Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Wiki
Vital statistics
Birth Possibly Second or Third Age
Death TA 2941
Age Unknown
Fate Flies to Lake-town to seek revenge and killed by Bard.
Physical attributes
Hair color None
Eye color Orange
Gender Masculino♂️
Weapon claws
Race Dragon
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch

Smaug is the main antagonist of The Hobbit film trilogy adaptations by Peter Jackson.

He appears as the overarching antagonist of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", then as the titular main antagonist of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug", and meets his end as the secondary antagonist of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies".

He was a Fire-drake from the North and was considered to be the last great dragon to exist in Middle Earth. Drawn to the enormous wealth amassed by the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain, Smaug laid waste to the neighboring city of Dale and captured the Lonely Mountain, driving the surviving Dwarves into exile. For almost sixty years, Smaug hoarded Erebor's treasure to himself and ruled within the Lonely Mountain, but in TA 2941, he was warned at the sound of the Thrust's knocking on the heart of the mountain that the Dwarves would reclaim it. Later when Thorin and Company arrived at the Lonely Mountain, a battle between Smaug and the Dwarves began and after learning that the Dwarves' scheme was shared with the citizens of Lake-town and when Thorin tried to kill him with a golden statue, he left the mountain to wreak destruction upon Esgaroth, destroying it before being slain by Bard the Bowman.


Early life[]

Little is known about Smaug's early life or if he was born in the Second or Third Age but he was born as a Fire-drake from the North, from unknown parents.

Attack of Dale and Capturing Erebor[]

Smaug flying overhead during his attack the city of Dale.

In TA 2770, Smaug came from the mountains in the north when he had learned about the riches of Erebor, including the Arkenstone due to Thrór's greed under the influence of the jewel, and planned to take over the mountain and destroy the city of Dale. During the Sack of Erebor, the fire-drake flew first to Dale, where he had killed multiple citizens and destroyed the town with his flames.

The Black Arrow before hitting one of Smaug's scales.

When Girion, Lord of Dale, tried to kill Smaug with his Black Arrows using a longbow, missed every of his scales' mark. But after many attempts failed however, one of the arrows had made its mark and hit one of Smaug's scales. Unfortunately, the dragon had consumed and killed Girion before he would shoot the last arrow. It would cause Smaug to become aware of the Black Arrows with their proper noun ever since the Lord of Dale's failed attempt to kill the dragon.

Smaug entering Erebor.

After he destroyed Dale, Smaug flew to Erebor next and destroyed the door to the entrance, and killed multiple of the guards and took all of the kingdom's gold, gems, and riches as well as placed many onto his underbelly, causing all the surviving Dwarves to leave the mountain in fear to live in exile and take refuge, while Smaug devoured all the corpses of his victims.

Living waste in the Lonely Mountain[]

Smaug's awoken eye upon learning of Thorin Oakenshield's plans to reclaim the Lonely Mountain.

For two hundred years, Smaug had lived under the mountain, hoarded all the gold that he kept for himself and slept in the the enormous piles. In TA 2941, when a Thrush was knocking on the heart of the entrance, this caused Smaug to wake up and it had warned him that a group of Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield would someday come back to mountain, kill him, and reclaim the kingdom as well as the Arkenstone. He also had a great disliking on the citizens of Lake-town as well as their longbows and Black Arrows (which were the arrows that took away one of his scales) but did not know that they were descendants of Dale.

Bilbo's attempt to steal the Arkenstone[]

Smaug smelling Bilbo.

When Thorin and Company arrived at the Lonely Mountain and sent their burglar Bilbo Baggins to find the Arkenstone unwittingly cause a landslide that unveiled the dragon. Smaug stirred from his sleep amongst the vast pile of treasure, as he was suspcious that someone was in the chamber with him. Although Bilbo was forced to use his One Ring to keep out of sight from the dragon, Smaug immediately was aware of his presence by his scent (which the smell of Hobbit was unknown to him). He began to search for Bilbo, beckoning him to come out from where he was hiding and when Smaug got too close, the Hobbit was overcome with fear and attempted to run, only to alert the dragon, who gave chase after him through the chamber. Bilbo evaded from him and hides behind a massive pillar, still under the cloak of the Ring. Smaug continued his search, and claimed that he was aware of the Ring in Bilbo's possession and that he sensed that Bilbo has something "made of gold, but far more precious," which in turn forced the hobbit to remove the ring in front of him. Smaug was amused by Bilbo's knowledge of who he was, and began his conversation with the Hobbit in order to deduce his origins.

Smaug striking a pose to Bilbo.

The Hobbit then tried to lie to Smaug by claiming that he no more but a simple traveler who came to the mountain alone to have a stare of him as he didn't believe the tales about him. The dragon later doubted that flattery would keep him alive and asked who he was and where he came from. Bilbo later made his riddle talk by claiming that he "came from under the hill and over hills and under hills his path had" and through the air he was "he who walks unseen", Smaug hardly believed him but asked Bilbo what also did he claim to be and the Hobbit answered that he was the "luck-wearer", "riddle-maker", and "barrel-rider". The dragon then revealed that he knew that Thorin and Company was outside of the mountain although Bilbo (whose eyes were on the Arkenstone) tried to deny it, but Smaug did not believe his denies.

Soon, a cat-and-mouse banter began with Smaug and Bilbo, as he had been made unfavorable comments about Thrór and boasted about his armor and invincibility. Smaug then realized that Thorin, Thrór's grandson, had sent Bilbo for the Arkenstone and revealed to him, that he founded out Thorin's goal "some time ago" and said that it didn't matter because the quest was ultimately futile as he was aware that Sauron was preparing to openly declare himself once more.

