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Sketch of Roäc and Thorin by John Howe

Roäc was the chief of the ravens of Ravenhill near Erebor.[1]



While Thorin and Company and Bilbo Baggins were keeping watch on Erebor, an old thrush summoned Roäc. Being able to speak Westron, the raven delivered the news that Smaug had been killed. Roäc agreed to bring a message to Dáin II Ironfoot from Thorin, a call for help in guarding the treasures of Erebor in the wake of war.[1] However, Roäc also gave a piece of advice to Thorin, warning him that "the treasure is likely to be your death".[2]

Roäc was the son of Carc, and as such "a descendant of those [ravens] that had remained on the hill even after Smaug had driven out their old allies, the Dwarves".[3] When he met Thorin and Company in Third Age 2941, Roäc was marked by age, being one hundred and fifty-three years old.[1] He was thus apparently born in Third Age 2788.


Roäc is likely an onomatopoeic name.[4]


In Celtic mythology, ravens are often associated with warfare and the battleground (especially in Irish mythology). In Welsh mythology, ravens figure as the army of King Arthur's knight Owain.[5] See also: Ravens: Inspiration

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Roäc, a level 6 Raven, is given game statistics and a short description.[6]

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

"Roäc the Raven" is a Diplomat Ally, playable at any site in Northern Rhovanion.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Thief in the Night"
  3. Mark Fisher, "Roäc: The old raven of Ravenhill" at Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 4 December 2010)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 316
  5. Raven in mythology: Celtic mythology at Wikipedia (accessed 4 December 2010)
  6. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), pp. 26, 138