MOTW: The Villains of "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
December 12th, 2013

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MOTW: The Villains of "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug"

Everyone knows that for a movie to have great heroes, it must also have great villains. The hero has to overcome the villain and save the day, and "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" is no different. From the multitude of goblins, trolls, and orcs to the main villains bent on conquering Middle-Earth, Tolkien's world is filled with bad guys. "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy introduced the villainous Gollum, The Witch King, Sauron, and Saruman, while "An Unexpected Journey" familiarized viewers with the Great Goblin of Goblin-town and Azog the Defiler. "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" takes viewers to new heights in the story of good versus evil, but which villains will face Bilbo and the band of merry dwarves?



Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, Smaug plays a major role in "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," as he is one of the main villains Gandalf and his friends fight against. Smaug is among the last dragons alive on Middle-Earth, boasting an enormous size, a keen sense of smell, and destructive fiery breath. However, this villain's greatest weapon is a cunning that rivals all other bad guys in the movie. In his role as antagonist, Smaug guards his stolen treasure on Lonely Mountain, using piles of gold and jewels as his bed. When Thorin Oakenshield was young, long before "The Hobbit" takes place, Smaug destroyed Lonely Mountain's dwarf city and stole the treasure, sending the dwarf inhabitants into exile.

As soon as Gandalf learns that the necromancer Sauron has returned to wage war on Middle-Earth, he realizes that Smaug must be destroyed; otherwise, Sauron will use the dragon to win the war. Once Gandalf meets Thorin, he creates a plan to free Lonely Mountain from Smaug, and Thorin agrees so that he can return Lonely Mountain to the dwarves and recover his ancestors' treasure. Unbeknownst to Gandalf and Thorin, destroying this villain leads to an even larger battle of good versus evil: the Battle of Five Armies.




Also played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Sauron is the bad guy who bridges the gap between "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogy. A cunning lieutenant of Melkor, Sauron is a villain unmatched by any in the mortal realm. Known by many as Gorthaur the Cruel, Sauron wields terrible power and wishes to send Middle-Earth into darkness. After a thousand years of gathering strength, Sauron causes the Greenwood to become dark and filled with evil.

The Valar agrees that Sauron is a threat and sends out Gandalf and his friends to destroy this returning threat. After battling the wizards, Sauron flees to Mordor, deprived of his two most powerful potential weapons—Smaug and the Balrog of Morgoth. After he corrupts Saruman, Sauron takes a step back from this tale until the end. At this point, Gandalf, Frodo Baggins, and Samwise Gamgee use Gollum's treachery to destroy the One Ring. Because so much of Sauron's hate and malice is bound to the One Ring, his spirit is destroyed with it.



Azog the Defiler

After playing the main villain role in "An Unexpected Journey," Manu Bennett returns as Azog the Defiler in the second installment of the trilogy. Believed to be dead, Azog bides his time while plotting revenge on the dwarves and Thorin, who sliced off his hand. Spurred on by hate, Azog takes an oath to destroy the line of Durin, attacking the group of heroes and almost killing Thorin in the first movie. Azog collects his foes' heads as trophies, and even though his appearance is less barbaric than that of other orcs, his evil nature is marked by a wicked-looking metal claw in place of his severed forearm and the massive Warg he rides.




Played by Conan Stevens, Bolg follows in the evil footsteps of his father, Azog. Every bit as massive and terrifying as Azog, Bolg settles in Mount Gundabad after the abandonment of Angmar. Both father and son bond over the slaughter of dwarves in "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," and Bolg leads the goblins of the Misty Mountains in the Battle of the Five Armies.