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Dates
Highly uncertain, but probably extant at the time of the Sack of Erebor in III 2770
Race
Apparently a Man (see text)
Settlements
Unknown1
Pronunciation
bla'dorthin
Meaning
Uncertain, but perhaps from the Elvish for 'wide grey plain' (see text)

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  • Updated 17 February 2017
  • This entry is complete

Bladorthin

A mysterious customer of the Dwarves of Erebor

"...the spears that were made for the armies of the great King Bladorthin ... but they were never delivered or paid for..."
The Hobbit 12, Inside Information

A king fleetingly mentioned in The Hobbit as having ordered spears of superior quality for his soldiers from the Dwarves of Erebor. Bladorthin never received his weapons, presumably because of the descent of Smaug on the Lonely Mountain, though like much else about this character, it has hard to be completely certain why the spears were never delivered.

Almost no concrete information about Bladorthin exists. His name seems to come from Elvish, probably deriving from blador 'wide plain' and thin 'grey'. 'Grey' here betrays a curious connection with Gandalf the Grey: in the early drafts of The Hobbit, it seems that the Wizard's name was to have been 'Bladorthin'. Despite this, in the published version the name survives in just the single sentence quoted above. Bladorthin seems to have been a Man,2 but beyond that, no specific details of his life or his realm have survived.


Notes

1

We're told that Bladorthin was a great king, but we're given no hint about where his kingdom may have been, and there are no obvious candidates in the region around Erebor. It is perhaps barely possible that Esgaroth was at one time a kingdom, but by the time of the Quest of Erebor it certainly had no king, and there is no suggestion that it ever had in the past. More likely, Bladorthin's kingdom was more distant from the Lonely Mountain, perhaps down the Running River or somewhere in the wilds of Rhovanion, though we have no real basis even for speculation on this point.

2

We can't be absolutely certain which race Bladorthin belonged to, but a comment in The Hobbit (12, Inside Information) that he was 'long since dead' at the time of the Quest of Erebor strongly suggests that he was a mortal, and his (apparently) Elvish name implies that he was a Man rather than a Dwarf.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 17 February 2017
  • This entry is complete

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