The Hobbit Saw Smaug’s Defeat – But What Happened to Erebor?

The Hobbit details a key point in Middle-earth’s history, with the Company of Thorin Oakenshield’s journey to retake the Dwarven homeland of Erebor. However, it wasn’t long after that the events of The Lord of the Rings occurred, with Sauron and his war waging across the land, causing dire repercussions for everyone. So what happened to Erebor after The Hobbit, and how did it fair during the War of the Ring?

After Smaug the Dragon destroyed the neighboring city of Dale, he claimed the Dwarven stronghold all for himself. Erebor, also known as The Lonely Mountain, was lost for 171 years before Thorin began his quest to reclaim the homeland. Despite many losses through destroying Smaug and the following Battle of Five Armies, Thorin and the Dwarves eventually freed the Lonely Mountain and settled there once more.

Who Became King of Erebor After Thorin Died?

With Thorin and his nephews passing during The Hobbit’s climactic battle, the Dwarven lord Dáin Ironfoot was the next in line for king of Erebor. Through the Appendix for The Lord of the Rings, it’s known that Erebor prospered for a few decades, with Dwarves from across the land returning to their home and jewels passing through the rebuilt city of Dale. However, Erebor would once again face ruin with the return of Sauron.

Erebor Succumbed to More War After The Hobbit

As Sauron’s armies waged war over Middle-earth, hordes of Easterling soldiers swarmed to the North to attack Erebor. The Dwarves and Men of Dale took shelter inside the mountain, which proved a difficult city to breach. While it’s not known how long the battle lasted, King Dáin and the king of Dale fought side-by-side against the invaders and lost their lives protecting Erebor.

Luckily, the people inside the mountain were able to hold off the Easterlings for a long while, with Dwarven defenses being some of the most advanced in Middle-earth. Eventually, news spread of the One Ring’s destruction and the Easterlings fled as the Dwarves cut them down. And for the first time since the ending of The Hobbit, peace was once again brought back to the kingdom, albeit with heavy losses.

The Dwarves Prospered After The Lord of the Rings

Upon Dáin’s death, the throne went to his son Thorin Stonehelm, who ruled through much of the Fourth Age of Middle-earth. With Erebor fairing better than most, many Dwarves left to help rebuild the cities of Gondor, better strengthening their relationship with Men. And the Dwarven kingdom eventually prospered better than ever.

The Dwarven people faired so well that, eventually, they returned to Khazad-dûm, better known as the Mines of Moria. But here, the story of all Dwarves end, as the last thing J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about them was that they lived in Moria until the “world grew old and the days of Durin’s race ended.” And so, while they had once faced tragedy before and after The Hobbit, Erebor and all the Dwarves ended up prospering better than most other races of Middle-earth.

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