In The Hobbit, Bolg was the son of Azog of Moria, succeeding him after his death in the Battle of Azanulbizar (the last battle of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs) in TA 2799 by Dáin who became Dáin Ironfoot. He had resettled in the old refuge of Mount Gundabad after the kingdom of Angmar was abandoned, and apparently ruled Goblins of the Misty Mountains from their capital at Mount Gundabad during the Battle of the Five Armies.
Bolg ruled the northern goblins for about 150 years and led the army of goblins, Wargs, and Bats in the Battle of the Five Armies, in which he took his bodyguards with him. In that battle he was crushed by the mighty Beorn, avenging Thorin Oakenshield who had just been fatally wounded.
The meaning of the name Bolg is uncertain. As discussed in the book The History of The Hobbit, the word bolg is listed as meaning "strong" in the vocabulary list for Mágol, one of the languages constructed by Tolkien. Mágol seems to have been based on Hungarian, and Tolkien seems to have worked on in the years he was writing The Hobbit, or even earlier. The History of The Hobbit also cites bolg as being a word of unknown meaning in the language of the Iverni, a people of early Ireland mentioned in Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography.
Appearances in the Books and FilmsEdit
In the booksEdit
- The Hobbit (first appearance)
In the filmsEdit
The Hobbit film trilogyEdit
In Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Bolg was played by Conan Stevens in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Lawrence Makoare in the sequel. He is portrayed as a huge, pale, orc clad in armour and bones. Bolg's father Azog has a greatly expanded role in the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film of the trilogy. Bolg has an extended role as well in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Bolg appears extensively in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. In the new film he bears a strong resemblance to his father, Azog the Defiler. Azog (who survives the War of the Dwarves and Orcs in the films) is summoned to Dol Guldur to become the commander of Sauron's orc armies. While there, Azog dispatches his son Bolg to take his place in hunting Thorin and his company. With his pack of Orcs, Bolg tracks Thorin and Company through Mirkwood, where he and his pack of Orcs attack the Wood-elves as the Dwarves escape in barrels. Bolg and his pack continued to track down the Dwarves and followed their trail which lead them to Lake-town.
At around nightfall, Bolg and his Orcs arrive to Lake-town where they attack Bard's family in search of the Dwarves, but they only found four. When they attack, they are in turn attacked by and Legolas and Tauriel who were tracking the orcs down. He goes after Legolas, and the two begin a duel (in which Legolas uses Orcrist, the weapon that Thorin held during his quest). While Legolas is distracted by other Orcs, Bolg withdraws from the duel and rides away on his Warg down a dock. He is then pursued by Legolas, who was now on a horse and chased after him. After that it is unknown what happens to him from there.
Bolg is sold as an action figure in a two-pack with Gandalf the Grey. From the size of the figure compared to Gandalf, it appears that Bolg, like his father, is massive for an Orc.
Bolg is shown in the film to be, indeed massive for an Orc, matching his father in terms of height. His appearance differs from that in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, missing his beard and hair also shown in the promo images and figures. He is shown to be just as, if not more cunning than his father, not only able to identify weak points in the wood elves' defenses for his forces to strike at, but also directing a pair of his Orcs to ambush Legolas in their fight, giving him the initial upper hand and proving himself very tough for Legolas to kill. He is also the first known character to ever make Legolas bleed.
Hardly any different from Azog, Bolg is a murderous, callous, idealistic, merciless and cruel warrior. He is extremely sadistic, showing no qualms about massacring the Men of the Laketown. He is also psychopathic and remorseless, shown by how he pitilessly orders the attack on Laketown. But he is highly intelligent, an excellent leader and tactician. Bolg is enigmatic and powerful, possessing immense strength of will and superb tactical ability. He shows himself to be just as pitiless as his warrior father and is almost unimaginably determined and ferocious. Despite this, he has a strong relationship with Azog as Bolg displays fierce loyalty to his father.
Bolg is a skillful leader, possibly Azog's second-in-command of the Gundabad Orc pack. He is a highly skillful hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman, showing excellent skill during his climactic fight against Legolas. His fighting style, unlike Azog's preferred Warg-riding style that emphasized blows with heavy momentum, is emphasized with lightning speed and agility, as well as martial arts techniques and using the environment against his opponent. His skill as a fighter is later shown by how he is put in charge of the Orc packs whilst Azog stays to fight Gandalf. Bolg has an astonishingly high tolerance of pain, shown by the fact that he refuses to be knocked out or even bleed when Legolas slams his head against the wall repeatedly. He is also a highly skilled Warg-rider.
- ↑ The Hobbit, Chapter XVII: "The Clouds Burst"
- ↑ The History of The Hobbit is a two-volume work containing Tolkien's unpublished drafts of the novel, accompanied by commentary written by John D. Rateliff.