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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What and how does Smaug know?
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Bishop
Rohan


Feb 6 2014, 10:22pm

Post #1 of 26 (668 views)
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What and how does Smaug know? Can't Post

I'm sure this has been discussed at length on the board, but I couldn't find anything on it.

Smaug knows about Sauron, Thorin (and that his name is Thorin Oakenshield), the Arkenstone, that Thorin wants the Arkenstone, and he senses the ring. Any explanation on any of this?


Hamfast of Gamwich
Rivendell


Feb 6 2014, 10:37pm

Post #2 of 26 (428 views)
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Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

Emmisaries of Sauron have been to visit Smaug and recruited him for whatever Sauron is planning. At some point in this discussion Thorin came up (not unlikely given that Azog, another of Sauron's key players, is obsessed with him). The existence of the Arkenstone and the dwarves love of it was common knowledge so it's not surprising that Smaug knows about it and predicts that Thorin wants it back. He doesn't sense the ring directly, he doesn't say "you have the one ring," he says "you carry something made of gold (he's got a good nose for gold) but far more precious (he's aware that this is probably the reason Bilbo is invisible).

I find it odd that people are confused by any of this. Makes perfect sense to me!

"Durin's Heir you may be, but even with one eye you should see clearer. If this is victory, then our hands are too small to hold it. We will not enter Khazad-dum. You will not enter Khazad-dum. Beyond the shadow of the gate it waits for you still: Durinís Bane. The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durinís Folk walk again in Moria.Ē


Bishop
Rohan


Feb 6 2014, 11:05pm

Post #3 of 26 (343 views)
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So [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug is working for Sauron essentially?


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Feb 6 2014, 11:08pm

Post #4 of 26 (346 views)
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Several sources? [In reply to] Can't Post

Some of this (such as Thorin's appellation of Oakenshield) Smaug could have learned between his occupation of Erebor and the start of his sixty-year rest. Some posters have assumed that he could know nothing of the past sixty years because he has remained sealed inside the Mountain. However, as far as we know, no one from Lake-town, the Wood-elves' Realm or of Thorin's people have actually been near enough to be certain of that. Sauron's servants could have found or made a way in at the Front Gate and who else would know? Or one of the Ringwraiths could have entered Smaug's lair unclad, not needing an opening to reach the dragon.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bombadil
Half-elven


Feb 6 2014, 11:15pm

Post #5 of 26 (351 views)
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Smaug says it Directly.."I knew this day would COME!" [In reply to] Can't Post

He knows a little something about
REVENGE...

Secondly isn't
Smaug
So-possibly
Somewhat ...Psychic?

Bomby'sTheory


LordotRings93
Rohan


Feb 6 2014, 11:16pm

Post #6 of 26 (333 views)
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No [In reply to] Can't Post

He's a neutral force, but no doubt minions of Sauron have come to recruit him to Sauron's side (to no avail). This topic has been beaten into the ground, honestly, who cares if he called him "Oakenshield". In truth, it's just a minor inconsistency with the production crew, nothing more. I know it didn't affect me. Not everything in a film can be pitch-perfect, be it a line of dialogue or continuity.

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Feb 6 2014, 11:21pm

Post #7 of 26 (306 views)
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No. I don't think Smaug is psychic [In reply to] Can't Post

Dragons are supposed to be able to mesmerize victims with their gaze and some have shown a measure of foresight; but, I think that Smaug was just using his own common sense in guessing that he would be invaded eventually. Of course, he could have also been warned by servants of Sauron.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bishop
Rohan


Feb 6 2014, 11:21pm

Post #8 of 26 (322 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand this. I'm not complaining. But the film offers no explanation whatsoever, and I honestly wasn't sure about any of those things.


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 6 2014, 11:25pm

Post #9 of 26 (330 views)
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I actually like that he calls Thorin "Oakenshield" [In reply to] Can't Post

Sure, it's a potential plot hole, but it sounds better with Oakenshield than if he'd refer to him as "Thorin" or "Coward Thorin", it doesn't have the same ring to it.

Also, dragons are supposed to be all-knowing (to a point), I guess.



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Bishop
Rohan


Feb 6 2014, 11:33pm

Post #10 of 26 (289 views)
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I don't mind this at all [In reply to] Can't Post

Even Gandalf calls Bilbo simply "Baggins" at one point in the book.


Elarie
Gondor

Feb 7 2014, 12:05am

Post #11 of 26 (310 views)
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Smaug's knowledge [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose that before Smaug started his 60 year nap he could have easily swooped down and captured people from Laketown or elsewhere and simply questioned them before he ate them.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Feb 7 2014, 12:15am

Post #12 of 26 (296 views)
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What I want to know is, ... [In reply to] Can't Post

...how did he get all that gold? Presumably, he didn't bring it with him. The Dwarves would have had some gold, sure, but that much? If he was conducting raids, how did he transport all the loose coins and jewels?








Bishop
Rohan


Feb 7 2014, 12:34am

Post #13 of 26 (274 views)
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I think [In reply to] Can't Post

The implication is the Dwarves DID have that much gold, perhaps more organized before Smaug made a mess of it. Jackson may have gone a bit overboard with the amounts though.


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Feb 7 2014, 12:40am

Post #14 of 26 (268 views)
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I think that the Dwarves had lots of gold! [In reply to] Can't Post

And more so in PJs imagination!


Thaddeus
Bree


Feb 7 2014, 1:34am

Post #15 of 26 (245 views)
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Just remember, [In reply to] Can't Post

We don't know the location of the floor so the actual amount of gold is indeterminate. Plus, our first shots of it depicted the gold with an entire dragon under it.

