Tolkien Gateway

Azog

The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug - Azog.jpg
Azog
Orc
Biographical Information
Date of deathT.A. 2799
Physical Description
RaceOrc
GenderMale
Azog was an Orc-chieftain of Moria, who started the War of the Dwarves and Orcs when he slew Thrór. He was himself slain by Dáin II Ironfoot in the Battle of Azanulbizar, and was succeeded by his son Bolg.[1][2][3]

Contents

[edit] History

Pascal Yung - 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 more than 150 years until he too met his end at the Battle of Five Armies.

[edit] Etymology

The meaning and origin of the name Azog is unknown. It is most likely a name in the Black Speech (e.g., the similarity between azog and nazg), though Mágol may also be a possibility.[4]

Andreas Moehn has noted an apparent but tentative link with Mannish, in the Adunaic word zagar meaning "sword", in which case Azog might refer to "warrior" or anything similar.[5]

[edit] Portrayal in Adaptations

2012-14: The Hobbit (film series):

Azog is played by Manu Bennett. He is a white-skinned Orc, known as the Pale Orc. According to Balin, he is from Mount 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. During the events of The Hobbit, Thorin believes Azog to have died from his wounds, but, unlike in the book, he actually survived the battle.
In the films, Azog speaks exclusively in Orkish, whereas his literary counterpart was also known for using the Common Speech. He also lacks the iron armor and iron-clad head he featured in the books, instead being bare-chested at all times.

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Azog leads a pack of Orcs 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. He and the pack finally catch up to the Company on the other side of the Misty Mountains, but lose them when they are rescued by the Eagles.

2013: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:

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.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag End, p. 787, note 38
  5. Andreas Moehn, "Etymologies of the Atani languages" dated 18 July 2002, Middle-earth Science Pages (accessed 25 October 2014)