Smaug attempts to lie to Bilbo that Thorin was using him.

Smaug later tried to take away Bilbo's friendship with Thorin by lying to him that the Dwarf was using him and found his fate worth nothing, but the Hobbit did not believe him. But the dragon then asked what reward Thorin would give him if he succeeded finding the Arkenstone and replied that he would never give away any of treasure, not even a single coin. During the game, Smaug disconcerned of the Hobbit's attempt of stealing the jewel and kept Bilbo from catching the Arkenstone and boasted about his superiority, which the Hobbit would notice the missing scale on his "armored" underbelly, and muttered that one of Girion's Black Arrows did hit one of his scales but later denied it when Smaug asked what did Bilbo complemented.

"I am almost tempted to let you take it, if only to see Oakenshield suffer."

Smaug then caught Bilbo's eye on the jewel and claimed that he was almost tempted to let him take it only to let it consume Thorin to madness just like it did to Thrór, though at that point, the dragon then ended the banter with Bilbo and immediately tried to eat him, but Bilbo used his ring to escape but only to leave Smaug to fly in rage and unleash a torrent of flames around the treasure chamber in an attempt to roast the Hobbit alive before he can escape

When Smaug saw Thorin with Bilbo, who pointed his sword at him to see if he found the Arkenstone, the dragon started to charge at him and the other Dwarves who appeared to defend their friends and attempted who charge after them and burn them to death with his fire breath, but they managed to elude him, and Smaug began to silently stalk the abandoned halls in search of them but after the Dwarves avoided him.

Behind the scenes[]

Benedict Cumberbatch motion capturing Smaug (note: he appeared to have six limbs).

  • Smaug was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch through voice and motion capture in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and will reprise his role for the The Battle of the Five Armies. Cumberbatch had also voiced and motion captured as the Necromancer (Sauron) in all three films. Since Smaug's body was impossible to motion capture fully, only Cumberbatch's face, upper body, and arms were captured and the rest of the body was completed in keyframe animation.
  • Cumberbatch had studied iguanas and Komodo dragons at the London Zoo's Reptilian House to prepare for the voice the dragon, and aimed for a tone that would "bridge between animal and human, a deep and rasping guttural dryness to the voice."
  • When Cumberbatch was still young, his father, Timothy Carlton (who was also an actor), used to read The Hobbit to him as a bedtime treat.
  • Actor Ron Perlman was up for the role for Smaug when Guillermo del Toro was set as director, but left after when del Toro left as well.
  • John Callen (who portrayed as Óin in the film series) auditioned for the voice of Smaug and the role of Radagast.
  • Christopher Lee who portrayed as Saruman, commented that he would have loved to voice as Smaug, as he had voiced as the Jabberwocky in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
  • In the theatrical version of An Unexpected Journey, Smaug was shown with blue-hued scales when his eye opens in the closing moments of the film. It seemed contradictory to Smaug's crimson scales in The Desolation of Smaug and Tolkien's original design, but the scales had shifted from blue to red in the final frames of the film, perhaps due to the ending of his long dormancy, which would explain the apparent inconsistency.


    Also, in the prologue of the theatrical release of the first film, Smaug appeared to have six limbs (four legs and two wings). However, this may have been a misconception resulting from the fact that he was not fully or clearly shown in the prologue. In The Desolation of Smaug, the dragon is revealed as having four limbs (two back legs and two front legs with his wings attached). In the extended edition of the first film however, Smaug's limbs had been changed to four like in the second film. In LEGO The Hobbit: The Video Game however, his hands are included as DLC extras for the game.
  • In the films, he shared the same eyes as Sauron, who had the particular eye in the films and in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • According to Weta designers, his fire was not magical, but 'fuel-based'. In the films, his underbelly and neck glow orange before he breathes fire, which was similar to Godzilla as his backfins glow before he uses his atomic breath.
  • Smaug in the second and third films was designed to be 'multicultural', and had been combined characteristics from dragons around the world.
  • In the prologue of the first film and in LEGO The Hobbit: The Video Game, a kite in the city of Dale before it got burned by Smaug looked similar to him.
  • In The Desolation of Smaug, when Thorin landed on Smaug's nostril as the dragon then opened his mouth to try to eat the Dwarf was possibly Peter Jackson's self-homage in one of his films, King Kong; to the scene where Ann Darrow accidentally landed on the nostril of one of Vastatosaurus Rexes.
  • Smaug is set to appear in the There and Back Again LEGO sets as a minifigure.

Smaug as a Lego minifigure.

  • In LEGO The Hobbit: The Video Game, Smaug appeared as a boss and the only big minifigure in the consoles and Windows versions not to be playable.
  • In the PS3, PS4, and Xbox One versions of LEGO video game, a Baby variation of Smaug is included as a DLC character in the Big Little Character Pack. In the poster, he appeared being chased by "Baby Gimli" after he set his trousers on fire. Like Gimli, Smaug appeared to have no abilities despite in the poster showed him to breathe fire.


Baby Smaug in LEGO The Hobbit: The Video Game.


  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Chronicles: Art and Design (Mentioned only)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Visual Companion (Mentioned only)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Chronicle Companion: Smaug: Unleashing The Dragon
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art and Design
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Visual Companion
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Activity Book
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Annual 2015
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Chronicles: Art & Design
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Official Movie Guide
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: The Movie Storybook
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Visual Companion