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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Is Erebor's treasure hoard too big?

Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 18 2020, 10:48pm

Post #1 of 10 (2688 views)
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Is Erebor's treasure hoard too big? Can't Post

Just watching the DOS EE again, and poor Bilbo is trying to find the Arkenstone without waking Smaug. His hobbity "shush!" to the jewel he tossed aside that made noise, his "Large white jewel. Very helpful." Snark- I LOVE IT!

However, I have issues with the size of the hoard (not the dragon, but the hoard itself). Yes, Erebor was famously rich, and yes, the treasure of Dale/coffer was included in it as well.

But STILL- doesn't it seem as though the hoard is too big to be even remotely believable? I mean, 10,000 coins in that world is a fortune! And that must amount to .000000001 NANOMETER of that size hoard. Counting out 1/14th share of that hoard's profits would undoubtedly take a LIFETIME of counting to figure out!

Thoughts? Do you think Smaug's hoard in Erebor is too big in the films?

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Chen G.
Gondor

Aug 18 2020, 10:53pm

Post #2 of 10 (2672 views)
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No [In reply to] Can't Post

Scale is one of the appeal of these films. I love the enormity both of Erebor itself, and of its treasure hoard.

Its like the sand dunes of Lawrence of Arabia, except its coins. Marvellous.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 19 2020, 3:33am

Post #3 of 10 (2660 views)
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Realistically? Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think that the hoard is ridiculously big in the films, but then so is Smaug himself. If all of that gold was put back into circulation the economy of the North (and probably of Gondor as well) would be devastated.

#FidelityToTolkien


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 19 2020, 4:14am

Post #4 of 10 (2656 views)
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Because the value would plummet? [In reply to] Can't Post

So much gold in the economy would drop its value- kind of like inflation?

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


Greenwood Hobbit
Tol Eressea


Aug 19 2020, 10:43am

Post #5 of 10 (2631 views)
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It's gloriously over the top, of course. [In reply to] Can't Post

But what a spectacle! A few treasure chests just wouldn't cut it. There are times when one has to suspend disbelief from a very tall tree and just enjoy the incredible bling.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 19 2020, 2:00pm

Post #6 of 10 (2625 views)
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Yep! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So much gold in the economy would drop its value- kind of like inflation?


Of course this is assuming that Gondor is on a Gold Standard--which might not actually be the case. Then again, I might just be displaying my ignorance of basic economics!

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 19 2020, 2:00pm)


Cirashala
Valinor


Aug 19 2020, 9:33pm

Post #7 of 10 (2603 views)
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You have a point [In reply to] Can't Post

Dwarves would most certainly understand economics too- probably even more so than we do!

So I imagine Dain, being rather intelligent, wouldn't put ALL the gold back in circulation. He'd likely:

1. Set aside a great deal of it in a coffer as a rainy day fund,

2. Disperse what's owed to Laketown,

3. Give the remaining dwarves of Thorin's company their shares,

4. Set aside a great sum to pay for normal kingdom operations for Erebor, and, presuming the Iron Hills remained occupied for Iron ore (can't remember for sure if it was or not), their operations as well, and

5. Whatever else was left would probably be spent on the many repairs and supplies Erebor must have needed after the damage Smaug made.


As to Gondor, if the dwarves paid Bard in gold coin, and gold coin is how Gloin financed their venture (it's alluded to in his reticence to "empty out his pockets"), which would have been spent in the Shire and possibly Bree, AND how Legolas tells Bard that "others will look to the Mountain, for its wealth, its position", then I think it likely that Gondor and other realms and kingdoms probably used gold specie as their financial standard as well.

Of course, there was likely a great deal of bartering too in the type of societies ME had, if one did not happen to possess any gold on their person Wink

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


(This post was edited by Cirashala on Aug 19 2020, 9:35pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 20 2020, 12:22am

Post #8 of 10 (2595 views)
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Money versus Barter [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, barter would have remained common practice throughout Middle-earth except perhaps in the most 'advanced' Mannish cultures. And maybe fairly routine even then.

I think Toklien's own illustration of Smaug lying upon his hoard gives the best impression of the size of that treasure. Peter Jackson exaggerated that as much--if not more so--as he did the size of Smaug.

#FidelityToTolkien


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 22 2020, 7:56am

Post #9 of 10 (2459 views)
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When Smaug first appeared [In reply to] Can't Post

And captured the treasure the value of gold would have increased and then when the gold was re-treaved it would have deflated. presumably. Unless, possibly the peoples where a bit wise with the new wealth and used it sparingly in which case maybe the later case would not have been so dramatic.


Noria
Gondor

Aug 23 2020, 12:38pm

Post #10 of 10 (2391 views)
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This [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But what a spectacle! A few treasure chests just wouldn't cut it. There are times when one has to suspend disbelief from a very tall tree and just enjoy the incredible bling.


 
 

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