fought with Thráin. Azog killed him and gloated by taking his head. This enraged Thorin who cut off Azog's arm in a vicous battle against the pale orc. Azog was dragged away by the other orcs where it is thought he died from his wound.
The dwarves made no attempt to press their advantage by pursuing the orcs into the mines as, while standing near the Gate and peering into it, Dáin had glimpsed Durin's Bane deep within and warned the Dwarves to not attempt entering Moria.
Azog's underground dominions in the north, greatly reduced in the War, passed under the the control of his son Bolg, who held them for more than another 150 years, until he too met his end in the Battle of the Five Armies.
Behind the scenesEdit
Azog is mentioned briefly in the novel The Hobbit by Gandalf, who says to Thorin, 'Your grandfather Thrór was killed, you remember, in the mines of Moria by Azog the Goblin,' to which Thorin responds 'Curse his name, yes'. Incidentally, this is the only place that Tolkien refers to Azog as a "goblin"; in other books such as The Lord of the Rings Tolkien describes him as a "great Orc." This is not a discrepancy however, since as far as Tolkien was concerned goblin is merely the English translation of the word orc, not a different type of creature, and in The Hobbit almost always referred to orcs as goblins.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
Azog is a playable evil hero of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king. Azog was not featured as the goblin leader in BFME2, being replaced by Gorkil the Goblin King. Although he appears in the expansion pack, it is still unclear who the leader of the goblins is.
Peter Jackson's Hobbit film trilogyEditIn The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), Azog is the orc chieftain of Moria, and is called The Defiler or The Pale Orc. When Balin tells the story of the Battle of Azanulbizar, Azog is shown in the flashback battling King Thror and beheading him; this enrages the king's grandson, Thorin Oakenshield. Azog has Thorin beat, until the dwarf prince grabs fallen oak and uses it as a shield against the orc's mace. Thorin grabs a fallen dwarf's sword, and cuts off Azog's left arm. Enraged and wounded, Azog is dragged back into Moria by his fellow orcs, and believed by Thorin to have died of his wounds. Azog, however, survives and plots against the dwarves again, this time seeking revenge on Thorin Oakenshield for cutting off his hand, in contrast to his death at the hands of Dain Ironfoot.
Later in the film an orc, Yazneg, reports his failure to kill the dwarves back to Azog and is killed by him whilst with an Orc pack camping on Weathertop. Azog now hunts Thorin and Company, having taken an oath to break the line of Durin. He leads a band of Hunter Orcs and rides a huge white Warg. He is also shown wearing a prosthetic hand and forearm in place of his missing left arm. In a climactic scene of the film, Azog and his band of Warg riders finally catch up with Thorin and Company, who are forced to climb trees to escape the wargs. Thorin cannot hold back his anger and charges at Azog, who easily fells Thorin with his mace. Azog then orders one of his orc followers to bring him Thorin's head, but the wounded Dwarf lord is saved by Bilbo Baggins, and Thorin and Company are rescued by Great Eagles. Most of the orcs and wargs are killed by the Eagles, but Azog and his white Warg are left alive, indicating that he may appear in the next film of the trilogy as well. His son Bolg is due to be in the next films too, played (i.e. voiced) by Conan Stevens.
Unlike any other orcs played yet in the Peter Jackson films, Azog and his band speak using the dark Orcish language rather than in English, indicating that he is probably much older and prouder than most other orcs shown and has possibly lived a more tribal life, less exposed to men. It is also hinted by several comments and actions that he collects his foes heads as trophies, his band of Hunter Orcs could be headhunters. Azog is also a very large orc, as tall if not taller than a Uruk-hai and far more bulky. Unlike other orcs, his skin is bone white, compared to other orcs whose skin color generally ranges from sickly green to a dark brown or lighter peachy colours. Further differentiating Azog from other orcs is his piercing, startling blue eyes
In the booksEdit
- The Hobbit (novel) (First mentioned)
In the filmsEdit
Note: Non-canonical appearances