Sack of Erebor

From Tolkien Gateway
Sack of Erebor
Conflict: Isolated event
Date: T.A. 2770
Place: Erebor
Outcome: Destruction of the Kingdom under the Mountain,
slaughter of thousands of Dwarves

Dwarves, and Men

Smaug the Dragon

  • Smaug

Unknown est. 5-10,000 Dwarves, and Est. 1-4,000 Men of Dale

Smaug the Dragon


Unknown but many, est. thousands of Dwarves (military and civilian), hundreds of Men including Girion


The Sack of Erebor occurred when Smaug attacked the Lonely Mountain and drove the Dwarves of Erebor from their capital.


After the slaying of King Dáin I outside his hall at the conclusion of the War of the Dwarves and Dragons, the new King, Thrór, and his brother Grór abandoned the Grey Mountains for safer dwellings with most of their subjects. The king went to the Lonely Mountain (former seat of the Durin's throne), and Grór to the primary source of the Longbeards' iron supply, the Iron Hills. Over the years the Dwarves of Erebor gained great renown throughout Middle-earth for the splendor of their halls, craftsmanship, and great stores of wealth. Word eventually reached Smaug the dragon, one of the great fire drakes who now dwelled in the Grey Mountains, who in his lust for treasure desired to take the mountain.[1]

The Battle

One night in T.A. 2770, Smaug descended upon the mountain in flames, catching the Dwarves and Men of Dale off guard. The warriors of the mountain came out of the great gate to engage the dragon, but all were killed. Then Smaug attacked Dale whose warriors were all called to arms, and destroyed most of them. He then returned to the mountain and routed the remaining Dwarves. Afterwards he piled up all the gold within the mountain and made it his dwelling, emerging only ever so often to eat maidens from Dale which eventually caused its abandonment.[1]


In the end the Kingdom under the Mountain was destroyed, and likely thousands of Dwarves and several hundred people (including King Girion) of Dale were killed. King Thrór himself along with his son Thráin II barely escaped out of the secret entrance. Most of the Dwarves who escaped fled to the Iron Hills.[2]

With his family and a small company of followers, the King went into a homeless wandering southward but not before cursing Smaug. It would be almost two hundred years before Thrór's grandson Thorin would return to the mountain to reclaim his home and treasure.

Portrayal in adaptations

1967: The Hobbit (1967 film):

The Sack of Erebor appears briefly in the prologue.

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

The Sack of Erebor appears in the prologue of the film, with the events narrated by Bilbo Baggins as he writes his book There and Back Again. Thorin participates in the failed defense of the Mountain, and Thráin loses the Arkenstone in the evacuation.