I like cheese!


xxxyyy
Rohan

Feb 7 2014, 2:17am

Post #16 of 26 (252 views)
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We don't know. Let's hope PJ knew what he was doing... [In reply to] Can't Post

and give us an explanation in TABA.


LordotRings93
Rohan


Feb 7 2014, 2:28am

Post #17 of 26 (252 views)
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It doesn't need an explanation [In reply to] Can't Post

For something so small and that is a "blink" and you miss it line of dialogue, I highly doubt time should be taken out to address why Smaug called Thorin "Oakenshield". Smaug's attacking Lake-town, and then: "Oh, by the way everyone, I addressed Thorin as "Oakenshield" in the Mountain because....!" It won't be explained, we just need to accept the fact this was a slight continuity error and move on.

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Bishop
Rohan


Feb 7 2014, 2:36am

Post #18 of 26 (243 views)
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Come on now [In reply to] Can't Post

Dialog doesn't matter if it's short?


LordotRings93
Rohan


Feb 7 2014, 3:05am

Post #19 of 26 (224 views)
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I didn't say that [In reply to] Can't Post

I just said it's nothing to raise arms up over, as it's just a SLIGHT CONTINUITY ERROR, kind of like the beginning of AUJ with Bilbo knowing full well where Frodo's going off to. No in-universe explanation can fix the fact that it was most likely an error on the film crew. We don't need precious time wasted on a 2 second line that really has no bearing on future events to happen.

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Bishop
Rohan


Feb 7 2014, 3:20am

Post #20 of 26 (222 views)
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I'm not complaining about continuity errors though [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me clarify a bit. This is my perspective: Smaug is one of the central characters of the Hobbit. The entire story is hinged on this character, as the Dwarves try to reclaim their home. The one he stole from them. That is their journey. The entire climax of the second film is based around this inevitable showdown with him. I feel it's reasonable to expect more if Jackson is implying that he's joined forces with Sauron and knows all about the Arkenstone. This is not some slight change in story trajectory that should be cast aside along with some throwaway dialog.


Fŗfnir
Rohan


Feb 7 2014, 11:58am

Post #21 of 26 (159 views)
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Maybe some robbers managed to get inside erebor now and then [In reply to] Can't Post

and Smaug questionned them before he killed them, and deduced all he knows from their informations ? He had a lot of time to make the good deductions


dormouse
Half-elven


Feb 7 2014, 1:38pm

Post #22 of 26 (171 views)
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Smaug's knowledge isn't a continuity error..... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and it shouldn't need explaining to anyone who has read anything about dragons. Knowledge is traditionally part of a dragon's power. He ensnares people by knowing things about them.

Think of 'The Children of Hurin'. When the dragon Glaurung meets Turin for the first time, he not only knows Turin's history up to that point, he knows which parts are painful to Turin, and how to twist the knife when he talks about them. That didn't need to be explained because that's what dragons do.

'Few men can guess what a dragon knows or how he knows it.' That isn't Tolkien. It's from Ursula le Guin's 'A Wizard of Earthsea.' But it illustrates the point perfectly. Knowledge is as much a part of a dragon as fire-breathing. And asking, 'how does he know?' is like asking 'why does he breath fire?' He does it because he's a dragon.


burgahobbit
Rohan


Feb 7 2014, 4:52pm

Post #23 of 26 (128 views)
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Yes indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

You and Bomby are correct, dormouse. Dragons know thinks they shouldn't know, and its even alluded to in the Hobbit book. Smaug is sleeping soundly when Bilbo comes in the first time, and it explains how he had a dream that a small warrior with a sword had come in to steal his treasure.


Other people's theories could still be correct even with this being the case, but if so it would have had to have been Sauron himself who visited Smaug. Any emissary who visited him would have had to pass through the "sealed" front gate that Smaug doesn't burst through until the end of DOS, or the hidden door, which obviously didn't happen. Thus only a spirit form could have entered the mountain, and that leaves only Sauron, and unfortunately the Ringwraiths as well (I say unfortunately because in the books they are not spirits, and I do not like this change).

"I've found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because Iím afraid, and he gives me courage.Ē - Gandalf the Grey.

"Do not be afraid Mithrandir, if ever you should need my help, I will come." - Lady Galadriel.


Calithilel
Bree

Feb 7 2014, 6:21pm

Post #24 of 26 (118 views)
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It could also be [In reply to] Can't Post

that in the book, Smaug knows that Bilbo stole a golden goblet (?) and calls him a thief, I think he does that doesn't
he? And he does call him a thief in the movie.

So my thinking is that Smaug knows, like really knows, what he has in his treasure. Like every single coin.
He also senses the One Ring, (because its of gold.)

So i do think he knows about the Arkenstone, but come on, just look at it, it stands out from the rest of the gold.
And since dragons get to know things magically, he could have gotten the information about how important the Arkenstone is to the Dwarves, when he attacked Dale and when attacking Erebor.
Or he really just thought it, cuz the Arkenstone is what it is, a really different gem/stone/thingy that like i said, stands out.

About Sauron and Smaug, i guess its the same as they above have replied.


Welsh hero
Gondor


Feb 8 2014, 12:09am

Post #25 of 26 (86 views)
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Many foolish men and dwarves went to the mountain [In reply to] Can't Post

and where never seen again

-Irfon

Twitter: @IrfonPennant
middle earth timeline FB: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEarth1

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