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Battle of Five Armies
Battle of Five Armies
Conflict: The Treasure of the Lonely Mountain and the restoration of the Kingdom Under the Mountain
Date: November 23, 2941
Place: Lonely Mountain
Outcome: Defeat of the Orcs and Wargs
Combatants
Dwarves
Elves of the Woodland Realm
Men of Dale
Orcs of Dol Guldur and Mount Gundabad
Wargs of Dol Guldur and Mount Gundabad
Commanders
Gandalf
Thorin II Oakenshield
Thranduil
Bard the Bowman
Dain II Ironfoot
Beorn
Gwaihir
Bolg
Strength
500 Dwarves of the Iron Hills[1] (including the 13 Dwarves of Thorin and Company of the Lonely Mountain)
200 Lakemen from Lake-town
1000-1500 Elves of Mirkwood
100 Great Eagles
"Innumberable" Goblins and Wargs[2]
Casualties
Very heavy: Deaths of Thorin, Fíli and Kíli; citizens of Lake-town and Mirkwood Very Heavy: Death of Bolg


" ... in all the mountains there was a forging and an arming. Then they marched ... until around and beneath the great mountain Gundabad of the North, where was their capital, a vast host was assembled ready to sweep down in time of storm unawares upon the South."
The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst"

The Battle of Five Armies was a battle waged between the Orcs and the Wargs of Dol Guldur and Gundabad against the Men of Dale, Elves, Dwarves, on and near the Lonely Mountain.[2]

History

Background

After Bard killed the Dragon Smaug, the Men of the Lake and the Wood-elves both laid siege to the Dwarves in the Lonely Mountain, the thirteen Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain under Thorin II Oakenshield having refused to share any of the treasure that they had recaptured from Smaug.

Thorin and Company were then trapped in a bloodless siege, with Thranduil and Bard hoping to wait them out. However, Thorin had sent messages of his plight to his relatives using talking messenger Ravens that lived on the Lonely Mountain. These reached Dáin II Ironfoot of the nearby Iron Hills, and he marched to the Lonely Mountain with 500 heavily armed Dwarves, most skilled veterans of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs.[1][3] When Dáin's forces arrived, battle was almost joined between the two sides (now three armies were on the field) but at the last moment Gandalf intervened between the two and revealed that while they were bickering amongst themselves, the Goblins of the Misty Mountains and Grey Mountains under Bolg were using the opportunity to march against them. They had been incited by Gandalf's earlier slaying of the Great Goblin, but had now mobilized for a full-scale attack after hearing news of the death of the Dragon and the now relatively unguarded treasure hoard.

The Battle

The three commanders agreed that the Orcs, Wargs, and Bats were the enemies of all, and previous grievances between them were put on hold in face of the greater threat. They arranged their forces on the two spurs of the Mountain that lined the valley leading to the now-sealed off great gate; the only entrance to the Mountain. The 500 Dwarves and 200 Lake-men formed up on one spur and over 1000 Elves on the other, while a light rear-guard lined across the mouth of the valley to lure the Orcs between the two, and thus destroy them. Bilbo Baggins, while invisible due to the Ring, tried to sit out the battle on the spur held by the Elves. Bilbo Baggins tried to sit out from the battle on Ravenhill which was held by the Elves and where also Gandalf had withdrawn to.

Battle of the Five Armies

Men and goblins in the battle.

Soon the Orcs, Wargs, and a cloud of Bats "like a sea of locusts" arrived (and now four armies were on the field), and at first the plan worked: they were lured into the choke point and took heavy losses. However, due to the Orcs' superior numbers, the allied Free Folk did not hold the advantage long. The second wave was even worse than the first, and now many Orcs scaled the mountain from the opposite side, and began to attack the arrayed forces from above and behind, as the main wave pressed forward. The battle raged across the Mountain, and then a great noise was heard: Thorin and his twelve Dwarf companions inside the mountain had thrown down the stone wall they had erected across the mouth of the gates, killing many Orcs. Thorin and Company then charged out to join the battle, covered from head to toe in the finest armour and weapons contained in the treasure hoard of the Lonely Mountain. Thorin advanced through the Orcs ranks all the way up to the gigantic Orcs that formed the Bodyguard of Bolg, whom he could not get past. The battle degenerated into a chaotic close quarters melee, no quarter asked or given.

