- "Swiftly [Beorn] returned, and his wrath was redoubled, so that nothing could withstand him, and no weapon seemed to bite upon him. He scattered the bodyguard, and pulled down Bolg himself and crushed him."
- —The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"
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 Dain who became Dain 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: An Unexpected Journey
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Portrayal in adaptionsEdit
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 briefly in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey during the Battle of Azanulbizar, fighting Dwalin and seemingly being wounded by him, and appear extensively in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (though his appearance is slightly different, as he is now portrayed via CGI, rather than via live action as in the first film). In the new film he bears a strong resemblance to his father, Azog the Defiler, and is shown to be a capable warrior, holding his own against Legolas in hand-to-hand combat.
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 appearence 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. He is also the first known character to ever make Legolas bleed.
Hardly any different from Azog, Bolg is a murderous, callous, idealistic and cruel warrior. He is extremely sadistic, showing no qualms about massacring the Men of the Laketown. He is also psychopathic but highly intelligent, an excellent leader and tactician. He shows himself to be just as pitiless as his warrior father and is almost unimaginably determined.
Bolg is a skillful leader, possibly Azog's second-in-command of the Gundabad Orc pack. He is an adept hand-to-hand combatant and swordsman, showing excellent skill during his climatic fight against Legolas. His fighting style, unlike Azog's prefered Warg-riding style that emphasised blows with heavy momentum, is emphasised with lightning speed and agility. He is also a skilled Warg-rider.
- ↑ The Hobbit: 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.