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Battle of Five Armies

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Battle of Five Armies
Battle of Five Armies
The Battle of the Five Armies
Conflict: The Treasure of the Lonely Mountain and The possible return of the Kingdom of Erebor
Date: October 10, 2941
Place: Lonely Mountain
Dale (Film Only)
Outcome: Pyrrhic Victory for alliance of Dwarves, Elves, and Men
Lonely Mountain
Iron Hills
Misty Mountains
Misty Mountains
Dol Guldur (Film Only)
Mount Gundabad
Thorin II Oakenshield
Bard the Bowman
Dain II Ironfoot
Azog(Film Only)
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]
Very heavy: Deaths of Thorin, FIli, and Kili; 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 Goblins and the Wargs against Men of Dale, Elves, DwarvesEagles and a Shape-shifter on and near the Lonely Mountain.[2]



After Bard killed the dragon Smaug, the Men of the Lake and the Wood-elves laid siege to the Dwarves in the Lonely Mountain, the thirteen Dwarves of Erebor (the realm 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 him out. However, Thorin had sent messages of his plight to his relatives using talking messenger Ravens that lived on the Lonely Mountain. These reached Dain 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 Dain'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 Goblins, 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 Goblins 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 Goblins, 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 goblins' superior numbers, the allied Free Folk did not hold the advantage long. The second wave was even worse than the first, and now many Goblins 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 Goblins. 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 Goblins ranks all the way up to the gigantic Goblins 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 Goblin from above on the Mountain, and he passed out. With the support of the Giant Eagles, the battle turned back against the Goblins. Then Beorn himself arrived at the battle, apparently having heard news that a large army of Goblins 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 Goblin 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 the Bodyguard of Bolg, ultimately killing Bolg himself. The Goblins eventually panicked and scattered, to be picked off by hunting forces from the victors later; many of the Goblin survivors died in the Mirkwood forest.[2][4]


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 Fili and Kili 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 Goblins 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

The Hobbit film trilogy

Quest of Erebor

Skirmish in the TrollshawsChase to RivendellBattle of Goblin-townAttack of the WargsAttack of the SpidersAmbush of MirkwoodDuel in Dol GuldurAttack on Lake-townchase through 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 attacks the Lonely Mountain and the conflict between the Dwarves, Men and Elves is quickly averted. Dain's army is the first to charge at the Orcs and they are later reinforced by Thranduil's army. However, Azog sends the rest of his forces to attack Dale but Bilbo, Gandalf, Bard, and the Lake-Men and few Elves come to its defense. While Gandalf, Thranduil, Bard, and Dain do the best they can to hold off the Orc armies as more and more come, many Dwarves, Elves, and Men are killed.

BOTFA - Thranduil and Bard

King Thranduil and Bard, as seen in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

The Dwarves of Erebor join the battle

During the battle, Thorin eventually overcomes his madness inside the Lonely Mountain and leads the company out of the Mountain and joins the battle. He then 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 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.

Azog's Death

Azog dies by the hands of Thorin II Oakenshield.

Thorin confronts Azog in a one on one 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 despite Bilbo's efforts to keep him alive, Thorin succumbs to his wounds and dies and is found dead when the rest of his company arrive.


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, the Elves and the Lake-men are more numerous that in the book, there is no appearance of the Wargs during the battle. Additional combatants in the battle are Legolas, Tauriel, Radagast, Feren, and Percy.

Estimated strength of the Dwarves, Elves, and Men:

  • 3000-4000 Dwarves of the Iron Hills (including the 13 Dwarves of Thorin and Company of the Lonely Mountain)
  • 900-2000 Lake-town Militia
  • 5000-8000 Elves of Mirkwood
  • 80-100 Great Eagles

Estimated strength of Azog's army:

  • 10,000-16,000 Guldur Orcs from Dol Guldur
  • 5,000-8,000 Gundabad Orcs from Mount Gundabad (including 20-40 Orc Berserkers)
  • Nearly 200 Goblin Mercenaries
  • 100 Wargs
  • About 25 Trolls
  • At least a dozen Ogres
  • Unknown number of orc war beasts
  • Numerous Bats

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.


The Battle of Five Armies 01
The Battle of Five Armies 02
The Battle of Five Armies 03
The Battle of Five Armies 04
The Battle of Five Armies 05


  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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