As the battle was turning fully against the Free Folk, a number of Giant Eagles of the Misty Mountains arrived (the fifth army), led by the Great Eagle. Bilbo was the first to spot their entrance on the scene and began shouting that "the Eagles are coming!", a shout that was then continued among the other troops of the Free Folk. At this point Bilbo was knocked in the head by a large stone thrown by a Orcs from above on the Mountain, and he passed out. With the support of the Giant Eagles, the battle turned back against the Orcs. Then Beorn himself arrived at the battle, apparently having heard news that a large army of Orcs was on the move. This time he did not appear in his former shape of a giant Man, but had changed his skin to that of a gigantic bear. Beorn drove through the Orc lines, but paused to carry the wounded Thorin out of the battle. Beorn then returned to the battle with even greater wrath and smashed the ranks of Bolg's Bodyguards, ultimately killing Bolg himself. The Orcs eventually panicked and scattered, to be picked off by hunting forces from the victors later; many of the Orc survivors died in the Mirkwood forest.[2][4]

Aftermath

Death of Thorin Oakenshield

Thorin death

Thorin Oakenshield expired from his wounds sustained in the battle.

When Bilbo regained consciousness, the battle was already over. Thorin II Oakenshield had been mortally wounded on the field, and his nephews Fíli and Kíli died defending him as he lay on the ground. Thorin died soon after the battle, but had time to say a last goodbye to Bilbo.[5]

Distributing of the Treasure Hoard

After defeating the Orcs and Wargs, the victors divided the treasure. Bard took Bilbo's fourteenth share of the gold and silver in return for the Arkenstone, whereupon he shared his reward with the Master of Lake-town and gave the Elven-king Thranduil the emeralds of Girion.[5] Bilbo, despite having forfeited his share, was offered a rich reward but refused to take more than two small chests of gold and silver which was still enough to leave him a wealthy Hobbit back in The Shire for 60 years.

Portrayal in adaptations

Battle of Five Armies
The Battle of Five Armies 01
Conflict: Quest of Erebor
Date: TA 2941
Place: Erebor and Dale
Outcome: Victory for the free peoples
End of the Quest of erebor
Combatants
Thorin and Company
Iron Hills

Rhosgobel
White Council
Misty Mountains
Shire


Lake-town


Woodland Realm

Mordor
Dol Guldur
Mount Gundabad
Trollshaws
Goblin-town
Misty Mountains
Commanders
Thorin
Dáin II Ironfoot


Gandalf
Gwaihir
Radagast
Bilbo Baggins
Beorn


Bard
Percy


Thranduil
Feren
Legolas
Tauriel

Sauron
Azog
Bolg
Strength
  • 8000-10,000 Silvan Elves of Mirkwood
  • 6000-7000 Dwarves of the Iron Hills
  • 1500-3000 Lake-town Militia (including 1000-1500 Lake-town Civilians)
  • 50-80 Great Eagles
  • 25,000-30,000 Guldur Orcs
  • 10,000-15,000 Gundabad Orcs
  • 700-900 Gundabad Bats
  • 400-500 Goblin Mercenaries
  • 50-60 Ogres
  • 25-30 Trolls and Olog-hais (Misty Mountain Troll, Guldur War Troll, Guldur Olog-Hai)
  • several Wargs
  • several Were-worms
  • Casualties
    Heavy Catastrophic (Almost entire force annihilated)
    Quest of Erebor

    Skirmish in the TrollshawsChase to RivendellAttack of the Stone GiantsBattle of Goblin-townAttack of the WargsAttack of the SpidersAmbush of MirkwoodFight in Lake-townDuel in Dol GuldurAttack on Lake-townBattle in EreborDestruction of Lake-townAttack on Dol GuldurBattle of Five Armies (Siege of DaleSkirmish in Ravenhill)


    In the third installment The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the Orc army led by Azog attacked the Lonely Mountain and the conflict between the Dwarves, Men and Elves was quickly averted. In the Extended Edition, Dain sent forth his goat cavalry and spinning ballistas upon the Elven forces, who tried to counter with shield wall and archer formations; during this early conflict, several Dwarves, goats, and elves were killed until the Were Worms burst forth from the earth and the fighting stopped instantly in the face of the new enemy.

