- "Arrow! 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 Hobbit, "Fire and Water"
Bard was descended from Lord Girion of Dale, whose wife and child had escaped to Laketown when Smaug ruined Dale and took the Lonely Mountain in TA 2770. In TA 2941, when Smaug emerged from the Lonely Mountain and attacked Laketown, Bard, as captain of a company of town archers, was encouraging the archers and urging the town Master to order them to fight to the last arrow. Bard himself fired many arrows with his great yew bow. He was down to his last arrow when a thrush came and perched on his shoulder. Because Bard was of the race of Dale, he was able to understand the thrush's words. The bird told him of the weak spot in Smaug's armor that Bilbo Baggins had discovered. Bard fired his Black Arrow and struck the hollow by Smaug's left breast and the Dragon fell from the sky, landing on Laketown and destroying it.
Bard escaped into the lake and swam ashore. The people wanted him to be their King, but he said he would continue to serve the Master of Laketown for the time being. Bard took charge of organizing shelter and aid for the refugees and sent messages to the Elvenking of Mirkwood asking for help. Then Bard and the Elvenking led their armies to the Lonely Mountain, seeking a share of the treasure.
When they arrived at the Lonely Mountain, they were surprised to find Thorin Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves still alive. Bard sought reparations from Thorin on the grounds that it was he who had slain Smaug, that part of the Dragon’s treasure had once belonged to Dale, and that the people of Laketown were suffering and needed aid. Thorin said that the destruction of Laketown was not his responsibility and he refused to parley with armies camped outside the mountain. Bard sent a messenger several hours later asking for one-twelfth of the treasure, but again Thorin refused.
Bilbo Baggins thought that Bard's claims were reasonable, so one night he went secretly to the camp of the Lakemen and Elves. The Hobbit had found the Arkenstone - the treasure that Thorin most desired - and he offered it to Bard and Thranduil to use to negotiate. He also told them that an army of 500 Dwarves led by Dain II Ironfoot was coming from the Iron Hills.
The next day, Bard asked Thorin for a portion of the treasure in exchange for the Arkenstone. Thorin was enraged, but he reluctantly agreed to give up Bilbo's one-fourteenth share. Dain's army arrived the next day, and Bard tried to prevent them from entering the Lonely Mountain until the exchange for the Arkenstone had been made. A battle seemed imminent, but then Gandalf told them that an army of Goblins and Wargs were approaching. Bard, Thranduil, and Dain took council together and they joined forces to fight their common enemy in the Battle of the Five Armies. During the battle, Thorin had emerged from mountain and had rallied Dwarves, Elves, and Men to the attack, but he was mortally wounded. Bard laid the Arkenstone upon Thorin's breast when he was buried under the mountain, and Dain agreed to pay the one-fourteenth share of the treasure as promised. Bard gave the emeralds of Girion to Thranduil and Bilbo agreed to take a small chest of gold and one of silver. Bard also contributed gold for the aid of Laketown, and although the Master of Laketown absconded with much of it, Laketown was rebuilt and its people became prosperous.
Bard went to his ancestral home of Dale at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. He rebuilt the ruined town and in TA 2944, he became King of Dale. Bard maintained good relations with the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain and trade flowed freely up and down the River Running. People came to settle in Dale from miles around and the land that had been withered by Smaug became bountiful once more.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
Rankin and BassEdit
The Hobbit film trilogyEdit
Bard is portrayed by the Welsh actor Luke Evans in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug who bares a striking resemblance to Legolas' actor Orlando Bloom. Here he is referred to as Bard the Bargeman rather than captain of the town archers. He is also set to appear in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
- "The Lord of Silver Fountains, the King of Carven Stone, the King Beneath the Mountain, shall come into his own. And the bells shall ring in gladness, at the Mountain King's return, But all shall fail in sadness, and the Lake will shine and burn."
- —Bard reciting prophecy
In the book, the first we read of Bard was when he, as captain of a company of town archers, was urging the town Master to order a fight to the last arrow, and was himself shooting arrows at the attacking dragon. He never recited the above-quoted "prophecy." But in the movie the character takes on a much greater role.
In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Bard confronts the Dwarves upon finding them on the river bank. Balin persuades Bard to smuggle them into Lake-town, promising to pay him double his usual barge fare. Bard is hesitant at first, not wanting Thranduil to be angry at Lake-town, but eventually smuggles the Company into the town and leads them to his house where they stay for the night. When Bard realizes that Thorin is actually Thorin Oakenshield of the line of Durin, he goes out to a shop to find a tapestry of the line of Durin before reciting a prophecy of the Mountain King's return. He returned to his house to find that the Dwarves had left to raid the armoury and thus left to find them. By the time he did, the Dwarves had been caught and Thorin revealed his identity to the Master of Lake-town. Bard vocalized his opposition to letting the Dwarves enter the Lonely Mountain, fearing that they would awaken Smaug, who would destroy Lake-Town in retaliation, but by appealing to their hopes for the return of prosperity, Thorin is able to persuade the Master and the townspeople to support him.
Kili becomes gravely ill from a poisoned arrow which had hit him previously during an orc attack, and is left behind as Thorin and the others head to the Lonely Mountain. Fili, Bofur, and Óin stay to tend him, taking refuge in Bard's home. Óin asks Bard if there is any Kingsfoil and Bard says it's a weed they use to feed the pigs, so Bofur sets off to get some. Then Bolg and his orc troops, searching for Thorin, attack the Dwarves and Bard's family. Fortunately, Legolas and Tauriel arrive in time to rescue them. When Smaug is finally awakened, Bard takes out the Black Arrow and prepares to use it, but as he and Bain attempt to get to the Dwarvish wind lance to mount the Black Arrow, the town guard began searching for Bard at the orders of the Master. Passing Bain the Black Arrow and instructing him to hide it, Bard attempts to lead the guards away is soon captured and imprisoned as Smaug flies towards the Lake-town.
Voice Dubbing actorsEdit
|Foreign Language||Voice dubbing artist|
|Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD)||Hércules Franco|
|Spanish (Latin America)||Mario Castañeda|
|Spanish (Spain)||Carlos Di Blasi|
|French (France)||Cédric Dumond|
|Italian (Italy)||Giorgio Borghetti|
- In The Hobbit (2003 video game), Bard sends Bilbo on a quest where thieves and goblins are causing mischief and plotting to take over Laketown. Bard wants Bilbo to track their moves and eventually find the thieves hideout. In the Battle of the Five Armies, Bilbo warns Bard of a goblin attack that is advancing on him from behind. Bard is also the bowman who strikes Smaug under his belly where there is a weak spot under his scales and glittering chest, causing Smaug to crash into the lake front.
Girion (Old Kingdom, 174 years earlier)
|King of Dale|
TA 2944 – TA 2977
|Known Rulers of Dale & Laketown|
|Lords of Dale:||Girion|
|Rulers of Laketown:||Master of Laketown|
|Kings of Dale:||Bard I | Bain | Brand | Bard II|