Tolkien fact 26 – Book vs Movie: Dwarf History

[Originally posted on March 28th, 2015]

The history of the dwarves is complicated, even just in the Third Age. Some glimpses can be seen in the Hobbit movies, but much of the events have been shifted around and altered greatly. For instance, the battle shown in which Thorin takes his name Oakenshield is called the Battle of Azanulbizar. As in the movie, a large Orc named Azog fights here after killing Thrór (Thorin’s grandfather) some time earlier. The dwarves fight this battle as vengeance for Thrór and both sides suffer greatly. However, unlike in the movie, Azog is indeed killed in this battle, by none other than Dain II of the Iron Hills (the red headed, Scottish dwarf that rides the battle-pig in the third Hobbit movie… Did I really just type that sentence?). In the book version of The Hobbit, Thorin does not fight Azog (as Azog is already dead before The Battle of the Five Armies) but, while Bolg, Azog’s son, is present as a leader of the goblins there, Thorin does not face him in one-on-one combat either. It is actually Beorn, the skin-changing bear-man, that defeats Bolg and his guards. Dain is Thorin’s cousin (through his grandfather’s brother). Fíli and Kíli were Thorin’s nephews through his sister, Dís, the only female dwarf named in the official histories. He and they all died in the Battle of the Five Armies and the line of rule of Durin’s Folk passed to Dain II Ironfoot, an important event also not mentioned in the movies.


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