    Seeing the danger, Dáin ordered his forward units to rush out onto the plain and set up a phalanx formation to counter the Guldur Orc charge while Thranduil and the elves remained motionless. Just before the Orcs collided the Dwarvish forces, Thranduil sent in hundreds of elves jumping over the Dwarven lines to strike deep into the enemy lines, blunting the Orc charge and giving the Dwarves a chance to mount a counter-charge that skewered hundreds of Orcs, followed soon after by the rest of the Elvish forces. Determined to regain the initiative, Azog sent in his "War Beasts", a cohort of huge armored trolls who smashed into the left flank of the allied armies and began wreaking havoc. Thranduil's Elven archers countered some of the trolls by letting lose several volleys of thousands of arrows which took a few of the beasts, and thousands of orcs down, which in turn allowed Dáin's war-chariots the opportunity to charge into the orc lines and cut many of the orcs down. Azog furiously countered the "war machines" with his ogre shock-troops who charged against the chariots, brought them down and slaughtered the drivers and goats.

    Satisfied that the allied armies were now pinned down, Azog sent the other half his army against Dale in a flanking move to cut off their escape and force them to fight on two fronts. Seeing this, the men of Lake-town in the valley along with Bard, Gandalf, and Bilbo made their way to the city to defend it while the Dwarves and Elves continued to engage Azog's forces on the plain.

    On the hills outside Dale, huge catapult trolls launched volleys of rocks against the defending walls while a large troll equipped with a stone headpiece charged the north wall and bashes through it, creating an opening for the orcs to enter. Within the city, garrisons of Lake-town guards, militiamen, and citizens were joined by Bard entering the city with rest of his army, Gandalf, and Bilbo. Taking stock of the situation, Bard rallied his forces and personally lead the primary defense against the orcs in Main Street. Soon the fight became a vicious street brawl, locked into tight corners of one-on-one fights.

    As the battle raged on for several hours, the allied forces became increasingly demoralized and exhausted as Orc reinforcements continued to pour out of the tunnels onto the battlefield plain and into Dale simultaneously. Realising that Bard was in trouble, Thranduil and a contingent of elves charged into Dale to aid it; though during the charge, Thranduil lost his Elk mount. Out on the plain, Dáin along with the Dwarvish and remaining elvish forces found themselves caught in a deadly battle of attrition; the numerical advantage of the orcs was proving more decisive than the superior soldiery skills of the allied forces. In the chaos, Dáin lost his war pig and helmet as he and his remaining forces were being rapidly pushed back. About to be overrun, Dain ordered a retreat to the walls of the mountain and temporarily disengaged Azog's forces. Inside the walls of Dale, Bard too ordered a retreat further into Dale. The surviving Elvish forces, numbering no more than 5,000 left standing, on the plain were withdrawn by Thanduil and pulled back into Dale for an imminent retreat from the battle altogether, leaving the Dwarves to to their fate.

    Drunk with the prospect of victory, Azog regrouped his forces on the plain for a final destructive charge against the remaining Dwarvish forces, which had been whittled down to just 4,000. Locked out of the mountain itself and bereft of any other choice, the Dwarvish army turned to face the orcs, aligned into a crescent-phalanx formation with Dain at its apex and prepared to make its final stand.

    Azog waited for a moment until a team of armoured trolls came to the front of the orc lines and then ordered the charge. As he did so, another horn blast sounded from the mountain, causing the orcs to stop in their tracks as the doorway to the mountain was cleared by a huge bell, out of which ran Thorin and his companions, causing the Dwarvish soldiers to shout and cheer at the sight of the king. Roaring a defiant Dwarvish war-cry, Thorin charged the Orc lines and, emboldened by his bravery, Dain's forces charged with him, smashing headlong into Azog's forces and taking out hundreds of Orcs in seconds. Within Dale, the men of Lake-town and the remaining Elvish forces too found fresh resolve and charged back into battle also. The battle raged on harder than ever only now the allied forces began to evenly match their enemies blow for blow.

    During the battle, Thorin decides to kill Azog in Ravenhill and is followed by Dwalin, Fili and Kili. When they reach the peak, Azog is nowhere to be found so Thorin sends Fili and Kili to scout the upper levels. Fili is then captured, impaled by Azog and thrown off a tower. Bilbo arrives to warn the Dwarves of Bolg's army which is near but is knocked out by Bolg in Ravenhill. Bolg later finds Tauriel and injures her but before he can finish her, Kili arrives to save her but is impaled by Bolg's mace and dies. In anger Tauriel throws Bolg off a hill but she is dragged down with him. Legolas then spots Bolg and engages in a climactic duel with him in which the giant Gundabad Orc is killed when Legolas plunges a shortsword into his head. After Bolg's death, the Great eagles arrive, led by Radagast and Beorn who quickly demolish the Orc army.

