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Battle of Five Armies

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name=Battle of Five Armies|
 
name=Battle of Five Armies|
 
conflict=Battle of Five Armies|
 
conflict=Battle of Five Armies|
date=[[Third Age 2961|T.A. 2961]]|
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date=[[Third Age 2941|T.A. 2941]]|
 
place=the slopes of Erebor, and the Valley and ruins of Dale|
 
place=the slopes of Erebor, and the Valley and ruins of Dale|
 
result=Victory for the Elves, Men, and Dwarves|  
 
result=Victory for the Elves, Men, and Dwarves|  

Revision as of 14:42, 14 March 2008

Battle of Five Armies
Capucine Mazille - The Battle of Five Armies.jpg
Conflict: Battle of Five Armies
Date: T.A. 2941
Place: the slopes of Erebor, and the Valley and ruins of Dale
Outcome: Victory for the Elves, Men, and Dwarves
Combatants

Elves, Men, Dwarves, and Eagles

Goblins, Wargs, Bats,

Commanders
  • Gandalf
  • Bolg
Strength

Over 1,000 Elf spearmen and archers, spec. 200 or so Lake-Men, over 500 grim, veteran Dwarves from the Iron Hills, many Eagles possibly over 100, Thorin's 12 Dwarf companions, and Beorn

"innumberable" Goblins and Wargs. possibly 8-15,000 or more

Casualties

Many, possibly 500-800

Complete destruction of force, including their leader, Bolg

The Battle of Five Armies was waged between the Goblins and the Wargs against Men, Elves and Dwarves on and near the Lonely Mountain, after Bard the Bowman killed the dragon Smaug. Prior to the battle, the Men of the Lake and the Wood-elves had laid siege to the Dwarves in the Lonely Mountain, when the 13 Dwarves in Erebor under Thorin II Oakenshield refused to share any of the treasure they had recaptured from Smaug.

Thorin & Co. 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 as messengers talking Ravens that lived on the Lonely Mountain. These reached Dain II Ironfoot of the nearby Iron Hills, and he marched to Erebor with 500 heavily armed Dwarves, most skilled veterans of the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. 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 Orcs 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 three commanders agreed that the Orcs 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 of Erebor; the only entrance to the Mountain. The 500 Dwarves and 200 or so Lake-men formed up on one spur and around 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 tried to sit out the battle on the spur held by the Elves.

Soon the Orcs arrived (and now four armies were on the field), and at first the plan worked: they were lured into the chokepoint and took heavy losses. However, due to their 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 foward. The battle raged across the Mountain, and then a great noise was heard: Thorin and his 12 Dwarf companions inside the mountain had thrown down the stone wall they had erected across the mouth of the gates, killing many Orcs. Thorin & Co. emerged, covered in the best armour and armed with the best weapons in Erebor. Then Thorin yelled, "Rally to me my kinsfolk," and charged down into the valley to join the battle with many Dwarves and many Men and Elves joining them. Thorin advanced through the Orcs' ranks all the way up to the gigantic Orcs that formed the Bodyguard of Bolg, but could not get past them. 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 large army of Giant Eagles of the Misty Mountains arrived, led by Gwaihir the Windlord. Bilbo was the first to spot their entrance on the scene (now there were five full armies on the field of battle) 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 an Orc 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 in that of a gigantic Bear. Beorn drove through the Orc lines, but paused to carry the wounded Thorin out of the battle with his paw. Beorn then returned to the battle with even greater wrath and smashed the ranks of the Bodyguard of Bolg, ultimately killing Bolg himself. The Orcs eventually panicked and scattered, to be picked off by hunting forces from the victors later.

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, after meeting Bilbo one last time.

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 Elvenking Thranduil the emeralds of Girion. Bilbo, despite having forfeited his share, was offered a rich reward but refused to take more than two small chests of gold and silver.

It is said that three-fourths of the Goblin population was killed in the battle.