|Azog from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug|
|Death||T.A. 2799 |
Battle of Azanulbizar
|Notable for||Killing Thrór, triggering the War of the Dwarves and Orcs|
|Gallery||Images of Azog|
Of Azog's origins we know little; he was the chief of the Orcs of Moria, and apparently the most important Orc of the northern lands. The average lifespan of an Orc is unknown, but it is conceivable that he was one of those sent to Moria by Sauron in about T.A. 2480. He had one son that we know of, Bolg, who succeeded him after his death.
Azog entered history in the year T.A. 2790 due to King Thrór's desire to revisit and perhaps refound the lost realm of Khazad-dûm, in whose mighty ruins Azog dwelt. Azog captured and slew Thrór, and branded his hewn head with his own name, "AZOG". He flung the head at Nár, then a money purse containing "few coins of little worth", warning that he would tolerate no future Dwarf beggars entering his domain at Moria.
When news of this reached Thrór's heir Thráin, he was greatly angered, and mustered a force of Dwarves to seek revenge on Azog. So began the War of the Dwarves and Orcs: the Dwarves hunted Azog, and many battles were fought beneath the earth. After nine years of war, the climactic Battle of Azanulbizar was fought before the gates of Moria itself.
King Thráin II and his son Thorin were in that battle (it was here that Thorin gained the surname Oakenshield). Near the end of the battle, Azog himself emerged and fought with Thráin's cousin Náin and, after breaking Náin's neck, his young son Dáin. Though only 32 years old, Dáin swept the head from Azog's shoulders, and helped to win the day. Azog's head was impaled on a spike, with the same coin-filled purse stuffed in his mouth that he had flung at Nár after he killed Thrór nine years before.
The Dwarves made no attempt to press their advantage, though, because Dáin had glimpsed Durin's Bane during his battle, and warned the Dwarves not to attempt to enter Moria. Azog's underground dominions in the north, though greatly reduced in the War, fell to his son Bolg, who held them for almost 150 years until he too met his end at the Battle of Five Armies in 2941.
|AZOGd. T.A. 2799|
|Bolgd. T.A. 2941|
Portrayal in adaptations
2012-14: The Hobbit (film series):
- Azog is played by Manu Bennett via motion-capture and CG (though he was originally intended to be played by Conan Stevens in a practical costume and makeup). He is a white-skinned Orc, known as the Pale Orc or Azog the Defiler. According to Balin, he is from Gundabad. In the movie, the Battle of Azanulbizar appears in a flashback. Thrór is still alive at this time and is beheaded by Azog during the battle. Thorin fights with Azog and cuts off his left forearm, and the Pale Orc is dragged off by a few fellow Orcs. Thorin believes Azog to have died from his wounds, but, unlike in the book, he actually survived the battle and serves as Thorin's nemesis.
- In the films, Azog speaks exclusively in Orkish, whereas his literary counterpart was also known for using the Common Speech. He rides a gigantic white warg. He also lacks the iron-clad head he featured in the books.
- Azog leads a pack of Orcs on Wargs in hunting down Thorin and Company to wipe out the Line of Durin and to take his revenge on Thorin for his wound - even putting out a bounty on Thorin's head. In the film, it is his pack (not the Orcs of Goblin-town) that catch up to the Company on the other side of the Misty Mountains; after a brief fight with Thorin, he loses them when they are rescued by the Eagles.
- While still in pursuit of Thorin and Company as they come down from the Carrock and make their way to Beorn's house, he is summoned to Dol Guldur by the Necromancer himself to lead his armies to Erebor. He later leads an unsuccessful attack on Gandalf when the Wizard enters the fortress prior to the armies' departures.
- In this movie, Azog's appearance is changed, as he now wears plate armor, and he replaced his claw arm with one that looks similar to a sword. Azog is first seen marching on Erebor. When Bolg tells him of the Elven Army, he orders him to Gundabad for more troops. From Ravenhill, Azog commands the Orcs in the Battle of Five Armies. Thorin, Fíli, Kíli and Dwalin go to kill Azog, in order to leave the Orcs leaderless. But Azog captures Fíli and kills him in front of Thorin. Azog finally battles Thorin on a frozen lake and is knocked underwater. However, he breaks through the ice and stabs Thorin, mortally wounding him. Despite this, the Dwarf leader manages to stab Azog through the chest with Orcrist - finally killing the Pale Orc - shortly before succumbing to his own wounds.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag End, p. 787, note 38
- ↑ Andreas Moehn, "Etymologies of the Atani languages" dated 18 July 2002, Middle-earth Science Pages (Internet Archive) (accessed 31 July 2019)
- ↑ Peter Jackson, "Casting News for The Hobbit" dated 19 May 2011, Facebook (accessed 21 December 2011)).