    Thorin confronts Azog in an epic fight to avenge Fili and he gains the upper hand by throwing Azog off a hill but the Defiler sends Orc soldiers to kill Thorin but this fails. Azog then returns with a flail but Thorin breaks the ice on the river and Azog falls in the water due to the weight of his weapon. Thorin follows Azog's body but is stabbed in the foot and while he is incapacitated, Azog stabs him in the chest, mortally wounding the Dwarf but Oakenshield plunges Orcrist through Azog's chest and stabs him into the ice, killing the Orc. Thorin later apologises to Bilbo for almost killing him and dies having made peace with Bilbo. Despite Bilbo's efforts to keep him alive, Thorin succumbs to his wounds and dies. He is found dead when the rest of his company arrive.

    Strength

    Along with a formidable legion of Gundabad Orcs, and Bats, the film added the appearance of Were-Worms and Trolls and Ogres. As in the film the entire forces are changed, with the Dwarves, Elves and the Lake-men are more numerous that those in the book. Additional combatants in the battle are Legolas, Tauriel, Radagast, Feren, and Percy.

    Estimated strength of the Dwarves, Elves, and Men:

    Estimated strength of Azog's army:

    (Source: Weta digital VFX: Hobbit Botfa)

    Aftermath

    With their commanders dead, their back-up forces gone and Allied reinforcements closing in, the Guldur-Gundabad forces were now trapped in the Erebor valley between three armies with no way out. The allied armies pressed home their advantage and commenced a terrible slaughter of Sauron's forces that lasted for countless hours while only a bare few managed to escape back into the tunnels from whence they came. They left behind tens of thousands of corpses and left the battered but victorious Allied forces in complete control of Erebor and Dale. Helpless to interfere, Sauron abandoned his conquest of Erebor and retreated into himself within Mordor to bide his time.

    The Allied victory had however come with a terrible price; the Allied forces had suffered heavy losses including the loss of the Dwarven king Thorin Oakenshield.

    In the wake of the battle, the mountain was garrisoned by the Dwarves of the Iron Hills and portions of its wealth were distributed to various parties like the Men of the Lake, who set up permanent residence in Dale and elected Bard as the new Lord of Dale. The Elves of Mirkwood stayed just a short time to receive their share of the treasure before returning to their forest homeland. With Thorin and his immediate family members dead, Dain succeeded him as King under the Mountain. His job done, Bilbo Baggins parted ways with the Company and returned home to the Shire with Gandalf with his secret magic ring always close at hand.

    Repopulated with Dwarvish colonists from each of the seven Dwarf kingdoms, Erebor was soon restored to its former glory and flourished once more as did its neighbor-city Dale. In time, Erebor retook its place as the most powerful Dwarf kingdom in Middle-Earth.

    Other namesakes

    • The Battle of the Five Armies was also the name of a war game to replay this battle made by Games Workshop. The game uses 10-mm miniatures and is heavily based on their Warhammer system.

    Gallery

    BOTFA - Thranduil and Bard
    Thranduil and Bard
    The Dwarves of Erebor join the battle
    The Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain assemble for battle.
    The Battle of Five Armies 01
    The Battle of Five Armies
    The Battle of Five Armies 02
    The Battle of Five Armies
    The Battle of Five Armies 03
    The Battle of Five Armies
    The Battle of Five Armies 04
    The Battle of Five Armies
    The Battle of Five Armies 05
    The Battle of Five Armies
    Azog's Death
    Azog dies by the hands of Thorin Oakenshield.

