Part Three: The Dragons of Middle-earth

 The Third Age.

THE COLD DRAKES OF THE NORTH

 

1Blue dragons

 

After the First Age there remained in the barren wastes above the Grey Mountains, examples of the true cold-drakes who had no fiery breath. Although they possessed no fiery breath, these Dragons were great in stature and fearsome creatures to behold.

Late in the Third Age the numbers of Cold Drakes increased and Durin’s folk who settled and mined the Grey Mountains in the north of Middle-earth suffered greatly from their constant attacks.

Some of the Cold Drakes developed the power of flight and it was one such Drake which was the slayer of the Dwarf Lord Dain 1, great grandsire to Thorin Oakenshield, and his son Fror at the gates of their hall in the year 2589.  This act and further attacks caused the remnant of Durin’s folk to abandon their halls in the Grey Mountains and move to the Iron Hills and Erebor.

SCATHA THE WORM

Scatha the Worm was a mighty Long-Worm of the Grey Mountains, the greatest Dragon to infest that range of the north.

Scatha possessed a great hoard, perhaps stolen from the Dwarves. He was slain by Fram son of Frumgar. Fram was of the Eotheod who lived in those lands in those times. When Fram secured Scatha’s hoard for his people it brought them into conflict with the Dwarves of the region who claimed the hoard to be their own.

In the ensuing war, Fram lost his life. It seems in time the dispute was settled and when the Eothed migrated south to Rohan they brought at least some of the treasure with them.

The horn that Eowyn gave to Merry Brandybuck after the War of the Ring, many hundred of years later, was said to come from Scatha’s hoard.

 

1Scatha

 

SMAUG THE GOLDEN

Smaug was the greatest Dragon in the latter part of the Third Age. He was intelligent and cunning and was able to speak the Common Speech.

Smaug came out of the North and descended upon the Lonely Mountain, where the Dwarves had a prosperous kingdom named Erebor. He set fire to the woods and trapped the dwarves in the mountain. He then entered the halls of the mountain and killed the dwarves who had been trapped within. Then he descended on the nearby town of Dale and with fire he destroyrd the town and killed most of its residents.

After he had laid waste to the land all around he gathered all the treasure and created a huge bed of gold and jewels to settle on in the ruined halls of Erebor.

Many decades later, Gandalf met Thorin Oakenshield who wanted to reclaim the dwarve’s lost kingdom of the Lonely Mountain and together they came up with a plan involving thirteen Dwarves and one burglar, a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins.

After the Dwarves and their burglar arrived at the mountain Bilbo crept into Smaug’s lair and stole a great two-handled cup. Smaug awoke and immediately realized the cup was missing.

Smaug flew out the Front Gate in a rage seeking the thief, but all he found were ponies.

Bilbo returned to Smaug’s lair and the Dragon showed Bilbo his jewelled underbelly. Bilbo saw the one weak spot in the Dragon’s armour, a hollow in his left breast. Bilbo fled, and Smaug breathed fire down the tunnel after him but the Hobbit was only singed. Bilbo returned to the Dwarves and told them of the weakness he had found in the Dragon’s armour. Then they heard the Dragon leaving the mountain’s entrance.

Enraged, Smaug flew out of the mountain and brought down the side of the mountain where he thought the thief was hiding. Then, suspecting the Men of Laketown were involved with this attempt to steal his treasure, Smaug descended upon Lake-town. He set the town on fire and smashed the roof of the Great House with his tail.

People began to evacuate in boats and with only a small band of archers left to defend the burning town things looked hopeless.

A thrush that had overheard Bilbo speaking of the Dragon’s weak spot came to Bard and told him where to aim his arrow.

Bard fired, and the Black Arrow hit its mark in the hollow of Smaug’s left breast. Smaug shrieked and fell out of the sky and landed on Lake-town, completely destroying it.

Years later the remains of Smaug’s bones and the treasure on his hide could be seen beneath the surface of the lake, but no one ever ventured near his resting place. Smaug would never terrorise the North again.

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