    Translations around the World

    Foreign Language Translated name
    Afrikaans Stryd van Vyf Weermagte
    Albanian Beteja e Pesë Ushtrive
    Amharic አምስት የሠራዊት ውጊያ
    Arabic معركة الجيوش الخمسة
    Armenian Ճակատամարտը հինգ զօրքերու
    Azerbaijani Beş ordunun döyüşü
    Belarusian Cyrillic Бітва пяці воінств
    Bengali পাঁচ সর্বশক্তিমান যুদ্ধ
    Bulgarian Cyrillic Битката на петте армии
    Cambodian សមរភូមិនៃពិភពទាំងមូលប្រាំនាក់
    Catalan Batalla dels Cinc Exèrcits
    Cebuano Gubat sa Lima ka panon
    Chichewa Nkhondo ya makamu asanu
    Chinese (Hong Kong) 五軍之戰
    Corsican Battagghia di Cinque Asèrciti
    Croatian Bitka pet vojski
    Czech Bitva pěti armád
    Danish Slaget ved Fem Hære
    Dari نبرد پنج ارتش
    Dutch De Slag van de Vijf Legers
    Esperanto Batalo de Kvin Armeoj
    Estonian Viie väe lahing
    Fijian Na ivalu ni lima na mataivalu
    Filipino Labanan ng mga hukbo ng limang
    Finnish Viiden armeijan taistelu
    French Bataille des Cinq Armées
    Galician Batalla dos Cinco Exércitos
    Georgian ხუთი ლაშქრის ბრძოლა
    German Schlacht der fünf Heere
    Greek Μάχη των Πέντε Στρατών
    Gujarati પાંચ સૈન્યોનો દેવ યુદ્ધ
    Haitian Creole Batay nan Senk gen tout pouvwa
    Hebrew קרב חמישה צבאות
    Hindi पांच सेनाओं का युद्ध
    Hungarian Az öt sereg csatája
    Icelandic Bardaga af Fimm heri
    Indonesian Pertempuran Lima Pasukan
    Irish Gaelic Cath na Cúig Airm
    Italian Battaglia dei Cinque Eserciti
    Japanese 5軍の戦い
    Javanese Pertempuran Lima Mahakwasa
    Kannada ಐದು ಸೈನ್ಯಗಳ ಬ್ಯಾಟಲ್
    Kazakh Cyrillic Бес Әлемнің Иесі шайқас
    Korean 다섯 군대의 전투
    Kurdish سه‌ر ده‌ جی پێنچ ۆردییان (Arabic script) Şer de ji Pênc Ordiyan (Latin)
    Kyrgyz Cyrillic Беш Себайот согуш
    Laotian ຮົບຂອງຫ້າກອງທັບ
    Latin Pugna Quinque Exercitus
    Latvian Kaujas Pieci armiju
    Lithuanian Mūšis Penkių kareivijų
    Luxembourgish Schluecht vu Fënnef Arméien
    Macedonian Cyrillic Битка на пет армиите
    Malay Pertempuran Lima Tentera
    Marathi पाच सर्वशक्तिमान लढाई
    Mongolian Cyrillic Таван Түмэн цэргийн тулаан
    Nepalese पांच सेनाहरु को लडाई
    Norwegian Femhærerslaget
    Pashto د پینځو پورې لښکرو جګړه
    Persian نبرد پنج ارتش
    Polish Bitwa Pięciu Armii
    Portuguese (Brazil) Batalha dos Cinco Exércitos
    Punjabi ਪੰਜ ਸਰਬ ਸ਼ਕਤੀਮਾਨ ਦੀ ਲੜਾਈ
    Romanian Bătălia de Cinci Armate
    Russian Битва Пяти Воинств
    Scottish Gaelic Blàr de Còig Armailtean
    Serbian Битка на пет војски (Cyrillic) Bitka Pet vojski (Latin)
    Sesotho Ntoeng oa Mabotho a mahlano
    Sindhi پنج فوجن جي جنگ
    Sinhalese බලැති පහ සටන
    Slovak Bitka piatich armád
    Slovenian Bitka petih vojska
    Somalian Dagaalka Shan Ciidammadu
    Spanish Batalla de los Cinco Ejércitos
    Swedish Femhäraslaget
    Tahitian Aroraa o Mataivalu Pae
    Tajik Cyrillic Батл панљ лашкари
    Tamil ஐந்து சேனைகளின் போர்
    Telugu ఐదు సైన్యాలు యుద్ధం
    Thai สงครามห้าทัพ
    Turkish Beş Ordular Savaşı
    Ukrainian Cyrillic Битва п'яти армій
    Urdu پانچ الافواج جنگ
    Uzbek Беш Сарвари жанг (Cyrillic) Besh Sarvari jang (Latin)
    Vietnamese Trận chiến của Năm đạo quân
    Welsh Brwydr o Pum Byddinoedd
    Xhosa Imfazwe wemikhosi ezintlanu
    Yiddish שלאַכט פֿינף אַרמיעס
    Yoruba Ogun ti Marun-ogun
    Yucatec Maya Batalla jo'op'éel waacho'ob

    References

    1. 1.0 1.1 The Hobbit, Chapter XVI: "A Thief in the Night"
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Hobbit, Chapter XVII: "The Clouds Burst"
    3. The Hobbit, Chapter XV: "The Gathering of the Clouds"
    4. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Hobbit, "The Battle of the Five Armies"
    5. 5.0 5.1 The Hobbit, Chapter XVIII: "The Return Journey"

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